All many writers want is to be read and I am no exception. Writing is such a crucial part of who I am that sometimes I want to share what I write or what I am thinking about with people. Lately I have been able to share what I’ve written with an even larger audience, particularly the recent posts on the Glasgow Women’s Library and my Hibs historical walk. Recently, I have had two suggestions for blog post ideas, which unfortunately probably won’t fill a full blog post each but blended together in an unlikely way might work. They are the sparsity of public toilets and the design of carpets in Glasgow public libraries.
The first one is personal for me since I have IBS – as written about last year in IBS, my gut and travelling – and finding a toilet is sometimes a matter of urgency for me. I know, however, that not all public toilets are that nice or indeed that common around, particularly in big cities. I was talking to one of my colleagues about this and she has a mental map of where toilets are in Glasgow city centre, based on past experience, which I think is eminently sensible. A lot of public toilets have disappeared due to spending cuts in local councils and so finding one tends to involve being creative or taking advantage of where one happens to be to make use. It shouldn’t have to be the case but it is an act essential to success, nay life itself, as verily you have to go when you have to go.
The second suggestion is sort-of linked as one place that does have a public toilet is the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Glasgow city centre. GOMA was once the Stirling’s Library and it houses a branch library now but I don’t think its carpet is that picturesque. Some of Glasgow’s libraries have incredible carpets, some based on locality like Elder Park and the Glasgow Women’s Library, others are just plain psychedelic. I worked for Glasgow Libraries for two years and I came to know some of the best ones, like Pollokshields, Cardonald and the Mitchell Library. Sadly I don’t have pictures of these but I believe the Mitchell Library’s carpets even have a Facebook fan page. When I left Langside Library, I was presented with a tote bag bearing the carpet’s design, which was greatly appreciated since I always have a use for a tote bag and also that my erstwhile colleagues listened some of the time while I blethered on. Libraries are places with personality, of those within them as well as of the place itself. I have had the great pleasure to work in some old ones, some not so old, and each has a character. It just takes spending the time.
The blog is 300 posts old or 22 months in actual time. Some of the posts have been good, some all right, others mince. I like to write the longform essays the best and there have been a few crackers this year so far, particularly from the Streets of Glasgow series but also Real men and Hibstory. I have also been trying to branch out and I will be sending out a couple of pieces for competitions in the coming weeks. Thanks to all readers for their comments and for being here. It is appreciated, believe me, and keeps me going forward. Onto the next 300.