Saturday, 15 July 2017

Inverkip, Greenock and Gourock.

                                                ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.
A dry but very windy day at Inverkip, Greenock and Gourock. This was a walk from spring just passed that I've had on the computer back burner for ages and am finally posting now. Although fairly sunny and bright the wind was roaring with a vengeance although not that cold. The pier here was deserted with frequent waves lashing the ferry walkways and everyone else apart from us huddled inside the terminal buildings, hoping they would not get seasick crossing the water to Dunoon.
Due to the weather the high hills were ruled out as you would have really struggled at height so we picked a sheltered walk from Lunderston Bay along the coast to Inverkip marina instead, returning on a circular route via the slightly inland Ardgowan Estate.We being myself, Alan and his dog. A short walk of only a few miles duration but very scenic and worthwhile especially in spring. Inverkip above.
The sheltered marina.
Comical carving in the boatyard.
A view across the Firth of Clyde to the Argyll hills.
Inland near Inverkip. Although I've passed through this quiet little village many times I've never really explored it properly and was surprised to find it was a hotbed for witches in past times with several executions in the area. I'm very skeptical about the supposed guilt of witches, warlocks etc in times past as most of the accounts I've read its just different personalities entering into a tight knit closed community from outside... or friendless individuals that present an easy target... or folk some in the village didn't get on with or had a long standing grudge against... but more on that later.
Bluebell woods. Ardgowan Estate.
Mature trees and pathways through this lovely estate.
Three lambs.
Estate views.
Large thrush. After our walk here we drove the short distance round to Gourock and explored there.
Downtown Gourock. A popular seaside town still although on this particular Sunday it was deserted with everyone else huddled indoors. Wind still howling around the buildings here but not that cold with a warm jacket on.
Really nice spring display of tulips and cherry trees just managing to withstand the gale.
The local park in Gourock which has a popular children's zoo in one corner. Lost count of the number of these little gems in city and town parks which have been either burnt to the ground or the pet animals inside deliberately targeted and killed. (There is a point to this.)
Nice mix of colours. Same park.
The upper half of the park.
And back to the foreshore again. Good day out and it suited the conditions.
I found myself thinking of the witches killed in Inverkip when I watched a programme a couple of nights ago called 'Murdered for being different.' It was a hard, sad watch but well acted about a young goth couple ambushed in a small town English park about ten years ago which made all the papers at the time. Both college students, they had the usual piercings, dark clothes, hair, and makeup that goths usually wear when they go out and were kicked into comas by a local gang just for being different looking. Maybe they were bored, jealous, or something much deeper in us all but were less able to control it. The girl died of her injuries and the boy just survived after being in hospital at death's door.
Related to the last post where I experimented at 14 with a different look and hairstyle briefly I also found it was not wise to attract too much attention to yourself or stand out in any way as I was beaten up at school a few times for doing just that. It carried on for several months by certain individuals of the kind that always target any perceived weak link and act as an escalating gang together, focused on an attempt to break any individuals spirit, culminating in a broken bottle attack where I was stabbed in the upper thigh.
I then snapped mentally into a  different thought zone as I'd had enough by this time and got them alone outdoors without the comfort of the gang around them where I convinced them individually by my actions I would take any steps necessary to remove them completely if it didn't stop. Luckily, they were the same age and could be intimidated one on one,  and it worked, so they left me alone after that but I did mean it and could have easily ended up spending decades in prison or dead myself if they had carried on. I've not thought about it for years but it came flooding back watching this programme.
Sadly, we do not seem to have moved on any as a society since we burned or drowned witches and most folk will know of feral groups like that who routinely target handicapped people in various neighborhoods; or pick on folk with low IQs unable to defend themselves on the street; or folk alone or reclusive; or just different in some way. It happens in every society worldwide so it must be something deep down inside the human psyche to have the tribal impulse to eradicate anyone or anything that doesn't conform yet we often praise celebrities if they do something different or groundbreaking. Seemingly, according to that programme, the UK recorded it's highest level ever for hate crimes- 70,000 in one year. A civilized society? I think not.
Ironic, when most young people also have an innate desire to stand out from the surrounding herd.

I did learn my lesson after that and kept my head below the parapet for the rest of the time I was in juvenile prison (i.e. school) but with more people than ever going to university, college etc.. where are all these smart folk on the internet where every woman, girl, female etc is routinely labelled a slag, slapper, hoe etc just for posting a perfectly innocuous photograph of themselves fully clothed  and it's accepted as normal behaviour.... and Yahoo News comments, anytime I've dipped into that murky pool, seems to be a steady diet of hatred and fixed extreme views slightly to the right of Jack the Ripper where everyone is an expert on everything. Given that unfiltered platforms like this are fast replacing traditional news outlets how is that moving us forward towards a more tolerant society in any way, shape or form?

On a different note I liked this video as it clearly shows the route up Monte Pelmo. The hardest route I've climbed abroad without a rope as it scrambles up a near vertical cliff then traverses along a narrow ledge system to reach the summit with steep walls in every direction. Luckily the scrambling is easy but the exposure was mind-blowing from the ledges and I don't remember any fixed ropes in place when we did it decades ago. The summit was a surprise as well with loose scree piled high everywhere and a faint path through it. Only a few months out of every year when its free of snow so not that many ascents I'd imagine each summer. A stunning mountain.


Kay G. said...

Oh these photos are good as always but the one with the bluebells, the lambs and the thrush, they are just great!
Your video of the, you really are a mountain climber!

Linda said...

