Down the Green – 1 August 2021

We went for a walk this morning.

It’s been ages since we’ve been down Glasgow Green. It used to be a favourite place for a walk, but we’ve been staying closer to home recently. Maybe it’s time we stretched our boundaries and found some new places to walk and also remembered old ones. Today we remembered old ones.

The park had changed a lot since the last time we’d been down there. The boathouse that stands on the banks of the Clyde just before the weir is under renovation, as is the riverbank from there to the weir. Not sure what they are doing and there are no signs to say what work is being undertaken, so maybe it’s going to be a secret submarine base or something like that. Much more information about the restoration of the boathouse which is now going to be a community hub of sorts with other areas inside, not just storage and repair areas for boats. Might be a good thing to give a wider section of the public a chance to use this space, not just the rather elitist rowing community.

We walked on and watched a man feed the ducks and saw the frenzy of wings as the gulls tried to steal everything white in the water. Most went for the bread, but some fought for a piece of white plastic bag. Each gull sure that it was theirs until another flew in to steal it. We walked on to the suspension bridge but there was little to see there. The university boat club who own the upstream boathouse were going out in fours, but we got bored waiting for them to do their downstream run.

I wanted to go for some photos in The Barras so we headed over there next. It’s just a shadow of its former self, but there was certainly more activity today that the last time we walked there. Good to see the trade in knock-off DVDs and CDs is still good and folk are making a dishonest bob from it. Scamp was half looking for a new kitchen carpet, but there weren’t many worth buying today. I got a few decent street photos, but very few were in focus. The Sony A7ii is noted as being particularly poor in the focus department. Some day I’ll trade it in and maybe get an A7iii, but not this week!

Back home Scamp went for a walk to the shops while I tried to fix the fairy lights on the back fence. The solar panel seems to be charging and the battery is holding a charge, so I suspect a break in the cable. Not easy to find and not easy to fix either. Cheaper to buy a new one.

When Scamp came back, we emptied the Tattie Bag and got enough for two dinners from it. We might empty the second bag next week, all being well. We might need to water it too, because the one we emptied was bone dry.

Dinner was a burger for me and a salmon fillet for Scamp. Both served with fried onions and our own potatoes.

I went over to St Mo’s for a walk, but didn’t get anything worthwhile. PoD went to a photo from The Barras of a group sitting having breakfast in Gibson Street.

Watched the carnage at the start of the Hungarian GP, then saw Hamilton attempting and almost failing to pass Alonso to come third to Ocon who won an amazing victory. I think the unlucky Verstappen was tenth after being caught up in the stramash at the start. If it wasn’t for bad luck he wouldn’t have any luck at all.

All in all, not a bad day. Tomorrow we may ‘stretch our boundaries’ if the sun shines.

On the yellow brick road – 4 November 2020

… with masks on.

Today, you’ve probably guessed, we went to Ikea. That’s what Scamp suggested, and as I had nothing better to do, I agreed. Fairly long queue to get in, but it was moving quite quickly. One absolute numpty literally ran in front of us to get in the queue before us. I don’t know if she’d maybe never been in the Big Yellow House before, but I hope she found what she was looking for or I imagine she’d scream and scream!

We were looking for three things one of which I thought was on the upper floor. I was correct, but we had to walk all the way round the maze and found it at the very end of the upper floor. With Covid restrictions you MUST follow the yellow brick road where before you could double back sometimes. That is totally forbidden now. So two trays for my storage cabinet meant I accumulated about 1,000 steps. We came out with the three items we had gone for … and a few more.

Drove back into Glasgow, heading for Glasgow Green. I followed the map in my head and then missed a lane change and we had to drive right through the city rather than round the edge. It didn’t matter, Scamp knows the city well and told me the lane changes well in advance. As we were walking past the People’s Palace I saw what looked like two sword fencers practicing under some trees. Now, as I said to Scamp, there’s used to be a fair amount of swordplay down on Glasgow Green, but only on Saturday nights. This was in broad daylight. If it was London there would be van loads of polis armed to the teeth surrounding the Green within minutes. In Glasgow it’s just par for the course, apparently!

