Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Rough with the Smooth

Since my last entry I have fully embraced my pre-work life. I have been driving around testing out Simone, visiting folk and generally having a wonderful time. I could detail my every move, but I can’t be bothered and I don't think you'd be that interested. Instead, I am going to talk about 2 key topics- Costco and the M8

The M8

Last weekend I took Simone to Glasgow to see my cousin Esme. I was accompanied in this journey by the Glasgow savvy Karen, my cousin Malcolm’s girlfriend who since I have moved to Edinburgh has fast become a good friend. Now many of you may know that despite loving having a car, I hate parking and I hate motorways. I have only ever driven on 3 motorways in my life; one of these was the M8. Most of you will have driven on the M8 and will know it is a daunting affair to the unfamiliar. Unlike any other motorway I have encountered, the M8 appears to have little logic and is the only motorway I know of that has filter lanes blending into both sides of the road. As an unsure driver, one’s natural instinct is to go slow and get out of the fast lane. However due to the M8’s terrifying system, if you go to the far right, you end up turning off, but the middle lane frequently turned into the fast lane and you are constantly having to change lanes which I find is the most stressful part of it. However, what also confounds me about the road is that when you are in Glasgow, it seems almost impossible to get on it. On one occasion, despite correctly following all the signs, I ended up driving under and past the motorway several times exasperated that I was down below when I wanted to be up there when suddenly, for no known reason, I appeared on the road. I am convinced to this day I was beamed there by some sort of teleportation device. And am I not the only person that this has happened to. It’s definitely a conspiracy.

Going back to my original story, I was heading to my cousins with Karen as my navigator and despite a bit of tension, with her guidance we made it safely to Esme’s. However the next day I had to get back on the M8 alone to head north. I instantly missed my turn off for the motorway and ended up having to turn the car around in some stately home driveway (in Glasgow who would have thunk it?) and eventually found my way. However, I was then faced with a new problem- following the signs to Stirling. Just to mock me, the sign /road makers taunted me by constantly changing position of the lane I needed to go on to get to Stirling and I seemed to be constantly changing lanes whilst trying to ensure I didn’t miss my turn off- or worse turn off too soon and end up in some random suburbs with Glasgow ruffians. I thought as soon I got out of the main city things would improve, but alas not as there seemed to be never ending road works thereafter all the way to Stirling with a maze of cones and single lane traffic to contend with. I eventually after an accidental detour to Cumbernauld reached Stirling. I have never in my life been so happy to get onto the A9. I hate the M8 and I blame Glasgow for this hideous road. I hope to never again have to navigate this monstrosity, but know that because of the peculiar draw of people to the Weegie-land that I will have to someday. A sat-nav has been purchased.


On to happier things, my landlady wife took me to Costco on Sunday. I have once been to a similar type store called Macro (for some reason I thought was called Macroland which I think sounds far more exciting) when I was a young child. My abiding memory of the store was over sized tins of fruit and the doll ‘Pamela’ my parents bought me. Pamela was meant to be a life size child doll and even more excitingly she was supposed to walk! She was quite large and made of cheap thin, but hard plastic. The idea was you held her hand and she walked along side with you. However in practice all that would happen was poor Pamela would wobble slightly and then fall on you. Fortunately, she was not very heavy, but it was slightly alarming. Despite her not walking, I loved Pamela my life sized doll and along with Sylvia the ‘real skin’ baby doll, Esme and I would turn my bedroom into our ‘house’. The game consisted of Esme being my wife and me being the husband. I would come home from work and say ‘phew that was a hard day at work’ and then Esme would give me a fake cup of tea and fake dinner and then we would put our two children to bed. We loved this far from scintillating, gender stereotyping game until alas one day we made a grave error. We decided to give Pamela a makeover involving lipstick, eye shadow and a drawn on bikini with an eyeliner pencil (all with my mother’s make-up). She looked like a child prostitute. We tried to wash it off, but alas Pamela’s descent into the oldest profession could not be averted and our happy family game was truly ruined. You see, the sexualisation of children even affects dolls.

Anyway, the visit to Costco re-awakened strong memories in me and it was with trepidation that I entered. But what wonder greeted me- a vast warehouse of bulk buying of products you will probably never need! There were 10 of everything! The tins were comically over sized, the loo rolls were bundled together in unfathomable quantities and there were hunks of meat that looked like an elephant had procreated with a bull. It made me feel like a borrower. I got completed over excited and ended up buying a lot of things I didn’t strictly need including a box with 60 bars of fudge. The result of this is I now feel compelled to bulk buy- I mean why buy one of something when you can get 12?!

Right that completes my rambling. In summary- M8 bad, Costco good.

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