Comment: You can take the girl out of the southside — but I’d rather you didn’t

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When I first moved to the southside I was aghast. “But we are MILES from the city centre”, I moaned to my partner at every available opportunity.

However it didn’t take long to change my mind and quickly I came to realise that the southside of Glasgow is a thriving little community, and a great place to live.

I grew up in a small town of about 2,000 located somewhere between Edinburgh and Glasgow. A town with a Spar, a few pubs and not a lot to do. The kind of place where you would walk into your local on a Friday night and know at least 50 per cent of the people in there.

I didn’t mind it to be honest. I don’t miss it either. And I am well and truly a city girl these days — the southside of Glasgow feels so much like home that I can’t imagine ever moving away.

So maybe it lacks the exclusivity of Notting Hill or the trendiness of the Meat Packing district in New York. But live here long enough and you will see that things this side of the Clyde are pretty great.

I live in a quiet suburb only a stone’s throw from my little girl’s nursery. Close enough that one should never find an excuse to drive (yet I forever do). But the walk there, on the rare occasions I do walk, is a peaceful affair and the quiet streets and leafy surroundings forever remind me that this is a nice place to be living with a kid — something I find pretty important these days now that I am a grown up, and catchment areas and council tax rates have to come before cocktails and clubs nights.

I’m at my happiest found wandering around the Queen’s Park farmers market with my daughter on a blustery Saturday lunchtime, spending my wages on nice cheese and posh sausages. And generally no trip there is complete without a visit to Church on the Hill to heat up with a pint, a Fruit Shoot and a hot bowl of chips.

Naturally I am persuaded into a trip up to the Glasshouse afterwards so Ava can peruse the array of lizards and snakes they have on show in the reptile house. That right there is one of my favourite Saturday things to do with my daughter.

And you can only imagine how excited I was when I found out that not only were they opening a Whole Foods in Glasgow (the only one in Scotland), but that it was going to be about five minutes walk from my own doorstep.

Since it opened this foodie goes in regularly — not as regularly as I would like to but that’s only because the other half threatened to confiscate my cards if I didn’t stop spending all of our money in there.

We might lack the cool and bohemian vibe of Glasgow’s westend but the constant buzz of rumours at the prospect of a redeveloped and much more exciting Shawlands keeps this southsider interested.

Talks of a cinema, a 24 hour gym and the likes have been doing the rounds for some time now and although they have yet to come to fruition, I have a sneaky feeling that Shawlands is about to really come of age.

Even now I love to venture there on a Saturday night — particularly on those dreich nights where I can’t face the walk to the train station to get myself into the city centre, or when I would rather save my pennies for an extra large glass of wine than pay what it would cost to taxi it to Bath Street or Byres Road.

I have it on very good authority that you can find one hell of an Espresso Martini on Nithsdale Road and some really excellent Italian only a stone’s throw from Shawland’s Cross.

I love little nights out spent strictly in the southside and choose them over their city centre counterparts regularly. I’ve even been known to turn up at The Shed at 1am (remind me to never do Jager bombs again).

My love of this part of Scotland obviously extends to the whole of Glasgow.

I felt the same buzz as you did as we tried in vain to spot some celebrities during the MTV Awards. I felt that giddy excitement too as we supped our beers in the sunshine and watched the Commonwealth Games on those big tellys in Glasgow Green.

I experienced that hollowness as I walked through the tunnel to the SECC and watched the smoke from the Art School descend upon the city.

But I felt a particular pang of pride when I watched Nicola Sturgeon tweet from the very first same sex marriage in Scotland — held at the southside’s very own Bell & Felix on Kilmarnock Road.

And I always get a very particular gush of love when I drive past that southside institution House for an Art Lover.

You can’t beat the bright lights and late opening times of the city centre but to me the southside of Glasgow is, in the words of Glasgow’s very own Rab C Nesbitt, “A wee bit of sanity in a world gone mad”.

And I’m not moving for no-one.

Dawn is a southside-based blogger, covering motherhood, food and life in Glasgow — visit Dawniepopsies for more of her work.