Monday, 16 April 2018
The Spectacular Firth of Clyde. Saltcoats and Arran. Act Two. The Death of Celebrity?
West Kilbride beach near Farland Head. This is the continuation of our trip along the Clyde Coastal resorts. The weather was fantastic with crisp clear light and great views.
It made for excellent photo opportunities on the day- especially as my companions always seem less than keen to appear on the blog- which I find both annoying as a photographer yet also very refreshing as I have the exact same attitude towards myself appearing, just by natural inclination so I can't really complain. I'd rather take landscapes instead anyway. As Boy George sagely noted recently in an excellent and funny TV programme I watched.... pre- internet it used to be fans were just pleased to see celebrities as famous individuals- but now it's fans photographing themselves with some celebrity or other as mere background wallpaper to be seen beside. Much harder to be a genuine celebrity and star these days when every other bugger normal considers themselves one as well. The focus has shifted entirely in the 2000s and switched right around... now everyone on the planet has the potential for a diva sized ego and the seductive means to promote, encourage and increase their profile every day online. Can that really be healthy for society in the long run though, especially for youngsters who think that's normality and can't remember any kind of life without living online and being judged and valued through it ? Obviously, I know myself how seductive that can be (as a major online star since 2009... and I'm still a star... it's the blogs and the Mars Bars that have got smaller! ) and I'd imagine that's very addictive for most folk but not so good for real stars although people are still willing to pay cash for live concerts thankfully. Mind you, with proper nine to five traditional jobs going down the toilet you need something to feel good about.
me... and only me normally:) What if I couldn't get parked at all or parked in any other favourite resort if this alarming trend/ influx continues? Would visual documented history and great photography die out on the west coast!? It doesn't bear thinking about....Admittedly we arrived fashionably late in the day, around 3:00pm- but that was all part of our splendid plan.
Probably due to stagnant wages, food prices rising in the shops, families watching their money... more info online etc,... the more traditional no frills holiday resorts like this one seem to be enjoying something of a limited revival.... like vinyl records. Six year ago Saltcoats in winter would never have been this busy I don't think even on a sunny day.... and it is after all a monkey see- monkey do world we live in.
My God, I've just realized how very important I am to the Scottish economy! I caused this seaside rush to the beach all by myself...A true trendsetter! Somebody should hire me for tourism purposes right away..... but never forget dear readers if I'm ever headhunted away from these shores to far more elegant locations abroad for glamorous photo shoots.... I was showcasing these areas first! Me- all me!!!!!! Me, Me, Me!!!!! and I'll not change one bit as I've always been a natural born narcissist with the solar system spinning around my pram linked to every smile,, laugh, or frown since birth- but now there's trillions of me out there ... it's so annoying and unfair. Follow my world online ... '# Me @ why I'm so completely special... but every other ********* is too these days apparently' :o(
Anyway, after a bracing beach walk along the sands we walked in the other direction to here- which is the newly restored southern walkway leading to Stevenston and Ardeer. This used to be heavily broken up, full of holes, and prone to flooding and giant waves during winter storms hitting the railway line, stopping trains running but last year they restored it as it's part of Route 73 National bike trail and also the multi day long distance Ayrshire Coastal Path. It's now a beautiful cycle ride or walk but from a photography point of view it's been drastically tamed as people used to get huge breaking waves here captured on camera 30 feet high and now they don't.
To be continued- the last part.
PS. Naturally, I have a gallery of the best and highest waves ever photographed at this spot...well, I would do, wouldn't I?.... but luckily I have very little ego so I will not mention a link to that earlier fantastic post as I'm the modest, self effacing type.
Aren't I brave and handsome? :o) A mountaineering colossus staring over the vertical edge in disgust at the 10,000 foot pimples scattered below :o) No ropes required as usual for me and hands casually placed in pockets caressing my mighty balls of steel. No crawling about on my knees and ass here. Although it's one of the easiest 4000 metre peaks in the Alps to climb it has fantastic views from the summit as it sits alone on an offshoot from the main alpine chain yet close enough to the surrounding giants to appreciate them properly. This is not the official summit but a free standing tower/ pinnacle nearby...that looked suspiciously higher from some angles so had to be bagged just in case. "Top of the World. Ma... it's yer wee boy!" Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of my life this trip.
This excellent and atmospheric video link of the Aosta region and ascent up Gran Paradiso really captures the beauty and essence of this memorable area. Takes me right back to a very special holiday and moment in time. Fleet footed Chamois and heavy horned Ibex grace the slopes below the snowline in summer. Although an easy snow plod this Italian giant has a knife edged summit ridge of shattered, tottering pinnacles and is one of the most beautiful mountains I've ever climbed. This video also shows my pinnacle near the end, immediately before and right after the Madonna summit statue close up- rock climbing and scrambling is never easy with crampons on and this tower is balanced right on the very edge of the cliff at a worrying angle. The views from Mont Blanc summit were not that special as everything else around seemed rather flat and unassuming below, even the Matterhorn-... on Paradiso however ridge after ridge, peak after peak, soared high above or far below our feet, and some peaks close by were on the same eye level but super enhanced somehow so it's well named and the highest mountain sitting completely within Italy. ( all the other large Alpine Italian peaks straddle the border with summits shared with another neighbouring country.)
Even if you are not into climbing hills this is an excellent short travelogue and visual extravaganza of the entire region and well worth seeing.