Saturday, 10 January 2015

#JeSuisCharlie



A break in the normal pattern of posts to say #JeSuisCharlie and to put up a Guardian cartoon by Martin Rowson that I bought from Martin in   October 2005 and which speaks as well now as it did then.

For Martin on Charlie Hebdo see

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2015/jan/09/martin-rowson-charlie-hebdo-cartoon-free-speech

To paraphrase Ecclesiastes, of the making and taking of offence regarding images and Holy Writ there is no end, a truism that applies in the secular as well as the religious sphere.



'The gods did not enrich man with a knowledge of all things from the beginning of life. 
Yet man seeks, and in time invents what may be better.' 

- Xenophanes c. 570 – c. 475 BC





Monday, 5 January 2015

A Christmas Eve Walk, 2014



'How these curiosities would be quite forgot, did not such idle fellowes as I put them down.'


- John Aubrey

'Oh roads we used to tread, 
Fra' Maryhill to Pollokshaws - fra' Govan to Parkhead! 

- Kipling, 'McAndrew's Hymn'

'Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think that perhaps it is possible to walk like Alice, through a looking-glass, observe the puzzles in one’s head and find another kind of world with the camera.' - Tony Ray-Jones

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the  joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin and a  list of all posts see the  'Introduction' post  -


 Feel free to drop me an email with suggestions, offers of £20 notes etc. The address is damnyouebay@gmail.com. I have had to start watermarking the pics as I have come across one big website using a pic without permission - I suppose there must be others.

If you are a private individual and want to use any of the pics for non-commercial purposes please get in  touch and I will usually be happy to say 'Aye' for free - just give the Album a credit. If you want to use a pic for commercial purposes a small mutually agreed fee and a credit will suffice. And you can follow me on Twitter if you wish: Edwin Moore@GlasgowAlbum.


Today is Christmas Eve 2014, two days after  the bin lorry crash in the city centre on 22 December. See


Buchanan St 

A busker playing a melancholy tune




Until a couple of  years ago there were Georgian buildings on our left. See
http://glasgowalbum.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/buchanan-st-3-georgian-buildings-coming.html

A beggar down Dundas Lane

Why down there? There can't be a better pitch than Buchanan St, but there will be footfall  from Queen St Station to here. The psychogeography of begging positions is rooted in a  very real world of not just competition from other beggars, but also  intimidation from some of those other beggars (or their minders),  some  cops, and some shopkeepers. Welcome to Glasgow, Christmas Eve,  2014.

Down there on the corner by the bus is where the bin lorry came to rest

Silent Fun Fair




Victoria and the Wheel


We're heading for GoMA 


The floral tributes are across the road beside GoMA

For the dismal custom of 'coning' the Duke see
http://glasgowalbum.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/coning-duke-and-ages-of-ignorance.html
































Penguin fallen over














Boy in blue jacket tenderly stood the penguin right way up - some things  can be made right

Back in Buchanan St

Buskers. Life goes on.



We're going to walk down to St Enoch Square

Flowers for the tributes






Looking back







'. . .I know the tragic hearts of towns.
City! I am true son of thine;
Ne’er dwelt I where great mornings shine
Around the bleating pens;
Ne’er by the rivulets I strayed,



And ne’er upon my childhood weighed
The silence of the glens.
Instead of shores where ocean beats,
I hear the ebb and flow of streets.' . .

. . .Wave am I in that sea of woes,
Which, night and morning, ebbs and flows.
I dwelt within a gloomy court,
Wherein did never sunbeam sport;
Yet there my heart was stirr’d—
My very blood did dance and thrill,
When on my narrow window-sill,
Spring lighted like a bird. . . 

'. . .O fair the woods on summer days,
While a blue hyacinthine haze
Is dreaming round the roots!
In thee, O City! I discern
Another beauty, sad and stern. . . '




'. . .From terrace proud to alley base
I know thee as my mother’s face.
When sunset bathes thee in his gold,
In wreaths of bronze thy sides are rolled,
Thy smoke is dusky fire;
And, from the glory round thee poured,
A sunbeam like an angel’s sword
Shivers upon a spire. . .'


'. . .Then wherefore from thee should I range?
Thou hast my kith and kin:
My childhood, youth, and manhood brave;
Thou hast that unforgotten grave
Within thy central din.
A sacredness of love and death
Dwells in thy noise and smoky breath.'

From 'Glasgow' (1857) by Alexander Smith










Coming up to Argyle St


Looking back


In Argyle St


Hamleys







Not a Banksy I suppose




I ask how he is doing - he is doing OK 








Puddles of light

















Clyde St down there. For related walks from here to the High Court and Saltmarket see
http://glasgowalbum.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/swingergate-day-46-last-day.html

The descent into the Tesco circle of hell. Our guide on the right is no Virgil


Laughter in the square - in life and on poster. 