We went along to Parnie Street because I was looking for a fitment for my Benbo tripod. Unfortunately the didn’t have it. The nearest they had was more than double the price. I could get it from Amazon, but I’d have preferred to have bought it from a small independent shop. Never mind, they said they might have it in two or three weeks. I might wait that long. We walked back through The Green, the fencers were still there and there were still no police marksmen hidden in the bushes with laser sights drawing red dots on the fencers’ heads. Nobody shouting “Throw down your weapons and lie on the ground!”

After lunch I gathered together a collection of ‘small electrical and electronic’ gadgetry that was destined for the council skip. For once there was no queue to get in and I was waved through after showing my proof of ID to show that I was a bona fide Cumbersheugh resident. Junk dumped, I headed for Fannyside Moor where I was aiming to get some photos with the Sony camera and a fifteen year old Sigma lens. The test went well and you can see the result on Flickr. It nearly made PoD, but was just pipped by the fencers. Love that stance!

Scamp and I hung up more of her ball lights on the rowan tree in the back garden. They really do brighten up the garden with such a cheery light.

That was about it for today. No plans for tomorrow, but the weather looks good again so we might go out for another walk, this time in NL.

The man from Malta – 27 September 2020

Continuing on our theme of daily walks, today’s destination was Glasgow Green.

Scamp drove us down to Glasgow Green in the Red Micra. We parked in our usual place and after inspecting the chestnut trees to see if there were any chessies although you may know them as ‘conkers’, we continued past the now closed People’s Palace. No people allowed in today. Walked the length of the path, past the folk practising hurling. I thought it might have been shinty, but I just checked and the sticks are definitely the spoon shape of a ’Hurley’ rather than the murderous ’Caman’ of shinty. There, I’m sure you’re as glad as I am that we’ve got that sorted out.

Walked back by the side or the river observing the ‘Keep Left’ signs that ensure social distancing. Stood for a while on the suspension bridge, watching the rowers on the river looking very efficient and freezing. It was only 0.5º this morning when I got up and the temperature hadn’t risen much when we were out walking on The Green. No ice floes on the river though, so it can’t be winter yet. Because it was such a lovely morning we continued on and crossed the river to Richmond Park. It’s really in a sorry state these days. I’m sure the council will blame Covid and problems with maintaining a workforce in these days, but the neglect here is more than the six months we’ve been under the cloud of the virus. This is an out of the way park, half of which has been sold off to developers and the other half left to wrack and ruin, and don’t get me started on the demise of the Wintergarden of the People’s Palace.

However, there was life here. There were boats in the boating pond. Not rowing boats, but radio controlled model boats and it was here we met the man from Malta. We were sitting watching these detailed models sailing up and down controlled by their makers when this bloke came up and started telling us how he originally came from Malta, but moved to Glasgow when he was six. He told us how he’d seen the pond when he was coming home from school and thought it was the sea and how his dad gave him a severe telling off for being late home. He now has six or seven boats that he sails on the pond at weekends. He left saying that it was a great hobby and if I wanted to take it up I should join the club. I think I have enough roads for my money to go these days without building model boats. We walked round the rest of the park before retracing our steps to the car. Gone are the days for a roll ’n’ sausage and a cup of coffee for me or two slice of toast and tea for Scamp in the Wintergarden.

Back home, Scamp finished picking the remaining apples from the trees and we emptied the last ‘tattie bag’. We got lots of apples, but just enough tatties for tonight’s dinner. We also lifted one of the leeks and cut some kale for soup. I even lifted one of my carrots which also made it into the soup. I managed to burn today’s stew, but also managed to salvage enough for my dinner along with the potatoes we’d lifted.

PoD went to the boatbuilders at Richmond Park. The man from Malta is slightly right of centre with his back to the camera. I liked his story and the fact he took time to speak to us.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to have coffee and a gab with Val.

Down the green – 6 September 2020

Drove to The Green today, just for a walk.

