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. I love the colours of the doors…all green but different colour, those gates are artistic which I love rather than the basic up and down with the spike at the top.


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