Street sweeper


The beggar we spoke to has gone






Back in Argyle St. We are waking up to WH Smiths.


Beggar all wrapped up - it is wet and cold




The sweeper again






Busker on our right - does Andean music



We are going into W H Smith on right

TK-maxx

Splendid  'Greek' Thomson building. For more on the man see
http://glasgowalbum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/alexander-greek-thomson-8-sixty-steps-3.html 

























Kind words also help

























Down we go






More guides to the nether world perhaps

Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes 854 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"But sail upon the wind of lamentation, my friends, and about your head row with your hands' rapid stroke in conveyance of the dead, that stroke which always causes the sacred slack-sailed, black-clothed ship [of Kharon] to pass over Akheron to the unseen land here Apollon does not walk, the sunless land that receives all men."

This and following quotes from
http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Kharon.html

One day, you too will need the charity of others.

Callimachus, Hecale Fragment 31 (from Suidas) : 
"Wherefore only in that city [Hermione in Argolis] the dead carry not a fee for the ferry [of Kharon], such as it is the custom for others to carry in the mouth to pay their passage on the ship of Akheron (a drachma)."

Euripides, Alcestis 455 ff : 
"Chorus : Oh that it were in my power and that I had the strength to bring you back to light from the dark of death with oars on the sunken river."

Thank you for browsing, dear visitor. 


My other barking wee blog is


Reviews of Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know


RADIO AND TELEVISION

'I love it - I'm giving this copy to a friend and buying another for myself' - Darren Adam, Presenter, Radio Forth, 17 November 2008

‘It’s a great wee book’ – Stephen Jardine, introducing Edwin Moore on Scottish Television’s Five-Thirty Show

'A fantastic book' - Scott Wilson , talk 107 Breakfast Show host 

'A great read' - Dougie Jackson, Drivetime host, Smooth Radio 105.2

THE PRESS

'Despite its apparently humorous format, this is a serious and extensive dictionary on all things Scottish; from Jean Redpath to Lorne sausage, from Flodden to the Corries. Is particularly good on history and minutiae. There's a useful chapter on famous Scottish legal cases and another on literature. Excellent' - Royal Scottish Legion, Feb 2009

'This is the ultimate Scottish reference book' - Waterstones Christmas catalogue, 2008

'This is a fascinating look at the history of Scotland: its languages, politics and great achievements, from its origins in the ancient landmass of Laurentia 400 million years ago, to devolution and Billy Connolly. Edwin Moore has collected a thousand important facts about this beautiful country, covering Scottish history and culture, correcting misconceptions, and examining the mysteries of haggis and bagpipes with insight, warmth and impressive attention to detail' - The Good Book Guide, November 2008


'This is a recipe for revealing how horribly ill informed you are about your country. Although, if you are skillful, you can nod sagely as you read some new fact and mutter 'Ah, yes!' as if recalling the information from your excellent schooling. Where else will you find a real recipe for making haggis from scratch side by side with a potted biography of David Hume; a section of the Declaration of Arbroath and the curiously touching fact that Lulu was only 15 when she had a hit with 'Shout'? The whole thing is of course, silly - but oh so addictive.' - Matthew Perren, i-on Glasgow, December 2008


'. . . well crafted and witty' - Bill Howatson, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 October 2008


‘While most of Edwin’s entries are entertaining and scholarly – he writes like a Scottish Bill Bryson – it is when he takes an interest in the backwaters of history, the details lost down the back of the sofa, that he is at his best’ – Jack McKeown, The Courier, 27 October 2008


'History, it is said, is written by the victors. Trivia, meanwhile, is written by the guys with the smeared spectacles and the breathable rainwear. The first discipline is linear and causal; to quote from Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, history is “just one f****** thing after another”. Things look different, though, when viewed through the prism of trivia. The past is reduced to one big coleslaw of fascinating facts that in their randomness tell a more mixed-up tale entirely.
The first approach leads to big, frowning books by the likes of Tom Devine and Michael Fry. The latter results in small, cheerful books such as Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin Moore’s valiant attempt to navigate the more trivial contours of enlightenment and clearances, crown and parliament, dirt and deity.
Moore proceeds from a sincere and controversial first principle: Scotland is really a rather pleasant and interesting place. . .As a work of popular scholarship, though, it’s in a different league to the Scottish novelty titles that get stocked next to the bookstore tills as potential impulse purchases, those little handbooks of parliamo Caledonia and regional braggadocio, such as Weegies vs Edinbuggers.' - Allan Brown The Sunday Times, 21 September 2008

'In his book, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin celebrates all that sets us Scots as a race apart - our language, law, flora, food, and of course, our people. From our poets, architects and inventors, to our artists, entertainers and fighters. But he doesn't shy away from the more unpleasant aspects of our history. . .' - Robert Wight, Sunday Post, 14 September 2008

