Monday, 29 January 2018

North West Glasgow. A Cross Country Ski Tour. Part Two and End.

                                                 ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.
The second part of my two ski tour trips roughly 14 days apart to coincide with two separate heavy dumps of fresh snow with melting taking place at lower levels between times.
A busy pond. To get to this park pond I had to ski from Anniesland then Bearsden, then Westerton Train Station then over Knightswood's hills. Most folk in Glasgow think of Knightswood as a flat, low house district but it does have several small grassy hills, each boasting different views over the city and that was the magnet for me now as I was trying to follow a circular route through parks, quiet green corridors and canal tow paths to avoid most of the built up areas.

As I was still finding my balance on skis I was not going to be overly ambitious and moderately angled slopes like these would suit me just fine. After the empty streets and quiet parks of the other districts this was another honey pot drawing a crowd but this time for families rather than wildlife.
Both hills (this is the other one taken from the first) are perfect for younger kids starting out or bolder teenage children on plastic sledges as they are safe. This photo brings back memories of my own youthful sledging adventures although we mainly made our own wooden ones in those days and put wooden runners on them, supposedly for control- a daft idea as any rectangle of thick rubber or linoleum always went far faster albeit with very little control over direction taken or speed limits. It seems to be more disciplined and safety conscious now as in our estate it was always a largely unsupervised free for all and potentially dangerous every time you set off. I grew up on a hilltop where the best and highest slopes had an un-fenced busy main road at the bottom lying in wait so sliding straight across it into traffic was a dreaded but not infrequent occurrence. In the days before health and safety and less public awareness of potential dangers children did have much greater outdoor freedom in every way and more independence but so did adults- sometimes free to abuse that trust and innocence if they were that way inclined, hence the constant stream of historical child mistreatment and cruelty cases from that time cropping up in the headlines now regarding institutions. Every age seems to have a yin and yang construct going on- far less cynicism, more trust in adult authority figures and personal freedom in those days but less safeguards, more accidents and death from simply playing outdoors, or hidden deeds carried out behind closed institution walls then routinely covered up more often than not... the downside of that freedom.
It just stuck me seeing this one that you do not see many snow mummies around, even now. With 50 percent of the population female on average, and the ones usually helping to build them you would think it would be a more even split when construction takes place. Unless it's mummy's personal image of an ideal man of course. Along with tending burning slabs of meat on garden BBQs is this the last male bastion and stronghold of social engineering perhaps?
A down and out homeless snow person next.?  So synonymous with UK cities now in the 2000s that it's a modern cultural icon and an image brand/ tourist attraction in their own right. Like old time outlaws prowling the fringes of society. Cool Britannia 2018 style.
The sledging hill from a distance. Very L.S. Lowry this image as he often used white backgrounds to highlight his figures in paintings.
This one was slightly creepy as it suddenly appeared out of a featureless expanse of snow as a disembodied floating head. Usually the only time you get to explore golf courses within a city environment happens after heavy snow falls so I try to take full advantage if I can as it opens up new views and large expanses of normally out of bounds territory.
The short grass underneath also provides great smooth skiing with very few tussocks or bumps.
This is a post featuring two separate ski trips... one of them ran into nighttime... as I had to wait until after lunch on one occasion before heavy snow stopped falling to allow clear distance views like this one to be taken.
Another of the sledging group. I've often thought of skiing and rock climbing as being just an  acceptable way to enable grown up folk to continue sliding down hillsides and climb trees on a regular basis as they get older. And why not... if you enjoy it do it. It's good fun.
One of the pond at dusk.
Gentle flakes of snow falling now and a 'ghost in the machine' effect caused by a tiny smear of moisture on the camera lens. A nice ghostly smudge when you brush it lightly with a fingertip to spread it out.
And another with a transparent cloud hanging over the flats.
The icy road back to Anniesland.
Skiing across the golf course at dusk. Magical.
Homeward bound with a cold night ahead and rapidly dropping temperatures.

