Friday, 16 June 2017
River Kelvin Bike Ride Part Two. Maryhill Park. Dawsholm Park. Acre Road. Summerston. The Drumlin City.
A view of Balmore Road and fields of growing crops just having left the Forth and Clyde canal, passed through Cadder and then Lambhill Cemetery on the outskirts of Glasgow. I was surprised to see growing crops and still busy farms in this area as Possilpark and this part of North Glasgow has traditionally been home to several rough estates/schemes. Lynn Ramsey's critically acclaimed but fairly grim and depressing 'Ratcatcher' was filmed around this area on the nearby canals and housing estates but to me it was not uplifting enough compared to my own happier and carefree childhood on the urban outskirts around Pollok. More Moonrise Kingdom growing up in that environment than Trainspotting although I was not unaware of its darker side at times. Fortunately, I picked the light... or the light picked me.
Yet in my own area of Nitshill all the working productive farms that used to make the surroundings so delightful to explore as children have all gone and been replaced instead by waist high jungles that used to be short grassy fields, dotted here and there with hawthorn hedges, bright yellow gorse bushes full of yellowhammers and linnets singing their hearts out and herds of black and white dairy cattle that maintained a park-like short grass setting. Even a few real fruit trees, plus crab apples, gooseberry, raspberry, plum and brambles in season were found by chance or word of mouth... and an occasional hay harvest to sneak into in the autumn and more conker trees than we could fling sticks at. In short a cornucopia of riches on our doorstep. Maybe the difference between the two areas is that simple fact- being walker and child friendly we did explore the farms and fields on a regular basis and very little scenery was out of bounds to us whereas you can't really go on a stroll through these fields of crops without being chased, which is probably why they have lasted in this area so long. Not the same incentive to explore here either and nowadays of course most children are not allowed to explore the surrounding countryside unsupervised. Very wise given that busy road between Lambhill and Milngavie.
the most infamous one probably being the Divis Flats complex in Belfast which proved perfect for IRA snipers... elevated and hard to discover in the network of open dark corridors above the city scape below. A 'Streets in the Sky' concept that was in vogue at that time. The Park Hill Estate in Sheffield is one of the few survivors from that period and doubled for the demolished Divis Flats in the film 71. The included link has a photo gallery to give readers an idea of what deck access estates looked like as Divis, Darnley and Park Hill were similar in design.
Liked this in the 1950s 1960s.. still think its funny now.
And a clip from a modern hard hitting film I really liked. Watched this on Film 4 recently. Cracking adrenalin rush movie which features the deck access Divis Flats. No surprise for guessing where the most lawless district of Belfast used to be when they were still standing :o)
Thursday, 8 June 2017
Forth and Clyde Canal. Anniesland. Maryhill Basins. Gilshochill. Cadder. River Kevin Walkway. Bike Ride Part One.
With a rubbish weekend forecast and heavy rain falling for most of the last week our spring dry spell and almost heatwave was at an end. (It's never warm enough in Scotland for a genuine heatwave but anything longer than a week without rain and the sight of folk stripped down to T- shirts for more than three days in a row is a heatwave and a cause to celebrate.) Two weeks without rain is a rare event... three weeks without rain ... a real miracle... up there with people claiming to have seen Jesus... or every episode of Lost.
I wasn't going to go out at all Saturday or Sunday because of the initial forecast for grim weather but then I noticed the rain might stop in the afternoon around one o'clock and it would clear up into a nice evening. The great thing about cycling is that you can cover a lot of ground fairly quickly, reach the shelter of trees or buildings within minutes and pack a great deal into a few hours in the saddle. I was also aware the buttercup meadows were in full flourish, as seen here in Knightswood Park, photo one, and Dawsholm Park, photo two, and that early summer flowers provided a last splash of colour before the uniform green carpet of true summer took over. As a very visual observer normally, it's only since doing the blog I've fully understood just how one dimensional and monotone the height of summer actually is with most plants already having flowered by then and the next set of varied colours only occurring in autumn... yet peak summer is the season everyone in the UK always looks forward to as some kind of earthly Nirvana. .. and it usually rains by the bucket-load ... is uncomfortably humid... wasp ridden... midge plagued and thunderstorm prone.:o) Summer = the green, lush, and frequently wet electric season.
More great cycling in the Italian Alps. Not much difference at all :o)