It was an early start to the day. We think a little girl was still recovering from too much sugar from last nights baking efforts. Although we were all out of bed early, it was not as early as our special guests who set off at 05:30 from London Euston train station. When we rolled up the blinds it was eerily foggy.
We have been looking forward to seeing our special guests and still had a bit of work to do before they arrived. Most importantly, Eloise had to finish off her homemade Scottish Empire biscuits. The house finally got some attention too. Eloise enjoys helping with the vacuum cleaning but is terrified if you do not give her a bit of warning.
The family all jumped on a train to Glasgow Queen Street station. It was supposed to be a quick walk to Glasgow Central station, but Glasgow had different ideas. When we arrived the main entrance/exit to the station was blocked off and there was a huge parade passing by, it was an Orange walk. They are usually conducted in July, but due to COVID-19 this was the first one for quite a while. We managed to find our way outside and watched the Orange walk go by. There was a huge crowd heading towards George Square. From what we saw it looked peaceful, but if the media is to be believed, apparently it was not.
Orange walks are a series of parades by members of the Orange Order and other Protestant fraternal societies, held on a regular basis during the summer in Ulster (chiefly in Northern Ireland and County Donegal) and in various Commonwealth nations. The parades typically build up to 12 July celebrations marking Prince William of Orange’s victory over King James II & VII at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
Orange walks are considered controversial and face opposition from Catholics, Irish nationalists and Scottish nationalists who see the parades as sectarian and triumphalist. They have also drawn criticism in recent years from trade unions, left-wing groups, and other religious communities.
Once the parade concluded, we quickly dashed to Glasgow Central Station, just in time for the arrival of best friends of the blog Hazel and Tom.
Eloise had been talking about “Haze” and “Tm” for the past month and this was the big day they had arrived. At first, she was a wee shy. “Haze” was not having any of that though and not before long they were both up to mischief together, running around the streets of Glasgow.
We gave them a quick city walking tour which included a series of facts of varying levels of historical accuracy mixed in with some most likely made up. It was great and also unusual to see familiar faces, interesting to hear their experience of settling into the UK, they certainly sounded like they have been busy. We passed through George Square, where the police had already dispersed the large crowds, past the Duke of Wellington, sadly no traffic cone was in sight to add to his collection and through Merchant City. Liam and Tom were asking Hazel an annoying amount whether she could remember various landmarks from her childhood. Hazel was born in Oxford and her family lived in Glasgow while she was 9-12 years old before relocating to Adelaide.
A friend, Kirrie and her partner Max had recommended a lovely spot for lunch, Steak Cattle & Roll, we had arranged to meet them there to join the six of us for lunch. A quick look at the menus and the Fensoms in Kilts (sadly still kiltless, working on that by the way) quickly decided we had to order the Whole Hog with Loaded Chips Glasgow style, of course with a side of Irn-Bru. I bet you can guess who slurped all that up. The hot dog was delicious, which was lucky because it was two feet long!
After slowly recovering from most of the Whole Hog, Eloise did not pull her weight. We certainly needed to walk off lunch. We all slowly set off past the beautiful street murals to Glasgow Cathedral. Thankful Kirrie and Max were along for the journey and could provide more accurate and interesting facts. Eloise was skipping alongside “Haze” and Lachlan fell asleep in the carrier on Tom. We were hoping to go inside the Cathedral today to look at those stain glass windows, but when we arrived there was a wedding on. Next time.
After the foggy morning, Tom and Hazel must have brought the good weather up with them, it was heating up as we pushed on up to the Glasgow Necropolis. At the top, there was a great view of Glasgow’s city skyline. The perfect location for Kirrie and Max to point out all the landmarks while Liam made up more random “fun facts” about “St Mango” [St Mungo]. You could clearly see Celtic Park to the southeast which we did not notice last time.
Eloise dragged Super Mum all around the gravestones on the top and was getting a bit sassy with the selfies. We then made our way down past the Tennet’s factory along the long wall which had a fun series of murals.
A quick walk up and down the Style Mile where there was generally a lot of people out and about, much more than a month ago. It was a quick train ride home on the busiest train the Fensoms had been on, nothing compared to the London tube at the moment though.
When we got home Eloise was zipping about giving “Haze” and “Tm” the rapid tour, she was very excited showing off her new home. She made sure to point out her new craft table where she showed off her drawing skills. It was a long session and she wouldn’t let “Haz” or “Tm” go until she decided they had contributed enough.
After dinner, Eloise shared her Empire biscuits, a big hit. Sophie should open up a wee bakery/ dessert store on the Clyde. Hazel then read Eloise her bedtime book. It took her a wee longer to fall asleep, I think she felt like she was missing out on the fun downstairs.
A quick game of backpackers where Sophie narrowly edged out Hazel and left Tom in her dust. A few more Scottish treats and it was time for bed.
We hope you are all enjoying the blog and not getting yourselves into trouble, we are looking at you Uncle Ben Kochy.
Everybody get ready to strap in tomorrow because there will be a
SPECIAL DOUBLE EDITION!