There’s no place like home – but what happens when you have more than one?

What exactly does ‘home’ mean? Where you were born? Where you grew up? Where you live now? Whether for university, work, or because you have loved ones living in different places, many of us have more than one base, and, for me, having two home cities means that home is much more about people than places. On the one hand, I could say that Belfast is my home – this is where I grew up, where my family live, and where myself and my best friends from school, who have all dispersed to different places, gather and catch up whenever we can. However, on the other hand, I no longer live in Belfast, and have firmly established a new base in Glasgow, with a whole new set of wonderful friends, some of whom I now consider family. As previously mentioned in my ‘Reflections on 2015’, my list of reasons to love Glasgow and never leave is growing, so it’s starting to feel more and more like home. Having my two bases relatively close together means I travel between the two fairly regularly, and I have found that there are both perks and downsides to having multiple bases. I suspect a few of these might be familiar to those of you with more than one place to call home!

 

efc46ba3b20bc29546bce4d3bdcb9d1e

Image from Pinterest

 

You’re always missing someone.

Having two homes means I have two sets of favourite people, who I often wish were all in the same place at the same time. While this can be tough, it also means that I make the most of the time I get to catch up with friends and family when we are in the same place, and I do really appreciate the people who matter most to me.

 

You understand the difference between a ‘typical’ person of a place, and stereotyping.

Stereotypes tend to arise from observations and exaggerations of people who don’t know a place well, and thus are inaccurate (and often derogatory), but having lived in more than one place, I have noticed that people who live in close proximity tend to share similar mannerisms, turns of phrase and style choices. This obviously doesn’t mean that all the people from a particular place are the same, it just means that people are part of what characterises a place. Just one example of this is in expressions unique to places. Both Glasgwegians, and ‘Belfastians’, as my siblings and I like to refer to ourselves, have some brilliant sayings. People outside Northern Ireland are unlikely to know what a ‘melter’ is, but it’s just too good not to use, even if it’s met with blank faces. Equally, the first time I heard the Glaswegian expression ‘face like a melted wellie’ I gleefully stored it up until the next possible opportunity to casually slip it into conversation. (Read excitedly used it inappropriately).

 

You know which of your homes is the superior for your favourite activities.

For me, Glasgow wins on clubs, but is missing Belfast’s late-night coffee shops. Brunches and bars are a close call between the two – I can recommend excellent choices for cocktails or pancakes in both cities. (Oops it seems my favourite activities revolve around food and drink…) I shall be following this up with guides to some of my favourite haunts in both cities very soon!

IMG_3950

Sinnamon, in Belfast, is one of my favourite places for late night coffee and life chats…

 

IMG_2829

… but Glasgow’s Gin 71 has a pretty fabulous menu. And cocktails in teapots.  

 

It always takes a few days to adjust when you move from one place to another.

After a few weeks with my very loud, crazy and lovable family, my flat seems strangely quiet, and I don’t think I will ever be able to break the habit of cooking enough food for a small army, no matter how long I live on my own. But on the plus side, there’s always enough to feed visitors!

 

You are likely to have a serious case of wanderlust.

Living between two places means you can’t help but notice similarities and differences between them, and personally, drawing comparisons between the different places that I have lived in and visited only makes me want to discover, explore and compare more adventures, places and people. If anyone needs me I’ll be at the airport…

 

Advertisements

Love in Unlikely Places

Today’s people watching story features one of my tutors at university. She is adorable – really passionate about her subject, and easy to approach with questions. The reason I am featuring her on my blog is because for the first time, I got a little glimpse into her personal life. Last week, she cancelled our tutorial, after triple checking we were all definitely ok with this, because she wanted to go to a sword conference. Yes, you read that right. But trust me, she gets away with the geekiness, because she’s so cute and enthusiastic.

So, of course, in our next class, we had to ask how the sword conference was, and, of course, she was delighted to tell us all about it; there were blacksmiths who talked about how swords were made throughout history, people who worked with manuscripts relating to swords, and, blushing a little with excitement, told us how she gave a talk on sword words – i.e. words for ‘sword’ in different languages, and across different time periods. A little subject context here might be helpful – I study Linguistics, hence the words focus.

1c8f6725b86757456bd94a60afaa94b751971bd87c623a96afb8cadc5b4db2c75f248bf6b7412f680a806dc83873826a

Images from Pinterest

One of my classmates asked her if she wielded any swords, and her answer was; ‘No, but I get to do that a lot, we have lots of swords at home.’ Unsurprisingly, I thought she was joking, but she then continued; ‘My fiancé is a medieval fencing instructor.’ At this point I should add that her specialism is in Medieval Literature and Language – this particular series of tutorials is on Old Icelandic sagas. (Don’t judge me, I know I’m weird and nerdy.)

But anyway, back to the fiancé. How. Perfect. If I’d been able to conjure someone up to match-make her with, I’m pretty sure he would have had no chance against a medieval fencing instructor. But honestly, I had never thought about it. I love moments like that, when you remember that teachers actually have a life outside of their job. I was definitely one of those kids who assumed teachers never left school, so I’m always a little shocked by revelations like this.

861e9951276807326eab618e25253e12f7e2c233d2eb748f95e5d161184a7bac 0d13fa37af7e2a27765ac011a97eee5f

The beginnings of my Medieval wedding planning… Images from Pinterest

This finding also gives me hope that maybe there really is someone for everyone. I have a bit of a fear that I’m just to weird to be in a real person relationship, that I have too much crazy to cope with. But, maybe what I’m looking for is someone equally weird. Not all the time; my weirdnesses don’t really come out in public, in fact, there are very few people who have been allowed to see all of the crazy. However, if two people with such niche kinds of crazy can find each other, there is definitely hope for the rest of us, that a) we probably (hopefully) aren’t quite as weird as we might think, and b) we might actually find an other half on the same level of crazy, or at least who can deal with our particular kind of crazy.

Now, I really want to get myself invited to what is likely to be the most fabulously insane wedding ever, and I am convinced that they will be deliriously happy together. As long as they never decide to have a domestic in their house full of swords…

Cocktails, Portraits, Francophiles and Hip Hop Dancers

Getting ready to go out for the night with Emma, one of my oldest and best friends, got me thinking about other nights out I’ve had with her, and how many interesting people we’ve encountered. Emma and I went to … Continue reading

The Crazy One

As previously mentioned, I am a self-confessed commitment phobe. I’m not quite as bad as I used to be, mostly thanks to my wonderful friend, and favourite life coach/matchmaker, Maria. (My current relationship was entirely orchestrated by her). However, before … Continue reading