SCOTTISH INNS, BARS AND TAVERNS
This month we feature Lochlands Bar, at 14 Lochlands Street in
, as photographed through a camera lens that had misted up.
The misty lens adds a strangely atmospheric quality to a bar that
has its own atmospheric charm.
The Olympic 400 Metre Pram
Prams and babies are getting out of hand. There, I've said it. Do
It was once the case that mothers put their baby in a pram and
merely went for a walk somewhere, perhaps in a park or wherever. But
those days are gone. Walking
baby in a pram has been taken to a whole new dimension.
Much of what we see in our streets and parks is down to the fact
that most mothers have a baby then hand it over to someone else to
wheel around while they swan off and earn a crust. In order to
increase efficiency and make good use of staff numbers the folk who
look after the babies have progressed from one just one baby in a pram to
hoards of babies in hoards of prams. We've got prams joined to other
prams to such an extent that it is not unusual to see three prams
bolted together, either in a pavement-blocking side-by-side fashion
or as a joined back-to-front train. And it doesn't even appear to be
stopping there. While walking in the park the other day I saw what I
can only describe as a small pram carriage consisting of something
like eight prams made up of two side-by-side and multiplied by four.
What on earth is going on? It's got to stop!
For those mothers who have decided to actually be mothers and look
after their own children, the choice of pram available to them has
increased greatly in recent times. Some are hi-tec prams designed to be good and rugged
so that mothers can jog while pushing baby. It beggars belief. I kid
you not when I say that during another attempt by yours truly to
walk and relax in a local park I was almost run over by a group - A
GROUP - of mothers all jogging with their babies in prams. WHAT'S
HAPPENING OUT THERE? HAVE WE LOST OUR SENSES?
Are we soon to see prams progress to the next level? Is The Everest
Pram just around the corner? Prams with their own oxygen supply and
special high-altitude pampers to allow mothers to scale mountains
and walk baby? Prams that bleep?
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'The First Time', or 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face', to give
it its full and proper title, is the work of Ewan MacColl and dates
to 1957. Originally a folk song, it has been covered by many artists
over the decades.
This is my version (I'm Eddy Burns, by the way), recorded around
2005, not long before the financial doggy-doo hit the fan and they
took away all my guitars.
Although a fuzzy-guitared rocky adaptation, the vocals are without
question in the manner of that quite superb rendition by Johnny
PLAY IT LOUD!
THERE ARE FAR too many dogs in Scotland. In some big city
residential areas the streets are awash with dog poo. It's beyond a
joke, not that it was ever a joke in the first place. In fact some
say it's lucky to stand in Fido's faeces. Here in Partick the
locals are the luckiest in the whole country. I fear my solution
might cause upset, but it's a practical one. We could both reduce
the number of dogs in society and help out with the
much-stretched household budget by eating a few dogs. Whatdyasay?
PAVEMENTS IN GLASGOW and other Scottish cities, are in a hell of a
mess. There are that many wobbly, cracked, holed and generally
broken pavements that it is becoming increasingly dangerous for
pedestrians to use them. The reason they are in this state is
because most pavements were built with people in mind. They were not
built to hold the weight of a mechanised street-sweeping vehicle.
Instead of having to pay for repairs, would it not make more sense
just to employ more manual street sweepers?
If you are in any doubt about how badly the rail operator
(I use the term loosely) Scotrail is letting down the travelling
paying public then you need look no further that Twitter. On one day
alone, November 15th 2012, the tweeting Rail Travelling Champion 'Scotrail
Sucks!' retweeted around 170 tweets from disgruntled unhappy train
commuters. In one day.
Now, it might well be the case that the number of tweets from hacked-off rail punters was unusually high on that day, but even if we
round it down to a nice one hundred as a nominal daily average, it
still gives us almost 40,000 complaints annually against Scotrail.
And that's just from folk who feel the need to tweet. I might
suggest that the actual number of unhappy rail travellers each and
every day is far higher than a tweet count might suggest. Indeed
most rail travellers merely put up with the constant delays and
cancellations and overcrowding and don't tweet or complain. It could
well be the case that we're looking at a seven figure number here:
over one million complaints per annum.
Is it not therefore time the Scottish Government carried out some
sort of enquiry into just what on earth is going on with Scotrail?
Can we not at least attempt to determine how such a large and
crucial organisation can be so inept?
It is no longer good enough to cite constant signalling problems as
the main source of angst. Signalling problems have reached such an
intrusive economy-threatening level that it is clear whatever
signalling system is used is not up to the job. We need a radical
alternative to whatever system is alleged to be in place at present.
But it's not just signalling issues. Trains are overcrowded far too
often. Travellers who have paid a lot of good money are being
treated like cattle.
And then there's the staff. It seems to me that a certain culture
exists within Scotrail, a sort of jobs-for-the-boys culture where
everyone's having a laugh and doing as little as possible for their
so-called hard-earned cash. Such a culture comes from management.
I would therefore ask the Scottish Government to look into this
issue with haste. Scotrail is clearly no longer up to the task of
ferrying rail passengers around the country, and the time has now
come to give that role to another more able organisation.
for a monthly equivalent
of around £6.
* Approximate online visits
during the month of August 2012
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