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.

Today we went to Glasgow – 12 July 2021

Off to the Toon

We drove in to Buchanan Galleries this morning and got parked on level 3. Until Covid-19 made home working the norm and commuting a thing of the past, parking anywhere below level 5 would have been impossible. Today it’s become just a normal occurrence.

We walked up a busy Sausage Roll Street (real name Sauchiehall Street). I went left to get my hair cut and Scamp continued on to look for a dress shop. While I was waiting for the sole barber to finish the bloke in the chair, I noticed Scamp outside. I wondered what could be wrong, but it turned out that the shop no longer existed. Like so many it had become a victim of the same change in ways of working that allowed parking on level three of the car park. It is down to insufficient footfall. The barber, when he was cutting my hair said the same thing. He finished cutting my hair around 12.30 and I had been the second customer that day.

I met Scamp and we went for a walk through the town. Nobody in the Central Belt talks about the City of Glasgow. Glasgow is The Town or The Toon if you’re my age. Edinburgh is A City, Glasgow is The Town.

I wanted to have a look in a charity shop that used to specialise in cameras and lenses, but I think they are just starting to get back on their feet after the stramash of the last year and a half. They didn’t seem to have anything to interest me. We walked down to Argyle Street and for coffee and a bite to eat in Cafe Nero. Then it was on to Queen Street where Scamp wanted to visit Next and I didn’t. I did wander into and out of Cass Art. Nothing much to interest me there. However I noticed a shoe style that Scamp likes in Shuropody next door. Managed to catch her as she was walking past and she got a new pair of shoes that she wears about the house like slippers! We went home.

The day had improved greatly since we left the house and when we returned, Scamp set to, to rake up the leaves from next door’s tree. It might be in Angela’s garden, but it will always be referred to as Betty’s tree, Betty being the previous tenant. I got my, now manky, shorts on (retrieved from the washing basket!) and took my Sony with the Sigma lens for a walk in St Mo’s. I took lots of photos, but really wasn’t all that impressed with the results. The PoD went to a picture of another battered and bruised butterfly. This one was a Ringlet. Second favourite was this one, taken outside the GOMA on Queen Street.

Dinner tonight was Pasta with Pesto. Too much garlic in the pesto and maybe a mixture of leaves is better than just basil. I’ll try to remember that next time.

We watched the first University Challenge of the new series and saw Glasgow Uni soundly beaten by some London mob. Really, they both were thick! I think I answered almost as many questions as either team. I don’t think the London mob will go far.

Not a bad day. Scamp came home from The Town with a new dress and a new pair of shoes. I came home with a new haircut. Number 3 on the side and back, Number 4 on top. Apparently that’s called Two Guards!

Tomorrow we’re probably going shopping … or so I’m told.

Just another Friday – 9 July 2021

There wasn’t much to say about today.  The sky was Scottish white.  It was warm, too warm and we did nothing.

Some days are like that.  You keep waiting for things to get better, but mostly they just stay the same.  I was waiting for my coffee and tea to be delivered from the Bean Shop in Perth. Scamp went for a walk to the shops for tonight’s dinner and I stayed and waited for the text from the DPD man to say when the parcel would be delivered.  DPD usually text around 11am to say when it’s going to arrive.  If the text doesn’t come by then, it means it’s a later delivery.  When the text arrived it was to say that the parcel wouldn’t be delivered until later in the afternoon.  After lunch we did a quick round of the garden,  dead heading the flowers that had lost all their petals or had gone to seed.

After the parcel arrived I went for a walk.  That’s when I found the tree growing through the fence of St Mo’s school. I’ve always meant to photograph it, just in case the council take it into their heads to cut it down.  Today was the day.  Not great lighting, but a record of the event was made.  I’d taken the old Sigma 10-20mm lens and the Zenit Helios 44 58mm.  An Old Glass day. Both lenses work in manual only now which is a different experience to the automation I’m used to.  The Sigma took the shot of the tree.  Unfortunately that was about the only decent shot I got.

Dinner was an M&S curry each because it is Friday and nearly the weekend, if such a thing exists any more.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day, but that’s not what the weather fairies say.  They are predicting rain.  At least that will mean we don’t have to water the garden!

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.