Sunday, 25 June 2017
On the same day that I was through in Edinburgh a few months ago and did the Edinburgh Castle circular walk in the late afternoon it had already been a productive day out. An early rise, bus into city centre, and then a Glasgow to Edinburgh bus ride followed by a number 30 in Princes Street saw me eventually reach Musselburgh- over 3 and a half hours later. Part of the problem was that the number 30 to Musselburgh, being a bus route, seems to travel round half of Edinburgh before departing the city then repeats the trick in the large town of Musselburgh itself by visiting nearly every street and place of interest before reaching the final destination at Fisherow. Fun though it was to trundle out to various outlying retail parks, housing estates, railway stations and then a free tour past Queen Margaret's University I was nevertheless conscious that time was a ticking away from me. (On the return leg I got a number 26, Seaton Sands, from Portobello, just inland from the beach, and it took half the time of the number 30 being a more direct route through the city. With hindsight I'd take the 26 every time.) Above is Musselburgh Harbour and Arthur's Seat ( The ancient volcano situated in the Scottish capital's heart.)
John Muir Way link. 130 mile walk between Helensburgh and Dunbar, usually done in a week to 10 days depending on speed and mileage walked per day.
My bruised sense of dignity at being discovered by locals crawling over rocks at an advanced age like some scaly creature from heraldry eventually triumphed over my equally laudable intention to stick to the coastline... at all costs.
A loving homage to the old west of dusty inland America, great artwork and a memorable song, performance and delivery makes this five minute wonder special.
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)