Today we went on an adventure – 4 March 2022

We went in to Glasgow on the bus.

When was the last time you were on a bus? That was the question Scamp asked me today when we were waiting for the X28. I was on a bus last year, but she didn’t reveal when she was last on a bus. It was an experience. Another little step on the road to ‘normal’ whatever ‘normal’ will be once we get there. We deliberately chose the ‘fast bus’ rather than the X3 which takes about four days to get in to the city from our house, or at least it feels like that.

We started our expedition with a wander round JL. There was nothing interesting for me in the ‘toy shop’. Big boys’ toys that is. Computers, cameras and lenses. Nothing interestingly cheap enough to actually spend money on. Scamp was looking for dresses for the two weddings we’re invited to in May. There was nothing much for her in JL either. One dress she liked the style of, but not the colour. Others she said she had dismissed, but still wanted to show me. I think she was just hoping I’d cast my tailor’s eye over them and say “I could make that one”, but I didn’t. I restrict my tailoring skills to taking up the legs of a pair of jeans, these days.

From there we walked down Buchanan Galleries. Now I often call Buchanan Street ‘Bucky Street’, but ‘Bucky Galleries’ just doesn’t have the same ring. At the end of the Galleries Scamp disappeared into a shop and went for a walk. I was pulled back to the shop with a swift phone call to ask where I thought I was going. Apparently I was meant to wait outside the shop like a good little boy. My usual reply to commands like that is “Hope you’ve got your bus pass, ‘cause it’s a long walk home.” Of course that didn’t work this time. We both had our bus passes, and no car to take us home. Going out without the car is sometimes almost as scary as going out without your phone. Anyway my advice was required on another dress which had already been rejected. This time I was more agreeable and suggested she try it on. Actually, I had to agree that it suited her once I saw it on. She bought it. Photos will be sent to interested parties. To celebrate, we went to Paesano for a pizza lunch. Well it was Friday after all. On the way there we wandered past the next place they had started filming. Again turning Glasgow into Gotham for Batgirl or some such American nonsense.

We walked down to Argyle Street to peruse the dress offerings of M&S, but nothing took her eye. We walked back to Cafe Nero at St Enoch’s then to Waterstones because I’d a book token burning a hole in my pocket, but I couldn’t find the book I was planning to use it on. Up Bucky Street and home on the X37 which was just as quick as the X28 in the morning. It was a beautiful day, all day. The weather fairies had it wrong with their threats of heavy clouds and rain. You can’t trust anybody these days.

PoD was a view down Virginia Street to the buildings at the end which seem to crowd in on one another. If you view it on Flickr you will notice that it’s had it’s GPS location stamped on it and it’s been mapped automatically by the software. Neat little trick of linking the camera to an app on the phone by bluetooth. Impressed? I was!

Tomorrow looks like a good day again. Let’s see if we go anywhere interesting.

 

Kingston – 6 February 2020

Off on our travels again.

Today we’d earmarked Kingston upon Thames as the place to go. We’d been there before a few times, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go again and probably find new wonders to explore. Now that we know how to use Oyster cards and even simpler credit cards to pay on buses and trains, travel without a ticket is the way to go. Single price journeys are so much easier to work with too.

So it was a walk along to the bus stop, then the No 71 to Kingston as the lady’s voice from the speaker reminded us at every stop. Then a visit to M&S for a new bunnet followed by a coffee in Nero. After that, a walk round the market and then down by the Thames in the sunshine under a bright blue sky where we saw some cormorants drying their wings.

Lunch was Japanese street food in Itsu. Mine was a Chicken Noodle soup with lots of ginger and Scamp had a Chicken and Coconut soup. We both shared a portion of Chicken Gyoza. To finish off we had a beer in the Druid’s Head. Managed to find most of the stuff we needed for dinner in Waitrose and got the bus back to Chessington.

PoD was the Thames walkway at Kingston. SoD was a snail which was the answer to the “Crawl” topic.

 

 

On the bus today – 23 January 2020

Still sticking to the “up and out” ideal, (yes that was Ideal, not Idea!) just not driving today.

Walked to Condorrat to get the fast bus in to Glasgow. In the town we went for coffee first and then went our separate ways for a while. Scamp went looking for a cheap tartan skirt for the tartan ball. I went to look at a camera in Jessops. Found the camera, but the security cable on it was about 20cm long. How am I supposed to try out a camera that I can’t even get up to eye level? Gave up. Next one I wanted to look at had a similarly short steel cable and also the attaching clip was pointed straight at me. If I’d managed to get the camera to eye level, that clip would have caused me an injury. When an assistant asked me if she could help, I tried to explain the danger of the protruding clip. She then explained condescendingly that they need the security because “.. people do try to steal things you know …”. I tried to explain that it wasn’t the security cable, but the protruding clip that I was concerned about. She seemed to realise that a sale was not imminent and finished the conversation by asking if there was anything else she could help me with. I said “Don’t bother, I’ll just take my business elsewhere.” Jessops seems to be in trouble, financially, again. With staff like her, I can understand why.

