Going for gold part 2

At the beginning of March I jetted off again to bonnie Scotland for orientation for volunteering at the Commonwealth Games. I have been accepted into the medical team and will work as a first aider at the opening ceremony and rugby sevens event.

These are the twentieth Commonwealth Games and the third time that they have been hosted by Scotland. I am one of 15,000 volunteers known as Clyde siders.

I was part of the first group of volunteers, there were 4500 of us in the Emirates stadium in the east end of Glasgow, where the badminton will be held. The orientation extravaganza was hosted by sports presenter Hazel Irvine and Capitol Radio’s Des Clarke. ¬†Although it was a very entertaining 3 hour spectacular it didn’t really enlighten us about what to expect in the coming months.

We did however get to see our uniforms, I must admit I have been a bit worried about these since seeing a mustard coloured top in the volunteering centre when I went for my interview.I don’t think a colour that resembles vomit looks good on anyone and would have put a damper on the whole experience for me. So imagine my joy when visions in red and grey were modelled for us and we get quite a lot of kit.

It goes without saying that I am very excited about the whole thing and can’t wait to get up there in the summer and do my thing.

clyde siders uniform

After the orientation event I had quite a bit of time to kill in Glasgow so I made my way via Scotland’s very efficient and cheap rail network into the city centre. As a fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh I made a bee line for the Willow Tea Rooms for my lunch.

This little gem came about as a result of a collaboration between the Art Nouveau designer and Catherine Cranston, between 1896 and 1917 he designed and restyled all 4 of Catherine’s tearooms in Glasgow. The building was originally a 4 story warehouse and in it’s hey day it had several different dining rooms. Mackintosh designed not only the exterior and interior, but the menus, cutlery and even the waitresses’ uniforms.

Now I’m afraid to say it looks a little tired, they is only one dining room on the first floor and the ground floor is taken up by the gift shop. But the food was very nice and reasonably priced.

willow te room sign


I have another role specific training to attend in June and I hope I’ll have more time to wander around and explore this lovely city some more.


Going for gold

Operation “Get my life back on track” started with a visit to Scotland for my interview to volunteer at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

My best friend, Janey, and I decided to go for a couple of days as she had a friend nearby that she hadn’t seen in years.

The start of our journey was hampered by Janey’s dodgy directions, a tractor, a recycling lorry and a funeral procession. But in no time we were tarted up in duty free and sat on Sleazy Jet bound for Edinburgh guzzling G & T’s and Bacardi. By the time we landed we were like a couple of giggling teenagers.

at the airport

We stayed in the Caravel Guest House about 10 minutes walk from the city centre. It was clean, comfortable and run by a lovely and welcoming young couple.

Day 2 was interview day so I boarded the express train to Glasgow while Janey went off to meet her long lost friend. Luckily Commonwealth Games HQ was a short walk from the station and as quick as a flash I was welcomed in and processed by an army of volunteers. The interview went extremely well but I will have to wait a while longer before I know if I get the chance to rub Usain Bolt’s leg.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the express train back and seemed to stop at every station in Scotland! ¬†After what seemed like an eternity, I eventually met up with Janey and her friend Nicky and we managed to spend the best part of 4 hours chatting, drinking wine and eating cream teas.

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Day 3 was dedicated to sightseeing on Royal Mile, finding a cafe that served Neaps and Tatties and staying out of the relentless rain.


We had a fabulous time away and it was just what I needed to try and put my troubles behind me and forget about them for a while.