Saturday, 14 October 2017
A gallery of photos taken around Loch Lomond, Balloch and Balloch Castle Country Park. Above is a Loch Lomond Shores info board and a nice varied walk can be had on minor roads and wooded trails from here up the western shore of this famous loch.
As it was such a revelation to me years ago when I first explored the wonderful archipelago of islands out here after many years of racing past them in various cars to do the Scottish Munros I knew I had to give them a major chapter in my outdoor comedy novel Autohighography and drop an obvious clue as to my early methods for finding certain club members.
A spot of lunch and a rest followed before we cut back via Alexandria main street and its lovely park, seen here.
And a last view of Loch Lomond, below.
I thought readers might enjoy this. Ireland is rightly famed for its musical talent where it seems almost every family has someone in it that can play an instrument, sing, or dance to a very high standard. Unlike Glasgow and the Highlands where pubs are shutting at an alarming rate, after the smoking ban and cheap supermarket booze offers, I noticed on trips to Ireland that the pubs there are still thriving. No wonder though when you have ability like this on show. As reported on here earlier we went to the Merchant City Festival in Glasgow a couple of months ago and ended up in the Barras Market instead as it was mainly food pop up stands everywhere and not much genuine street entertainment going on.
Few cities or towns in the world can beat Ireland for putting on a show and they seem to be able to play together seamlessly at the drop of a hat. When I was learning the piano I never could and anyone else playing alongside me just put me off. I wasn't good enough, basically. This is a brilliant video set in Ennis, a town in County Clare near the River Shannon. What tourist looking for something different or unique wouldn't want to be in the crowd walking down that street? Ireland is also famous in recent years for quality food at all income levels. Although we have great scenery and a colourful history, Scotland certainly has a lot to learn in some areas. Also noticed on visits the towns and villages in Ireland all look like Tobermory, i.e a wonderland of colourful houses and villages that sparkle and cheer the mood, even in the rain...we have Tobermory ...and that's it. Tobermory on Mull is a photogenic Scottish tourist attraction yet it really has nothing extra over other Scottish villages except its painted waterfront houses. Definitely missing a golden opportunity there... for a few tins of paint and some creative imagination.
For example... why not Scottish flower murals-like thistles, yellow poppies, lupins etc... pastel or vivid, subtle muted basic tartan patterns,nothing garish though, or black and white stencil drawings on some of the prominent houses, pubs or shops-obviously not all...or a village mural trail painted by the local youngsters... mix it up for each village or town that looks fairly drab and uniform at the moment ( a lot of them currently do :o) to make each different and stand out but keep the better ones as they are now- i.e. Scottish traditional white or grey cottages...like the sparkling white ones on Islay as they are perfect already....we don't have to copy Ireland's flair -we can surely invent our own individual style... but still keep good taste as to the design. Even a dozen or so extra villages, like Tobermory, but different and individual, would boost the local economy.
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
There is a special place
in the gardens of Persephone
Our own sweet Earth. Our home.
Keeping with the seasonal changes here is a perfect match for variety and colour. I've long been a fan of this French singer and the best of her groundbreaking elaborate videos. A work of art in itself and well worth a watch full screen.
Friday, 6 October 2017
Tall Ship Glenlee. Riverside Museum. Stobhill Hospital. Townhead Interchange. When Progress Steals Our Soul.
This is part two of a bike/walking tour around Glasgow. It was going to be one post but I realized early on I had too many photographs for that. After our cycle ride along the Forth and Clyde Canal through Glasgow then a northwards loop across the top of the city we ended up in Springburn (seen here on Balygrayhill) after travelling through Lambhill then Milton. Springburn's flats are some of the highest left in Glasgow, both in numbers of floors and position on the top of a hill, making them a distinctive landmark. Next to the flats is Springburn Park, which is where we were heading now as you can do a number of interesting cycle rides across Glasgow's urban sprawl using canal tow paths, quiet back streets, cycle paths and waste ground. It's something I never tire of as its constantly changing- new buildings springing up- entire districts changing-varied landscapes- amazing views- new cycle tracks- interesting unexpected encounters with locals ( "come back here and fight you coward... this is Tongland!") - it ticks all the boxes for me. It can be very green and beautiful at times as you snake through numerous parks, follow green ribbons and assorted woodlands and the possible routes are many. Luckily Alan enjoys it as well, (Alex never did :o) and this time he wanted to see Stobhill Hospital, which is now almost empty. Several of Glasgow's older local hospitals have now shut with everyone expected to transfer into the enormous behemoth on the south side at Govan.
Taking of upgrades the same thing is going to happen with money (actual cash) which is being deliberately phased out altogether in the near future. Not because people want it particularly but because big business and banks desire it (if you can move money around digitally it cuts costs and creates yet more profit- no money counters- no security guards- no desk staff dealing with customers-far less workers- far less jobs in the industry- pure profit right to the top where its always aimed at- WW3 is happening by stealth right now and people are smiling, waving and running like zombies towards the machine guns. Research has proved time and time again that if you are spending electronically rather than cash you spend more. Another reason to do away with it... for more profit. No wages bills to employ anyone to look after it either. Makes perfect sense. It's also great for advertisers trying to sell you products as with online payments they can capture and track every aspect of your life in fine detail. Getting your data is the new currency for both crooks and companies. Owning your soul in every way has always been the name of the game. Putting you into debt is also desirable for some companies and bosses as it gives you less choice to walk away from them. We nod wisely at the tales of workers in mines in the old days who had no choice but to buy at the local company owned shop, at inflated prices, putting them in debt to the company until they died- insuring a loyal work force. So much better now than then...... or is the eternal game played with humans just better, more sophisticated, cold- hearted complex, and highly secretive today?
This recent BBC 2 programme is really worth watching and shows how the movers and shakers (billionaires) are stealing our entire world from under our feet then smiling and patting us on the head, telling us its for our own good... and there's nothing we can do about it... as society as a collective unit is intrinsically stupid and will go along with anything. Very easy to sway or manipulate the masses with a few well picked slogans or ideas. Nothing too complex as that will lose them altogether.... just spoon fed baby mush will do. Forget the EU, forget Brexit, (a predictable disaster) forget stopping immigration or European control of the UK-as it will not change the bigger picture... they are just the sideshows of distraction to keep us busy in the meantime. This is our future... to always be conned...every time..every year...if we let it happen. .P.S. Recessions can sometimes be great for big business as you can often bring in sweeping changes or austerity measures under the radar saying its good for the country. Are recessions created deliberately as a game changing catalyst? That would not surprise me at all.
As the rest of our bike trip around Glasgow Green is captured in part one, see last post, here's the rest of the West End walking day out- also partly captured in part one.
Luckily it didn't rain during our hike.Walking towards the Riverside Museum. Much faster and easier to reach by bike.
Transport through the ages.
Two good day's out.
A lovely acoustic version here of the Chris Isaak classic by Irish singer/ songwriter Gemma Hayes and her friend. The words seem very appropriate for part of this post somehow. It occurred to me to think of it as a mission statement of intent by big business or a protest song to progress as well as a conventional love song. Guess what? It works all three ways very well. ( I always start off promising myself to write straightforward non- confrontational/ uplifting, happy, posts then the Devil descends on my shoulder, whispering in my ear. He waits patiently for this moment at the keyboard each week so it seems rude to ignore him altogether :o)
Really nice version though.