The shared entry now looks a little bit better. The burned rubbish is all away, but the walls are still black and sooty. We have an enormous lock on the door to the close now. Much harder to kick in. Ah, Glasgow, where the people are so friendly. Could have fooled me. I may be Scottish, but there's plenty in Scotland that leaves me cold. One time, I caught a train to Edinburgh with a friend on a Saturday afternoon when we didn't realise there'd been a match on between a Glasgow and Edinburgh team. Fuck me, but that's right up there as one of the truly most unpleasant experiences of my life.
I know national stereotypes these days aren't to be taken seriously, but if there's one thing that really gets my goat it's when people are surprised I a)hate football (what's the fucking point?) and b)really, really don't drink much at all. If ever. Do you have any idea how much this surprises some people? It surprises far too many people. Someone I know used to take schoolkids out on bike rides en masse through the Scottish countryside as part of a government drive to promote cycling, and he told me one time how he grew heartily sick of the following conversation.
Kid: What football team do you support?
Kid: (pause). So do you support Rangers or Celtic?
Dave: I don't support either. I'm not into football.
Kid: (Even longer pause.) You don't like football?
Kid: (Aeons pass. Eternal night settles over the world) Do you like my bike?
Let it be settled: not all Scots like football and getting permanently pissed. Nor do we dance in fields waving bits of heather and wearing kilts. I only ever wore a kilt once, for about three minutes, before I persuaded my mum I was a lot happier in jeans (it had belonged to my brother, and I'm pretty sure he wore it maybe once to a wedding he got dragged off to).
Otherwise ... hammering away at the edits on the first hundred pages of Angel Stations, which turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. I just slammed at it over a few nights, and gave up tonight a few pages short of the last I've been sent. It's far from over, of course. Only oh, 357 pages to go ...