Nature

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Glasgow Flowers

A wet summer Sunday is as good a day as any for a walk in the Botanic Gardens, which this year celebrates its 200th birthday. Today I noticed something I hadn’t spotted before: the city’s motto Let Glasgow Flourish and its Coat of Arms sculpted into the wall of a building just inside the Gt Western Road/Byres Road entrance, complete with the tree that never grew, the fish that never swam, the bird that never flew and the bell that never rang.

For the story behind the City of Glasgow’s Coat of Arms, see here.


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A walk in the west

I had to go and get some keys cut up at Anniesland, but the hint of rain had made the air so fresh that I took the waterproofs and set off for a four-hour walk through Glasgow’s West End.

And sure enough, by the time I’d come out of the hardware shop, the drizzle was on. I braved it for a few minutes but finally stopped to take shelter under some trees and don the waterproofs. It occurred to me that I’d passed this pond so often along Great Western Road, but had never taken a closer look._MG_9831

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On my way back were the colourful scenes at the front of tenement blocks.

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No walk though the West End is complete without a stopover at Hargan’s Dairy. Re-exposed to the elements for almost a decade now, the 1960s lettering is peeling fast.

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Last evening in Portovenere

As the sun was going down and warming up the rocks below St Peter’s Church, I wondered what that huge tanker had been doing there all day, and would it ever leave.

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Then suddenly it slid out of view, only to return a few moments later.

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My last evening at Portovenere. I will be back, once the tourist season has quietened down.

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Wild summer dreams

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Byron’s swimming pool

Well, one of them 😉. Byron’s (now collapsed) Grotto lies beneath this stone framed window that overlooks the Bay of Poets. Certainly peaceful shortly after 6 am in early June, but no doubt thronging with sunbathers and boats as the day grew hotter.

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I waited and waited

For days not a cloud in sight, but when I went out early on my first morning in Portovenere, the weather looked set to change. Would those clouds drop and block the early morning sun?
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The boats bobbing up and down in the foreground, constantly changing position, were mesmerising.

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I waited in the morning silence for the lights to go off and for the sun to come up over the horizon behind me and light up the palazzata a mare. Not a soul in sight.

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Gradually the light and sky changed.

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But it was clear that on this particular morning, the sun was not going to tinge the buildings with its early morning light, as the clouds had dropped behind me.

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Worth the wait nonetheless.


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Early morning blues

Up at 4.30, to wait for the early morning sun to light up the palazzata a mare in Portovenere. Far too early, considering that dawn was still an hour away, and the palazzata a couple of minutes’ walk.  But the peace and quiet that comes with those early morning blues is unmissable 😉

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