Saturday, 31 December 2011

Hogmanay Walk

 A good start to Hogmanay, I narrowly avoid being the household skittery winter this morning and later when someone suggests a walk in the country, I manage to persuade everyone it'll be more interesting to walk along the River Clyde. And it is, but the more energetic amongst us don't rate it as much of a walk due to very wet, slippery conditions.

Some mad Christmas celebrations have been going on down in this bender. The Community Reparation team who's been clearing sites in Govan over the past week should come here next. Or maybe this is where they were spending their lunch?
 A helicopter buzzes up through the air. Happy New Year to us all. Very best wishes for 2012!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have never seen 21st century Govan Cross as busy as it is today. Surging with shoppers, queues like an execution at Iceland where trolleys are filling up with frozen pizza, Indian meals for two, frosty fish fingers, boxes of biscuits and nets of gold coins. Next door in the big bargain shop, every checkout is checking through long lines of shoppers with baskets overbrimming with toys, perfume sets, cards, plants, everything a bargain.
Deans Superstore lives inside the centre now and is packed full of cheap bargains - although the shopkeeper rips off a man buying the cheapest, tattiest Santa hat you've ever seen.
"Much?" asks the man and the shopkeeper says, "Eh, em, eh . . . a pound." And the man actually gives him it. Wow. The man will not be making much of an impression with that pathetic piece of thin red and white felt on his head.
King of Bargains is the shop next door to Deans and sells lots of cleaning materials with no brand name on them at cheap, cheap prices. The contents of the bottles are weak and ineffective, like most of cheap bargains. Also on sale, is a range of Kelloggs cereals. A young mum pushing a pram calls to her mum, "Ma, 'mon, therrs crunchy nuts fur wan eigh'y nine, the big boax."
A few additional Christmas commercial ventures have been set up on trestle tables, including a man selling felt Christmas stockings, baby's first and so on, a table of trackie bottoms and taps, and another of costume jewellery and watches.
Doing a roaring trade is MobiShak, a most excellent emporium for all things mobile phone. It's run by an Asian dude who can supply you with any phone, any phone cover or fix anything - just about - that you've broken on the mobi.
In November, his lordship smashed the glass display screen of his very fancy phone and took it to the big phone shop at Braehead. He was given a quotation of £200 to replace the screen.
I took it to the wise man at MobiShak and it was fixed in 4 days for £40.
Today I'm checking out the phone covers. You can have your name in sequins or a flag or just a pattern, your choice.
Two girls are leaning over the counter whining. "How can somedy brek intae ma internet? Somedy's usin' ma internet. How can they dae that? Can you fix that?"
Mr Mobi is leaning back in his chair, he's a dead laid back guy and he's got a warm smile on his face, "Ye know what ladies, yees must no have a password oan yer internet."
They whine on, "How comes other people can go on ma internet?"
"That's what it is," he is nodding and smiling, "listen, Ah'm tellin' yees, that's it. Nae password."

Friday, 9 December 2011

Wheely Dangerous

Just out of the Post Office, I stop to window shop at the Pawn. My reverie is broken by a harsh cry, "Right, that's it. Get the polis! Ah'm gettin you cherged," and even more urgently, voice rising, "Cherged!"
I turn to see the guardian of Govan's Labradoodles, "Subway" coffee cup in one hand, cigarette in the other, storming towards an elderly gent in a wheelchair, one of Govan's double amputees.
A sturdy security man from the offices upstairs puts his hand up to stop her attack and tries, not with much confidence, to quieten her down.
"Naw, naw," she's shouting "He's no gettin away wi' this. This isnae the first time he's done this."
An elderly woman at her back starts to shout, "That's terrible you, leave him alane. He's a disabled."
"Ya sly auld pig," says the dogs' mum, "Ah seen ye, on yer way tae the pub, tryin' tae run them ower -don't think Ah never, an that's you at it again!" and she turns back and charges towards the old man again only to be stopped by the security man, who along with a colleague stands in her way.
She leans over as near to him as she can get, and says menacingly, "Ah seen you, an' am gonny get ye for it."
The old lady is getting frantic now and screeches, "Will you just leave that man alone!"
Now Missis Labradoodle turns her attention to the lady and whirls around yelling, "How would you like it if he tried to run your grandweans doon? Eh, how would you like that? That's whit he's done tae ma dugs. Aye, ye did," she accuses the gent, "Ye're always tryin it," and she speaks now to the gathering crowd, "Don't think Ah've no seen ye, tryin tae hit them - swervin' right intae them when they're tryin tae get oot yir road. Ye chase them on purpose ya wee. . " and here she breaks off as the security guard puts his hand on her shoulder and asks her to move away.
"Naw, leave us!" she wails.
Another old lady, tall and smiling, with curly brown hair is chuckling and saying to the three doggies, "Is that what that old rascal did, ma babies? Did he try to knock yous all down?"
Again, the refrain, "How would you like it if he kep' tryin' tae knock doon your grandweans?"

All the time the elderly man sits in his wheelchair, a benign smile upon his cheery face. He's wearing a furry helmet with ear flaps down, a scarf at his neck and a tartan travelling rug over the stumps where his legs should be. He looks kindly, bemused, calm.
Mama Labradoodle is riled to the limit and brandishing her coffee cup, screams "Watch it you, or ye'll huv nae heid tae go wi' yer nae legs!"

Thursday, 8 December 2011

There's An Awful Draught

After a politician's blunder of 2010 when Scotland slipped and slid to a halt in the snows, the Department of Transport, the Polis, the Education Authorities, the Cooncils, my Ma, are taking no chances and have all with one voice warned us to stay indoors today as there's a hurricane a-coming.

The wireless is broadcasting an amber alert. Some schools will close at 1pm as the winds will worsen in the afternoon. Then Glasgow decides nobody's to go to school today - except the teachers. (hee hee)
At half eight, a few little figures are blowing along with their wee hoods up and clutching their mammies' and daddies' hands. Inside the Govan Road Campus, there's quite a huddle of children standing behind the glass of the reception area, still wrapped up in their coats, hats and scarves.
Around 1pm a thundering hailstorm sweeps down Govan Road. As usual, I get my camera out after it's passed. Everyone is getting blown to the four winds.
The River Clyde has some mighty waves - good enough for surfing, maybe? It's well choppy!
Down by the dry docks, winds are wailing through the overhead wires and sad little shrubbery is swept left and right. The gates to the dry docks have blown open, and we enter, the wind shoving at our backs, strong gusts almost blowing us over
Even in the sheltered basin the wind violently disturbs the surface of the water.
This home is aptly constructed with a tarpaulin from GHA, Glasgow Housing Association, no less. Although buffetted by the storm, it's flapping wildly but looks safe enough. And what a location -
Just look at Glasgow, so beautiful on this amazing day. The River, ruffled by howling gales, the ever changing skies, the glassy BBC, the shiny Armadillo, the upthrust of the Science tower, all anchored by the city's heritage landmarks; the Finnieston Crane and the Waverley paddle steamer, holding it all together, keeping us firmly on terra firma.