A corner is always a great place to congregate, and even better, is a corner on crossroads. You have four ways to look up and down, and three other corners to keep your eye on. The dynamics of the corners vary, from darkly brooding to high spirited, from the exchange of pleasantries to bubbling cauldrons of trouble.
It still fills me with wonder when I walk between the tenements of Shaw Street, that an orchard once grew where Govan Housing is now building their skanky flats, all gless and cheap materials.
I read here that the corner of Shaw Street and Govan Road was once called Kittle Corner and that folk were maybes a bit scared to walk by there on account of getting a slagging.
Yeah, I can relate to that. It can be daunting to scuttle past the New Harmony Bar, when the drinkers are standing at the doorways, lighted cigarettes in hand, making drink-addled comments or shouting raucously to the other corners and sometimes at you.
This evening is grey and warm and at the Shaw Street door of the New Harmony, stands a couple of men and a woman chatting together. Another women is further away from the group, standing at the kerb, watching them and sometimes addressing them.
It's been dead warm today and the heat remains in the air, someone actually has a parasol up in the tiny cemented garden in front of their dusty windows.
The woman at the kerb has got on a padded quilty kind of coat, grey-ish white, buttoned up and trousers tucked into a pair of boots. She's in her 50s but her fair hair's pulled back into a high ponytail and she's carrying a message bag.
One of the men at the pub door is wearing long baggy shorts and a red football top and the other is old school, with a shirt and trousers held up by braces. The woman is dressed for summer, barmaid style, strappy top and capri pants.
The women are conversing back and forward and it goes along the lines of, "Aye, did ye well?", "Aye Ah did", "Naw, ye nivver," and so on.
Padded coat starts to walk towards the pub door and the other woman draws up and then boof, padded coat reaches forward and smacks pub lady on the face. All of a sudden there are legs and arms flailing all roads as the young chap tries manfully to restrain the pair, attempting to separate them and keep them apart. Pub lady has managed to grab padded coat by the shoulders and is pushing her head downwards onto the street when another man skips out the pub door and from behind, firmly takes hold of her arms, forcing her to let go. This leaves the first man to deal with padded coat and as suddenly as the attack flared up, it seems to die down with padded coat getting an intense talking to and the pub lady being snaffled quietly inside.
Kittle; awkward, dangerous . . . ticklish?