Pizza! – 10 September 2020

Today we were heading for Glasgow.

A bit of window shopping in JL but nothing even barely whetted my appetite, so we went for a walk down Bucky Street and then I suggested we see if we could get a table in Paesano. We got there just after it opened, so we could get a table. We had our details taken and our temperature checked and were deemed fit and healthy enough to eat a pizza. We had our favourites. Scamp had her own design No1: (Tomato sugo, oregano, olive oil, no garlic, no cheese, extra rocket.)
I had a No 3: (Tomato sugo, capers, olives, anchovies, mozzarella and olive oil)
They arrive about three minutes after we ordered them. Even after we had finished and paid and were on our way out, the place wasn’t nearly as busy as it used to be. Surely this new-normal can’t stay this way. Things must change.

I had a wander round CassArt and got the Posca white acrylic paint brush I was looking for, a sketchbook of kraft paper and a white marker. Rather a frugal amount. I was being careful. Just a few things I can’t get anywhere else.

Had a coffee in Nero but it felt watery and tasteless, partly because it was filling the entire cardboard cup which must have been a ‘large’ size and the server probably thought that a ‘regular’ in that big cup looked a bit mean. Next time I’ll ask for a ‘regular’ size in a half cup. Maybe I’m spoilt now by my own version of coffee from the De’Longhi, but before Covid, Nero made good coffee. This stuff tasted like Costa. Not impressed.

Grabbed a couple of street shots outside the GOMA in Queen Street, but wasn’t all that impressed with the result. Also tried to get some reflections from the frontage of the new Queen Street Station, but there was too much rubbish lying around, destroying the effect. Once it get’s cleaned up, possibly by the end of the century it might be possible to get better shots. As it was, a digitally altered shot of the GOMA got PoD.

Had the second batch of our potatoes for dinner tonight. Mine with bacon and mixed beans, Scamp chose not to have the bacon and stuck to Potatoes and Beans. Both were very nice, but then again, these were Artisan Potatoes!

That’s about it for today. Tomorrow there is rain forecast and lots of it too. Lovely!

A day in the Toon – 6 March 2020

Scamp suggested it and I agreed. A day in Glasgow. No driving, no dancing, just a day in the Toon. Sounds good to me too.

Walked over to Condorrat and got the eXpress bus to Glasgow. Coffee in Nero first then a walk through JL. Visited the ‘toy shop’ on the top floor, just to see if there were any bargains on show, but of course, there weren’t. Didn’t really expect any, but I’m not in the market for bargains anyway, so I wasn’t really bothered.

The new Aaronovitch book (with luminous cover!) from Waterstones and the prospect of a pair of Wranglers in TJ Hughes took us along Argyle Street. The book was bought, but the jeans weren’t. Mainly due to the lack of ability in TJ’s staff to assess the size of the queue and stop changing tags on stock and man (should that be ‘person’) the tills instead. Nope, Job Demarcation demands that I stay at the job I was given and not deviate from said job until sanctioned by a more senior member of staff Or in other words “I was only obeying orders”. Left the jeans back on the shelf and walked out. How do these stores survive? Especially when others like JL are sinking?

In Paesano, a Number 3 pizza (anchovy, olive, capers, mozzarella, sugo and EVOO) for me and a Number 1 pizza (Sugo, rocket, No garlic, No cheese) for Scamp with two glasses of house red saved the day and brought a little bit of Italian sunshine to Glasgow.

Walked back to the bus station via Cass Art for black watercolour paint and a cheap sketch pad then caught another eXpress bus back to Condorrat. Walked home with smiles on our faces. It was a good day.

PoD was some folk heading up Bucky Street for the bus home after ‘Making Glasgow’!

Scamp made Chicken Goujons for supper, washed down with another glass of red wine.

Tomorrow we’re hoping to be fed at Cotton House, with the prospect of a walk afterwards.

Another day at Monklands – 26 September 2019

Not for me this time, but for Clive.

Woke to a text from Clive’s daughter telling me Clive’s leg had been giving him some concern during the night and also giving her some concern now. After a bit of discussion with Scamp we decide we’d try the Kenilworth surgery first, but we really needed to take him to A&E. After a fifty second wait while a recording of one of the doctors played, explaining how a doctor’s surgery operated (I know the difference between condensation and condescension) I finally got through to a person who said they didn’t have a treatment room (yes, they do) or a nurse (yes they do) her recommendation was to take him to A&E. What she meant was they have nurses who start at 9am, this was about 8.15am and it’s those nurses who open the treatment room.

