One of my earliest memories is set in Springburn shopping centre in Glasgow. Not because it’s a place of profound beauty (it isn’t) but because it’s where I first discovered what it meant to belong.

My folks and I were sitting on a bench, fresh-faced from a life-changing move that 5 year old me was oblivious to. All I knew is that people here spoke a different language, I didn’t know it, and for some reason many of those that I loved dearly weren’t here. It felt lonely.

It’s odd to think that, what was for my parents the most frightening and challenging experience they’ll ever have to endure — leaving everything behind in hope for a better future in another country — will one day fizzle away into just “Oh yeah, my grandparents came from Kosovo”. …

Pick and mix for adults is a thing!

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“YES!” responds the poker-faced gentleman behind the counter. This was fantastic news — my veggie pal had asked if their broth was vegetarian. And apparently it is. Although I’d read somewhere that Taiwanese hot pot was made with chicken bones, and then somewhere else that, sometimes, big boned pigs like to get involved. On occasion they even use both kinds. And whilst vegetarian broths also exist, it literally says chicken above the window. So I double check.

“YES!” he says. “Yes, yes, chicken broth!” Now I’m confused because as far as I’ve been made aware, a chicken is not a vegetable — but then again the world is changing very fast. On this occasion we decide to leave and look for somewhere else to have lunch. …

Originally for GlasgowLive.com

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Cafes that serve rubbish coffee. What’s that all about? I mean fair enough if you walk into a shoe shop demanding a flat white, but this ain’t no shoe shop and no offence but you ‘only had one job’ as the kids say. It’s just that a cup of good coffee can provide such simple moments of pleasure in life — and paying £2.50 for a bad one is quite harrowing.

Saying that, having done a 7-year stint in my parents long gone cafe, there really are few things worse than some pre-caffeinated loony pestering you with a complicated order. …

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