Posts Tagged With: Glasgow

Notes from the revolution

I’ve just got back from holiday in Crete, where we went for a week, after the campaign of fear and mis-information (and in some cases downright lies) carried out by the Better Together campaign, resulted in Scotland remaining in the UK.  It wasn’t the landslide that BT hoped for 55-45% in favour of staying in the UK.

There’s footage doing the rounds of ballot papers – all with YES votes – that were discarded in the street and not counted.  The guy posting the clip on youtube said he was reporting it to the Electoral Commission.  If it’s legit, it needs a criminal investigation. Then there’s Ruth Davidson (leader of the Scottish Tories) being interview under caution by police after she let slip on tv less than an hour after the polls closed that postal votes had been opened and counted prior to the 18th and that it was looking good for her side.

The political genie is out the bottle and doesn’t look like it’s going back.  The three pro-indy parties (SNP, Scottish Greens and Scottish Socialists) have all seen their memberships swell AFTER the fight was lost.  Green’s have quadrupled their membership, and the SNP are now have the third largest membership of ANY UK party, knocking the LibDems into 4th place.
Let’s look at what this means.  A Scottish party, now has a larger membership than one of the main UK wide parties.

There’s a Hope over Fear rally in Freedom Square (ok, George Square, but the 45%-ers have re-named it), this Sunday, and Radical Independence are having a convention in November.

The battle may have been lost, but with the population now politicised to an extent that it never previously had been, it looks like the war is far from over.

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Living life like an indy movie

I’ve been off work with a stinking cold, and passed the time watching movies, including Annie Hall, Manhattan and Francis Ha.  It got me thinking that life would be really cool if it was like one of these New York set movies where everyone is friends with artists, writers and musicians.  Life like one of these movies would be cool.

Then came the realisation.  I know artists.  I know writers.  I know musicians.  I know all these people.  Hell, my sister in law is a sculptress.  We just don’t have pretentious parties where a lot of words are spoken, but nothing is said.  

I guess Glasgow is just more down to earth than the image of New York portrayed in these movies.

That being said, it’s still kind of cool imagining that life could be like that.

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Christmas markets

Every year there are identikit Christmas markets in Glasgow and Edinburgh (and I dare say, plenty of other places too).  We always head east, as the one in Glasgow is in St Enoch’s Square, which to be honest, isn’t really big enough to make it enjoyable.  It’s mobbed, you can’t really get round the stalls as the space is taken up by people queuing to get served, so you come to a queue, walk to the front to see what it’s for, then push through the crush to get to the end to join it.  Not an enjoyable experience.

In Edinburgh, it’s more spacious, as it occupies the space along Princess St, at the Scott monument.  There’s more room to move, there’s more stall, it’s just …… nicer.  Except this year, despite the crush, Glasgow seems to have better (if fewer stalls).  There’s also a marked difference in prices.  Cheeses on sale in Glasgow at £4 each or 3 for £10, are £4.50 each or 3 for £12 in Edinburgh.  Naughty traders!

Also in Edinburgh there’s a big wheel (£8 each if you fancy it), a carousel at £4 and a chair-o-plane that as well as birling round, goes up about 100′, and while pretty impressive and pretty cool, isn’t really worth £7,50 a hurl. (On the subject of hurling, imagine if someone threw up, on a chair-o-plane spinning at a rate of knots, 100 feet above the streets.  If you were walking below, you’d never see it coming).

But I digress.  Even though Edinburgh loses out on price, and quality of the goods, it once again wins hands down on the atmosphere, which let’s face it, is what it’s all about.Image

The chair-o-plane thingummy

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Life of late

So an update.  What’s been happening?

Well, I went out for my first run in about four years.  I managed just over 5k, in just under the time I used to run 10k (40mins – I could never get below that 40 min barrier, and it still riles me), but the important thing for me was that I got out and ran again.  And I loved every painful minute of it.  I even loved the stiffness in my legs that lasted three days and made getting out of a chair an event in itself.  I plan to continue with it.  I don’t think I’ll ever see a sub 40 minute 10k, but then again, I’m doing it for me, and as long as I stay away from clubs and races, there’s no pressure to compete with myself other than running that bit faster and that bit further.

