Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Mermaids and Angels. Clyde Coastal Path. Erskine. New Book.

                                                ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN
As I haven't cycled along the Forth and Clyde Canal then across the Erskine Bridge for a while, and it's one of my favourite bike rides, I picked a beautiful day during our Indian Autumn in October to reacquaint myself with its box of treasures. As you can see here, the canal at Clydebank was looking at its finest, with great autumn reflections in the still morning air. It is a beautiful and very varied cycle run which is why I like it and included it in my Firth of Clyde guide book.
Forth and Clyde Canal colours.
Swan reflections.
The Beardmore Sculpture denoting Clydebank, the River Clyde, and its strong links to Steel and Shipbuilding. A large percentage of the world's ships were built along the Clyde during the golden years of heavy industry.
Radnor Flats, built after the bombing of Clydebank during the Second World War when large parts of the town were destroyed by German planes targeting the shipyards and other nearby factories.
A Dutch plane, only dropping passengers these days at the nearby Glasgow airport, which is actually beside Paisley, another post industrial town close to the River Clyde.
Erskine Bridge. A view through the suicide barrier of the Forth and Clyde canal. Suicide is the No 1 cause of death in young Scottish men these days and has been for decades, hence the high barriers which do restrict views. I have to admit it does save folk from using this particular method of easily ending themselves but I did like the open plan low railing of old as the new restrictions do feel like cycling into a high level maximum security prison for bikes and walkers.
Photographers now have to be very ingenious indeed to get an unrestricted shot without mesh or railings getting in the way but what really saves a lot of people from depression and despair is having an all consuming passion that is highly addictive but healthy. Unfortunately, too many start out at a young age with self destructive addictions or learned attitudes to life that spiral out of control as they get older. I do speak from personal experience here. It's never too late to change your life around however and it doesn't cost anything, only your free will, your motivation, and some imagination. Sometimes, the best method is simply to swap one powerful addiction for another less destructive :o)
An old abandoned Navy service dock in the foreground and Clydebank's blue Titan crane on the River Clyde behind.
Looking down the Clyde from Erskine Bridge with the old Erskine ferry slipway today. The nearest sandy beach to Glasgow. Great for a cycle trip destination along the Loch Lomond cycle-track. So much to do... a lifetime to do it in. Don't let circumstances grind you down.
The golf course from the bridge. Finding new opportunities and keeping motivated is what it's all about. I recently found out that if you have two clubs, an iron and a putter plus some golf balls you can get on the pitch and putt course for very little money so over the summer and autumn I took up pitch and putt and golf. A new interest. It can be an expensive game but it doesn't have to be.
A new passion. It's what life is all about. And in doing that I unexpectedly found a friend to share it.
Ah, the pleasures of the open road. The "newly created" Clyde Coastal Path runs from Milngavie near Glasgow via Clydebank to Wemyss Bay and is well worth a visit. It has always been there of course but it's now official, and so presumably "fashionable" for walkers. i.e. they put signage up on a track I've always used, walking or cycling. Luckily, pitch and putt in Glasgow's parks is out of fashion these days... which is great news as myself and "Trinley" stepped out on many of them for free...presumably to encourage other people to join us... all  summer and autumn long. M.S of L  :o)

Anyway, I eventually took her out to see the Angels and Mermaids at the edge of the land.
To introduce her to the Tower Lands over the water. Lapwing display overhead.
Like all females she was slightly jealous of my Greenock mermaids... and they of her. Utopia never lasts alas... not in the real world.
A tower and an angel.
Bindweed and fly. Simple and pure delights.
The Clyde Coastal Path from the air. Angel viewpoint..
The Bridge.
Sunset and A Knowledge of Angels.

My latest 4th book is now out on Kindle bookstore for £2:50. The Best of Blue Sky Scotland ( Adventures off the Beaten Track) by Bob Law. It does what is says on the cover. A collection of the best posts over the last 6 years of the blog concentrating on remote but spectacular Corbett trips, lesser known Scottish islands like Islay, Harris, Skye (away from the Cuillin Ridge) Jura, Rum, Eigg, Canna, Sanday, and the Isle of May: as well as a range of easy but exciting and varied day walks in the Central Belt, easily reached from Glasgow and Edinburgh.
With over 500 original colour photos and a lighthearted and sunny outlook it should make a good, at times humorous, armchair read or Christmas guidebook for anyone interested in the Scottish outdoors, well away from the usual places people normally visit. As a hardback coffee table book it would probably cost between £30 to £60 to bring out in large paper form as it must be one of the most elaborate, varied, and well illustrated books covering Scotland in one volume, away from the Munros.
First four posts free to read in here to give you a taste of what's on offer inside in one hopefully easy to read and quick to navigate collection. (thus correcting one of the main drawbacks of a weekly blog. Finding good back archives immediately.)
Direct link to book below.

Why not surprise someone this Christmas with an unexpected gift? For £2:50 it's worth it for the photographs alone. Also includes several poems and stories between the various trips.


Linda W. said...

What a lovely bike ride! And nice sunset. Congrats on book number 4 - I'll have to get on Amazon and check it out.

blueskyscotland said...

Thank you Linda.
Six months of effort but a labour of love. Could never have produced it in hardback form as no one could afford the price.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

I REALLY enjoyed that post. Well-written, interesting and very nicely illustrated. It's a part of the world I know to visit, but rarely have the chance to explore. But rest assured I will be telling people who should know about these things, but possibly don't, to buy your book! Well done on that - and I wish you all the luck in the world with it. Goodonyer :-)

Douglas Wilcox said...

Good luck with the book Bob. I enjoyed your cycle run. We have kayaked from Glasgow Green down to Port Glasgow and that was another great way to see the river and city. :o)

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Mike,
I've just updated it as I had a slight problem with the Table of Contents not showing up on e-book. Hopefully fixed it now.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Douglas,
Thank you and happy paddling. I've been down the river a few time now and it's a very different view of the city once out there. "The Pride of the Clyde", which you will no doubt remember, used to take folk from the city centre to Braehead for a small fee and has never really been replaced despite much talk of river-buses over the years. There is a high speed power boat service for tourists but nothing beats a sedate trip down the Clyde giving you time to take in your surroundings properly and take photographs.(The Waverley is more of an all day special occasion event rather than a jump on-jump off ferry around the Upper Clyde area.)

blueskyscotland said...

Table of contents fixed. Just checked it.