Still fizzing, I met with Scamp further down the road. She hadn’t found a skirt. We tried one of the plethora of cheap ’Scottish’ shops that have invaded Glasgow and Edinburgh. Kilts made from cloth you could spit peas through, for £15. Nothing she would demean herself with there either. We agreed to split up again and meet up in Princes Square.

I was looking for a refillable reservoir for one of my Lamy pens, because ’28 Drawings Later’ is looming next Saturday, the 1st of February. I expected I would get one in The Pen Shop in Princes Square, but I might just pick one up in Cass Art. No, Cass Art failed me on that, none. Walked through to The Pen Shop and on the way got the PoD which is a statue by Shona Kinlock called “As Proud As” with reference to the peacock which stands behind the wee man. On to The Pen Shop. They didn’t have the adapter either. Neither did whatever Millers is called now, but they did have some black ink, so I got that at least. They suggested other places, but as Scamp was on the last stop on her Tartan Tour which was M&S and I was meeting her there and then going for lunch which I hoped would be Paesano, I decided I’d try Amazon instead. We met and it was Paesano who would be graced by our presence. I was delighted!

Just two of our usual pizzas, but because we were bussing, not driving, I was allowed a glass of house red!

Up the road to the bus station and grabbed one of the new route X25 buses. It’s a lot faster than the sluggish X3, but slower that the Stagecoach X something-or-other. Best of all, its new route takes it past the new shops, so as we needed bread we could get the bus to the shops today!

It was jolly exciting sitting in a bus that was driving down past St Mo’s and St Mo’s school, round the roundabout and stopping at the bus stop just at the new shops. You can tell we don’t get out much, can’t you?

That was all the excitement we could stand for one day. Oh by the way, Scamp did get a tartan(ish) skirt. Tomorrow we have no plans.

All Good Things etc. – 19 November 2019

One last chance for some sun before we return to sub-zero Scotland.

After breakfast we found those sun beds again and put them to good use, then the clouds started rolling in, but we didn’t mind, in fact we were quite glad for an excuse to get up and go for a walk. We walked round the garden to the manmade waterfall and there stood a heron. At first we both thought it was a fixture, a model to scare real herons away from the fish in the pond. Then it move. Camera out and grabbed a few shots. Moved closer and took a few more, as did Scamp. Finally we were almost inside zoom range and had to back off a bit, that’s how close. We walked through the cave and another photog appeared and took some photos. Still the heron blanked us. It must be really used to tourists in the hotel and the fishing must be good too.

Back to the room and did the final change into winter clothes and sealed up the bags. Taxi was due for 12.30pm we waited until 12.45 and then went to phone the help line. I was just getting put through when Scamp shouted that the taxi had arrived. I went out and all I could see was a big bus, no taxi. That’s when the bloke took my case and bag and put them in the hold of the bus. The bus was our taxi to the airport. I think we laughed all the way to the airport, just the two of us on a big tour bus!

The laughing stopped when we got through security and saw that our flight was delayed. The only one that was on the whole board. We needn’t have worried, it was only delayed by about 30mins and we were boarded fairly quickly. The captain explained that the temperature in Glasgow in the morning was -5ºc and in his words “None of the ground crew seemed to want to come out and work.” I think he was choosing his words very carefully because he really sounded as if someone was going to get one helluva bollocking when he got back to Glasgow.

Flight back was fairly uneventful and we were actually slightly ahead of time when we landed. Back home, the heating was on and the house was warm, thankfully because it was about 3ºc when we were driving into Cumbersheugh.

PoD was that heron. What else could it be

Tomorrow, believe it or not, Scamp wants to go dancing!

Rain, but an improving situation – 17 July 2019

Woke to the wet stuff this morning.  Oh well, at least we won’t need to water the garden tonight.

Since there was no Salsa class for us tonight because Jamie Gal wouldn’t be there and also, there was no 7.30 class.  It seemed pointless to travel in to Glasgow for just one class, and not one at which we’d be learning anything new.  With that in mind Scamp suggested that we take the bus in to Glasgow for Jive and Ballroom.  Also in her suggestion was that we could have lunch in Glasgow.  Sounded good to me, just as long as I got through the dancing part.  I don’t really mind  the different moves we’re learning, it’s just that the moves keep changing slightly depending on which of the teachers is teaching.  Also, just when we’ve got to grips with the Seven Deadly Spins, they start inserting other moves in between the spins.  People are becoming confused and I can understand why.  Anyway, we plodded off to Condorrat to get the fast bus to Glasgow.  That meant we’d got there early so we went for a wander round the centre of the town before we came to Blackfriars.  Free dance to get started and we tried a newer routine than the Spins then made a real hash of it.  Michael decided we should go back to the Spins.  That’s when they started changing the first of the inserted routines which left all of us confused and looking at each other.  This was glossed over and Michael seemed to decide he’d had enough and left to go to the physio.  Next up was Quickstep and that wasn’t too bad, in fact I managed the Pendulum and finally worked out  how the Double Lock and Check worked.  So, started off badly, but it became an improving situation.

