On readaptation

It’s over two months since I returned from Japan, and six and a half weeks since I moved to Glasgow. A bit of a whirlwind of readjustment that I could never have managed without the help of family and some great friends.

For me Glasgow won’t truly feel like home until my wife and daughter join me later in the year. But at least I’m starting to get to know the city’s rhythms and cadences as someone who lives here rather than just a casual visitor.

Today’s beat was generated by a road worker right outside my flat, pulling levers inside the cabin of a JCB.  The pneumatic drill bit danced like a heavy metal Nureyev, gouging out a hollow for the laying of fibre optic cables. I’d have got more peace working inside Hampden during the Beyonce concert.

Not to worry. As of tomorrow I won’t be home much. I’ll be a full time tutor of academic English on the pre-sessional course at Glasgow University.  That means, over the next ten weeks, there’s won’t be much writing or reading beyond the academic realm. It’s going to be full on, but I’m looking forward to helping students from all over the world adapt to the demands of studying in a second language. I just imagine myself attempting the same thing in Japanese, and I’m already taking my hat off to them.

Fortunately (for the writing) I have managed to put a few irons into various fires which I’m hoping will yield results. And this week my experimental hybrid of literary criticism and football punditry on the Scottish Novels World Cup was featured as a guest post on the Scottish Book Trust website.

When the tutoring eases slightly at the end of August, I’ve got some non-fiction ideas that I want to pursue. Alongside these, there are some David Mitchell novels I’ve been meaning to get round to, Louise Welsh’s The Plague Trilogy has been fascinating me for a while; and a re-reading of Alisdair Gray’s Lanark feels a necessity.




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