Yesterday the snow properly came to central Scotland after an appetiser on Friday night. After hangover french toast we had cross-road snowball fights with strangers - children and adults alike. Lots of people were smiling and laughing and talking to each other. The park was stunningly up-lit despite the waning winter light. I'm glad snow is still a wonderful thing.
Posted by stupot at 03:38 PM Monday 29 Nov
Mr T took me along to the Arlington Baths last night for a Victorian work out at the oldest private swimming club in Britain. Despite eschewing the rings and not being able to find the medicine balls we made full use of the steam room, turkish baths and sauna, decked out as we were in our stripey bathing suits. I would have happily stayed to read the papers - the last stage in the experience being the reading room which is very relaxing indeed. We headed on to the Banana Leaf on Old Dumbarton Road which is a visual shit hole but serves very fine food. Sitting in the cold is easy to bare due to the friendly service and amazing dosa's. I hadn't appreciated they had won the best takeaway from the British curry awards and Best newcomer in the List's food and drink awards. A stones throw away from the flat, I would take them up on the offer of dinner delivered every night for a month for £120 if I didn't feel like a bloated whale this morning. So much for the exercise!
Posted by stupot at 10:15 AM Thursday 25 Nov
On Sunday we wandered the streets and came across a mass procession of Spanish helpers who had just gotten off a boat. A nice lady told me they were Sinterklaas's helpers (Santa to you and me). They were there to give out sweets and amuse children. I even got some nice biscuits for myself. I was told they would be there until the 5th of December when celebrations take place. I swear they were blacked up Dutch people.
Posted by stupot at 04:49 PM Tuesday 23 Nov
The number 9 arrived after just 5 minutes and we climbed aboard. Sitting in front of us was a 6 year old girl, full of energy and using a felt-tip pen on the wall of the bus. Her mother, slight and holding a baby, was disinterested and looked like she had her mind on other problems. She didn't turn to look when the girl wanted her attention but occasionally told her off when she snapped out of her focussed stare. I noticed the girl was drawing with great confidence and rubbing out with her finger from time to time. I didn't particularly agree with what she was doing but held my wheesht on our short journey. When the family prepared to leave, a wet wipe was produced and mother and child rubbed all evidence from the area. We were surprised and impressed with the result. I thought to myself that buses and trains should come with such an area as standard.
Posted by stupot at 10:14 AM Monday 22 Nov
I downloaded the wallpaper* amsterdam city-guide which I thought was a good idea, and it was - despite all the spelling mistakes and the fact a physical book would have been easier to navigate with: just as a real map beats google in the quick reference stakes. In any case it was easyjet's city guide on the plane which suggested I visit Amersfoort, and based on their pretty good suggestions for Glasgow and Edinburgh bars (Gandolfi and Blue blazer) I thought I'd get on the train on Monday. The place was dead on arrival - it appeared that no-one else was taking the hot tip. Or it was Monday morning. The weekly holiday, as it turned out, didn't make me feel so bad about not wanting to get out of bed on Mondays. I should move there. People started their days slowly as I wandered in the crisp November weather eventually finding the medieval gate to the town and getting a few sketches done. Soon it was populated as normal and I headed back to Amsterdam on my favourite double-decker trains in anticipation of seeing Gorillaz that night.
Posted by stupot at 01:41 PM Thursday 18 Nov
I can hear the wind whistling down the lane outside - the sun is blinding through the top floor windows and I just got caught in a downpour on my way to work. It's a pretty typical Scottish day, regardless of season. Earlier in the week I noticed Wednesday's forecast was particularly unique - despite the morning temperatures being below zero there was sun and barely any wind so I planned a mid week ride. As a result of the low temperatures there was ice on the roads north to Drymen but most had been worn out or had thawed. The light quality was fantastic and only 12 miles from Glasgow this is the Queens view north to Loch lomond and the Trossachs to the north east. I could see the icing sugar that had dusted the peaks as a 76 year old cyclist sided up to me and chatted - I spotted the easily viewed Ben Ledi and Ben Lomond but she pointed out the Ben's that I didn't know - like Ben Venue and Ben Bhreac. She was obviously a keen hill walker too and had that healthy contentedness that you see in active old people.
Posted by stupot at 11:51 AM Friday 12 Nov
Gmbh is a new shop attached to the Modern Institute in the Merchant city between Mono and the Tron. It sells Roleur and other design and illustration specials so it's well worth a peek if that's what floats your boat. I'm glad to have found a sister to Edinburgh's Analogue. It's run by Neil, a chap I've cycled with in the past, so it has the benefit of a friendly face.
Posted by stupot at 12:12 PM Monday 1 Nov
Really Good Coffee
On Friday, after a wet run on the bikes up Gleniffer Brae, we returned to beautiful coffee at Coffee, Chocolate and Tea at Cranstonhill. It brought a whole new meaning to drip coffee - we had half of the downpour lying on the floor beneath us. Beneath that, and through the glass floor, you can see the coffee bean sacks in the basement. It's a nice place with a huge roasting machine in the window which helps heat the space (formerly MacCallums fishmonger) in the winter. We even got a wee lesson in roasting and a chocolate to try after John's gentle persuasion.
Saturday was a much better ride with blue skies, if wet roads, south west to Kilmacolm and Bridge of Weir and back.
Posted by stupot at 11:52 AM Monday 1 Nov