Next to Blackfriars is a Scottish themed restaurant called Mharsanta.  We’d promised ourselves we’d go for lunch there one day.  Today was the day.  Glass of wine for Scamp and a pint of IPA for me to start with (benefits of travelling on  the bus!)  Chicken Goujons for Scamp’s starter followed by her leveller – Fish ‘n’ Chips.  First main course she has virtually anywhere.  I had Haggis Scotch Egg followed by Steak and Sausage Pie.  Both our meals were excellent.  However, we simply must go back some time because one of  the mains is Mince ‘n’ Mashed Tatties plus a Poached Egg on top.  The only people I’ve seen do this properly were my mum and Scamp.  Now there’s no way on this earth that they could cook it better, but I’d like to see how close they could get!

Got my hair cut in Nile Barber then coffee in Paperchase where they do a very good Americano and apparently a Latte too, before we got the bus home.  A fast bus, but not as fast as the ultra speedy one in.  That was the way the day went.  An improving situation indeed.  It rained all day.

The view from the restaurant made PoD.

Tomorrow I’ve got the dentist at midday other than that the coast is clear.

A day in the toon in the sunshine – 12 July 2019

Today we’d decided to travel in to Glasgow on the bus and go to the Transport Museum on Riverside.

Got off the subway at Partick and walked along past the reconstruction that was going on by the Clyde until we came to the strange building that, from the air looks as if it’s been squeezed out of a toothpaste tube.  It looked very impressive with its glass frontage.  In the middle of July, it’s the middle of the Glasgow Beach.  Loads of weans building sand castles with pails and spaded on an area at the front of the building done up to look like a beach with tons of sand.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time, but we were itching to get in to see this wonderful new 21st century museum.

What a let down.  Yes, there were steam engines and tram cars, loads of tram cars and trolley buses too, but most of them were sealed off from the public by large perspex sheets.  This was a “Look, but don’t touch museum”.  One of the biggest selling points of the place, the revoloutionary Wall of Cars was the worst let-down.  Yes, there were a load of cars on shelves along a wall, like full size Dinky or Matchbox toys, but the problem was you couldn’t see into them.  They were too high up or too far away to see any of the detail.  The same was true for the Wall of Motorbikes.  Yes, they were there, but you could only see about two of the five layers of them. The rest were way up too high and you’d get a crick in your neck trying to see the details.  The bikes, especially seemed to be in a bit of a state.  Torn saddles and seats, suspensions not bolted to the frames.  It looked as if they’d just been placed there without any thought of restoration.  Worst of all were the cycles.  There they were, either sitting on or hanging upside down from a great circular wheel, hanging from the ceiling.  No description of what they were or why they were there.  Strangest exhibit was a Sinclair Cambridge Programmable Calculator.  I had one of those, away back in the 1980s.  At the time it was truly state of the art.  I bought it fully built and tested, but it was possible to buy it as a PCB with the components and build it yourself.  A friend of mine bought a Sinclair radio kit which was supposed to fit into a matchbox.  He got it built, but by the time he was finished it barely fitted into a suitcase.  But back to the Calculator.  Interesting though it was, what had it to do with Transport?

The building itself is striking, but there is a design theory that “Form Follow Function”.  In the case of this museum it’s more like “Function Follows Form”.  You get the feeling that they designed and built the building, then just stuffed everything they had into it.  Not impressed and wouldn’t go back.  Typical Council waste of money.

What I did get there was today’s PoD.  Probably the best, certainly the most detailed Oor Wullie I’ve seen so far.  You can get a better view on Flickr because by some miracle it managed to get into the site.  I personally think Flickr is now dead.  Today after half an hour of attempting to install the three images I’d uploaded, I got  the message that they had failed to upload.  Only to find out later that they had actually loaded successfully.  Since May, the site has been almost unusable.  Literally hundreds of complaints on the “official” help page and nothing being done about it.  I refuse to throw more money at such a failed excuse of a photo site.

Anyway, back home we got an hour in the sun in the back garden before I phoned Golden Bowl and uplifted a collection of Chicken Chop Suey & Fried Rice for Scamp and Special Chow Mein for me.  A good way to end a day in  the sun.

Tomorrow, strangely enough, we may go back to Partick again to go to a Farmers Market.

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!