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Eilean Musdile

Eileen Musdile at sunset

There’s a few lovely little nuggets related to this picture and area. The Lismore lighthouse itself was built by Robert Stevenson (Grandfather to Robert Louis Stevenson) in 1833. The lighthouse island is called Eilean Musdile. It’s actually two islands and there is a handsome bridge joining them. The bridge has probably only been used by a handful of people. There seems to be two walled fields on the island, maybe for livestock in the old days. There are two cottages on the island. Near it is a skerry, a tiny rock that is submerged at high tide. It now has a funny looking beacon/lighthouse on it. It’s called Lady’s Rock.

Lady’s Rock

In 1527, Lachlan Maclean of Duart (Duart’s Castle is nearby on Mull – which I visited – and met the fine fellow in the picture below) wanted to murder his wife, Lady Catherine Campbell (for reasons I have yet discern). He rowed her out to the rock and left her on it – expecting her to drown at high tide. She was saved after some yelling, that nearby fishermen heard. She retreated to her family home to recover from the ordeal.

Meanwhile, Maclean looked out to the rock and seeing no-one on it, sent a missive to her family offering condolences for her demise. In turn, they invited him to dinner in her honour. He turned up with a coffin. When he entered the hall, to his horror, she was sat at the head of the table. He survived the meal, but some time later her brother killed him.

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Waiting for a bus, Glasgow

Rainy day, Glasgow May 2016

Woman waiting for a bus, Glasgow May 2016.

To be fair, this is not typical. The weather has been stupendous, hot, sunny, really nice. This was a a heavy shower, but it didn’t last long. They say of Scottish weather, if you don’t like it, don’t worry, it’ll change in half an hour. It’s true.

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Grafton Place

High rise – done right.

Something to be said for Glasgow and that is that there is generally a sensitivity and respect for the Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian grandiose civic buildings and churches that dominate the city. Much of the more modern architecture is extremely complimentary to the older buildings and have a respect for space and context. In stark contrast to London’s current identity crisis.

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Norfolk Court, Gorbals, Glasgow

Homemade football at Norfolk Court, Gorbals, Glasgow

Norfolk Court, Glasgow is due to be demolished and the final ‘safe’ day near the building is this week. The Gorbals is/was a notorious area of Glasgow. During the industrial revolution, many people came to the area from the Scottish Highlands, Ireland and also Italy.

The industrial era area became overcrowded and dangerous. Because of unsanitary conditions, the area was demolished. Tower blocks were put up but the area remained dangerous – overcrowded, large homeless problem and poor health.

Some of the towers put up in the 1960s were demolished in the early 1990s. Norfolk Court shown here is the last remaining block to come down – ending three generations of famously squalid, poverty stricken and extremely tough living. I’m a little cautious in describing the area. I know it by reputation, second hand stories and legend. I’ve read about people growing up extremely proud to be from here – although no one says it was a holiday in the Bahamas.

Home made football

Anyway, exploring the area, I found a home made football. It was very well made, and has a certain beauty of craft about it. To me it seemed like a fascinating metaphor for how poor the area was/is – that you have to make your own footballs.

It’s made out of possibly polystyrene centre, plastic shopping bags and a quantity of insulating tape. It had a surprisingly good kicking weight to it, but you definitely wouldn’t want to header it as you’d need a head like a brick, because it was a little on the firm side. Maybe there’s some Glaswegian laughing at me thinking I’m a soft Southerner for not heading the hard ball.