Glasgow and Me, Part Two

1) I was wrong about the pgipigeons. I think they just had a long weekend off when last I commented about bird life here.
2) Yes, it is usually cloudy part of every day. No, it does not usually stay cloudy all day. Yes, it rains a lot. No, it’s mostly drizzle and showers, not steady rainfall.
3) Tonight I will have my first encounter with vegetarian haggis. My father would be proud (although he would probably give me a hard time about the “vegetarian” part).
4) My back has been behaving very, very badly for the last couple of days. I’m not sure to what I should attribute this. Margaret notes that she had been keeping an eye on my back this summer (when my back is tight, I tilt a little to the right and limp, pronouncedly so when the back is actively spasming as it has been the last few days). Gary noted the clammy, chilly weekend weather, and that certainly might be part of the picture. I’ve had extra stress, as I picked up five lectures in Church History for an absent colleague. And of course, I have steady stress from being apart from Margaret and my family, and when I’m beset by such troubles they go straight to the base of my spine and form a rat’s nest of spasms. People who knew my Seabury office may remember a small colony of pots of ibuprofen and naproxen on my desk, for just such circumstances.
Then, presumably because I’m walking oddly due to the back spasms (and due to my extensive walking here, up and down hills), my leg muscles and nerves have been flaring in various odd ways.
The good news is that this morning’s walk in to work was very smooth. Whereas Monday and yesterday I had to pause now and then to stretch my back and let my legs have a break, this morning I strolled right in to work. I was supporting my back most of the way (arms crossed behind me), but no spasms, no need to pause and stretch or gasp in pain.
5) But the really good news is that my boxes from the States are scheduled to arrive this morning, and once Estates & Buildings carries them up the three long flights of stairs to my crow’s nest, I’ll have free access to my library again. Plus, I found a local “removal” firm that will swing by the office after the shippers leave, and they’ll carry my boxes to the flat for £200 less than it would have cost to ask the shippers to deliver to two points.
This means I’ll have my fall and winter clothes and outerwear at hand (a nice change from the minimalist wardrobe I packed in late July), my full complement of dress shirts and neckties, various odds and ends that I didn’t miss till they were packed, and my fountain pens and inks (the comfort food of my spare time).
6) Speaking of comfort food, I’ve been branching out from my supplemented-ramen diet (take one packet of ramen, add chopped peppers, onions, mushrooms, or frozen peas, broccoli, or corn, and faux chicken bits or faux ground beef). I’ve made supplemented soups (take one can of soup, add ingredients as above), chili (no, I really made the chili), stir-fried vegetables and rice, and I’m set to make [drum roll] my favorite pesto-and-spinach, onion, and garlic pizza. I found blank pizza shells and pesto at a local market, and now I have to make sure I can lay my hands on spinach and garlic — but oh boy, will that be great!
7) I’m feeling more at home here, bit by bit. I am very fond of Glasgow, and I look forward to feeling less tired all the time, so that I can begin exploring.

12 thoughts on “Glasgow and Me, Part Two

  1. Good to get personal news from you. You may have inherited my back weakness. Do you have one leg slightly longer? It throws your back a little “off” and creates all kinds of trouble.
    Take good care of it. The walking is excellent for you. Sorry to sound like such a Mom! xxx

  2. I know I haven’t been commenting, but I’ve been following your journey and keeping you in prayer. Your name came up several times this past weekend (we missed you at the Wabash online pedagogy reflection), mostly in relation to your prescience in pointing to several elements of digital tech and the possibilities with theology.

    I hope having your books around you again will bring some comfort, and that your back will recover, too!


  3. Good to hear the updates, AKMA.

    On the Ramen noodles, we’ve recently noticed that the Maruchan Ramen noodles are not vegetarian — none of them. I think this is new because I am sure we checked them a year or so ago. The Nissin Top Ramen Oriental noodles are vegetarian, though.

    Hope you enjoy the veggy haggis. I’m jealous.

  4. Hi AKMA, one word of encouragement on the tiredness: it may be the result of all the extra exertion, and it will ultimately turn into greater energy, because you’re building your cardio/respiratory endurance with all those hills and stairs. If perchance you weren’t regularly working out before the last few months of upheaval, then this initial state of tiredness will be more pronounced.

    My sympathies on the low back and hip pain. My best solution for spasm: those extra-large Icy Hot adhesive patches. They are pricey but each one lasts eight hours and boy do they work. They’ve made the difference between sleep and no sleep. And of course sleep is so important for moving away from a cluster of spasms. Good luck! So glad to hear that things are getting better all the time.

  5. Our own household habit with Ramen is to break an egg in it while it cooks, then melt a slice of cheese on it in the bowl.

    But *vegetables*, you say. Hmmm…

    (I read this to Michelle out loud as I wrote, and she _tells_ me that she also puts peas and carrots in.)

  6. D’oh, ice packs! Thanks for the reminder — I’ll look for one at Boots. This last part of the week, though, my back has been easing up somewhat. I hope it’s not only the warmer weather, ’cause that won’t last.
    Brooke, thanks for the tip about eggs. I’ll put one in mine tonight. (I keep a pretty close eye on ingredients, Mark; I had to skip a chicken-flavored package because they included chicken fat. The curry, “chow mein,’ and “barbecue beef” flavors were innocent last time I checked (don’t recall the brand name, but I get them three/£ at Iceland).
    I just ventured into Marks & Spencer for food last week, and they carry some items I can’t get more frugally at Iceland or one of the Byres Rd greengrocers. And they’re opening a Waitrose further up the street, so we’ll see what they carry. I do wish Woolworth’s hadn’t closed, because its former location is much handier than Tesco.

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