We got him ready and drove to Monklands. I dropped him and Scamp at A&E and went to park the car. By the time I’d walked back, he was in seeing the doctor. Waited about 20 minutes and then went to ask if we could see him on the pretence of giving him a bottle of water. It worked and I walked through to the patient’s area where I found him sitting looking a bit fed up. Talked to him about what had happened and found that the doc had said he was fairly certain it wasn’t DVT which was what we’d all feared and was just the result of a bump he’d had last week. Then the consultant and the doc returned. I handed Clive the water bottle and made a hasty retreat. Fifteen minutes later he was out. Just over an hour all in. Not a bad result.

It’s not until you see who comes in to these places that you realise the problems the doctors and nurses have to deal with. In the time we were there, there was a very poorly looking man whose daughter was telling someone on the phone he’d had “another stroke”, a young guy who said he’d hurt his back at work and a little boy who had a stone lodged in his ear … and Clive who was worried he had a blood clot, but hadn’t, thankfully. Drove us all home for toast and a cup of coffee.

We’d planned to drive to Perth today. I know I usually call it Perf, but I’m giving it the Sunday name today, Perth. That’s just what we did. Weather was rain for a while and sun for a long while on the drive up the A9. Lovely scenery. Saw a skein of geese heading sort of north. Clive suggested they may be Canada geese heading for new pastures. He’s probably right.

Walked down the Main Street in Perth to the observation ledge over the Tay. River was heavy and it looked as if someone had put some kayak gates in the river under the road bridge. Didn’t see anyone in canoes. Got coffee beans and then went for a walk through the park before coming home via Dobbies in Stirling where Scamp got a chrysanthemum pot plant. Then it was back home.

Clive and I pored over an old map overlay before dinner. He and Scamp sat and watched a recording of one of the Proms broadcasts from Albert Hall later while I caught up with yesterday’s blog.

A sort of vague response from the ‘Flickr Hero’ about how to get Inktober 2019 back on track, but basically it’s now worth the bother. They have their money and they’re not interested in the nuisance the cause. Wasters!

PoD is a 3 frame vertorama (vertical panorama) of a crane in Perth.

Tomorrow we’re hoping to go to Summerlee. Nothing else planned.

A bit of culture – 5 September 2019

With a beer and a pie!

Last week, Scamp and the other witches went to see A Play, A pie and a Pint at Òran Mór in the west end of Glasgow. This week we watched a documentary about the P,P&P. Last night we watched one of the plays on TV. Today we were going to see the full thing.

The play was ‘From Paisley to Paolo’ and despite some ‘adult language’, I distinctly hears Scamp laughing part way through. I blame the witches for encouraging such debauchery. For £15 you get a mutton pie (quiche is available for non carnivores), a pint of any beer available at the bar (I had Guinness) or a glass of wine and an hour long play seated in the most uncomfortable seats ever created. The play only had three actors, but they played their parts so well, you never really noticed. The storyline was a bit silly, but again, you never really noticed. The repartee between all three actors made it all believable. I can’t remember the last time I was at a play, but I’d go back to Òran Mór again to see another one, only I’d be more circumspect in my choice of seat next time.

Subway back in to Glasgow proper and into Cafe Nero for a coffee. Next up was a look at the newly christened An Unexpected Gallery which used to be The Unexpected Artist in St Enoch’s. A variety of interesting photographs and paintings. Some simplistic and some very sophisticated. We were both drawn (no pun) to the coloured pencil drawings of dogs. Now neither of us are ‘dog people’, but the skill and level of detail in these drawings was incredible. It was outside St Enoch’s, however that I got PoD. I don’t know who this bloke was or what he was doing, but it must be the most uncomfortable place for a wee snooze!

A wander round CassArt for me and Next for Scamp and we got the No 37 bus home. I deliberately didn’t want to get the X3 because due to roadworks outside Moodiesburn, the bus takes an extra 15minutes to complete the circuit of Moodiesburn on the way in to Glasgow and I was pretty certain that it would take that same route on the way back home. I wouldn’t have minded, except we hadn’t brought anything to eat on the journey which would take around two hours now, or at least feel like it had. The second reason was that we could stop at the chip shop and grab a fish supper each on the way home. Good planning. That’s what we did. A Play, A Pie, A Pint and a Fish Supper. What could be better than that?

Tomorrow, Scamp recommends a bracing walk somewhere nice.

The Merchant City Festival – 25 July 2019

A day for celebration in more ways than one.

