I couldn’t think of what to put here today. Eventually I decided to turn the clock back to May when it was sunny and warm and the walk I took one scorchingly roasting day around the entire route of the Glasgow Subway. And it was roasting.

I started at Govan and arrived back there 4 hours and 8 minutes later, passing Partick, Kelvinhall, Hillhead, Kelvinbridge, St. George’s Cross, Cowcaddens, Buchanan Street, St. Enoch, Bridge Street, West Street, Shields Road, Kinning Park, Cessnock and Ibrox along the way. I stopped a couple of times and I detoured from Govan to Partick via Pacific Quay to avoid the Tunnel or else it would have been a bit faster.

The walk was part of my list of 30 things to do before I’m 30 next year. Psychogeography is a concept that underpins a lot of my rovings and this particular one certainly, trying to get a sense of the city, getting under its skin rather than keeping to the surface. The Subway is a mode of transport hundreds of thousands of people use every year, commuters, tourists and everyone else in between. It is a symbol of Glasgow, like the statue of the Duke of Wellington, City Chambers and, for good or ill, our city’s biggest football teams. Plus I thought it would be an interesting writing exercise, following in the footsteps of Iain Sinclair who did the same thing with the London Overground and M25. Being in Glasgow rather than down south made it a bit more civilised, naturally.

I did write it and the resulting posts appeared here on the blog, with the links below:

Subway Surface: Govan-Hillhead

Subway Surface: Hillhead-St. George’s Cross

Subway Surface: St. George’s Cross-St. Enoch

Subway Surface: St. Enoch-Kinning Park

Subway Surface: Kinning Park-Govan

My abiding memories of the walk are of needing lots of fluids and sweating profusely. Naturally I picked a day well above twenty degrees. But I woke up that morning, it was a Bank Holiday, and I just had a notion so off I went. I got the bus down to Govan and started walking, not at all sure I would finish. The walk from Govan to Partick was the longest and it was also the most open part of the walk, with fewer buildings around to shelter from the sun. My feet held up until just before Cessnock when they seriously started to complain. Luckily turning onto Paisley Road West meant I was on familiar territory again and that spurred me on as did getting a proper look at the Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson designed tenements at Cessnock.

Some of the walk was decidedly urban and not all together lovely. The bit between St. George’s Cross and Cowcaddens, pictured below, comes to mind as does the bit between West Street and Kinning Park, which is very close to the M8 and in a very industrial area of the city. The Cowcaddens bit also had some interesting street art, which had disappeared by the time I was there again about a month ago. Kinning Park was also quite pleasant, especially as I plonked myself on a bench and hydrated. It was also the first place I was asked directions on the route. That happens to me fairly often, sometimes in cities and countries I don’t live in.

Anyway, here are some photos of the Subwalk. It was tough but had some great parts, much like this city itself.

View up river including the Armadillo, Finnieston Crane, Clyde Arc and BBC Scotland, from Pacific Quay
Govan Subway Station, where it all began, sign and entranceway
Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Garden, where I ate lunch
The glass-covered walkway into Kelvinbridge Subway
Chalk drawing of a loch scene with a planet in the sky, near Cowcaddens Subway
Very urban scene including some street art slogans, between St. George’s Cross and Cowcaddens
View from the Royal Concert Hall looking down Buchanan Street, with buskers and loads of people just sitting
Crossing the river again
Old Bridge Street railway station, very near the Subway that still bears its name
Tenements designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, Cessnock, Glasgow
Original archway, Cessnock Subway
Mary Barbour statue, Govan Cross

Saturday Saunter: 10th November 2018

Good morning,

I am in the fairly nice position of being able to do this live. It is 07.36 as I start this, it is cloudy and mirky outside as the sun starts to come up. I have no fixed plans for today yet. Hibs played last night – less about that the better – so I don’t even have football to fall back on. I have a few contenders, including Edinburgh to catch the Rip It Up exhibition about pop music at the National Museum before it finishes, St. Andrews because I haven’t had a wander there in ages, Dawyck Botanic Garden for similar reasons or Arran ditto. Sometimes an idea bobs its way to the top when thinking about something else and maybe by the time I finish this I’ll have a definitive clue about where I’m going today.

