I wrote here recently about my wish this year to write a day tripping book. Then life intervened. I have realised that working full-time and trying to do a degree and all that stuff will make committing time to writing anything worthwhile very, very difficult. So, it’s been ditched, for now. Instead I am going to work on something a little different but can be incorporated into life fairly easily. Plus it actually seems a better fit for me than the day trip book. First it needs some explanation.
A few years ago I became interested in psychogeography, a French Situationist concept come up with to reduce alienation in cities and to see them in a different way. Will Self wrote a column in the Independent about it for a while, usually involving a psychogeographical ramble or two, like his walk from London to New York, or at least from his hoose to Heathrow then JFK Airport into the centre of Manhattan. I read a little about it and ended up spending quite a few day trips in Edinburgh embarking on derives, walks without an end point in mind until some point along the way, turning this way and that on city streets on a whim. It was how I found quite a few interesting spots in and around the capital, some of which have appeared on this blog.
Walking around the New Town in Edinburgh recently I came up with this idea called the Streets of Glasgow. I have written here before about how I don’t know Glasgow as well as I do Edinburgh despite having lived here for three years. Plus my new job is not actually in Glasgow. Near it, certainly, but it is outside Glasgow nevertheless, meaning I will be spending less time in this city. The Streets of Glasgow interests me as an idea, walking from end-to-end on some of Glasgow’s great streets, some of which go on for miles. As I walked up St. Vincent Street in the capital, I came up with a few to start with, including Govan Road, Paisley Road West, Argyle Street, Sauchiehall Street and quite a few others. The first two are within walking distance of the house and Govan Road is certainly one I have been interested in doing for a while, owing to the interesting buildings en route, particularly around Film City.
What I propose to do is to walk from one end of a street to another, mostly in a single day, and write about what I see, hear and otherwise experience. A lot of places in Glasgow I see from buses or trains but there is no substitute for putting one foot before another and getting out there. An essay might appear here occasionally but I don’t propose to be so formal about it, saying I will do one a month. It just strikes me as an interesting exercise, to see more of the city, to do some writing and not to be under pressure doing it. Watch this space…