We wanted to bid on a property. But auctioneers speak quickly, and this one had a strong Glaswegian accent

My girlfriend Claire and I had both been to Scotland just once before: me as a kid; Claire for a medical school interview. I’m English, she’s Canadian, and we met in the French Alps in 2016, quickly grew close, travelled around Europe, then got it into our heads that we should move to Glasgow. Wanting a project, we looked at auction listings and found an apartment in Pollokshields, Southside. It needed some love, but the starting price was £10k. Before deciding to bid, I’d spent a few nights sleeping in my van across the street from it. I liked it.

With Claire away, I ventured to the sale alone. It was my first time at a property auction. I took my seat and waited patiently. The problem was auctioneers speak fast, and this one had a strong Glaswegian accent: I was really struggling to follow. Thankfully, a brochure on my seat contained the details for every lot, while a screen behind the stage displayed its corresponding number. I ticked off each sale in my copy as we went, counting down.

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