In the morning, we spoke to Hazy for a while and hopefully took her mind of the rising temperature in London. Then, while Scamp was out being made even more beautiful, I cut five buttonholes in the LEFT side of the waistcoat. I reminded myself that it was the LEFT side every time I picked it up, just in case of last minute errors. Then I carefully hand sewed the buttons on to the right side, carefully, because I’d pushed a needle into my thumb a few times when I was practising this skill. No blood was spilt this time and when I finally stitched the belt buckle to the back of the waistcoat, it was finished. Not only that, but it fitted too with just an inch or so to spare around the waist. One happy bunny. Well, actually two happy bunnies because I think Scamp was almost as happy as me when she returned and saw the finished article.

After a quick lunch we went for a walk down the Luggie in the hopes that there would be a breeze to cool us, because it was extremely hot. Over 30ºc in Scotland it simply ridiculous. It wasn’t much cooler, but we did walk the length of the. Luggie and I got some photos, but none of them made PoD. That came later.

When we got back we took a trip in to Glasgow to see the start of the Merchant City Festival. We’ve been for at least the last two years and it’s always been fun. Today wasn’t. There was supposed to be a parade, but it seemed that three or four groups of performers were strutting their stuff along the street, posing for photos from anyone holding anything that looked like a camera. I took a few, but my favourite, and PoD was a candid of a woman whose expression said that she didn’t want to be there. Maybe it was just that I’d caught a fleeting glance, or maybe she was as bored as I was. Bumped into Kul (Kulwinder) who we haven’t seen for years. Also caught up with Mhairi who had a stall in the handicrafts area. The whole street area was as congested as it usually was, but where were the little icons, like the Cavemen from three (?) years ago? Where were the Mr Mackintoshes with their chairs from last year? No sign of the scary French-type dancers who we’re sure were part of Christine & The Queens group. The whole event seemed a bit flat. On the way out we bumped into one last salsa dancer. We don’t know her name, but she’s John’s partner, dance partner at least if not life partner. Crazy in a good way.

Back home we had a fish supper each for dinner and prepared to be melted during the night. Wish we’d bought a fan!

Feeling the heat – 22 July 2019

Woke to high winds and a bit of rain, but by the end of the day it was the heat that was in command

Today I was going to finish the waistcoat, or at least have it near enough finished that I could wear it. That was the challenge. Stitched it up and then faced the task of turning it outside in, or inside out, depending on the way you look at it. It was actually easier than I thought it would be. With that done, Scamp suggested I press it, and that’s what I did. I hadn’t realised how useful a pair of tweezers would be to help you pull out all those little corners that wanted to stay rounded and I wanted to be sharp. Finally got it pressed as flat as my sewing would allow, and that’s when I found my mistake. In my wisdom I’d assumed you only needed to allow one opening to turn the thing outside in and had sewn up the other side, but the instructions that had seemed vague to me at first now became clear. I’d have to undo part of my wonderful sewing. Stitch-rippers are fun to use too. Soon got it sorted and all joined up properly so that it did indeed look like a wearable garment. It still needs the finishing hand sewing to fix the lining, but I’m hoping to do that tomorrow.

That took up most of the day, but I booked an hour before dinner to grab some beastie photos in St Mo’s. That’s where today’s PoD came from. As well as getting some beasties, one beastie got me. Found a cleg chewing happily away at my hand. It won’t bite anyone else in this world. Piriton to the rescue and also some Anthisan to be sure. Still stings a bit, but hopefully I caught it in time. I’ve been so careful making sure that I clear of ticks, I forgot about the ubiquitous Cleg.

Scamp drove us in to Glasgow for salsa tonight and I have to thank her for that. Although it was a fairly easy drive, the wind was dropping away and the heat was building in the early evening sunshine. It was good to be a passenger for once. New moves tonight were Archangel which was Angel with Gabriel bolted on to the end, Sombrero Doble which is actually three Sombreros and that good old standard, New One.

Just in case you though I’d made up the story about the Partick Samurai, here’s the video to prove we did see it:

Tomorrow is to be even hotter than today and then we’re to have heavy rain and thunderstorms at night. Oh what fun. No plans.

What a Gay Day Glasgow Style – 20 July 2019

We were going in to Glasgow to meet up with Jackie and Murdo around midday.  The Glasgow Gay Pride march was on and it seemed a shame not to take some photos.

Drove in to Glasgow and went for a walk down Bucky Street to catch a glimpse of the Glasgow Pride march.  After the disappointment of the Embra one, which wasn’t very gay and showed little pride, we hoped Glasgow would be a bit more enthusiastic.  It didn’t disappoint.