Drove down to Glasgow Green for a walk in the sunshine. Watched a group of folk practising Hurling or it might have been Shinty, I’m not sure about the the difference between them other than that in one of them the purpose is to maim the opposition and in the other it’s to kill them. Anyway, a crack with one of those sticks would certainly put your lights out for a wee while. A bunch of nutters were gathering to protest about having to wear masks and claiming that this whole Covid thing is just political propaganda. As someone has recently said, “… do they really think that 194 nations have banded together to lie about a pandemic?” Perhaps some of the Hurling/Shinty players could have come over and knocked some sense into them.

Drove home and had lunch. Did a bit of gentle pruning of the rambling rose that divides us from Angela next door. She says she likes the flowers from the rose, even though it gets tangled up in her washing. It badly needed pruning, so that’s what it got today, pruned badly. Fed the chilli plants on the window sills as a few of them are now bearing fruit and need the extra energy from old tomato fertiliser. They don’t seem to mind that it’s about five years past it’s ‘sell by’ date. Just to be sure I fed the remaining leeks and kale in the raised bed and the two, or is it three carrots too. I’ve got a few more in plug trays and think I may just plant them in the now unused Tattie Bag. It might just save them from the carrot fly.  I should add a correction from yesterday’s blog.  The potatoes we planted were Charlottes, not Jersey Royals as reported!

Wasn’t feeling too great because I’d been overindulging eating far too much yesterday, but was considering going cycling because it was such a beautiful day. However I had to give up that idea. Let’s just say I’m much lighter now than I was and as a result had to give up on my idea of a steak for dinner. It ended up being a veg omelette instead. Far better for you I’m told.

Spoke to JIC in the evening and made some plans with him. PoD turned out to be a shot of a single scull on the Clyde taken from the suspension bridge this morning.

That was about it for the day. Tomorrow it looks like rain all day and we have no plans.

A walk in the park – 19 July 2020

The park in question was Glasgow Green. Long time no see.

Today at Scamp’s suggestion, we went for a walk along Glasgow Green. Simply ages since we’ve been down there, but today we did. We walked along to the McLennan arch. I can never remember whether it’s McLellan or McLennan. It’s definitely McLennan because I’ve just checked on Google so you don’t have to. Anyway, before I lose the thread, we walked along to the McLennan arch and from there along beside the river to the suspension bridge where eager joggers were running along it making it bounce. Always a source of amusement as long as you weren’t trying to take a photo with a slow shutter speed. I wasn’t, so it was funny.

Back home it was lunch time, then Scamp was off into the garden, weeding and pruning and generally plant bothering. I was struggling with Friday’s Sudoku. Friday’s!? I must be slipping. Eventually I gave up and wandered down to the shops via the wildflower area behind St Mo’s. Not a lot of insect life there today. A few butterflies and a ladybird that was determined to avoid the big man with the glass tube on a box. Couldn’t blame the poor thing. Imagine if you were being pursued by a giant carrying a glass tube and constantly poking it near you. That’s the stuff of nightmares. Or is that just me?
Anyway, I got the stuff I needed for pasta with meatballs. I’d made the actual meatballs earlier, a mix of pork mince and bacon which actually worked well.

Back home it was time to start making the sauce which was a basic marinara sauce same as I’d made last week. After cooking away for 40 minutes or so it was reduced enough and the meatballs were cooked. It tasted ok, but really needed something more to make it sing. Maybe a few more herbs or some spice to brighten it up. Maybe next time. Scamp has salmon with potatoes and a spoonful of my sauce. She wasn’t impressed with her salmon either. Maybe it was just us. Maybe it was just a bad day.

Pudding was “a sort of Eton Mess”. It didn’t sound all that impressive, but it tasted brilliant. Scamp as usual talking down her culinary expertise. Simple and tasty too.

Big test next. Will Scamp like the Sunday Coffee? I needn’t have worried. It got a definite thumbs up. Especial mention for the creamy foamed milk. She even bragged about it when we talked to JIC later. Found out that he doesn’t have to cool the boiler in his upmarket coffee machine because it has two boilers. One for steam and one for coffee. That explains it. Mine does the job for me and produces great espressos and has the ability to make creamy foamed milk too. You just as Scamp and she’ll tell you.