Sign where the snail in a bottle sculpture would normally be, Wellmeadow Street, Paisley

The other day I was in Paisley changing buses and I had a few minutes so I went to look at the new Snail in a bottle sculpture on Wellmeadow Street. The snail in a bottle case happened in 1928 when May Donoghue met a friend at a cafe in Wellmeadow Street, Paisley, and had a ginger beer. Only a dead snail was in the bottle and May naturally enough fell ill. She took the manufacturer of the ginger beer to court and won, the judge Lord Atkin citing the parable of the Good Samaritan to establish just how manufacturers should have a duty of care to those who use their products. This became an established principle in law not just in Scotland but around the world and it all began in Paisley. The sculpture was unveiled a few weeks ago and I’ve seen it through bus windows but of course it wasn’t there, removed for maintenance after wind damage. At some point when it’s back I’ll get a photo and stick it up here.

Coca-Cola, News of the World and other billboards, Paisley Road West, Glasgow

In psychogeographic news, the Evening Times reported the other day that the old gable-end adverts on Paisley Road West are set to be revamped, possibly working with the original companies, maybe by producing a pro-Glasgow or pro-Cardonald design. I like them the way they are but I would approve of a Snug design like those in the town, maybe something involving Crookston Castle or the Battle of Langside or some other historical event that happened in the south side, which is of course the best side.

Deserted street, looking up Virginia Street to Virginia Place, Glasgow

Before I forget, Streets of Glasgow returns this coming Wednesday. I pulled last week’s instalment, on Virginia Street, for several reasons but mainly because between writing it and when it was supposed to appear, BBC Scotland put on a documentary about Scotland’s links to the slave trade and I haven’t seen it yet. Plus it was quite a hard post to write and try and be measured. Hopefully the Virginia Street post will appear on Wednesday.

My copy of HWFG by Chris McQueer as soon as I took it out of the packet

Right, to the books, and last week’s travelling book was Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey by Madeleine Bunting. I got 81 pages in and I haven’t picked it up since, unfortunately, though it is a decent book, a mixture of memoir and travelogue. My to-read pile has grown a bit, including the addition of HWFG by Chris McQueer, the follow-up to Hings, an incredibly funnily twisted selection of short stories. I can’t recommend Chris McQueer’s books enough but maybe not to read on a train or bus as the last time I did I got some very funny looks as I nearly collapsed with laughter. It won’t be a travelling book, then, but I might get to it tomorrow. I’ve still got the Wild Geese Nan Shepherd book in my bag to finish so I might read that wherever I get to then Madeleine Bunting then Chris McQueer. What a combination that is.

Talking of trains, the replacement post on Wednesday was one I wrote in the summer about how distracted I can be by all the sensory stimuli about in the world and that particular day in a train carriage. I try my very best to avoid busy trains and buses whenever possible. As a matter of course, when going between Edinburgh and Glasgow, I make my way to the front of the train, which is logically the best place since that is closer to the exit but less people go there, probably because it is a longer walk. I have been known to let crowded buses pass rather than get on them. Getting to work involves a slightly longer walk to get a quieter bus rather than the next one which is usually mobbed with commuters and school children. Plus the quieter bus is also a double decker and that’s always a good thing, getting a broader perspective on the world.

Incidentally, the sun is up and there are hints of blue sky out the window. Also, my soundtrack is Kacey Musgraves this morning. It was the podcast The West Wing Weekly before that but it was an episode I had heard recently so it got changed. I think I’ve written before about how whenever Hibs get beat, I usually listen to country music, usually Johnny Cash and Kacey Musgraves, on the way home. If they win, it’s usually Hibs songs, a draw depends on the manner of it. I just felt in a Kacey Musgraves mood, cheery but pragmatic sort of music for a Saturday morning.

Before I go, I wanted to share a story from The New York Times about the love many autistic boys in New York have for its Subway. Photographer Travis Huggett went around taking photographs of these laddies having a rare time on the Subway. My favourite line from the article was from Travis Huggett: ‘“It’s not often that you get to photograph people doing their favorite thing in the world,” he said. “To have me along, taking pictures — they don’t care.”’ Go read it, it’s a good article.

I noticed typing the last paragraph that I used the very Glaswegian expression ‘rare’ and I am hearing it in that very Weegie way, pronounced ‘rerr’ rather than the way I would say it, rhyming it with ‘bare’ or ‘bear’. I am getting ever more Glaswegian all the time.

