Saturday, 29 April 2017
A spring visit to the Botanic Gardens and Glasgow's West End- since the 1800s the poshest part of the city with numerous examples of grand period architecture, often based on earlier classical Greek and Roman styles. The parks of the west end also have the most colour in late spring so I always try to visit, especially when the tulips and rhododendrons are in full bloom. The above photo is near the entrance at the junction of Great Western Road (a busy duel carriageway that doubles as a fine unofficial linear park in itself with several miles of colourful trees and flowers planted along its length) and Byres Road- a trendy shopping street running through the university district from working class Partick to upmarket Dowanhill and Kelvinbridge. (you can feel incomes rise accordingly as you walk up this street from dowdy Kelvinhall Subway Station to Great Western Road with its grand period mansions and prestigious hotels.
entertainment for a while here.
Link here to the beautiful ceiling mural and brief history. (Now discovered it is his work from his own painting gallery inside this link. Worth a look.)
As is this... believe it or not I put a lot of thought into matching up videos to posts and this just seems to fit somehow as the Botanic Gardens are twinned with Oceania. Suitably exotic, tropical...and expensive looking. Could easily be a grand mansion in the West End- apart from the outdoor swimming pool that is :o) I heard a small snippet of this catchy and unusual song on a recent TV advert several times and was interested enough to discover and hear the full version.
Thursday, 27 April 2017
The wild emptiness of Ardeer Beach at Low Tide. A sunny weekend and many of Ayrshire's more popular beaches would be busy with day trippers soaking up the sun. I did think of the Troon to Irvine beach walk, as that used to be my favourite but in recent years the numbers walking that have increased to the point that it's no longer a joy for me, except in mid winter or on a free day mid-week.
Far too many distractions for a young dog to encounter and not much feeling of a 'wilderness walk.' Dogs, horses, young families, girls, etc.
This area has something of an unsavory reputation I suspect. I've been here several times now- a few on my own- where I looked behind me a lot- and once with Alan where we walked from Saltcoats to Kilwinning then got a bus back in the early darkness of winter. A really enjoyable epic trip that did feel as remote as anything up north- and less populated. It also felt like a long way so I'd recommend a hybrid or mountain bike (smooth hybrid touring tyres work best on sand) as the sands at low tide are firm to ride across and numerous paths and tracks lead inland across the peninsula.
Anyway, being a rare warm day, we got into the vibe of the place by stripping off- boots and socks removed anyway- then trousers rolled up in typical 1950s beach attire style. Alan finding a raised sand bar here out to sea. Dog over- excited by the sea and sand and all that macho testosterone floating over this district.
Extreme parkour compilation video taken on high buildings. Obviously illegal, very dangerous, mad, bad, and also rather pointless to risk your life on but fascinating just the same. Top rock climbers get applauded for new routes by their peers, often with commercial rewards and sponsorship money but this is pure athletic climbing and jumping for it's own sake and you will not believe most of the stunts here for ultimate commitment without any safety net and also the levels of dedication, training and skills required to complete them in certain cases. I can't imagine being a parent though and seeing your own child doing this stuff online as many participants have died. No surprise there after seeing this footage. People will always find new ways to push the boundaries though- as in wing walking and going over Niagara Falls in various containers in the past. Nobody dies or is injured in this but it is not a video for the fainthearted. As an ex- rock climber it is both stunning and unbelievable that certain humans can actually do these stunts and live to tell the tale. When you are young though you usually believe your body is indestructible until you have a serous accident or illness and it's only as you get older life seems a precious gift it might be worth sticking around for to appreciate fully.