The Daftest Bus Stop

[Picture of a distant bus shelter]ONE WONDERS AT THE THINKING OF ROAD “PLANNERS”.

In the picture (click to enlarge, as always) just look how far the bus shelter is from the bus stop! Yet, in this particular location, they have been very active: red road surface indicating bus, taxi and bicycles only, pavements, cut in, fencing, no-entry signs and more besides! After all the tens of thousands of pounds worth of work on this wee stretch of road, they went and forgot to put the bus stop at the bus shelter, or put the bus shelter at the bus stop! Things are certainly getting worse! What an oversight! And why did they think it necessary to cut in a bus stopping recess on a road that carried no normal car traffic? Just exactly how frequent are these buses anyway??

This is a road heading north on the south side of the Clyde, at the new STV building and near the “Squinty bridge” Google maps have not caught up with the red road, the new bridge and so forth, which is a shame.


Where to Park?

[Picture of parking in Shawlands]I meet people all the time who say that they had no idea that there was a huge car park attached to the shopping centre right slap-bang in the middle of Shawlands!

Hmm. Well, I snapped this picture with my phone — click to enlarge — it is an interesting picture; can you see the big sign about the car park? Yeah, well no-one seems to see this. Another funny thing is the two bicycle parking fences — completely taken up by a big fat motorbike! The sports car is half on the pavement! This road has a massive traffic calming bump and yet is one-way onto the main road! Still people manage to drive down the wrong way!

All of which goes to show that things have got worse, and people have sensory overload. There are too many rules, too many signs and it’s all too confusing. Mistakes are inevitable, pigheadedness is too. Traffic planners have got it so very wrong!

Sofa So Good!

PARKING A SOFA CAN BE A PROBLEM IN SHAWLANDS.[Picture of old couch dumped in a parking space]
On certain streets in Shawlands there are times when car parking can be difficult, especially for residents. How is it then that residents can dump their rubbish in such a way that parking is made more difficult for others?

[Picture of parking space lost by rubbish]This happens all the time too, rubbish bags and discarded furniture and appliances are a hindrance not just to car parking, but to pedestrians too. It is a lot to negotiate, as well as being unsightly and a health hazard.

As I understand it, people are told to put this rubbish out the front, on the pavement. I also understand that the refuse collectors do not always see the rubbish unless it is prominently placed (or perhaps they cannot be bothered to collect stuff if it is too difficult to inconveniently situated).

I have to say that I prefer to think that the refuse collectors are being prevented by some health and safety law or insurance consideration — or even that they are too lazy or in too much of a hurry to meet targets, because otherwise the fault would be with neighbours being lazy and inconsiderate!

Tesco Takes The Cake


I was having a nosy around Tesco’s Silverburn flagship store recently when I was stopped in my tracks by the following sight:

[Picture of a Special Cake]

Can you believe this? I was gob-smacked! Obviously it should have stated “You’re The Best” — but that’s not what stuns me, it is the fact that this is a ‘special’ cake (for a birthday), that it is for a 50 year old (who would certainly notice the spelling error), that it is proudly on display as a best example of the quality that can be produced by the in-store cake decorators and bakers, that it is in the supermarket chain’s newest, biggest and best store in the entire country, that no-one checks the product, and finally that no-one checks the displays either. Wow! Things are definitely getting worse!


Paint Half a Lamp Post

PAINTING UP TO THE HEIGHT OF A PERSON![Picture of Lamp post at Tantallon Rd]
Things are definitely getting worse when the council cannot afford to paint the whole of one street lamp post! And by the way — I checked, and there was just one that was painted this way. The rest were deemed to be perfectly alright without paint, being left to weather all storms with an anti-corrosive grey, spangled hot-dipped galvanised finish.

Queen’s Park

ALL PUBLIC PARKS HAVE RULES — but (a) no-one knows what they are and (b) they are not enforced.

You can easily download the PDF of the general rules for Glasgow Parks, just go to the City Council’s Web Site ( — or you can pause at the entrance gates and read the signs!

For example:

  • Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times (10) — yet this is where people go to let their dog loose!
  • No Dog Fouling — those responsible for dogs must remove all dog fouling (10) — few people pick up!
  • By law certain dog breeds must be muzzled, not just in the park — I see Rottweilers unmuzzled
  • Dogs are not allowed in the playground area — happens anyway!
  • Smoking is not allowed in any park building or in the playground area (39) — I see this all the time!
  • Drinking alcohol is not allowed in the park — happens all the time!
  • Not allowed to leave broken glassbottles or throw litter etc (33) — The Park is where the under-agers and winos hang out
  • Cooking or setting fire is not allowed (34) — I see people using disposable barbecues bought from the supermarket!
  • Taking photographs is not allowed anywhere in the park (53) — people are always taking snap shots of their pets and kids, or of the flowers, swans and ducks! They have sailing lessons and clubs use the boating pond — and many take pictures.
  • Playing music — on Hi Fi device or musical instrument is forbidden (29) — Radios and Ghetto-Blasters are all the rage in summer.
  • Unauthorised vehicles are not allowed in the park — and that includes motorised wheelchairs, wheelchairs, scooters, skateboards, prams, cars, ice-cream vans etc. The only exception is non-motorised bicycles!