Beautiful series! The lambs and the thrush are delightful!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Kay,
I didn't think I was a climber on that one as I felt sick all the way up at the thought of having to descend by the same route. Luckily, most of it was an airy traverse on a thin ledge but for some reason via ferrata was conspicuous by its absence. All we had to go on was a postcard photo in the hut of the normal line of ascent to the summit (same as video photo with a red line drawn but 3 inches high in our one) and we had no idea how hard it would be. The only guide book description we could find in English said ("a long and tiring climb") which wasn't much help either. I do know quite a few folk have died on it over the years as that ledge is the easiest way up. It's a very intimidating mountain- like a giant square dice on the other three sides with vertical cliffs thousands of feet high. It's 10,394 feet high and feels every inch of that. Could not look over the edge from the summit block yet happily scrambled a pinnacle no problem on Gran Paradiso which was higher (highest mountain within Italy) but far less intimidating.

blueskyscotland said...

Thanks Linda,
The lambs were cute being three that stuck together everywhere they went. Fairly unusual so maybe triplets?

Carol said...

Bullies are ALWAYS soft when got on their own - that's the trademark of bullies - people without their own personalities who have to be part of a herd to function - baaaaa! I would say all 'witches' were unfairly accused - after all, there always were, and still are, witches but they are completely benign people and a force for good. I'll watch the vid later...

Carol said...

That mountain (and its mates) looks horrific! Fancy having to descend loose, steep scree above those horrible cliffs. And that ledge should have a rope ALL the way. No way would I even contemplate that. I'm surprised more don't die on it!

Rosemary said...

I suspect that we have all come across bullies at sometime during our lives, but I find that and hate crimes so difficult to relate to and understand. I wonder why some people are like that? could it be learnt from the way they were treated by their parents? These latest acid attacks are very frightening, I can't understan what is going on in peoples heads.
It was lovely to see your photos of the rough sea waves and also Spring past, how quickly the seasons march on.

Anonymous said...

Sadly my niece had to go through this yesterday in Birmingham, started with young kids shouting abuse at her and then adults joined in. She is a hard working, sweet natured young girl, training to be a nurse. I despair of our modern society sometimes, I really do

Linda W. said...

I always enjoy your wanderings in the lovely cities in your country.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
It's a problem as old as time everywhere and I see a young Polish girl who hanged herself at school is the latest casualty. Despite being born in England Rick Stein's Restaurant was also set on fire recently... cos he's of German heritage, an outsider to Cornwall... oh, let me think...and successful. That must be why. Anytime I've watched him on TV he's always promoting local Cornish produce. English incomers are not welcome down there either and even when we visited Cornwall, Devon and Wales years ago as a climbing club we were a target due to our Scottish accents with a brick off a campsite wall thrown through a mate's tent in the middle of the night just missing his head inside. It burst open the can of food beside his head he was going to have for dinner the next evening so it must have been flung with real malice and force.

blueskyscotland said...

Happy days indeed Andy. Welcome to the future. Of course, naturally, it's all these incomers fault.

blueskyscotland said...

Thanks Linda W.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
Yes, some years I miss the cherry blossom altogether as if gales come in when its out it's not long blowing off the branches. A week to ten days then its all over until next spring.

blueskyscotland said...

Monte Pelmo. Over 6000 feet of ascent in one day I've just noticed which is not unusual for the Alps. In a two week holiday one year we managed well over 30,000 feet of ascent and descent during that period so no wonder my knees were trashed afterwards for a while.

Carol said...

The Cornwall/Wales thing is that they're sick of people buying up their houses for second homes. I suppose they classed your climbing club as a second home and they thereby thought you were depriving them of their housing. Not sure about the restaurant - I'd heard about it and it's the same group of people but not sure about their reasoning.

blueskyscotland said...

I know all about the second homes issue. This was different. It was on a campsite in Wales, they had heard our accents in a local pub and they just thought **** the Scots
when they left at closing time. They obviously knew we were camping nearby not in a second home as we had an early start next morning. Also, in the chip shops and some other shops we went into in North Wales (Snowdonia) that particular trip they were speaking in English between themselves then immediately switched into Welsh as soon as we entered. Didn't bother us but it was rude as we'd heard them earlier in the street conversing in English together. Didn't get that anywhere else in Wales, just Snowdonia.
They must be desperate right enough if a small tent in a farmer's field is classed as a second home down wonder they are annoyed! And we had sex with their sheep as an act of revenge before leaving :o)

Carol said...

I keep hearing about the language switch but, despite being in Wales an awful lot, I've never experienced it. I speak as much Welsh to them as I can when I go in shops or whatever and they appreciate that.

Didn't realise you were camping. The Welsh hate the English far more than you Scots!

Taken me about 10 goes to get through Kaptcha tonight :-(

blueskyscotland said...

I've found doing Kaptcha slow works best rather than fast clicks. Usually get in with 3 or under that way. You can click first panel as normal but then do second or third deliberately much slower. Works for me anyway... and also means I get the last word in :o)
In in 2

blueskyscotland said...

Also do not click first effort - let it put another panel up first and do that one slow.
in in one this time :o)

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

I used to visit Gourock and Kip Marina often - not been for years; nice to see them again. What you went on to say, along with your other comments, really strikes a chord. Nothing new about bullying, and criminal damage, because people are different or because the perpetrators are resentful - we've probably all got first-hand experience of it. Most bullies aren't very bright; perhaps that's why they do it. But I worry that 'hate' is getting out of control. You see it all over the place - on the Internet (of course), the roads, during the Scottish and EU referenda, the recent elections - unreasoning, blind, hatred. It is terrifying and sad. As for the physical violence, like the example you give or the acid attacks that Rosemary mentions, it is sickening.

Carol said...

I've found on Kaptcha that road signs never works, cars and roads do. I've learnt to copy my comment in case I have to keep refreshing and trying different things. It usually takes me through less screens after I've refreshed once.