I’ve also had three fantastic days up at Inverness, which we’d never visited before.  We packed a lot in, including trips to Culloden and Urquhart Castle, which at the moment is possibly my favourite place on the face of the earth.

Back in Glasgow, and yesterday we visited the Tramway in Glasgow to see an exhibition of art from prisons, state hospitals, and secure units.  It’s superb.  There’s a lot of talent behind bars.  If you’re in the area and get the chance, it’s called Release, and is worth checking out.

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Early morning bike commute

Woke up at stupid o’clock again this morning.  Fed the cats, grabbed a coffee, and jumped on the bike for a more leisurely cycle into work.
On the way in I managed to get a couple of cool photos.  (see below).

I’m in a pretty positive frame of mind today.  Think the ride in and the pics I got may have something to do with that.

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Sun over Bellahouston Park

 

 

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Sun over Glasgow and the RIver Clyde

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Piping Live 2

Piping Live 2

West Lothian Schools pipe band

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Piping Live

Piping Live

I think this band is from Australia

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What’s been happening

On Saturday, we headed up to Callander to do a wee walk to the Bracklinn Falls.  Nice wee walk, of about 5 miles all in, with the falls themselves being really nice and in a fantastically scenic part of the country.

The downside was my hayfever kicked in and when I sneezed, my teeth clashed, and I chipped a bit out a filling, and now have to get that fixed.  I’ve an appointment for Thursday, so that’s ok.  There’s no pain, so I don’t mind the wait.

The Piping Live festival is has just started, so there’s the sounds of pipes in the city centre. This will culminate in the World Pipe Band Championships on Glasgow Green at the weekend.

Unfortunately, George Square is being renovated at the moment, so all the activity that usually takes place throughout the week is now at St Enoch’s Square, which is easy to get to but not as central, or as big.  Hopefully it’ll be back to normal next year.

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So much for the camping idea!

In a couple of weeks, my wife is going to be doing a two day sign language course, on a Saturday and Sunday.

I had a plan to walk the first leg of the West Highland Way, from Milngavie to Drymen, camp overnight, and get the bus back to Glasgow the next day.

The walk would have taken about 5 hours, there’s a campsite in Dymen, which sounds like it’s really really basic, but which would have been ok for one night.  There’s a couple of really nice pubs in Drymen, so food and a few beers with a good book, would have been a relaxing evening before bedding down for the night.  The next day would have been simply a case of breaking camp, jumping on a bus back to Glasgow, and home.

Simple you might think, EXCEPT, on a Sunday, only one bus passes through Drymen, en route to Glasgow, and that’s at 7.00pm!  Seriously, if I’m up at 7 or 8.00am I’m NOT hanging around a small (albeit extremely picturesque) village for 12 hours, especially when it would only take 5 to walk back.  

Ah well, back to the drawing board.  I suppose I could go a run on the bike.

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Break in the weather

Well the weather in Glasgow has finally broken.  Not the heatwave, it’s still hot, but instead of clear blue skies and scorching sun, we have torrential rain.

Other parts of the country have thunder and lightning, which should clear the air and mean it’s less muggy.  No thunderstorms here at present, just rain.  Lots and lots of rain.

This is going to make cycling home tonight……interesting.  It’s not like I didn’t know this was coming, it’s more like I thought “will it rain before I get to work?  No. That’s fine then”, and just ignored the fact it was going to rain.

To be honest, I don’t mind cycling in the rain.  It’s quite nice.  When I ran regularly, running in the rain was one of those pleasures that, if you’ve never done it, you just won’t understand.  Cycling in the rain is a bit like that.

 

*UPDATE*

It’s stopped raining.  At it’s height, it sounded like machine gun fire, as it hit off the glass roof of the building I ate lunch in.

I’m under no illusions that I’ll get home dry.  The clouds are dark and foreboding, and they’re threatening a deluge rather than a light summer shower.  This is the payback for the heatwave and glorious sunshine we’ve enjoyed for the last two (almost three) weeks.  Yin and yang.  All things in balance.

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