Cloisters

I’ve been meaning to take some photos around the gorgeous old cloisters that divide the two main quadrangles in Glasgow University for ages, and as I was visiting nearby Kelvingrove then walking past the Uni with chums on the way to Ashton Lane (a regular haunt from the old days, lovely wee cobbled back street with indy cinema, bars, restaurants and cafes), we paused at the uni so I could get a few shots.

Cloisters 04

Cloisters 01

Glasgow University 04

Burns-themed poem on the recent Glasgow Airport attack my cousin forwarded me, which seems to be doing the rounds


To a Gallant Baggage Handler

(with apologies to Robert Burns)

‘Twas doon by Inch o’ Abbots
Oor Johnny walked yin day

When he saw a sicht that troubled him
Far more that he could say.

A fanatic muslim bastard
Wiz doin’ what he’d planned

And intae Glesca Airport’s hall
A Cherokee he’d rammed.

A big Glaswegian polis
Came forward tae assist

He thocht, “A wumman driver!”
– Or at least some guy half-pissed

But to his shock nae drunken Jock
Emerged to grasp his hand

But a flamin’ Arab loony
Frae yon Al Qaeda band

The mad Islamist nutcase
Had set hissel’ oan fire

And swung oot at the polis,
GBH his clear desire

‘Hey, that’s no richt!’ oor Johnny cried
And sallied tae the fray.

A left hook and a heid butt –
Nae bother! – saved the day.

So listen up Bin Laden:
Yer sort’s no’ wanted here

For imported English radicals
We Scotsmen huv nae fear

Oor hame-grown Glesca Asians
Will have nae bloody truck

So tak yer world-wide jihad
An’ get yersel’ tae Fuck!

Introducing Heep’s hot new SUV, the Fundamentalist. Great off road for the muddy terrorist training camp, brilliant on the busy city roads for trying to kill those damned infidels who insult your culture by daring to go on a summer family holiday. Also perfect for the school run for the busy family Jihadist on the go (only for boys of course, can’t have those damned girls being educated, can we?). Heep, the number one best-selling SUV in Afghanistan and Britain! Deluxe model comes with special SatNav with directions to Salman Rushdie’s house. That will teach the British to value decent literature and freedom of expression!

Floating heads

The ‘floating heads‘ sculptures hanging in one of the wings of the newly refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow. Gordon and I spent hours going round here recently; it re-opened last summer after a huge refurbishment and is, I am happy to say, even more popular than ever before. Edinburgh has the vast bulk of the national galleries and museums, but Glasgow, in true Glaswegian style, simply created large museums and galleries for themselves, all designed from their inception to be accessible to all the people of the city regardless of wealth or status.

We both grew up in Glasgow so we were in and out of this emporium of delights dozens of times as kids – the upper floors hold galleries, the lower ones the museum, so you can see everything from a Matisse to a mummy to a suit of armour to artefacts from Saint Kilda to dinosaurs and even, in one wing, an actual Spitfire fighter plane hanging from the ornate ceiling like the world’s biggest kid’s model on a string. We both found that same child-like fascination was still engendered by this magical place and spent hours going round it; still one of my favourite places in the whole world and so, so happy to find a place that enchanted, amazed and educated me as a child still did the same now.