A trio of Haiku’s

Number one

Heavy rain falls hard
Strong winds bend and twist the trees
British summer starts

Number two

Blue grey lights the sky
It feels like under the sea
Winters wonder light

Number three (not quite a Haiku as the last line has one more syllable than it should have)

Buds appear and grow
Leaves expand and cover trees
Path becomes green tunnel

Photographing whats no longer there

A while ago we were choosing a topic to take photos of and it was railways that was chosen. Unfortunately I was to ill to do it but it started me thinking about the railways that use to be in Glasgow. Up to the nineteen sixties the centre of Glasgow was surrounded by big railway stations and depots but now most have not only gone but in one case there is almost no trace left to let you know they existed so I decided to take some photos of the railways that have disappeared.

This first one is the high street goods yard and station. This was a huge complex but now there is virtually nothing left to show it was there. The map below shows the site of the goods yard and station. The area with red round it was the original station and there was another small one to the north of high street station. That grew to take up the area outlined in grey on the map.

This is what it looks like from the ground. the photo was taken from approximately where the yellow line is on the map.

The only sign of the old goods yard is the strange white strip in the car park and the light patch in the grass it leads into. This is the remains of a platform. The photos below show all that remains. The cobbles just showing through the grass are the platform and if you go to the left or right across the very wide platform you will eventually find the stones running along the edge.

One last thought, as I was working on this it struck me that there must have been a huge amount of traffic coming into and out of the goods station so the roads must have been pretty choked up. The other thing to remember is that for a long time that traffic would have been horse drawn with all the problems that would cause with small loads and pollution.

Black and white Kelpies

I did something I said I would never do photographed the Kelpie statues at Falkirk. The reason I didn’t want to take photos is everyone and their dog has. I do mean dogs because there are loads of photos of dogs posing in front of them, so many it makes me wonder if they are selling dog selfie sticks. However recently I watched a video where a landscape photographer was taking photos and moaning about all the background stuff like electricity pylons and wires which gave me some ideas, so I had to go take some photos.

Expanding my horizons 2

I got the call to go pick up the bike sooner than expected so it was off to the shop.

Some necessities were also bought (helmet, high vis waistcoat) and the bike collected.

I have never believed the old “as easy as riding a bike” quote and was expecting to take a while to get my balance but it happened surprisingly quickly.

Once that hurdle was over (ish) the problems of riding a modern bike started. The saddle in the shop was checked and thought to be at the right height.  It seemed to high when just sitting still but once I got peddling it felt a little low as the knees came up higher than I would like but that might be my ignorance.  

As an aside why are saddles designed to be as uncomfortable as possible? The only comfortable position seems to be sitting right at the back. Do you really need to have the saddle be so long and narrow? It does seem to be an odd bit of design.

Now came the interesting bit actually cycling. I remembered to use the rear break so as not to catapult myself over the front most of the time which is a plus.

Then it was fun with the gears. First problem is the markings are meant for people who can see normally so I can hardly see them. Second the left one doesn’t have numbers just lines. It looks like I will need to practice a lot and learn to work by feel rather than use markings.  The other thing I discovered is that even slight undulations in the road make a huge difference to the peddling difficulty. I ended up just staying in the same gear and just putting up with the changes instead of changing gear every couple of seconds.

The hardest part of the journey home was on foot since I live at the top of a steep hill and didn’t fancy trying to cycle up it with no experience of using the gears to get the best advantage. I could have sworn the path I chose wasn’t as steep as it turned out to be.

Next edition

Practicing the basics and getting my leg muscles use to cycling instead of walking.

Expanding my horizons

The other contributors to Guddle are enthusiastic cyclists where I haven’t ridden a bike for over thirty years. I also don’t drive so to get anywhere its public transport or walking and while I enjoy walking its rather slow and limited. To let me go further I decided to buy a bike and learn to ride again and this is the first of posts detailing what happens.

I walked to the cycle shop and back (about five miles) and bought a bike. I was lucky enough to get one that has mudguards which saves money since most bikes don’t seem to have them these days. Even though the bike was in the shop I couldn’t take it away but have to wait a few days to go and collect it.

That turned out to be a good thing because on reading about it I saw it is a 21 speed bike so has lots of gears. Panic time! I have never ridden a bike with more than three gears and have no idea what do with the extra 18 or how to find them.

I quick internet search later and I found a couple of very good articles amongst the load of useless ones (Tip for budding how to writers, Stick to the very basics and don’t include long complex tables) and now know where the gear change bits are and roughly how to use them.

The next post will be in a few days letting you know what the ride home is like. Will it be a disaster in waiting or a triumph?