Your Memoirs – “First Impressions”

When I landed at Prestwick Airport two weeks into our marriage, everything was strange and exciting. All my ideas of taking up married life in Scotland were loosely based on what I had seen when Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse acted their way through the film Brigadoon. I will admit I was naïve. But as we disembarked at six-thirty am after a long transatlantic flight and I witnessed my husband kicking the butt of an unsuspecting fellow standing at the bottom of the staircase and saying “Alan! You old so-and-so, what are you doing here?” I wondered if this was a peculiarly Scottish greeting that he hadn’t warned me about. To his chagrin, it turned out to be simply a case of mistaken identity. We both slunk into the terminal, not speaking, and waited for the Glasgow bus.

As we boarded it was beginning to look as though a bright October day was dawning so I settled back to stare out the window and enjoy the scenery. Suddenly the driver brought our vehicle to a shuddering, skidding stop. A cow stood quite unconcerned about two feet away from certain death with her head down and drinking her fill from a deep puddle right in the middle of the road. The sight made me laugh and my husband, who was still nursing a bruised ego, shot me a sharp look.

Further down the road we drove through another massive puddle, that produced a roaring flood which rushed through loose floorboards, down the aisle and right to the back row. Several seriously disgruntled passengers held their prized holiday and duty-free purchases aloft to allow the boxes and bags to drain while we approached the city centre. I avoided eye contact with my husband.

Next, while appreciating Glasgow’s stunning architecture, I heard my jetlagged husband hissing frantically “He’s going the wrong way!” Poor fellow wasn’t aware of the new bus station and his panic was palpable. He continued breathing erratically as we pulled in. My father-in-law embraced me as I stepped onto the platform. “Welcome to Scotland” he smiled.

Submitted by Lynn Otty, 75, Dumfries

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