When we first arrived in Glasgow I was underwhelmed. Anyone who had been there and heard that was where the conference was being held responded with “Oh. Well. It’s just sort of a big city.” But over the course of our trip, it grew on me.
It all started with a run. I can’t remember if I have mentioned it on the blog or not, but I am training for a half marathon. That’s a story for another time but it is because of this training that I found myself suited up for a run and on my way down to the hotel gym to dutifully hit the treadmill. As I closed the door to our room a gentleman two rooms down exited his room at the same time. He had introduced himself the night before at the cocktail event. He was from England. We had chatted about things that were worth seeing both in Glasgow and things I should be sure to return to see in England some day. I immediately started searching my memory for his name but it eluded me. He also, was dressed for a run.
As we walked towards the lift he asked “Forgive me, I don’t remember your name.” Relief flooded me as I admitted the same, we exchanged names again and then Jonathan asked “How far are you going?” I admitted I was only heading down to the treadmills and he asked “Why is that?”
“Well,” I confessed, “I’ve been told the city is not laid out as a grid and I don’t want to get myself lost.”
“I’m heading down to the river. You should run down there. You won’t get lost.”
I decided that sounded FAR better than mindlessly plodding along on a boring treadmill. I excused myself to grab a light jacket, jotted a note to Andy as to my whereabouts, and headed back to the lift to find that Jonathan had waited to show me the way down. We chatted on the way and I learned that he enjoys orienteering. It sounded like fun. I made a mental note that it was something Andy and I would probably enjoy doing when the girls are a little older.
When we reached the river he explained the route he had taken the day before, and mentioned a few points of interest to watch for. I headed off in that direction while he headed off in the other. It was only then that I remembered he had addressed the entire conference the night before. “I hope I didn’t just hurt my husband’s career by not remembering his name,” I thought. (I didn’t.) “He’s probably kind of a big deal.” (He is. He’s the Chief Executive for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory for the UK.) However important his job title, he was very friendly, down to earth, and his invitation to the river is where my opinion of Glasgow began to change. The bridges, the people, the architecture, Glasgow Green..the city just felt accessible and livable. By the time we left, I told Andy, “I could live here.”