Wow, it’s been a whole year since I packed my bags and moved back to Glasgow from Manchester! Do I miss the place? I will admit, yeah, there are definitely bits of Manchester I will always have a fondness for. Friday afternoons down the Woodstock. Strolls around the Museum of Science and Industry. Meeting up with Jon to discuss and compare writing. The Monday Night writing group.

But I’ve gotta say, twelve months on, and I don’t regret one minute of my move. I love Glasgow, and the novelty still hasn’t worn off. Nothing can accurately capture my feelings, as I sit on the top deck of the X23, speeding along the M8, watching the towers of the finance district rise in the the distance,with miles of red sandstone all around and the rugged hills in the distance. The sparkle of the Clyde thundering strongly underneath, and the network of bridges crossing her downstream. Nothing matches the journey on the underground – Sure, it’s a circle and it only goes two ways, but it’s a good place to be, an easy way around the city, jam-packed with all sorts of fascinating people, good people. And then getting out in Kelvinside, wandering around the Kelvingrove Museum (well worth a visit if you ever drop by), exploring the wee shops and restaurants and caf├ęs all over the West End – especially Ashton and Creswell Lanes – and hiding from the cold in the Botanical Gardens.

Even closer to home, things are great. Yeah, we’re a large commuter town that’s got great amenities available, but with all the lush fields and herds of grazing cows around us, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d driven right into the countryside. It’s a place with a surprising amount of fond memories for me (especially when you take into consideration the strong negative impact my time at high school had on me psychologically); I suspect for every bad thing, there were several more good things, and it took me a few years away to really appreciate that. Even better still, my family lives literally five minutes’ walk away, so I’m never really alone in my house.

I’m so glad I’m back. And I hope that one day, those of you who don’t live in Glasgow will visit us here and find out why I’m so happy here!