Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Glasgow Supports The People of Gaza

Die in in Buchanan Street

Die in in Buchanan Street

Die in in Buchanan Street

Die in in Buchanan Street

Die in in Buchanan Street

Die in in Buchanan Street

Die in in Buchanan Street

Die in in Buchanan Street

Friday, 26 December 2008

Farewell Glasgow!

When you leave behind a part of your life…
Images and faces…
Screams and laughters… and sometimes tears;
The roads become memories, and all the non-living things become alive.
And somehow, when you leave and it's late for goodbyes, you cherish the unforgettable flicks that play in your mind.

These are the best days.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 - Impoverished Glasgow East End: Where Do We Stand?

When I've decided to take part in Blog Action Day, especially with its POVERTY theme this year, I knew this post is not going to be about Africa, or poverty in the developing world; this post is going to be about the East End of Glasgow.

It is hard to wake-up in the East End of Glasgow to a harsh and shocking reality; where in the great nation of Britain and the free lands of Western Europe lies an impoverished community. A reality harder to accept if lived day to day by ordinary people, where decent health care, housing, affordable childcare, access to jobs and benefits have failed them in every way.

The governemnt is to blame, and so are the policies of health inequlities, and plummeting life expectancy rates in the East End.

Where do we stand when a report states that a shocking total of 98% of youngsters in parts of Easterhouse and Barlanark are living in poor families?

Where do we stand when we know that more than than 107,000 children in Glasgow live in poverty?

Where do we stand, and can we really just turn a blind eye on the dire social situation, the slums and the deterorating housing conditions. Is the re-generation that is taking place now, and which is part of the 2014 commonwealth games strategic plan going in the right direction and serving the right people?

Not much can be said, but a lot can be done, and desperately needing to be done.
And the only question left un-answered hangs on the doors of government officials, and policy makers and is written in big bold letters and reads as follows:


Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The Changing New Face of Politics: The Expert Vs the Charismatic Novice

As Labour was struggling to maintain its vision of fairness in Britain at the Labour Party Conference last Monday, Its rather “unpopular” PM Gordon Brown reached out to the crowds by refraining from being too “serious” and getting more up close and personal by engaging anecdotes about his childhood, his wife and children.

But the crack in the Labour Party from within was felt throughout the conference speeches. David Miliband (which is the charismatic clonned version of Tony Blair) and who was - according to some commentators - trying to acclaim Gordon Brown as Blair’s successor rather than challenging for the leadership himself because Labour is determined to close ranks and rout the Tories again. But the opposite interpretation is surely just as possible. Milliband and Co may have calculated that there’s no point in risking their prospects by trying to oust Brown now, when it seems likelier by the day that Cameron’s resurgent Tories will do the job for them at the next election, which explains Ruth Kelly’s stepping down from her cabinet job.

And While David Miliband is considered a novice by Labour themselves, a US foreign policy loyal servant by British people - he might really be Labour’s wild card –after all he’s young, charismatic and if we are acknowledging how the face of politics is changing, and how on the other side of the pond Obama is promoting the “young and charismatic” brand of politics - He is without a doubt their last hope, if Gordon failed to deliver that is – question is, are British people willing to accept yet another 4 or 5 years of Blairite Amercanized policy?! Remains to be decided!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Snap-a-Snooper in Edinburgh with Google Street View: Coming Later to Streets Near You!

As Google Street View is invading the UK, and more specifically Scotland, the Scotsman reports that the Google camera operatives have come under fire amid claims they are invading privacy by photographing everything in sight. But it seems those behind the Google Streetmap project are less than keen on being pictured themselves, apparently fearing reprisals from angry locals.

And for those who don’t know; Google Street View is a feature of Google Maps and Google Earth that provides 360° panoramic street-level views and allows users to view parts of selected cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas at ground level. Google Street View was first introduced in the United States on May 25, 2007, and only covered areas of the United States until July 2, 2008. As of today, images can be seen in five countries. Introductions have generally occurred every 1-3 months, with a group of cities marked by camera icons being added each time.
In some of the later introductions, other cities without such a marking have been added too.[source]

Apparently many people are deliberately taking snaps of the Google mobile-camera operatives, in a snap-a-snooper game.

These pictures of Google snoopers are courtesy of this man here.

These cameras have not been spotted in Glasgow yet, but they should be on their way real soon. How would you react in your own street? I would get my camera ready, and treat them to an-eye-for-an-eye response!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Open Doors Festival Diary - Part Deux

Yesterday’s central-city events celebrated the art of conservation and preservation with regards to Scottish materials, traditional skills, their history and current status. The series of lectures which took place at St. Andrews in the square newly renovated building, tackled the conservation of Scottish traditional materials and skills by top Scottish conservation experts.

Tom Morton of ARC Architects spoke about Earth Buildings; how local materials and skills had been employed at their best to present a form of vernacular architecture that stood the test of time, and can still aspire in the realm of modern sustainable solutions. For more information, a fascinating study done by Tom Morton for the Scottish Executive can be found here.

Nicola Ashurst of Adriel Consultancy spoke about the conservation of terracotta, especially the conservation project of the Doulton Fountain; a five year project, that cost nearly 5 million pounds, and brought back to life this sculpture masterpiece, that has been beautifully restored and relocated to the front of the People's Palace.
The Doulton Fountain was gifted to the city by Sir Henry Doulton, and first unveiled at the Empire Exhibition held at Kelvingrove Park in 1888. The fountain was then moved to Glasgow Green in 1890.
A sculptural extravaganza, the fountain was designed to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee of 1887, and celebrate Britain’s Imperial achievements - the fountain is crowded with figurative groups representing Australia, Canada, India and South Africa.

Hentie Louw from The University of Newcastle talked about Sash-Windows; an interesting take on the history and development of the Sash-window and its use in the Britain from late-medieval period to the mid 20th century.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Glasgow Celebrates its Built Heritage in Doors Open Day Festival

This fantastic event is Glasgow's way of celebrating its buildings, its streets, its parks and its people.

From Monday, September 15th to Friday 19th the festival hosts walks, talks, seminars, and exhibitions. Then, on the weekend from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon more than 135 extraordinary buildings to visit are opened for free for the public to go visit and snoop around.

Some of the seminars provided include some by top directors of important Scottish trusts. Last night Liz Davison, project director of the Merchant City Heritage Initiative, discussed at a seminar evening held at the Glasgow City Heritage Trust, the background and aims of the three year grants project. She also looked at its achievements and progress to date, and what challenges the future holds.

The project is grants-based operated by the Townscape Heritage Initiative, partly funded by Lottery Fund, and partly by the City of Glasgow Council as well as the Scottish Enterprise. It is based on providing grants for small private owners of important heritage buildings in the heart of the city. The work done by the trust is basically regenerating what is most likely to be adding noise to the aesthetic cohesion in the city; this includes shop fronts, façades, signs, paving, and giving more attention to historical architectural details. By preserving the already existing built heritage of some of the most important buildings in the city – some of which are A-listed even in the realm of the UK- the initiative is hoping to restore a sense of place and character, to sometimes forgotten, sometimes abandoned or in dire conditions Scottish heritage symbols.

Also last night Stephen Mullen from the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust presented a fasciating lecture which examined Glasgow's mercantile past from 1660 onwards, with links to tobacco,salvery, and the abolition movemnet and the city's urban environment.

The event is surely not to be missed – especially if you’re nosy enough, and wanting to know where all the Scottish millions are going?!!:D Be sure to visit the event website for more information. See you there!