There was a case a few months ago where a wummin had planned to get married and have the small reception in a West End Pub, nipping across the road to the Botanical Gardens for the pictures for the album — but the council got wind of this and said the charge would be over fifty quid!

She was furious on three counts–

  • Why should she have to pay again for something she’s already paid for as part of her Glasgow Council Tax
  • Why should she have to pay the same as someone who doesn’t pay Glasgow Council tax (shouldn’t there be two charges — with the Glaswegians paying less than visitors)
  • Why should she pay the same as those with massive wedding parties, complete with cars and an indoor alternative venue in case of bad weather.

You have to admit, she’s got three very good points, none of which seem to have been answered by the elected council — nor are they ever likely to be… and that is the saddest thing of all.

The article (on Clipped News) mentioned that other councils are free to all, whether they pay local council tax or not, so it seems to be just a money-making idea, except that it is unenforceable — who has ever seen a park warden or park keeper or whatever they are called? I have used Queen’s Park (and others) for years, and never once seen any rules being enforced.

However, things are getting worse, because more and more people are using the parks in the wrong way and for the wrong things. This is chasing away the people for whom the park was intended. What is the point of rules that no-one keeps? Where is the enforcement?

Wine Whine


Boy this is a weird one — but interesting for all that. Started off simply enough: I wanted a bottle of wine, and so I popped into an off-licence which was a cage that sold spirits, cider, beer and so-called ‘wines’ from California and Australia.

Naturally, I left immediately.

[Picture of a glass of red wine]I visited another off-sales, and it was much the same. I tried here and there, until I threw in the towel and went to a supermarket. Although they were pushing ‘New World Wines’ from Australia, New Zealand and the USA, at least there were some proper wines from Europe!

I cannot believe the way things have changed — the public cannot easily buy proper wines! What is going on?

Decades ago we joined the EEC — the European Economic Community, and even though the name has changed to the EU, the whole idea was supposed to be all about improving trade — trade with France and Italy for example.

  • Italy is the world’s largest producer of wine by far. If the supermarkets and shops were representing production, then Italian wine would take up more than the half-metre width on two or three shelves I found tonight, it would take up half of the aisles.

France is the best wine — a simple and acknowledged fact. France is a large producer, but not represented on the high street — why? Don’t the British public want quality?

That all aside, let’s look at New World Wines:

For a start they don’t have to be all wine, any wine or live up to any definition or standard. There is nothing to stop an ‘Australian’ wine from being made in the UK or anywhere else. It can be a mix from many countries and years and grapes and just-about-anything else. Grape juice, alcohol and topped up with tap water would be OK.

[picture of wine being poured into a glass from a bottle]That’s the thing about European wine, the rules are strict, and it is all very serious and steeped in tradition and history. It’s mainly about geography and year. From the region, through the villages and hillsides to a specific house or Chateau, European wine is labelled and certified. The Name or Appellation is controlled, as are the denomination and origin — everything is protected and it’s authenticity certified and documented.

There are four major categories of Italian wines:

  • Vino Da Tavola
  • Vino a Indicazione Geografica (IGT)
  • Vino a Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)
  • Vino a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)

Wines in France are categorised under the following wine grades:

It is not difficult to get a clue and root out a good bottle of wine — but only if they are available in the first place. New World Wines just do not have a similar system — they do not even have to be wine in any technical sense, they can be chemically manufactured in a lab; there’s nothing to stop that happening.

What I am saying here is that our shops should at the very least represent these wines. I cannot believe that we do not even get offered the choice, especially when they are our neighbours and trading partners.

From a ‘green point of view’ — how many miles does a Californian or Australian wine have to travel? Wouldn’t it be better to buy and sell more locally, merely to save the planet?

[Picture of wine bottles stored on their sides]Somebody somewhere has sewn it all up. Some corruption has taken place, for I have scanned Haddows, Threshers, Oddbins and the rest — as well as local off-sales, pubs and supermarkets — and the real, genuine, authentic European wines are simply not available, and that is just weird!

Where you do get them, it is a ridiculously small display, and the bottles are all upright — yet even a village idiot knows that it not good for them!

Not so long ago you could walk along Kilmarnock Road in Shawlands and know it was the start of the European wine season — the third Thursday each November — marked by the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. In fact the national news always used to carry the story of the race to get the first bottle opened in Britain!

All my adult life I have managed to celebrate the new wine, just as I have celebrated Christmas, New Year, Easter and St.Patrick’s Day!

However, and sadly, last November I searched in vain for a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau — the staff at Oddbins had never even heard of the wine or the celebration! I had to order a bottle over the Internet, and it was the first time I had failed to get a bottle on the 3rd Thursday.

Another tradition going and almost gone. Things are definitely getting worse.

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