We saw about half the marchers walking along past the Tron Church and then on to George Square.  There was no comparison with the watered down Embra parade.  Here there was music, whistles, bands and sunshine.  Although the weather fairies had predicted rain, none came, but the sun did.  Stood watching for about half an hour and then wandered round George Square getting more photos.  PoD went to the flag waver at the top of the page.

Met up with the Skye folk in JL and drove  us all home.  Spent the afternoon sitting chatting.  Lots to catch up with and all the time in the world to do it.  Other than that we didn’t do much.  June, the other sister didn’t manage to come over to join the chat, but that was her loss.  They return to Skye tomorrow, getting the 10am bus.

We may go dancing later in the afternoon.

Parking – 28 June 2019

Without the encumbrance of a car.

Since it was set to be another beautiful day, Scamp suggested we take the bus in to Glasgow and go for a walk in a park, or two, and that’s what we did.

It’s still a good feeling to take the bus into town with no agenda, but to suit ourselves. It’s especially good when “The others are at work” and today being Friday, that was the case. After coffee we walked round to the Pavilion Theatre and got the bus there to Kelvingrove and walked up the road, intending to walk round the park. That was where we heard a crunch and then a squeal. A woman in a black car had seen a parking space at the side of the road and driven into it. What she didn’t see was the cyclist. Strangely, it wasn’t the cyclist who had squealed, it was the woman. The man on the bike, or off the bike now, seemed uninjured and even gave the woman a hug, because she seemed more upset than him. I suppose if you cycle a lot in Glasgow you get used to this sort of thing. Anyway, as we hadn’t actually seen the accident, only heard it, so couldn’t be witnesses, and nobody seemed to be hurt, we walked on.

We walked round the back of the Art Galleries and round to the main road, then walked round a different path that took us to the other side of the park. From there we could see the fountain, but when we sat down to watch the water and feel cooler because of it, the fountain stopped. Maybe we’d sat on a secret invisible switch that controlled the water. Sat for a while longer, but the water didn’t come back on, so we people-watched for a while and then walked back by yet another path beside the Kelvin and round the Art Galleries then on to Church Street where we wanted to check out the parking (sneaky link to the title) for the Summer Ball on Sunday.

Scamp had suggested Òran Mór for lunch so we headed up Byres Road to find that there was a wedding reception there today, but as the weather was so good, everyone was outside, which suited us. There were about four people inside the whole pub, so no problem getting a seat. We had Fish ’n’ Chips for two with a G&T for Scamp and a pint of IPA for me. It still feels strange to sit in a pub with a pint of beer in Scotland. I can feel that image of Nick the Chick looking over my shoulder and in John Knox’s stentorian tones say “Thou Shalt NOT!” No fears today, no car. Fish was excellent and the chips were too. Another G&T and a half pint of Guinness to finish off lunch then a walk across the road to the Botanic Gardens.

We’re not often visitors to the Botanics, but when we do go it’s usually in the winter. It’s really unusual for us to go there in the summer. Today there were folk spread out all over the grass, soaking up these uncharacteristic rays. We weren’t sunbathers today, we were here to see the practical gardens, the vegetable plots and the herb gardens. They all looked better than ours. I’m sure they have special defences against slugs and root destroying larvae. It was good to see the variety of plants and be able to read the plant labels to find out, or in Scamp’s case to confirm, plant identities. Had an ice cream cone outside the Botanics and then headed for the bus to Glasgow and then home.

Back home Scamp sat in the garden and I went for a walk in St Mo’s. It was a short walk because there were hunners of weans there celebrating the start of the holidays. Got a few photos and then went home.

PoD was a grab shot when we got off the bus at Kelvingrove. To sad looking dog looked as if it was saying “Are we there yet?”

Tomorrow looks hot and cloudy with the chance of rain later. Hmm, school’s finished so the weather takes a downturn. That’s normal!

Embra beckons – 22 June 2019

We’d both had it in our heads to go to Embra today, but it wasn’t until Scamp said “Right, let’s go to Embra” that the idea became a plan.

We headed for and caught the 10:12 train to Embra. Got off at Haymarket and walked along Shandwick Place, past some Oor Wullies, hoping to get coffee in Nero. Unfortunately, other people got there before us and there were no seats left, so, so did we. We left. Walked up to our usual Nero on Lothian Road and were welcomed with open arms, because there were loads of empty seats. We even got a window seat so we could watch the world, or at least the Embra world, go by.

