I used to live here.  It was 10 years ago, like it was yesterday.  My daughter had a Scottish tartan cape she wore everywhere.  After a few months with her in the local council nursery; at times I couldn’t understand a word she said.  

It was the first place I lived outside of the United States; when I was over 40 and my daughter was young.  I was well travelled, but decided she and I needed a new adventure.  “They do speak English” I remember thinking.  Not like I was going to have to work in French.  Within a week of arrival, I realised I would have been better off in a French-speaking country for all I understood of a Glaswegian.  Especially one in a pub after a few pints.  Then, or me.  It was the first time my rear ever had been pinched anywhere.  

I am back for a spell.  I remember it wistfully, and remember all I didn’t do and see when I was here.  My camera and I will be visiting, and revisiting this beautiful of cities.  It is apparent I have always had a soft spot for the underdogs…my father had a company in South San Francisco. “The Industrial City” it proudly proclaimed on the hill.  Gritty.  Like the crushed shells that washed up on the so called beach and the wind that moaned through the rusted Cabot Cabot and Forbes tower.

I lived in Tacoma, south of Seattle.  “Gritty Tacomans” spouts the tee shirt I bought my daughter.  “What is a Taco Man?” asks someone.   

Glasgow is to Edinburgh as Tacoma is to Seattle.  Gritty.  It used to be literally, before they started sandblasting all the black soot and grit off the buildings in a beautification project.  “Why don’t you live in Edinburgh like the rest of us?” I was asked by my mates at work.  I said I didn’t want to commute.  But really, I tend to gravitate towards gritty.  And Mackintosh has always been a passion. 

Have you been here?  Are you here now?  Tell me.  Let’s have a pint (not a pinch).  I will post the photos.  It is as I remember.  Are you gritty, too?  Show my your Mackintosh spunk. 


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