Apart from the walk in The Green today there wasn’t a lot going on, although I got a PoD which was the second shot I took and achieved about 15,000 steps and eight active hours. Didn’t do a sketch, will cover that tomorrow, hopefully. We may go out.

Out and about – 3 January 2020

It was bright and it was dry when I was making the breakfast. No lounging around today.

We made the excuse that we needed printer ink and that was why we were going to avoid the crowds by driving in to Glasgow early. We ended up on level 5 of the Buchanan Galleries carpark, partly by design and partly by necessity. We were going for printer ink and that’s on the “Toyshop” 1 level, level 5 of John Lewis. There might have been spaces on levels below that, but there were plenty to choose from on 5. We got the last bottles of ink, four of them: Blue, Pink, Yellow and Black, the last ones in the rack. Cost about £35 for the lot. It’s an absolute steal when you think that each bottle contains 70ml and an average ink cartridge holds about 10ml and costs the same as that bottle and you still need four of them!

I dumped the ink in the boot of the Juke and noted that in the 15 minutes or so we’d been in the shop the parking spaces on level 5 had almost all been taken. With the main reason for the visit ticked off, we went for a walk. Scamp suggested we walk round Glasgow Green and since it was still a bright dry day, that’s what we did. We walked down Bucky Street and along Argyle Street, then zig zagged down to the Green. Walked under the McLennan Arch which is where I got today’s PoD from. Well, almost. Because as usual, all is not as it seems. I had to do a bit of cut ’n’ paste to get the photo looking the way I saw it in the viewfinder, but that’s normal. Walked round to the suspension bridge and watched the rowers chasing each other’s tails up and down the river. Walked back past the now barricaded Wintergarden that Glasgow Council seem to want to pretend doesn’t exist any more and back into the city. Cup of coffee and a spot of lunch then home. Thought I might manage an hour in St Mo’s, but it wasn’t to be. We were hardly in the door when the rain started. By the time it went off, the best of the light had gone.

Dinner tonight was Braised Peas with Bacon, Lentils and Cod. It’s becoming a firm favourite with us. Quick to make and very tasty. Note: No Potatoes!

That was about it for the day. Much better day than yesterday, even managed my 10,000 steps, but not my 8 active hours.

Tomorrow we’re going to do the same thing in a different place. Rain or shine we’re going out, or so the plan reads tonight.

  1. So called because it’s the level with the technology ‘toys’ for sale. It’s a sort of creche where women leave their husbands to prowl and drool over the lovely toys in the glass cases. While they go and browse the sensible stuff like dresses and washing machines. 

Down the Green – 4 November 2018

We’ve been talking about it for a while, now we had to walk the walk, literally.

Drove down to Glasgow Green and walked round our usual circuit of the dear green place. Although there was very little of the ‘green’ stuff visible. Most of it was covered with protective tracks to allow the lorrys pulling the fairground rides to park up. Tomorrow is Bonfire night and The Green usually hosts the fireworks display and to entertain the crowds and to make a few bob on the side, the funfair comes to town.

That wasn’t all. Lots of rowers were out on the river. You could tell that the 8s and 4s were time-served crews, but some of the pairs and single sculls were ropey to say the least. The river was running dirty and full of debris. We watched half a tree, complete with leaves making its way downstream against groups of rowers attempting to head upstream. Eventually it was coaxed into the shallows on the park side of the river. Today’s PoD was a tight crop on one of the rowing fours. I think Scamp’s ankle was acting up because she wasn’t interested in extending our walk and settled for watching the action from the suspension bridge.

Walked over to the People’s Palace and had lunch in the Winter Garden. Such a shame that this lovely structure is to be closed indefinitely. In other words, it will be sealed off until it fails catastrophically, then it will be demolished as it is a H&S risk. That’s cheaper than repairing it. The up side of this decision is that the Councillors Christmas Junket Fund is safe for the next few years.