Suitably refreshed we walked up through the Farmers Market stopping only to buy a couple of hogget leg steaks and a chump roast for my dinner tomorrow. No doubt Scamp will have a piece of salmon instead. On past more Oor Wullies only one of which was good enough to be ranked beside Glasgow’s versions. Embra folk are too ‘po faced’ to fully commit themselves to the topic of humour, especially street humour. Yes, they have the ‘festival fringe’, but that’s really just a bunch of foreigners (i.e. not Embra folk) who are to be tolerated rather than encouraged. Anyway, I digress as I usually do. We walked up through the Grassmarket and on to the Royal Mile. Today was the Embra Gay Pride March. We simply followed the throng to find the weirdos.

The weirdos in question were gathering at the the bottom of the Royal Mile outside the parliament building. That’s the first time I’ve actually been to the parliament building and I must say, reluctantly, I was impressed. It is an interesting building and I think now I’d like to see inside. After all, I helped pay for it. I wonder where the bit I paid for is. Would I be able to see it? Would it have a wee plaque saying “DC paid for this bit of skirting board.” That would be nice.

Back to the weirdos. Scamp reckoned that the majority of the LGBTIs were under voting age. I’d say so too. Mostly opinionated school weans who don’t fit in with the ‘big boys and girls’ but want to be in a group who are ‘different’. All the group are different in the same way. Boys who want to be girls and girls who want to be boys, but they all want to be different and still be the same. Would they all be happy to be called homosexuals rather than ‘gays’? I get the L and the G and the B and even the T, but what in the name of the wee man is the I. I think it stands for “Isnae Sure”. Anyway, as it turned out, this was a refined Embra Gay Pride. Nobody really gave the impression that they were out to have fun. They just marched slowly up the Royal Mile. My PoD was a wee man who stood defiantly with his sign and ignored the children who posed coquettishly beside him. He looked dignified and stoic. They just looked like the spoilt children they were. Mummies’ little darlings. I didn’t agree with his religion, but I did applaud his courage.

After watching the boring march we went for lunch in a Turkish cafe where I had a Falafel, Peppers and Hummus wrap with a salad and Scamp had Sweet Potato and Smoked Haddock Fishcakes with a similar, but slightly different salad. Food was interesting, but coffee was black and pretty tasteless. Pity. However we left with some Baklava for me and Borek (Spinach and Goat’s Cheese in Filo) for both of us.

Train home and then sat in the garden, in the sun for an hour with a G&T to toast the day.

Alex sent me some disturbing news that Craig Fell, whom we both knew had died while on holiday in Greece. He’d thought it was a spoof at first, but then Gillian had confirmed it. Such a sad time for Uncle Herb and Auntie Maisie. Craig could be an absolute eejit at times, but always had a smile on his face. He’d never do anyone a bad turn. A loss to Larky.

Tomorrow we have no plans, other than a bit of shopping, maybe in Glasgow.

Dancing and The Wullies – 19 June 2019

The dancing was in Glasgow and the Wullies were of the “Oor” variety and were everywhere in Glasgow.

Spent the morning making a set of Wales photos to go into a gallery on this website. They aren’t quit ready yet, but hopefully they will be soon. After lunch we drove in to Blackfriars for a torturing class of ballroom and jive.

It wasn’t that the moves were difficult, or even new. It was just that we’d had Wales and walks in our heads for the last week, with no time for dancing or dancing practise. Now it was all a blur again. At least that’s what it seemed like for me. Jive didn’t jell. Waltz didn’t flow as it should and although Quickstep was better than the other two, it too wasn’t “Our finest hour” as Scamp described it. A cup of coffee afterwards helped with the pain, but a lot of practise is needed before next week.

Then, there were the “Wullies”. They were everywhere we looked. They were painted “Oor Wullies”, made of fibreglass and larger than life size. After some research when we got home, I discovered there were 59 of them dotted around Glasgow and the West. The first one we saw, and my favourite so far is Oor Charles, modelled on Charles Rennie Macintosh. I got a few more, but Oor Charles got PoD. If this paragraph made no sense to you, then:

  1. You should read the Sunday Post, just the comics page though.
  2. Wait until we get to The Broons.

Salsa tonight for me was only about the 6.30 class. The 7.30 class was oversubscribed in leaders, so I was superfluous and took myself out to be doorkeeper. That’s where I wrote most of this blog. The Intermediate class at 6.30 were doing Pachangero which is one of Scamp’s favourite moves. They are a really good class and most of them are picking up the moves really quickly. Scamp drove tonight which made life a lot easier for me. Thanks S.

Tomorrow we have no plans. Maybe go for some messages!