‘We think we know all about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Union of the Crowms. However, according to Edwin Moore, author of , Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, we’re still in the dark about many aspects of our history and culture. . . The Big Issue looks at 20 of the most astonishing examples of secret Scotland.’ – The Big Issue, 18-24 September 2008

'What's the connection between Homer Simpson and Larbert, and why are generations of lawyers grateful to a Paisley snail? Need to know more? Author Edwin Moore has gathered 1000 facts like these about Scotland in a quirky new book. Brian Swanson selects a few favourites. . .' - Scottish Daily Express, 13 September 2008

'The palm for Christmas-stocking books seems to have passed recently to popular science, with best selling titles every year such as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? This year there has been a gallant attempt at a historical fight back. Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know(Atlantic Books, £12.99) asks (and answers) such post-turkey questions as ‘How many kings of Scotland died in their beds?’, ‘Who on earth decided that the Declaration of Arbroath was the cornerstone of modern democracy?’ or ‘Why is iron brew spelled Irn-Bru?’ Mark Mazower,History Today; The Best of History in 2008, December 2008

'A real treat for the serendipitous Scotophile' - Reginald Hill

FROM THE INTERWEB


www.Booksfromscotland.com (on the new paperback edition)
Book of the Month, May 2010
'Whether it's Scottish lochs or Enlightenment philosophers, the facts of the devolution referendums or the mysteries of Irn-Bru, myths will be debunked and truths revealed in this light-hearted but rigorous overview of Scottish history and culture.'


Also available for download on Amazon's e-book store is my 100 Brief Encounters 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Brief-Encounters-ebook/dp/B006CQ8G84/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322393003&sr=1-1

Here are some reviews of the print edition (published by  Chambers in 2007) -


Edwin Moore's quirky collection of a hundred encounters between (mostly) important historical figures is a gem of a book. Where else could you get concise enlightening accounts of Henry VIII wrestling with Francis I, Geronimo surrendering to General Miles, Ernest Hemingway presenting Fidle Castro with a fishing trophy or (as seen on the books cover) a baby faced Bill Clinton shaking hands with John F Kennedy. A marvelous 'little window on human history. ' - Dominic Kennerk, Waterstone's Product Planning and Promotions Co-ordinator (From the Waterstone's 'We Recommend' list for 2008)


Witty, light and packed with information -- The Sunday Herald


In 1936, in the wake of winning a clutch of gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, the great athlete Jesse Owens was snubbed by an imperious leader, on racial grounds. Popular belief would have it that the leader was Hitler, who is said to have stormed off, furious to see a black man beating European athletes. In fact the man in question was President Roosevelt, who worried that paying attention to Owens' triumphs might be a vote loser. Although Owens and the German Chancellor never talked, Owens claimed that Hitler greeted him with an enthusiastic wave. Such near-misses, shakings of hands and ships-in-the-night meetings are the subject of Brief Encounters – Meetings between mostly remarkable people, a likeable new book by Edwin Moore (Chambers £7.99). Flicking through the index, you will find some expected encounters (Dante stares at Beatrice, Corday stabs Marat, The Beatles strum along to a Charlie Rich record round at Elvis's house), and the book's intriguing and memorable cover shows a baby-faced Bill Clinton manfully gripping the hand of JFK. But Moore has navigated past some of the more obvious collisions, collusions and confrontations of history (there is no Dr Livingstone, I presume) and much of the book's pleasure derives from lesser known incidents.

Inevitably, some of the accounts of earlier meetings are somewhat sketchy but Moore offers some piquant speculation, laced with humour (the book is tagged Reference / Humour, rather than History and this feels right, but the book, though wry and opinionated, never stoops to wackiness). I was intrigued to discover that, though Attila the Hun did die on his wedding night, it was not in drunken and lecherous debauchery, as his enemies maintained, but supposedly because he was generally a simple and clean-living man who had a few too many which brought on a particularly bad nosebleed.


Moore's book is full of such tales – it would be wrong of me to steal the tastiest morsels of his research and pepper this article with them, but look out for a subsidiary reason for the Gunpowder Plot (too many dour and powerful Scots in Parliament); a great meeting of great beards, as Castro wins the Hemingway prize for sea-fishing; Dali bringing a skeptical Freud round to the art of the surrealists; Buffalo Bill's wife claiming an aged Queen Victoria had propositioned him; Oscar Wilde getting a kiss from Walt Whitman, while Walter Scott was more taken with Burns's charismatic eyes. This is an enjoyable and vigorous rattle through some fascinating and believable yarns. My only quibble is that it's a little on the short side – let's have Volume 2 please Chambers! - Roddy Lumsden, www.Books from Scotland.co.uk