June 02, 2006

Other: Shirts, Gardens and Comfort Food

Day 28 – London

Kew Gardens is the last thing on the Tourist Agenda, so that’s today. We were going to meet the Significant Other’s aunt and uncle (from the other side) there, but I had a drop off to make at TWO (Two Wheels Only) Magazine first. They’ve got a standing offer of giving a bit of ad space in return for free stuff, so I handed over some t-shirts that the SO and I made as an excuse to get into motorcycle shows early. Problem is, we are both shit at sales (and moved our house), so now we’ve got a couple hundred of the things sitting around and no real inspiration to sell them. A bit of a notice in an international magazine can’t hurt, eh? The magazine is owned by a media conglomerate which owns some television and film production/broadcasting too: beautiful people (video) at the front of the building, ugly folks (print) in the back.

The off to Kew for the day, which is admittedly much more the SOs thing than mine. The relatives were a perfectly pleasant couple who made for great company on a walk around a HUGE garden, and the weather finally remembered it was late May. Fine way to spend our last day in London.

Not looking forward to the 5:15 wakeup tomorrow, but that’s when the cheap commuter flights leave for Glasgow. Never made it to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, unfortunately: that will just have to wait until next time.

Day 29 – LondonGlasgow

Up early, out the same. On the plus side, it means another (almost) full day in Glasgow, instead of a day broken in half by travel. There was a restaurant that had the same last name as the SO, so we ate there for breakfast: a disappointment, alas, but that was bound to be. Her cooking is brilliant, so I think she and her dad sucked up most of the talent for food in her family.

We stayed in a B&B style hotel, so once we dropped off the bags we were wandering the city again. Well, the SO was, anyways. I’ve never been what any sane individual would call a morning person, so I passed out for a nap while she went to a little “lifestyle museum” called the Tenement House that was a block away. Its story is this: a single woman lived there with her aging mother, and when her mother died she inherited rooms. She herself was never bothered to get much in the way of upgrades, as she didn’t entertain and rarely went out. Eventually, she ended up in a hospital with a long lingering illness, but as the taxes kept getting paid on her home, it remained undisturbed for the ten years she lived away from it. When she died, one of the few things mentioned in her will was a set of chairs to be given to a local priest, and when he and his niece came to get them, they saw an apartment that was exactly the same as fifty years previously: and that was in the 1960s. The niece bought it and eventually handed it over to the National Trust. Presto, instant museum!

We ended the day looking for comfort food, a little taste of home: Cantonese. There’s a surprising number of Chinese in Glasgow, and the China Blue Restaurant must have been the result of fierce competition, as the food was absolutely brilliant. The service was not only attentive, but frankly a little oppressive as they tried to stop us from scooping rice into our bowls so they could provide that service. Their English was… limited at best, so at times is was like being surrounded by benevolent, smiling flies at a picnic. One of the waitresses was the most attractive woman I saw during my vacation, which was also very nice, but that opinion may have been influenced by the restaurant having the same name as a porn series. (Also, apparently, an "ultra lifestyle" store. Go fig.) All told, a very pleasant meal.


posted by Thursday at 6:48 pm


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