Had my usual roll ’n’ sausage and a cup of coffee. Scamp had peppermint tea and a piece of shortbread. Then we had a walk round the plants and saw some Dasheen which as far as we can remember is used for making Callaloo in Trinidad.

Drove back and while Scamp went out to dig up some gladioli from the front garden and ‘do a bit of tidying up’ there, I gathered my cameras and went for a walk to St Mo’s. The most interesting thing I saw was a Caddis Fly wildly out of season. They usually hatch in late spring or at the beginning of summer. Poor wee thing looked quite shell-shocked, and no wonder.

Went over to St Mo’s in the evening to see the firework display. Usual set of bangs and flashes, but notably a few purple lights in them for a change. What is it about purple? You don’t see it all that often in fireworks. I’m guessing the chemical used to give that light is more expensive than most the other colours.

Tomorrow is Gems day. I may go to the gym and I may go in to Glasgow looking for drawing ink.

Down on Glasgow Brown – 22 July 2018

It used to be Glasgow Green, but that was before the sun shone for a month while the council watched and did nothing.

This morning we went for a walk down to Glasgow Green. It’s ages since we’ve been there and had heard that all the grass had been burned away by the excessive heat and the lack of rain for the past month. We found a cordon running all the way around the frazzled grass from the People’s Palace to the McLennan Arch, while teams of gardeners worked at laying turf and watering the little bits of grass that have survived. Apparently they are preparing it for the 2018 European Championships which are due to begin on the 2nd August. I think they may be hiking to get it finished in time. However, if they had, during the dry spell, taken some time to assess the damage that was being done to the grass from all the events they were running and put in some work to repair it, there wouldn’t have been this last minute rush to fix things. Too busy rubbing their hands at all the money they were making. Shortsighted as usual. Still, we don’t live in Glasgow region, so it won’t be our Council Tax that will be paying for the re-turfing of The Green! One thing’s for certain, the money won’t be coming out of Glasgow Council coffers.

Back home and after lunch I took the Dewdrop out for a run again. While I was out the clouds did open for a while to deposit a gentle smir but it didn’t get as far as real rain. All it did was increase the humidity that was already making cycling uncomfortable. Did about 40 minutes of decent cycling at something approaching a working cadence. Maybe more tomorrow. Although, the first hurdle tomorrow is the visit to the dentist 🙁

Today we lifted our first tub of potatoes and got a fair few for our efforts. The variety was Charlotte. We forgot to weigh them, but our estimate is about 850g. Not bad from only three seed potatoes.

Today’s PoD is from the visit to The Green (or should that be The Brown) this morning and is a lone sculler on the Clyde. I liked the way the buildings in the background seem to rise up and dwarf her.

Tomorrow is the dentist and hopefully some salsa at night.

Into the teeth of a gale – 28 January 2018

This morning, after a call from Hazy, we drove down to Glasgow Green for a walk and a chance to blow the cobwebs away. The wind was rising, so there was a good chance that something would blow away.

We walked down to the west end of the park, turned and had the wind on our back as we took the path beside the river which was a dirty brown colour and with more than its usual shared of tree trunks, branches and dead crocodiles floating in it. When we got to the boathouse, we were surprised to find loads of ‘oary boats’ sitting outside it, all shined up and sparkling in the well filtered sunlight. There were also a lot more cars than usual beside the building. Surely they weren’t going to have a race today down river into the teeth of a gale and all the while trying to avoid the obstacles in their path. While I was photographing the boats, Scamp was earwigging and heard that the start was to be at 1.30pm. We walked up to the suspension bridge and noticed that the Humane Society safety boats were out on the river and a few crews were practising. It looked like they were going to go racing today.

We decided that we’d go and have lunch in the Wintergarden and then perhaps, just perhaps, we’d come down and see if there were any of the silly buggers paddling down the murky waters of the Clyde. While we were waiting for our lunch (soup for Scamp, roll ‘n’ sausage for me) to arrive, I did a wee sketch. Facebook’s ’28 Drawings Later’ is just around the corner, so it’s time to get the psychomotor skills honed. It’s not brilliant, but it’s done.

