For September weekend the shows were in town so instead of staying in the boozer last Friday night, we ended up in Queens Park. The ground was pretty damp and the air getting cool but the sky was turning a lovely orange colour and we had had a little alcohol to warm our cockles. Unfortunately it had been a long time since we had been on a waltzer so we had forgotten that a sausage supper mixed with the alcohol wasn't the best preparation for high speed twirling. We went on 4 rides, dodgems, 'twister' and 'entertainer' included, and then stumbled back to the pub in with smiles. There is great pleasure in being thrown up and down and round and round on machines that have flashing lights and that are held together with dubious looking pins.
Posted by stupot at 11:35 AM Thursday 30 Sep
It's been a busy few weeks and change is appearing all around my life. In the background, students have returned to the cities and leaves and temperatures are dropping (On Saturday night I was forced to close the window due to a bout of sneezing). In the middle, good friends are leaving to work abroad and other changes are afoot with employment whilst right up close has been a move back to Kelvinhaugh - a place I haven't lived in for six years - in a pre-blog world.
Despite the Glasgow locals having convinced themselves that they are the friendliest in the world, when they are certainly not (try the service industry as a small test), I am very happy to be back amongst the honesty and confident dry wit of the west of Scotland and where conversations spark out of thin air.
Bud Neils cartoons describe this phenomenon well but I've already heard some cracking lines in the space of a few days - (to a whistler on a staircase) "that's the sound of a happy man" (he back to me, with no hesitation) - "it's either that or I greet". I also heard a woman recently describing the effects of a heavy lunch as feeling as if she had "ate a wean". Linguistic heaven.
Posted by stupot at 12:31 PM Tuesday 28 Sep
For about 10 years I have recycled with vigour. It's not something I think about other than knowing it has always been highly satisfying - even when it meant a bike ride to Partick with full panniers. I confess to actively enjoying it. As disorganised as I may be in some respects of my life - the efficiency with which I sort rubbish might make you think I have been possessed by a tramp. Living alone, or as two, you produce little waste: I can produce as little as two carrier bags of garbage a week. A friend once scolded me for using plastic (shopping) bags instead of black bin bags. I hung my head in deflation (rather than guilt). That's one too many Guardian readers in the same room.
The recycling process does make you consider the mortality rate of packaging and wonder what the hell we're doing about it. Some can lead full and active lives: Top tip - at Airports - use the clear wrapper from your Newspaper supplements as a stand in toilet bag to get through security. Top tip 2 - use Bonne Maman jam jars as glasses - these are as robust as they are pleasant to drink from. Recently, at my favourite French restaurant, a couple (who had sat in silence up to that point) complained to the waitress about the tumblers that the wine was served in. The waitress informed them politely that the glasses did not alter the taste of the wine and that if they thought it did, it was simply their imagination.
Posted by stupot at 12:11 PM Tuesday 7 Sep
I met up with fellow Scottish Sketcher, Wil Freeborn, and Aussie, Liz Steel, yesterday in sun bathed Glasgow. We sat and drew the new transport museum and had good, hearty chat. I went off to visit a friend who lives in the new harbour side apartments (not flats). We basked in the sun discussing the state of the country (he works for the Scottish Government) and Jimmy Reid.
Jimmy died a few weeks ago and was a great trade union activist on Clydeside during the slow decline of the shipbuilding industry. He addressed Glasgow University as rector and his speech was reprinted in full in the New York times, them describing it as "the greatest speech since President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address".
"A rat race is for rats. We are not rats. We are Human Beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement............"
Posted by stupot at 12:49 PM Sunday 5 Sep
Hellas and Kefa's
I've never really considered Greece as a destination for a holiday and now I can't understand why I would ever have had any reservations. Perhaps snobbery that to get there I would have to go with a tour operator. Perhaps because of the reputation of resorts being full of Brits getting wasted on Ouzo. "Street's like a jungle, so call the police" as Blur once described the 18-30 phenomenon "....following the herds, down to Greece".