Glasgow Gallivanting: April 2021

Forth and Clyde Canal at Applecross

Despite restrictions easing so that we are now allowed to travel beyond the boundaries of our own council, in April we still kept more or less to Glasgow. Tales of crowds, overflowing carparks, and roads blocked by dangerously parked vehicles weren’t encouraging. So, as usual, the local canal featured heavily in our walks. Two sources of excitement: first, more of the new Claypits Nature Reserve has opened, and a path takes you up from the canal towpath to a viewpoint over the city. The nature reserve itself is still looking very raw, but you can see the potential.

Second, we have been watching three pairs of nesting swans on the canal at Lochburn, Ruchill, and Firhill. Which will be the first to hatch cygnets?

Having visited Glasgow’s three other Necropolises, I’ve been wanting to go to the Eastern Necropolis in Parkhead, aka Janefield Cemetery, for some time. Armed with a map and a list of 20+ notable graves, I set out to find the only woman on the list. Disappointment awaited – although the map was accurate for other graves, I could not find Maggie Shields. Maybe her stone has disappeared? Further research required. Overall, the Necropolis is not as grand as the others so we didn’t take many photographs, but it was still a poignant experience: for example, a mother buried with two infant children, and a couple who lived till their seventies but suffered the loss of four children in early adulthood. And who was Agnes? Has someone left a painted pebble in her memory because her headstone has disappeared too?

This is the woman I was looking for:

I’ve written before about the 1889 Templeton’s carpet factory disaster when 29 women were killed by a collapsing wall. Margaret (Maggie) Shields was one of them. This is her paving stone from the memorial across the road from the former factory. Some day, I will try again to find her grave.

It’s been a good month for murals and street art. I’ve already written about the Shuggie Bain and Splintering City murals, but there’s more! These are from Paisley where my mother lives. I drive past Elma Whyte Performing Arts every time I visit, but have only recently walked past to take photos. The fencing makes it difficult to get the gable wall all in at once. Thanks to Buddie and His Camera for the tip off about the mural with three boys.

I found another piece of Louise McVey’s graffiti ceramics, which already seems to have lost a bit, and her golden heart which last month was painted over in pink has now disappeared completely leaving no more than paint splodges. These things are fleeting!

Less fleeting is this bench which has featured before. Earlier in the pandemic I walked past often, and every day there was a different quote. Having not been in that street for a few months, I was curious to see if it was still being maintained – and it is!

Most of the teddies in windows from the early days have disappeared, but here is another survivor. He used merely to wish passers-by good morning or good afternoon, but recently he has had more varied messages. I knew that his people couldn’t wait to see Johnny – I think that was the name – a grandchild maybe? Then, when we were allowed to travel, the message changed. I think Johnny must live in Edinburgh and I’m glad they had a good time! (You might have to zoom in quite a bit to read the messages).

I loved this newly spotted piece of Covid art. It’s a play on a popular Scottish children’s song, Ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus, sung to the tune of  She’ll be coming round the mountains.

The first verse is normally as below, and you can read (and listen to) the full song on the Scots Language Centre site. I’ve been neglecting my Scottish word of the month feature lately, so this can be a contribution.

Ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus
Naw ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus
Naw ye canny shove yer grannie
Cause she’s yer mammie’s mammie
Ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus

Finally, what was the biggest event of the month? Well, John had a birthday, his second of lockdown. He’s partial to chocolate cake!

But was that bigger than the fact that after four months I finally got a haircut? I wouldn’t like to say, but here’s the before and after – and I can assure you that the before image is flattering. It was much worse than it looks!

One of the things I like to spot on my otherwise repetitive walks about town is interesting shop fronts. Speaking of hair prompted me to check my collection for hair salons and barber shops, and I found quite a few inventive ones. Puns and paintwork!

So that’s it for April – over a year of lockdown gallivanting posts. I remember saying in March last year that I didn’t know if I’d have enough to write another one. It’s a good job we’ve all learned, of necessity, to take pleasure in the small things of life. Happy May!


  1. It is interesting watching how restrictions are lifting in parts of our planet. You have had a long haul of hunkering down, Anabel. It is wonderful how you have access to more areas of nature and paths to walk. The Cemeteries are always interesting and thought-provoking. I enjoy when you share about Paisley. Big happy birthday wishes to John. Nice haircut! Yes, pleasure in the small things!😀


  2. I’m glad to know you getting out from under the lockdowns. Love the song about Granny, the teddy with his signs, the beautiful cemetery and great murals. Getting out is so good for us.
    And John has great taste–chocolate is hit in our household too.😉


  3. I thoroughly enjoyed your April 😀 and love how people are keeping the signs going. Although the wise words on the bench, maybe not when it comes to politicians 😉


  4. Hi Anabel – they’re all lovely to see … and I do hope you can find Maggie’s grave. Cemeteries have extraordinary views don’t they … with some sad memorials. I so agree – stay local but away from the madding crowds. Those murals are amazing … stay safe – and thanks for these – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As always there’s so much to enjoy in your monthly gallivanting, especially the street art. Love the hairdressers’ signs too. I think both hair styles suit you, but I totally get going for the easy-care one. Even in lockdown, I’m sure you could find more interesting things to do than wrangle hair.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wise woman regarding easing slowly back into moving around more. Scary watching people’s enthusiasm to mix and mingle in large groups. We are having to do a self imposed hibernation just to keep bugs at bay. Luckily, we enjoy our own company! Smiled at the before and after the haircut, you suit your hair shorter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That claypits site looks good. Just bought the Shuggie Bain book last week on an impulse as I liked the cover image- very similar council housing stock to where I lived so I hope I like it although it doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs and I’ve already read a lengthy depression, grinding poverty extravaganza novel set in Drumchapel which was totally different from my own experience/ childhood full of sunlight, innocence, colour and surrounding country adventures. Makes a change from crime/murder fiction though which seems to be the plot of 80% of books these days.


  8. I haven’t had any pictures to post on the blog for a long time so I tend to forget to visit the blogs I used to follow. Tonight, I decided to take a peak at what you have been up and as usual I see that you have managed to find lots of interesting things to photograph & do. Good to see that you have been able to get a haircuts. Those small “normal” things do help the morale.
    We are keeping well and are active by taking a lot of long walks in the cities and in a few parks outside the cities but we haven’t been going out with our cameras much lately…


      • Yes, we have had quite stringent restrictions since late September. Our provincial authorities had launched a 28 days challenge to get the case numbers down but we are now at almost 220 days of this challenges. Some shops and museums have opened since then but we still have a curfew and restrictions on seeing people which we can do in small groups and only outside. It has been a long stretch. Our province hopes to have at least 75% of all adults vaccinated by late June and have said they could start to relax measures then…we will see. We do have pictures but they aren’t very interesting for posts on the blog and I don’t like doing intermittent posts…just too much work.


  9. I am so sorry for not being here sooner since I so enjoy your walks. I love cemeteries and would love to read them and find that one gravestone. I wonder what the 4 children died of. If it was around the turn of the century it could easily have been all the diseases that ran riot. Now just to inform all the twits of today who don’t want a vaccine that they could always stop everything and get smallpox, measles, diptheria, scarlet fever, polio.etc… i love the murals including the hair places. your hair does look good longer but I bet you love to be back to hair norm.


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