Saturday, 14 October 2017
Loch Lomond Gallery. Balloch Castle Country Park. Walled Garden.
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 years, somewhat unorthodox, methods for finding certain club members. Once a collector -always a collector.
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.