Talking of magical events very occasionally a book or film comes along that is so different, strange and compelling that it's like a much needed gust of fresh air blowing into a stale room.' Let the right one in' is a classic horror film with some disturbing moments to be sure but it also manages to be a tender love story filled with wonderful memorable imagery and some dark ambiguity regarding ultimate motives that leaves you thinking even after the film ends. An intriguing mix. It's in a class of its own- reinventing a tired and dated genre with new life and vigor, spawning loads of copy cat imitations- none of which match it for originality or poetic intelligence. IMHO this film and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (the original Swedish films in both cases) largely inspired the whole Scandinavian noir crime phenomenon on TV for the last decade. They made American remakes of both these films for folk that don't like reading subtitles but left the sparkle, mystery and strangeness behind completely when they did so. This is the real deal and the full Swedish film is currently available to watch on You Tube I noticed recently.
 Stockholm in winter and dark by lunchtime. Really captures the cold bleak essence of a northern city locked in a freezer for months, not so far away from the Arctic Circle where some are vegetarian... while others prefer alternatives. Still 'Frozen' as a general theme but a very different landscape and mood from the recent Disney children's classic.


Rosemary said...

It is really interesting that you were able to ski around the suburbs of Glasgow - skiing is something that I have never done.

Anabel Marsh said...

Love the #metoo snowwoman!

Carol said...

The funniest thing I ever saw in snow on a golf course was our local one... someone had taken quite some time to tread the words F*** off in the snow - I thought it was hilarious as the road passed the golf course above it and it really stood out!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
it's good fun but not that many days in the UK each winter when the snow is deep enough for low level skiing which is why I don't do it much or have my own X country gear.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Anabel,
Don't normally follow trends but couldn't resist the obvious visual temptation here... and you don't see many mummy snow sculptures at all which is weird as Mum's do most things for the small builders of these winter creations.

blueskyscotland said...

Tut Tut. I'd shake my fist at the rascal responsible.
At least it would melt and disappear. I've noticed in quite a few popular beauty spots now an increasing trend for writing your name or messages in pebbles- often dozens of names everywhere there's green ground on hillsides like padlocks on bridges. Not really a beauty spot then anymore if it goes on over decades and keeps spreading out...but I'm old school and extra grumpy :)

Linda W. said...

I like all the "snow people!"

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Linda,
It's been a good winter so far this year for snow. The ski resorts are doing well here I'd imagine.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Wonderful post. We follow the weather in your area, because we have loved ones there - they've said nothing about skiing and we need to have a word with them about this sad omission! Loved the snow people (you're right) and the Lowry image. And your usual, insightful, observations - some of which I even agree with. The thing that gets me about the historic abuse, as much as the acts themselves, is all the cover-ups; people seemed to think it was OK to conceal what others were doing, something that was wrong - in any age.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Mike.

blueskyscotland said...

Hello Hannah,
You can use any of the Rhododendron photos from that particular post mentioned for your sculpture and good luck with it. I don't have any higher resolution images of them other than what's there on the blog unfortunately but feel free to take the photo you want. Alternatively, if you go to Overtoun House (you can park outside it for free) 15 minutes easy walk uphill on grass heading for the crags will take you to the Rhododendron clusters as some might still be left there and smart phones now have pretty good hi res cameras in them. Flowering occurs around mid June normally.
Best Wishes with your artwork.
I normally don't give out my email address online in a public blog as I'm old school and like to keep my private life to myself and if you want your own email address deleted on here( in case you get nutters pestering you :o) just let me know and I'll take your comment off but leave my permission one on.

blueskyscotland said...

I've taken it off anyway as anyone could read it posted on here.

Anonymous said...

A nice way to explore the city and observer everyone else enjoying the snow as well

blueskyscotland said...

It is and it always feels slightly illicit cutting across the golf course which is unknown landscape most of the year as I've never played golf there.