Anyway, that’s our Saturday Saunter for this week. Tomorrow a post will appear here. I haven’t written it yet so it’s a surprise. Wednesday will hopefully be Streets of Glasgow: Virginia Street. Thanks as ever to all readers, commenters and followers. Have a very nice weekend.

PS: No, I still haven’t decided where I’m going yet. I will let you know.

Layers of distraction

As I started to write this, someone’s phone music went off loudly. Goodness knows what the song was. I’m currently on a busy train heading south and I’m trying hard to focus on what I’m writing. I have earphones in and I’m working to keep my eyes on the page and words undulating out of my pen rather than my eyes skirting left to the person who has just sat down to my left or right to look out the window without accidentally gazing into someone else’s phone screen. There is a whole lot of sensory information going through the air, chatter, the click of the conductor’s punch, the zipping and unzipping of purses and wallets to fetch and deposit tickets, PA announcements proclaiming the breadth and depth of available meal deals. That’s just the audio. There’s a half-decent smell of some vaguely familiar scent nearby, all the better than body smells and the best stinky food Waverley Station had to offer.

My filter has varying degrees of effectiveness. I always try to get the window seat to minimise what I have to sift through but this time I was assigned the aisle seat and the window seat was taken. The function of my filter depends on a wheen of different factors – the weather, how tired I am, how early in the day it is plus of course how busy my conveyance is at the time. Today is particularly enhanced since it’s a busy train, there are people around me and CrossCountry specialise in the clusterfuck of non-consecutively lettered coaches and not running enough of them. Plus it’s a Sunday morning and in other circumstances at 11.30 I would still be in bed.

The smell is hand cream, I think, from the Body Shop. I’m off the train soon anyway. I’m keeping myself writing to avoid the freshly opened salt and vinegar crisp smell tempting me into opening my sandwich too early. Now, it’s cucumber. I’ve just seen the sea quicker than expected, and it’s time to pack up, bound for a now sunny outside, and another adventure.

Thanks for reading. Streets of Glasgow will return next week.

Digest: October 2018

The October digest of Walking Talking is here. I know the Saturday posts tend to have updates on my life and times but I like the digest format.

Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall by night

I usually compile the digest from my photo library and the first photo I took in October was on the night of 4th October just after I had missed a train home from Paisley. It’s a rather nice picture looking across to Paisley Abbey and the Town Hall.

John Muir Grove, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Foyer, Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

The following day I went to Edinburgh and spent a good while wandering about the Botanic Gardens, swishing through leaves and sitting under trees. I also went to the Portrait Gallery and had a look at the very fine Victoria Crowe and transport photography exhibitions. The Victoria Crowe portraits were great, with the one featuring Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell a particular favourite.

That Saturday the Hibs beat Hamilton Accies by six goals to nil.

Indian Mutiny memorial, Park Circus, Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow

On Sunday 14th October I did a whole lot of stuff for the blog, including a trip up to Park Circus and Kelvingrove Park and then I walked all the way out to Parkhead, via Charing Cross and the Merchant City. A few Streets of Glasgow walks resulted, including North Frederick Street which appeared here this past Wednesday. I also had a moment looking at the new Irish and Highland Famine memorial by the People’s Palace, which is fairly subtle and unsentimental.

That Tuesday I went to watch Scotland Under-21s get beat by England Under-21s at Tynecastle. Being at Tynecastle was very strange – I wrote about the experience for Easter Road West here and here.

On Saturday 20th October Hibs got beat by Celtic at Celtic Park. I was there and got wet to and fro Central Station.

That week I was off and on the Monday I went through to Dunbar, enjoying a walk around the Prom to Belhaven then doubling back to the harbour in the cool autumn sunshine. It was nice to be there though it was incredibly windy, which is par for the course in Dunbar.

On the Tuesday, I went to Manchester, enjoying a look around the National Football Museum and its exhibitions Band FC and Homes of Football. I wrote a review of it for Easter Road West too.

The roof and stairway, V and A Dundee

That Thursday I was in Dundee for an extended look around the very shiny and new V and A. It is a beautiful building with interesting and insightful exhibitions and I was glad to be there. Plus I had polony rolls for lunch before heading along to the museum. A review of the museum (not the rolls) appeared here a week or two ago.

