west end


The weather is lovely: all sunny with crisp air. I went shopping for Christmas presents today and am almost finished buying for the Danish side of the family. Almost. On my way home from town, I met up with Other Half and we went for a walk through autumnal woodlands. And we saw this little cutie just a three-minute walk away from Dumbarton Road, one of the busiest roads in our part of town:

Distant Sun

My love affair with Glasgow continues. Glasgow Botanic Gardens (a ten minute walk away from Casa Bookish).

And you get squirrels in the Botanics! They'll throw stuff after you if they feel you're trespassing into their territory. Violent little beasties. You also get a host of birds. This little guy sat on top of one of the greenhouses and was so busy screeching that he didn't notice me thrusting a camera in his face. Or perhaps I'm just not very threatening.

And, yes, it really is autumn. All those gorgeous hues and light rain and brisk wind.. Mmmm.

Tonight we'll have our second helping of David's homemade chilli-tomato soup and I have a pumpkin on the kitchen counter just waiting to be made into delicious pumpkin soup and a hearty pumpkin pie. Man, I just love this season and Glasgow's one of the best places to be during autumn.

PS. I'm also eyeing some pumpkin coloured alpaca yarn but I think I've talked myself out of buying it. After all, why would I want to look like a giant, fuzzy orange blob?

Jigsaw Falling Into Place

Things seem to fall into place today as you'll find from these links and stories. Rhi wrote:

I received an email from an old internet friend that I'd fallen out of touch with several years ago. After adding each other to the key social networking places (as you do) we discovered that since we last spoke, we have continued to share interests. It's hard to explain why that makes me so happy, but it does: the friendship that I treasure most seem to be those that can hang infinitely in the balance, but always fall back into place in the most satisfying way that says: Here we are again

..the friendship that I treasure most seem to be those that can hang infinitely in the balance, but always fall back into place in the most satisfying way that says: Here we are again. I really like that. I really do.

And then from one Canadian to another Canadian. Ever heard of kinnearing? It means "To surreptitiously photograph a celebrity or person of interest because you are too nervous or respectful of their privacy to ask for a photo " and was coined by a well-known Canadian blogger when she was too shy to approach Greg Kinnear. Things come full circles as the blogger discovers when her friend gets Greg Kinnear to kinnear himself (and also pose with a half-knitted sock).

And finally, I'm putting on my raincoat today as we'll be making our way down to the Bigman Festival down by the Forth and Clyde canal. It's less than a mile from where we live and the site is a curious blend of Victorian engineering prowess, urban deprivation and natural beauty. And now it'll feature an Andy Scott sculpture, apparently. Somehow that just perfectly sums up Glasgow.

PS. I have a post about women, knitting, and empowerment brewing in my head but I think I'll need to run it past a few people first.

Is It Only Tuesday?

You know what I abhor? The phrase "one of them". I was told Saturday that all foreigners should leave Scotland and when the speaker learned I was foreign, he qualified his words with a "but you're not one of them" excuse. If I had a penny for every time I have heard people use that phrase, I'd be knitting cashmere sweaters. It's a lousy, cheap way of trying to seem less xenophobic and more inclusive, but the phrase only makes the speaker appear more racist and exclusive. Anyway. Sorry for that mini-rant. It has been a long week even if it is only Tuesday. My head is pounding and I still haven't had dinner (because cake does not count). Let's go for some delightful links.

+ Viktor & Rolf's Barbican Exhibition. Side-by-side comparisons of runway models and quite creepy dolls. Interestingly, it took longer to recreate V&R's clothes in doll-size than it took to create the original runway look. + Interesting Bookcases and Bookcase Designs. I used to know someone who lived in a 17thC Copenhagen townhouse and who'd use the rafters as her bookshelves. It was awesome. I really like the children's bookcase-bedroom, actually. Wonder if it would be possible to recreate that in an adult size? + The Word Clock. What it says on the tin. + Czech uranium glass buttons. Uranium?! I came across these listings on eBay and I still don't know what to make of them. + I'm not a huge fan of cupcakes but this shark attack cupcake mountain is fantastic.

Finally, Charles Bernstein on the current global crisis:

Let there be no mistake: the fundamentals of our poetry are sound. The problem is not poetry but poems. The crisis has been precipitated by the escalation of poetry debt—poems that circulate in the market at an economic loss due to their difficulty, incompetence, or irrelevance. Illiquid poetry assets are choking off the flow of imagination that is so vital to our literature.

Knitting Anarchy!

My knitting group has been asked by Beanscene not to come back due to "disruptive" behaviour! Let me just repeat that: my knitting group has been asked by Beanscene not to come back due to "disruptive" behaviour. So, spending around £7-10 per head, sitting around a table and knitting for 90 minutes every other Tuesday can now land you with an ASBOS. Amazing.

Seeing as Beanscene has quite recently had financial problems I thought having repeat customers in an otherwise quiet café would have been a Good Thing, but obviously I know nothing about business strategies or customer service.

Addendum: photo and styling by my partner who is slightly gobsmacked by also amused by the idea of knitters getting ASBOS.

West End Girl

Not everyone can say that they've had their knitting-in-progress cooed over by a BAFTA winner and OBE recipient but now I can. My mother's quite excited. Yesterday David and I went out for dinner to celebrate my two years in Scotland. On our way to the restaurant we stumbled across 'Polish Taste' - a little Polish deli here in the West End. David suggested we could take a look as we were running a bit early and I am very grateful that he did. I found all the things I hadn't managed to find anywhere during my first two years in Glasgow: affordable buttermilk and live yeast! They also had some very, very delicious sourdough bread. Wooh. I never thought of Danish food as being very 'Baltic cuisine' but, according to manager Joanna Korzeniowski, I was not the first Dane to be ridiculously pleased about buttermilk.

And, finally, Lost in Fiction is opening down the street soon. The shop front is all pretty and mysterious. I'm rather excited about its Ffordian/Nextian name. Ooh!