With lunch done and dusted, we decided to go watch the nutters. There was quite a crowd on the bridge and Scamp engaged the bored looking man with the clipboard who told her that while we’d been stuffing our faces, the Division 1 race had gone down the river and that the Division 2 race was about to start. We waited and were soon treated to a quarter or an hour or so’s of races. Some looked fit as fleas, some looked like they just wanted it to be over so they could stand under a hot shower for a while. I got some photos. I’d previously been shooting the water cascading over the tidal weir at the end of the course and the camera was set to shutter priority with a slow speed set. (Sorry JIC that was <Technospeak>. There will be no more. ) I thought I’d just wasted two shots, but when I had a look at them they were interesting in an abstract way. Set the camera back to a sensible arrangement and went on shooting, but halfway through, got fed up and went back to ’interesting in an abstract way’ settings.  (It was one of those that got PoD – Bottom Right.) After the last pair had pulled themselves exhaustedly under the suspension bridge the crowds began to drift away to commiserate or congratulate their individual champions. Only the man with the clipboard was left, waiting for Division 3 to make their appearance. Having nobody to congratulate or commiserate with, we went home.

My marinade worked quite well. Too much olive oil and not enough herbs. Plus, the dinosaur bone really needs to be slow cooked. The ‘sear then bash into the oven for an hour’ technique didn’t quite cut it. I have another plan, and another dinosaur bone too. I’m ready to try again.

Tonight the wind got even windier and I was glad we were parked up early, although one of the trees outside was making some dangerous sounding creaky noises. It’s still blowing a gale now.

Tomorrow, it definitely depends on the weather, but no Gems! Hooray!

Secret Squirrel Stuff – 29 November 2017

Scamp suggested that we should go for a walk this morning and offered to drive. How could I refuse?

She chose Glasgow Green as the venue and I was up for that. We usually go down the green on a Sunday morning, so it was a bit different to be driven there on a weekday. It was cold, but not uncomfortably so and we walked out to the McLennan Arch and then round past the rowing club boathouse to the viewing gallery over the Clyde. It was there I found the puffed up pigeon, the young gull and the swan. We walked on to the suspension bridge and then out to where there used to be a footbridge over the river to Richmond Park. The bridge has now been demolished but the piers still stand. Maybe they’ll build a new bridge (Aye Right!) Maybe they will, to celebrate the next millennium! We walked a bit further on and that’s where today’s PoD was created. Just a leaf with angled sunlight. I liked it right away. That was as far as we walked. Turned and walked back to the People’s Palace. On the way there we passed a group of school pupils on bikes being shown the basics of mountain biking by what I presume was their PE teacher. A good way to spend an hour or so learning a decent skill set that they can actually use. So much better than ‘book learning’. Good for you Mr Teacher, I applaud you. Coffee in the wintergarden cafe, but no Roll ‘n’ Sausage or toast, and then home.

Spoke to Hazy for half an hour or so after lunch and then Scamp decided she wanted to go in to Glasgow on some undisclosed sortie. So many ‘under the radar’ trips just before Christmas every year. I think that’s why I like it so much. It’s the subterfuge that makes it interesting. My own plans haven’t really been firmed up yet, but when they do, I’ll participate in the “I’m just going in to Glasgow”, “No, it’s alright I’ll probably just go myself” sort of Secret Squirrel stuff.

I drove Scamp to the station and then I had time to download this morning’s photos and have a look through them before I got the text to say that she was coming home on the X3. Time to make the risotto for dinner and then salsa. Salsa was quite interesting, but the class is reducing in numbers again and I felt that Jamie Gal was playing for time a bit.

It’s cold again tonight, 1.4ºc but it’s forecast to get warmer again from tomorrow night. I’m going to be the ‘roadie’ tomorrow when Gems play their second gig in a week before the Christmas break. Other than that I’m a free agent!