The following day I went for a swim and on the way back did a Streets of Glasgow walk on Mosspark Boulevard.

On the Saturday I went to Edinburgh, had a wander through the Meadows in order to research a post about the history of a certain football team, then went out to Prestongrange for a wander in that dear, familiar place.

Colinton Dell
Sunset over Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

The next day I was back east for a very bracing walk along the Union Canal then the Water of Leith walkway all the way out to Balerno. Colinton Dell was particularly beautiful. I hadn’t been out that way in years and it was amazing how many houses had sprung up by the Water of Leith, particularly in Currie and Juniper Green. We also went for a wander around the Botanics, which were very fine as the sun set.

That Wednesday I went to watch Hibs play Hearts at Tynecastle. Less said the better.

So, that’s the October digest. Our next post here is Streets of Glasgow on Wednesday, this time Virginia Street. There will probably be a Saturday post and another travelling post next weekend. Stay tuned for that. As ever, thanks so much to all readers, commenters, followers and have a good month.

Posts this month –

Digest: September 2018


Loose Ends: Calton Hill

Streets of Glasgow: Glasgow Street

Book blethers

Railwalk: Restalrig Railway Path

Streets of Glasgow: John Street

Saturday, Saturday

Park Circus

Streets of Glasgow: Woodlands Road

Saturday Saunter: 27th October 2018

Design in Dundee

Streets of Glasgow: North Frederick Street

Saturday Saunter: 3rd November 2018

Happy Saturday,

Looking through the galleries, Kirkcaldy Galleries, Kirkcaldy, Fife

Yesterday I spent an hour in my favourite art gallery, Kirkcaldy. It was a good chance to see the very fine Edinburgh School exhibition again before it shuts tomorrow. That exhibition featured works by – amongst others – Anne Redpath, John Houston, William Gillies and Elizabeth Blackadder, with a mixture of still lifes, landscapes and portraits including by a few by Gillies and Houston of the landscapes of the Lothians and Fife. My favourite of those was the dell in Temple, where Gillies lived in Midlothian, though overall I liked the Anne Redpath of a French town in the murky yet strangely ethereal twilight.

Beyond that I had my usual wander around the permanent collections, spending the most time in the room at the far end amidst the works of William McTaggart, a blend of scenes of children playing, landscapes and seascapes, including watching an emigrant ship leave forever as it turned past the Mull of Kintyre. There was a newly acquired painting with two children playing on the beach at Carnoustie, the sky suitably atmospheric, possibly wintry.

In what probably won’t be a huge surprise to regular readers, a lot of my thoughts this week have been about the Edinburgh derby on Wednesday. My team has been in the news due to the scenes at Tynecastle the other night. I was at the game but my thoughts are too jumbled to make much sense of at this stage. I have managed to cobble something together for Easter Road West, which appears there this morning.

On a brighter note, I have managed a bit of reading this week. I’m still working my way through the new Nan Shepherd collection, Wild Geese, and I’ve finished my Harry Potter re-read, finishing with the play script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on the way to Kirkcaldy yesterday. What I have as my travelling book for today is Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey by Madeleine Bunting, a journalist I liked when I used to read The Guardian. It was a library choice, chosen solely because the title appealed. I’ll let you know what I think of it.

On my pile to re-read is Findings by Kathleen Jamie, a splendid book of essays that I have read many times. Kathleen Jamie has an excellent appreciation of the world, keen but inquisitive, and a new book – like those of Robert Macfarlane – is a moment to cherish. Her last volume of essays, Sightlines, was spotted in the now defunct Waterstone’s in George Street in Edinburgh and I was incredibly close to cheering as I scooped up my copy.

Monday is of course Bonfire Night, the end of the festival of shite around this time of year encompassing the clocks going back, Halloween and of course fireworks. The fireworks I can mostly avoid and there seems to have been a lot less let off around my way in the lead-up this year, which has been appreciated. They put me on-edge, the combination of whizzes and bangs really freaking me out. The best fireworks are seen, not heard, preferably on a telly showing a far distant display. Like Halloween the reasons why the whole thing happens have been lost in the wider onslaught of consumerism; like Halloween and the dreaded C-word, however, it is one massive sensory overload and to be tholed until it’s all over.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for this week. Tomorrow’s post here will be the October digest. On Wednesday Streets of Glasgow will return with another street in the Merchant City. Thanks as ever to all readers, commenters and followers. Have a very nice weekend.

