From Tuesday the 29th of November to Tuesday the 6th of December, I’ve been staying at Euan MacDonald’s and Joe Geekie’s flat in Paisley, 2 of the most fine gentlemen I know of.
Euan, an incredible best friend all the way since Primary School, our relationship made when, one Halloween, he trick or treated my home and with a full bowl of sweets and a 2L bottle of Irn-bru, we proceeded to absolute own playing Crash Bandicoot on my Playstation 1 – how could we not be best friends after that?! 😉
The most brilliant Joe, I met through Xbox Live I think originally, but we became better friends just through myself knowing Euan’s group in High School, and whenever there was a get together, we’d usually meet too – so yeah, it was brilliant to have them be such a prominent part of my journey and they made me feel truly welcome.
BUT TODAY I HAD TO LEAVE THEM :O
They gave me a proper show though, before I left…I was rather shocked, really.
There was also some form of ape-like farewell, send-off type-stance-thing they were doing..
Euan had to console Joe as he couldn’t come to terms with me leaving.
Seriously though, to leave 2 of the kindest, most heartwarming souls I’ve ever had the privilege to spend time with, was actually quite a difficult task. As I say, I’ve grown up with these two fine knights – we’ve developed together.
Become bad-ass humans together.
Through the beauty that is Online Gaming, I reckon we’ve all created a deeper level of understanding amongst each other.
I think there’s a heap of opportunity (and downright fun!) to be had for solidifying relationships through competitive teamwork on, say, focusing on planting the bomb as the Assault team on Call of Duty 4, Search and Destroy or staying up past 3am completing Splinter Cell co-op objective missions.
This online avatar of interaction creates a unique network of experiences and opens extra doors of communication. This makes the virtual world an incredible addition to real life – not a burden.
The conundrum of close relationships, though, is that it creates a bond that you want to protect. You want to ensure the connection stays strong and doesn’t break nor wither – yet to live one’s life fully committed to only one relationship over all others, will steal the life from you.
Now, even after all that, Euan’s stinky feet are enough to have a valid excuse to leave, so after our final farewells of the year, I turned and began to plonk down the stairs, backpack securely fastened. 😉
Stepping out onto the street knowing this was my last walking week in Scotland was a peculiar feeling. The moment wasn’t helped though by the fact I had the Paisley outskirts, then into East Kilbride ahead of me…let’s just say that’s not one of the most beautiful spots in Scotland! 😉
Being incredibly fortunate to have grown up in Argyll on the banks of Loch Fyne, where to step outside is to suddenly be a nature explorer, I feel a sense of sadness when I see supposed woodlands, National Parks or just green areas that are so bleak and barren or covered in litter. Of course a green space can be a beautiful one anywhere, and there’s always interesting things to discover within them, but there’s just something to be said about that contrast.
My day’s walk was pretty much like this.
Nothing too brilliant except that I was on pavement and not busy main roads.
There was a few glimpses of interesting moments such as passing this ‘A Corridor of Opportunity’ sign. I don’t quite know how to take this.
I could be really cheeky and assume it was named this because after this sign was into some of the roughest areas of Scotland and to clamber through the corridor would be to emerge at the other side with an opportunity to actually survive – but perhaps not 😉
As I headed on through, I did spot this plaque with a small schpeel about Mary Queen of Scots having nursed her cousin, and soon to be husband, Lord Darnley back to health underneath this Sycamore tree.
As I teetered along, I was suddenly made aware that I was getting ever closer to England!
Confirmations like this sign saying ‘Carlisle’ are always great motivational symbols – I think, if you were not fully aware of your location, it could be all too easy to become lost in the rhythm of footsteps, to fall into a monotonous slumber of pitter-pattering along – feeling like progress decided to kick it back and watch some Netflix instead of helping you out 😉
It was a soaking old night, but my incredibly trusty Blumby (what I’ve named my [Bl]ue [Umb]rella ^_^ ) – was certainly up to the task and kept me delightfully dry during the torrential downpour.
Now, I have been aware of Couchsurfing for quite sometime, yet had never committed myself to using it, but at Euan’s I’d explored what it was all about – and decided to jump on-board and create a profile!
As I was joyfully tinkering along under my Blue Dome, I decided I’d give it a chance and have a search for possible hosts in East Kilbride.
Well, lo-and-behold, there actually was some people here!
A bunch of messages and a little waiting later, I’d received a confirmation from Sean and Agata who were willing to have me stay with them for the night! I was pleasantly astounded at how smoothly our exchanges had gone and how quickly they’d been willing to take me in.
It was around 18:00 and they weren’t going to be home until a little past 20:00, so I had some moments to go and grab some food and unwind after a prolonged day in the rain.
After walking in circles, I finally found the East Kilbride shopping centre, which was just fine and dandy until it became clear this wasn’t a shopping centre whatsoever, but a full on abandoned maze.
I was doing my very best to find the Wetherspoons which my phone promised was in here…but was still getting deeper and deeper into, ‘I have no idea where I am.’, territory…
AND THEN I CAME UPON A BUDGET WALKING DUDE’S GREATEST TREASURE.
THE WETHERSPOONS. WOO!
Oh, and, as is customary after a major day’s walk and as a reward for the exploration and conquering of East Kilbride’s urban-shopping jungle, I just had to have a beer.
Boo-yeah, Crafty Dan 13 Guns!
And that was Just Gone a Wander Project’s 6th of December.
Have a wonderful day, folks.