1 EAGLETON NOTES: Glasgow

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Saturday, 25 August 2012

Glasgow

Boredom warning.  This is one of my 'diary' posts.  If you don't speed read then I suggest that you skip the next three paragraphs.

Yesterday I drove from Lewis (of course I took a ferry across The Minch: on this occasion via the Calmac ferry from Tarbert on Harris to Uig on Skye) down to Anna's in Bishopbriggs.  The A82 is an attractive drive but there's no dual carriageway so it's sometimes a bit slow going.  Then we went to pick up Anna's daughter Cesca from Glasgow Airport.  She'd just returned from a visit to her brother in Napier, New Zealand.  It was a long day.

So this morning started a bit later than usual.  We had nothing planned but I had noticed that a front tyre was wearing unevenly despite the fact that I'd had a Honda Dealer check and adjust the tracking last time I was in Glasgow on the way to collect CJ.

Well, well.  It's amazing how a day can evolve when you don't have a plan.  I took the car to ATS Euromaster to have the wheel alignments checked.  That was where the expensive fun started.  Firstly the perfectly good rear tyres turned out to be different sizes and therefore unlawful.  The nearside friont tyre was fine.  The offside front tyre was legal for the UK but not for France (where I will be on Tuesday).  I was, however, far more concerned with safety than legality.  I couldn't have different tyres on the same axle of course so from having what I had assumed were four perfectly good tyres when I left home (the car having recently been MoTd as well) I ended up having to replace all four tyres and pay to have the wheels aligned.  I watched as they set up the machine - the wheels were way out.  What was worse was that one of the bushes had seized and the rear wheels could not be adjusted.  Fortunately the problem is not such that it needs to be addressed before I get back to Lewis.

So £400 later I was definitely in need of the Glad Game.  Sure enough the incident produced a very interesting time.whilst we were waiting for the car.

Firstly we went for coffee.  Now the Finneston area of Glasgow was, until fairly recently, not noted for its café culture. In fact Finneston culture was something of an oxymoron.  Now it is a thriving and burgeoning area awash with cafés (and computer repair shops).  We had coffee and cake at Piece opened by Lauckner and Moore in Argyle Street.  For me the coffee was perfect.











Just around the corner from the garage is The Northern Rotunda and one of the cranes left from the days when ships actually came this far up the River Clyde.  Please don't ask why the Rotunda is leaning.  It isn't in real life, of course, but it was better, in my judgement, to have the Rotunda leaning in the photo than the crane.

The Southern Rotunda is on the South bank of the river.  There was a logic to the names.  The two were joined by tunnels under the Clyde.  The passenger tunnel was only closed in 1980 but I've yet to meet a Glaswegian who even knew the tunnel was open in their lifetime.

Their story is fascinating.



We then went for a wander over the The Clyde Arc (known locally as the Squinty Bridge).  I had not realised how much had altered and developed since I used occasionally to frequent that part of Glasgow.


Looking back to the North bank one can see the crane from photo with the North Rotunda above and The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (known affectionally as The Armadillo) together with the new Hydro Arena which will be for concerts and other entertainment events.


Along all the railings of the bridge and the surrounding area are crosses each with the name of a service person killed in action in Afganistan.  The huge number of crosses is both moving and a very stark reminder of the huge loss of life and sacrifices being made by our armed forces.  The explanation is here.


There is a lot of new housing on the banks of the river:




and the occasional water taxi.


12 comments:

  1. It must be twenty years since I wandered round here. Isn't it posh now? A wonderful post.

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    1. Yes it has completely changed, Adrian, and all for the better.

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  2. Thank you for this very interesting look at Glasgow, a city I know next to nothing about.
    Sorry to hear of your car trouble, but at least you made the most of the time you had to spend waiting for the repairs/adjustments!

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    1. It's a city well worth a visit Meike.

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  3. I enjoyed the tour of Glasgow! My sympathies about the problems with the wheels on your car and the extra cost; but I guess it's a good thing after all that you got it fixed now rather than something going wrong over in Europe.

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    1. The thing is, Monica, that it may never have been noticed and all may have just carried on without me or anyone noticing. As it is I at least now know that all should be safe.

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  4. I see you have improved on choosing places to have car troubles. This experience really highlights the difference between your two lives I think. I wouldn't mind having time to wander around this place. I hope the rest of your travels are problem free.

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    1. I think our tyre problem happened in a much more beautiful part of the world (and, fortunately, next to a garage which was able to do something about it.).

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  5. GB, I enjoyed wandering around Glasgow with you.
    Think I might have fancied one of those Big Phat Tarts too.
    So sorry to hear about the car wheel problem, and I'm happy that it was all fixed before something drastic happened...we can't have that now, can we?
    Then I'm inclined to think that you perhaps tempted the Fates again, by double worrying about travel and roadside insurance coverage.....of course the Fates heard you loud and clear....please don't give them any more ideas.
    Continue to enjoy your trip!

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    1. You are probably right Virginia. I thought the Fates weren't listening but you can never be too careful.

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  6. What a lovely post GB. I'm really looking forward to our trip to Glasgow in November.

    It's odd that the Armadillo has so many names - our tickets are for the 'Clyde Auditorium'.

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    1. The Clyde Auditorium is its proper name. It is part of the SECC (added in the mid 1990s). Its nickname is the Armadillo.

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