Streets of Glasgow: North Frederick Street

North Frederick Street is another street with a counterpart in Edinburgh, albeit without the ‘North’ in the capital. It is another road to George Square and I took it on the way somewhere else, a spur-of-the-moment decision to slow down and do some psychogeography en route. After I took the ritual photo of the street sign I heard the clanking of money in pockets and a couple came past me, evidently happy in love, by the end playfully pushing, shoving and laughing. I valiantly resisted the urge to boke as I carried on. On North Frederick Street is a huge tower block occupied by the City of Glasgow College, probably the most known of its properties since its top windows bear the city’s marketing slogan: People Make Glasgow. Indeed they do, annoying loved-up couples, solitary flaneurs and all. As I walked on, a very nice smell came from an Indian takeaway and I looked on a gradually shedding tree, a bit of nature in the heart of the city. People sat mutely in bus stops and I walked on, George Square dominating ever more of the view on this side street, mostly modern with a few gaps. Perhaps the most interesting bit about this street was its name, a suggestion of grander things amidst the office blocks.

Thank you for reading. This is the forty ninth Streets of Glasgow post here on Walking Talking. Other nearby streets which have featured in this series so far include George Square, George Street, John Street and Cathedral Street.

My other blog Easter Road West also has a post tonight delving into the history of Heart of Midlothian Football Club, including a walk in the autumn sunshine through the streets of our nation’s capital.

Design in Dundee

View to the roof and mezzanine, V and A Dundee
View to the roof and mezzanine, V and A Dundee

On Thursday I managed back to the new V and A Museum of Design in Dundee and spent a great couple of hours wandering around. I got a glimpse of the Scottish Design galleries and the temporary exhibition, Ocean Liners, which is fresh from the V and A down in London. It was a bright autumnal afternoon in Dundee and the sunshine shone through the portholes and down the slats that line the foyer of the building. There was a short wait to get into the Scottish Design galleries, the V and A operating a queuing system to ensure the galleries didn’t get too crowded. This was one of quite a few thoughtful touches around the place, including a quiet room and a Changing Places toilet.

Object wall, V and A Dundee Let Glasgow Flourish, object wall, V and A Dundee Mackintosh gallery, V and A Dundee

The Scottish Design galleries were magnificent. There wasn’t much of a linear structure so I could wander and look without losing the thread of what was going on. The collections, drawn from the V and A’s own holdings as well as from institutions across the country, were varied, mainly early modern or modern but encompassing video games and Robert Adam, Patrick Geddes and Alexander McQueen. The Mackintosh section, recreating a tea room, was wonderful, very appropriate given how Kate Cranston will be appearing on the latest Royal Bank of Scotland £20 note. It felt like being in the hallway at the Hill House, not at all a bad thing. There was a drawing from Patrick Geddes featuring a quote that neatly encompassed a lot of his work and what I feel about urban exploration:

‘Town plans are no mere diagrams, they are a system of hieroglyphics in which man has written the history of civilisation, and the more tangled than apparent confusion, the more we may be rewarded in deciphering it.’

From close to home were examples of the Paisley pattern and a beautifully illustrated ornithology book by Alexander Wilson. There were selections of lavish Turkey Reds from the Vale of Leven too.

This was only a small selection of what was there, a snapshot based on what jumped out at me. I hope to get back soon anyway and I think it will yield more on a second visit, the mark of a truly good museum.

Shipping advertising posters, V and A Dundee Swimsuit display, Ocean Liners exhibition, V and A Dundee Style display, Ocean Liners exhibition, V and A Dundee

The Ocean Liners exhibition was all about the glamour of big liners, their early history, construction and evolution. That normally wouldn’t be my bag but it was on and I was there. It was beautifully designed. At various points it really felt like being on a ship, including the crossing from the first room with shipping posters into a ship, complete with a water light effect on the floor. There were a lot of mirrors and good lighting choices which added to the overall effect. The middle room which featured an arrangement of swimsuits as well as smartly dressed mannequins was just magnificent, very well designed. It was worth it for the curatorial design choices alone, let alone the objects displayed. I should add that the exhibition exit featuring a dark room and a video screen above the exit door with seats at either side was a bit much for me but that didn’t overly detract from the experience.

