Archive for July, 2015

14 Jul 2015

Yes We’re Back: Boot and Bike Arrives in Glasgow!

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View from my sitting room

View from my sitting room

So, half a year has passed since Boot and Bike last blogged. This morning I cycled in a pleasant 20 degrees, under a soft blue sky, peppered by puffy white clouds and, whilst January’s post appropriately eulogised about the snow, seasonal meteorological milestones are far from the only changes in a rather eventful  six months.

Winter to summer; south to north; rural to urban; Trent to Clyde; level to hilly:  a list of almost polar opposites. Throw in some other seismic events, such as a landmark (for ominous reasons) general election and it’s been quite a turnaround.

So having swapped the safe and leafy lanes of the Trent Valley for the edgier banks of the lower Clyde (inadvertently, I’ve always found myself within striking distance of some of our great rivers, now I’m literally in touching distance) and with a couple of months of housesitting, a further two confined to a camp bed until the furniture arrived, plus six week’s of marking thrown in for good measure, what’s the verdict so far?

Wonderful!  Although deliveries, deadlines and essential domestic installations have restricted possible outings, having a cycle path outside the front window was always a large part of the deal and, so far, it certainly hasn’t disappointed.

Look, a cycle path at the end of my garden!

Look, a cycle path at the end of my garden!

15 minutes into town one way, 10 minutes into the countryside the other, all level, traffic-free, bordered by the vibrant shades of midsummer wild flowers, with rabbits, foxes, herons and even the odd deer for company; absolute bliss.

The Dear Green Place doesn’t usually feature on the lists of the most cycle-friendly cities and there is still a long way to go, but armed with a cycle-specific satnav and a good waterproof jacket (my priority clothing purchase), it is perfectly possible to get from A to B using traffic-free, or less busy roads, enjoying a different perspective on the city into the bargain.

Being appointed a paper girl by the Glasgow Women’s Library has not only been my most creditable achievement so far – narrowly beating my growing expertise at flat-pack assembly – but has also provided the ideal excuse to navigate my way around the streets delivering their publications and sampling some decent coffee en route: indeed, I can feel a “Best Coffee and Cake’ post coming on.

The prized insignia of a GWL paper girl - not everyone gets to wear this!

The prized insignia of a GWL paper girl – not everyone gets to wear this!

This morning’s jaunt round the cosmopolitan bars and delis of Shawlands was complemented by a sunny lunch in the exquisite Hidden Garden at the Tramway – spoilt only by a massive gull stealing the last quarter of my toast, before having the audacity to return to clear the plate it had knocked off the table!

 

Welcome to Glasgow, where even the gulls are gallus.

 

 

 

 

A perfect day to enjoy the wonderful Hidden Garden - just watch out for the gulls

A perfect day to enjoy the wonderful Hidden Garden – just watch out for the gulls

 

 

 

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