Maybe it is the festive season, maybe it is the constant news coverage of the climate conference, but I am homesick. I have lived in Glasgow well over three years now and I have settled reasonably well, but even so this is Not Quite Home. I miss my Danish friends. I miss meeting up with them for coffee and croissant. I miss the easy chatter which comes with fifteen years (and then some) of friendship. I miss getting on my bike and making my way home together with thousands of other cyclists. I miss the recycling system, my favourite cinema and buying proper pastries. I miss the cobbled streets, the public fountains, the neon signs and watching the New Year's fireworks displays.
Thank heavens I'm off to Denmark soon. That usually cures any amount of homesickness. And I am not fooling myself, anyway. If I were to return to Denmark, I would miss Scotland. I would miss having easy access to any book I wanted, the BBC, dramatic landscapes, the easy-going attitude, my lovely neighbourhood and a certain sense of freedom. Swings and roundabouts, dear reader, swings and roundabouts.
Yesterday we went craft fair hopping. First, we visited the Glasgow Craft Fair Mafia at Mono, then we headed back to our own neighbourhood where The De Courcy Arcade has undergone a facelift and a slew of new quirky boutiques have opened showcasing handmade gifts and vintage fashion. It felt like I spent the entire afternoon living in Etsy-land: little owls, ironic embroidery and felted flowers ..
.. and I realised I wasn't enchanted. I can partly blame the old "I could make that myself" attitude and partly that I am a crafter myself and know what well-finished items should look like. The stern Scandinavian in me was particularly blind to the virtues of an ironic embroidered portrait of Dolly Parton or Burt Reynolds. I fear I am too old to be a irony-embracing hipster or maybe I have just started living by William Morris' creed: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful".
I'm homesick and I'm grumpy.