I,m not really one for looking back a lot nostalgically as there's too many new things to still discover looking ahead of me. Thinking of places for a walk however I ended up taking a bus to Glasgow's Southside, (Shawlands and Queen's Park) one Saturday a few weeks ago. It was the coldest night of this mild winter so far- minus 10 in the countryside, so I thought Queen's Park might have good visibility for views.
It did indeed.... and it was also covered in a thick carpet of frost. Queen's Park, like many of Glasgow's hill top vantage points often have the look of former grand estates but this one was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton as a public park in the mid 1800s with great views over the City of Glasgow. Named after Mary, Queen of Scots as her army fought a famous battle near here-The Battle of Langside- and lost. The same man built many notable parks in cities UK wide. The Capability Brown of his era, only this time on behalf of the public, instead of grand landowners. Hopefully it will be treasured into the future but that is not a certainty. (The huge growth of indoor gyms and personal trainers for ordinary people in recent years - instead of excising for free outdoors, drinking bottled water instead of tap, means it may become perfectly normal and accepted to pay for park entry in future, or houses built on this prime land, as that seems to be the way that trends are heading. ie many services that used to be free and taken for granted - are now paid entry only and it's considered normal to do so. I've noticed a few things concerning sports or outdoor pursuits now that seem increasingly to be shifting focus towards a notion that you should pay to get any real value out of exercise and keeping fit- hence rows of panting humans running on treadmills or static bikes indoors, behind glass, even on the sunniest days. Some, no doubt, will get addicted to this but many others will drop out after a few months just because the long term enthusiasm wanes and no wonder. Exercise outdoors and going whenever and wherever the motivation takes you is very different and ever changing thanks to interest and variety.
This is it here, above, in all its 1970s glory, (in 1985) shortly before it closed and transferred up to Buchanan Street in the early 1990s pretending to be Edinburgh in this Scottish film two minute clip. Hence the Princes Street sign. In those days I had a very similar suit, tie, and thin build on shopping trips as well. Wah! three stone heavier now, none of it muscle or six pack. My first excursions into the mountains also started from the Anderston Centre on many occasions as I joined a hill-walking club that met there at weekends to travel north. Happy memories of my first hundred Scottish Munros and first summer/winter adventures revolved around this bus station. ( We met to travel northwards by bus or car in a nearby side street.)
One of the first large modern shop, office, and high rise apartment brutalist structures of its time, outside London, it suffered from being too far away from the main shopping district of Glasgow City Centre. It was only a few hundred yards from the main shopping grid, a five minute walk away, but that coupled with only a few specialized shops inside sealed its fate. It's still there today, shops and buses gone, rebranded more as a business and office complex now. Still fun to explore though as most of the 1960s and 1970s architecture has disappeared altogether.
Although it saves money on employing toilet attendants and the old public toilets were often abused in various ways, this does seem like a backwards step for a civilized society to put up with. I would use it again but only through grim necessity. Weirdly, I have been in a city centre pub a couple of years ago where a guy was employed in the downstairs toilets to hand you paper towels for tips and another guy upstairs seemed to be employed to open and close the entrance door for any customers ( but not working as a bouncer) which was equally strange to behold. Gig economy jobs I'd imagine.
Whereas Maleficent (better than expected) and How to Train Your Dragon 2 kept me entertained.
Being 16 to 19 coming here one day a week we had an hour for lunch and either spent it in the nearby Queen's Park 10 mins walk away, or in the chip shop across the road. Pubs were hard to get into at that age but in the summer months or good weather we often bumped into a tribe of local schoolgirls 15 -16 ish and started hanging around with them some lunchtimes ( hey, it was the 1970s) or met them in an ice cream cafe in nearby Victoria Road or in the park. Nothing happened untoward as we always had safety in numbers- around six to eight of them to five or six of us but it gave us a focus instead of wandering around aimlessly, messing about at the pond, in Shawlands itself, or talking about music and pop/ rock groups.... eating ice cream indoors but it was usually good banter and fun. And a lot of cheeky remarks from both sides. Luckily, in retrospect, we only had an hour before we had to go back to class.
At Langside College in the 1970s I was into Bowie, Roxy, Bolan, the Velvets but also this band. Unlike most overblown prog rock bands of that era Curved Air songs seemed to have strong tunes, lyrics and verses with a definite beginning, middle, and end. And not too much self indulgent arty waffle in between. They reformed for a tour around ten years ago and they still sound great to me. Fantastic level of technical musicianship yet strong clear melodies were always a feature.