Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third most populous in the United Kingdom. It grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become one of the largest seaports in Britain, and was known as the “Second City of the British Empire” for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period. Today it is one of Europe’s top ten financial centres and is home to many of Scotland’s leading businesses. Glasgow is also ranked as the 57th most liveable city in the world (allegedly – I haven’t personally checked the sources!).
In 1939, with a population of 1.1m, it was the fourth-largest city in Europe, after London, Paris and Berlin. However, large-scale relocation of people in the 1960s reduced the current population of the City of Glasgow council area to 592,000, with 1,199,629 people living in the Greater Glasgow urban area. The surrounding region covers approximately 2.3 million people, 41% of Scotland’s population.
And in a topic close to London’s heart (the city, not necessarily the author!), Glasgow will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games and is currently bidding to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics.
As they’d say in Glaswegian (and apologies to any natives, any mistakes are ma ain):
There’s nae place like hame!
I have fond but conflicting memories of Glasgow, because of two very different visits. On the one hand, I had a glorious weekend there, full of good food and great shopping, impressed by the splendid architecture and intrigued by the spirit of its inhabitants.
Then I had the weekend where I flew to Glasgow as part of the ongoing journey to the Mull of Kintyre, where we were staying at a hotel to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The journey was a nightmare – though I must rush to say, it wasn’t *Glasgow’s* fault! – and so the excess time in the airport was a trial, rather than a delight. All of which inspired my story “Between a Rock and a Hard Place“!
The reward for me was a weekend in Carradale at the Dunvalanree Hotel. I’ll have to build that into a sequel for my beleagured character Garry :).
Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Clare London
BLURB: Garry’s definitely at the end of his tether. He’s waiting in an airport lounge to meet his friend Will, to go on holiday with mutual friends in a Scottish highlands hotel. Now there’s a ten-hour delay to incoming flights, the seat in the lounge is more like an instrument of torture, and he’s beyond tired of airport food.
What’s worse, he’s also dreading having to apologize for the pass he recently made at Will, under the influence of too many beers and a long-held crush. And the suddenly shocking realization that when Will accepts a new job offer on a continent thousands of miles away, it may be the end of their close friendship—let alone anything more.
To add to Garry’s stress, he’s treated to the company of Emily and Max, two young people who think he needs educating in the ways of the world—and his love life—whether he welcomes the interference or not. Struggling with their well-meaning help and the startling mess on his clothes from spilled ketchup and noxious-smelling sweets, he’s encouraged to re-examine how he feels about Will and to decide what kind of journey he’d really like them to take together…
EXCERPT can be read HERE.
Clare London, Author
Writing… Man to Man