Sitting in the cafe later, I enjoyed just looking around at the roof and the portholes, all sorts of triangles and sharp angles adding to the clever design making best use of the possible space. Some of the interior spaces felt like the Lighthouse in Glasgow, all sleek and modern. It being a bit quieter than my last visit made it a lot easier to savour the building and its collections. I left not a little inspired, which really is the mark of a good museum.

Saturday Saunter: 27th October 2018

I am starting this post on Thursday night, live from a Citylink bus powering along the A90 somewhere between Dundee and Perth. I’ve had a rather good day in Dundee, including a couple of hours in the new V and A. That was wonderful but I’ll not be writing about that today. A post all about the V and A will appear tomorrow instead. After the V and A, we had a good walk along the side of the Tay, encountering a McGonagall poem on the pavement by the Tay Bridge and a graffiti wall featuring some incredible work. And Count von Count from Sesame Street. Ha ah ah. We ducked into the DCA where there were two decent exhibitions, one of photos of the North and South Pole, the other video art about Detroit.

Count Von Count graffiti in Dundee
Count Von Count graffiti in Dundee
View from the Prom to North Berwick Law and the Bass Rock, Dunbar
View from the Prom to North Berwick Law and the Bass Rock, Dunbar

This week I’ve covered quite a lot of ground. On Monday I was in Dunbar and had a windy walk along the Prom to Belhaven. Tuesday I was in Manchester including a couple of cracking exhibitions at the National Football Museum, a photography exhibition by Stuart Roy Clarke called ‘The Game’ and the rather fabulous Bands FC. An exhibition review is over at Easter Road West where there is also a digressive sort of post this morning.

As this is posted I may well be off somewhere. Current contenders include Kirkcaldy to go to my favourite art gallery or Edinburgh, just because. To be fair I am also in Edinburgh tomorrow but that’s going to be a walk along the Water of Leith so there’s plenty else to do.

To the books and I’ve managed to get through a wheen of books this week:

  • Unstoppable: My Life So Far by Maria Sharapova
  • For Every One by Jason Reynolds
  • Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves
  • In A House Of Lies by Ian Rankin

I started the Nan Shepherd compilation Wild Geese earlier and I am near the end of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it in the thirteen years since it was published but it was one of the bits the film messed up.

As for the books I finished this week, the Jason Reynolds poetry one resonated quite a bit as it dealt with existential angst and the dying of dreams and all the stuff that afflicts people staring down the barrel of 30 like me. It was published by the wonderful 404 Ink, who put out good books including Hings by Chris McQueer and Nasty Women. Ann Cleeves is excellent though I must be one of the few people who have only encountered the Shetland series in book form not on the tellybox. I like Jimmy Perez as a character. In contrast to hard-drinking male detectives like Rebus, Jimmy Perez and Lorimer from Alex Gray’s books are more sensitive and often better characters. I like Rebus too but I’ve found lately I’ve enjoyed Ann Cleeves and Alex Gray more. Rebus is supposed to be retired and it just didn’t seem right in the latest one that he got shoehorned into another police investigation. Surely Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox could carry a book on their own?

For what it’s worth, my favourite detective is undoubtedly DS Roberta Steel from Stuart MacBride’s Logan MacRae novels. As an aside, I spent one very enjoyable lunchtime at work recently listening to the podcast version of Stuart MacBride’s event at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival. He is one sarcastic son-of-a-gun.

Other recent podcast highlights include the Scotland Outdoors special featuring a tour round the Hebridean places that feature in Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy novels and – guilty pleasure time – the podcast version of the Ellen DeGeneres show. Yes, seriously. It’s presented by Ellen’s executive producers and features clips of interviews from the show. I can confirm I skipped the recent edition featuring Simon Cowell. Marina Hyde of the Guardian had it right when she called Cowell the Karaoke Sauron.

Anyway, gang, I’m just about home, quite near Cumbernauld to be precise, so I’ll wrap this up. More about the V and A appears tomorrow and Easter Road West has some football blethers this morning. Next Sunday here will be the October digest, I think. Thanks as ever to all readers, commenters and followers. Have a good Saturday whatever you get up to.

