Passing places

Tonight’s post was to be about the Glasgow Subway and how travelling can sometimes be stressful for me. It won’t be. Instead here’s one about the places I pass in my day. I wrote here recently about the Southside here in Glasgow, an area I largely know because of work. My other job is in Dumbarton, definitely not in Glasgow, as proven by the real genuine countryside and hills to be seen occasionally on the journey.

A few months ago, work took me to Bowling, which up until that point I had passed twice a day but never stopped. I was there because of the Forth and Clyde Canal, which flows into the Clyde at Bowling, and on that glorious afternoon in the sunshine, I could have been anywhere in the world. Being originally from the seaside, passing Bowling harbour with its sunken boats made me feel less homesick in the early days, the river opening up fooling me just for a second that it was the sea after all. Bowling is a pleasant place and I was particularly struck when I was there by the owl and woodland creature sculptures dotted around the quayside. There was just a glimpse, as I squinted into the sun past the Dunglass Monument, of the Firth of Clyde opening up and distant hills plus of course the much closer Dumbarton Castle and Inverclyde at the other side of the river.

I once got a job by delivering a short talk about the bus route between Dunbar and Haddington. I talked about the interesting things that could be seen en route, personally and historically significant, and it was all based on the fact I sit and stare out the window a lot of the time when I’m travelling. It’s how I discovered that my commute to Dumbarton is much more interesting than it seems on first thought. The section from Old Kilpatrick (terminus of the Antonine Wall too) to Milton is my favourite, for sure, but I also like the bit from Charing Cross to Partick. There is a section with steep walls on either side before the river side, with the Science Centre, BBC, SECC and Hydro all coming thick and fast beside the steady stream of traffic on the Expressway. Then it’s Govan and the Riverside Museum close by on the other bank with the masts of the Tall Ship rising behind. It cheers me up in the morning but for best effect it has to be approached from Partick with the full beam of the city lights. It’s a compensation of the nights drawing in, as they surely are, and I’m looking forward to it in a few weeks.

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