As I stretch my neck up and look back, I peer fondly over what was my birthday weekend. If you remember, my actual birthday was in September, but the gifts bought for me by my two sisters had been coordinated to fall on this weekend. And it worked into a most memorable occasion.
First up was a trip through on the train to Glasgow to my sister’s south side flat. After dropping my bag off and a quick cup of coffee at Binny’s, we headed off to the Clockwork pub on Cathcart Road for a couple of pints of Guinness and a catch-up.
From there we headed out to Paisley to see St Mirren take on Motherwell in a Scottish Premier League football match. This was my birthday gift from my other sister, Fiona, and was also my first game at St. Mirren’s new stadium, St Mirren Park, just five minutes from the old Love Street stadium.
It’s a cracking wee ground with not much to it but enough for the club to be able to be run efficiently and keep the fans happy. Tiny in comparison to the likes of Ibrox or Parkhead, but at least our stadium wasn’t built on sectarian generated cash.
The match was a cracker. We were 3-1 ahead then in true Paisley style managed to throw the lead away and it ended up in a 3-3 draw. A frustrating result, but most Buddies were in agreement they would rather watch a match of that calibre and excitement every week as opposed to the “normal” kind of play we endure.
To top the afternoon off, I was sat typing a text into my mobile phone at half-time when I heard someone shout my name. I looked up and there was a bloke standing next to me smiling. I recognised him instantly as Gordian Mothersole, a friend long lost in the mist of time.
We had lost touch several years ago after new jobs, marriage and house moves confused everything, but here we were standing on the terraces talking like it had only been a couple of months. We swapped phone numbers and agreed a much lengthier catch-up was required, almost certainly over some cold beers.
From there, me and Binny jumped back on the train back to Glasgow and met up with my other sister, Fiona, and her hubby, Nolon in a pub in Central Station. We had a quick drink before jumping into a taxi to take us up to the far end of Sauchiehall Street—the taxi driver was an absolute arsehole with a rude manner so received no tip and a slammed door—and we found ourselves in what is apparently, but unknown to me, one of Glasgow’s more famous Indian restaurants, Mother India .
Eating from the fixed price menu, I had the Ginger and Green Chilli Fish Pakora (haddock marinated in ginger and chilli puree, then deep fried with spicy vegetables to start). It was delicious! The fish was so fresh and fluffy, and the accompanying sauce and chickpeas had just the right amount of heat. Very filling, though, but having not eaten since breakfast I knew I would be fine.
Moving onto the main course while supping on my pint of Kingfisher lager, I chose the Delhi Style Lamb (Lamb cooked with peppers and whole tomatoes with a touch of yoghurt). It arrived wrapped in tin foil with a small pot of mashed potatoes, and on opening the silver parcel I was met with the most gorgeously aromatic scent of Indian spices and herbs. It tasted utterly sublime. I ate the lot. The lamb was fresh and cooked to perfection, and the peppers and onion didn’t overload or remove anything from the dish. I cannot recommend Mother India enough if you are ever in Glasgow.
From there, the four of us walked down towards the Clydeside Expressway (not the M8 motorway) and crossed over and into the SECC. My birthday gift from Binny was to see the comedian, Michael McIntyre.
The gig was in the large hall (no.4), normally reserved for large music concerts, so to see it laid as an all-seated venue made for a very strange experience. It also meant that although we had very good seats, I found myself watching him perform on one of the three massive screens erected around the stage, which kind of defeated the purpose of a live gig for me.
That said, he was very funny. Fiona and Nolon are huge fans but I was pretty new to his comedy. Just as well I enjoyed him, because if I hadn’t found him funny I would probably have fallen asleep with all the food and drink swilling inside me.
With the gig over we all went our separate ways; Fiona and Nolon back to my parent’s, and me and Binny back to the flat. We stayed up for a bit longer but soon crashed out.
Sunday didn’t really change much either. We went out to Ludovic’s for brunch and then watched a box set of The West Wing before ordering a Chinese takeaway. Not the healthiest of weekends but it WAS my birthday weekend—sort of.
This week I have a full schedule and part of that involves wrapping up my monthly GDR, something I am not looking forward to in the slightest.