Streets of Glasgow: Woodlands Road

It was a bright autumnal afternoon as I walked down from Kelvingrove Park. Woodlands Road had been on the list for Streets of Glasgow for a while, another main road into the heart of the city ticked off. The afternoon was sunny and not for the first time in this series a lack of street signs brought doubt as to whether or not I was on the right street. Seeing the Stand Comedy Club soon put me right. I passed an old school on my right, another mighty red school house in the Glasgow Corporation style, now home to the Scottish TUC. On my left were tenements and trees bearing leaves turning yellow and soon to fall. I came to the roundabout but not before noticing a sign in a pub beer garden proclaiming it to be the Fanzone for the Glasgow Warriors rugby team. One can only imagine how genteel that gathering must be. Gin glasses tinkling, pheasant and venison burgers nibbled on. The very thought.

On a food theme, another pub I passed had a sign in the window: ‘Yo Shizzle Kitchens’. I don’t speak gangsta nor foodie so I’m not sure if that’s an endorsement of the food on offer or not. The Asian food shop I passed nearer Charing Cross definitely looked good, sweets piled high in the window in towers and walls. The buildings along the way were mostly conventionally Glaswegian, some yellow, others red sandstone, one even bearing a turret at its top. Some of the bollards on the street were colourful mosaics like those on Great Western Road, giving a greater sense of community as I walked along.

Not far along was a statue in honour of Bud Neill, a cartoonist of the parish. Having no little Glaswegian genetic matter myself, I recognised the figure of Lobey Dosser, Neill’s Western creation, the Sheriff of Calton Creek. I also encountered a nuanced bit of marketing from the Free Presbyterian Church along the way, with an arrow pointing towards its Bookroom and the slogan ‘Repent ye, and believe the Gospel’ from Mark 1:15. It was shut as I passed, so no Gospel for me. The West End Saturday night was in evidence with a takeaway box with a plastic fork sticking in the top plonked on top of a bin. It almost looked like an art installation, a bid perhaps for the Turner Prize.

I soon came to Charing Cross and the end of another walk. I like walking along Woodlands Road anyway and it was absolutely no hardship on a beautiful autumnal Sunday, between all the folk just enjoying the sunshine. Another walk down and onto the next.

Thank you for reading. This is the forty seventh Streets of Glasgow walk here on Walking Talking. Nearby streets featured in this series so far include Sauchiehall Street, Otago Street and Glasgow Street.

Please also see yesterday’s post from Easter Road West about my visit to the National Football Museum in Manchester.

Park Circus

I’ve been thinking for a little while about how to fill the Sunday post here. Last week was a walk along the Restalrig Railway Path in Edinburgh, more often recently it has been Loose Ends and connected trips around Scotland. This week’s offering will be about a place that has been on my to-see list for a little while and just so happens to be in Glasgow. I was out last Sunday afternoon and managed to get quite a lot of wandering done. Some of the results of this you will see in the coming weeks in Streets of Glasgow posts and also a special thing for my football blog Easter Road West.

Last Sunday was gorgeous, a proper lovely autumnal day. I had a lie in and decided well after lunchtime to go out for the afternoon about the town. I walked along for a bus and a short while later got off on Sauchiehall Street, not far from Charing Cross at this side of the motorway. I was bound for Park Circus where I was pretty sure there was a monument and a viewpoint. The walk up a gentle slope and then steps was rewarded by a lovely Hindu cultural centre and then further up with a view across the south of the city, including the Armadillo, Hydro, Finnieston Crane and the Moss Heights, not far from where I live. Even this was good enough for me though as I rounded the corner I came into Kelvingrove Park and up to the memorial. The view was incredible, Glasgow University dominating the landscape, the neat houses of the West End to my right, Kelvingrove, Yorkhill and southern Glasgow to my left. I wasn’t alone – after all, it was a beautiful day with folk on the benches all around, others taking photos, some just talking and enjoying the day. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been there before and I had picked just the right day with the autumn colours burning and thrilling in the sunshine. The view might just be clearer and sharper as the winter came, I thought, as I smiled and walked on bound for another adventure and another place ticked off my list as I went.

Thank you for reading. A Streets of Glasgow post appears here on Wednesday.