Big, bright green pleasure machine

Big, bright green pleasure machine?

I love this cute little van which lives a few streets away from us, and which I often pass on my walks. Jude’s green challenge gives me an opportunity to use her photograph – and I say her rather than its, because the Bowl Food website makes it clear that her name is Ethel. She is a 1974 Citroen H Van and plies her trade at festivals, parties, weddings – you name it. When pandemic restrictions allow of course.

Further inspiration comes from Neil (Yeah, another blogger) and his Art on Wheels series, currently on episode 7. After reading these I started to keep an eye open for attractively decorated vehicles, though looking through my collection only brings up one other green one, from the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum. I don’t think the caravan with the green roof counts because I doubt it ever goes anywhere! We spotted it last summer in a garden in (I think) Milton of Campsie.

Another incentive I use to get me walking around the same areas again and again is to spot how many different designs of railings and gates I can find. Most are black, but I have found quite a few good green ones.

Then there are doors, many doors. This is Starry, Starry Night, a vintage clothes shop in one of the lanes off Byres Road, complete with fake door – and fake cat.

Restaurants: Chaakoo Bombay Café with its Cattle Class entrance (for staff?) and Nick’s on Hyndland Road.

School doors – the old Boys’ and Girls’ entrances to a former school in Townhead, and the much better tended door to the Mount Building of St Aloysius’ College in Garnethill.

Finally, some private houses: first the bright green of a Partick tenement, then two from the same West End street. Of these, I much prefer the very pale door, though the lime green one amuses me by having a matching doorbell.

Many of you will have spotted that my title is taken from a Paul Simon song. What does it mean? Some people think it extols the benefits of weed, others that the big, bright green pleasure machine is a television set, others still that the song is a general satire on advertising. As far as I’m concerned, anything that produces food is a pleasure machine so Ethel fits the bill. As an added bonus, the song is a track from the Simon and Garfunkel album Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and you can’t get much greener than that. Enjoy!


  1. Anabel, we certainly don’t have many interesting gates, colourful doors, or whimsical fake doors with fake cats around here — but we do have food trucks! I agree with you that anything that produces food gets my vote.



  2. Quite the title, Anabel and the photo lives up to it. I am sure Ethel could tell a few good stories. I walk along some of the same routes and you have inspired me to spot new and possibly unusual things. I doubt anything as unique and colourful as your neighbourhood. I did not know the title was from a Paul Simon song. What a hoot. I do know many of their other songs. Thank you for sharing a fun, colourful and interesting post. Happy Easter!


  3. I love the Starry Starry Night door! I’m trying to think of green doors near me but am totally drawing a blank. I really love most shades of green and have a room with green walls in my house, but my door is purple (we haven’t changed it since we moved in, since I like purple too!).


  4. “Anything that produces food is a pleasure machine.” I couldn’t agree more, Anabel. Green is obviously a part of your walks, if not your life. Fantastic photos to fit the theme. So many green doors! Did you and John celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?