Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Glasgow Central Station tour

I had been wanting to go on the Glasgow Central Station tour, led by Paul Lyons, for some time.  I managed to get a space on it today and I was not disappointed.  As someone who was born in Glasgow but grew up in one of the satellite suburbs to the south of the city Central Station has always been an important hub in my life, a gateway to adventure and culture.

The building itself is massive, truly much bigger than I ever really realise.  To get a true picture of its extent you need to see it from above.  It is a giant footprint on Glasgow, extending north from the Clyde.  It was build on top of an old village and even now hundreds of people work in the station and thousands more commute through it every day.

This tour gives you a chance to see behind the scenes at this important building.  You get into some of the nooks and crannies of the station and you learn about it’s construction and evolution as well as its central role in the social history of both Glasgow and Scotland itself.  Paul Lyons is a great speaker and he tells us of the massive crowds drawn here is yesteryear by the famous names of the past.  He also reminds us of those who were sadly unnamed as they passed though the station during the tragic final years of the first world war.

I could go on and on about the things I learned from Paul today but that is not really my role.  These stories should be told by Paul on the tour and at some point they will hopefully be written down and further recorded by him.

For everyone else, until that point, go on this tour.  You will not be disappointed.

Friday, July 24, 2015

This blog is ten years old

I've just sort of remembered that I first started writing this blog ten years ago this month.  When I started up I was living in Coventry planning a move to Glasgow.  I am now fully based in Glasgow although I'm currently spending a bit of time in London for work.

The world has changed in a few ways and stayed the same in other ways.  Ten years ago I had an iPod but iPads and iPhones did not exist.  The idea that I would one day see an excellent Ant-man film in a big cinema would have made me laugh out loud.  I have managed to do a lot of things that I only dreamed of 10 years ago.  I have been lucky and I am almost exactly where I want to be.  Life is good.

I should take more time to write and to update this site.  I know I am lazy but I will perhaps do more on here over the next couple of months,

Anyway, I've had ten great years and I hope the next ten are just as good.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

When medical science fails

As a doctor one of the most frustrating things you can experience is failure, the realisation that medical science is not good enough to fix a person.  It's worse if that person is a friend (or the spouse of a friend) and they have a health problem that is part of your specialist interest.  It is also important to note that as a doctor you should really not be involved in the medical care of your friends.

I wish medical science was better.  I wish that the drugs we have now were available 20 years ago.  I wish we were better. I wish we could stop young people becoming disabled.  I wish everyone could live full, pain free lives with no fucking problems at all.

My wishes are unrealistic.

As a doctor I want to make things good for my patients.  I know this is not always possible.  I can accept that. It's just fucking difficult to accept if it's someone you know, with a disease you work with, but sadly the boat has been missed and the great drugs came along too fucking late. It's a shitty fucking deal.  Sometimes you wish you could turn back the clock but life is not going to let that happen.

You also want to give all of your patients all of your effort all of the time but that is not possible either. As a doctor you are still human and your resources are limited.  It is impossible to fire on full cylinders all the time.

Anyway, I'm on holiday.  Rant over.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A gentle nudge

After a gentle nudge I've got back to writing the blog again.   Service, as always, will be intermittent.

Life is currently full and generally great.  I'm pretty happy.

The return of the Forbidden Planet Glasgow Book group - Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehimann and Kerascoet

The Forbidden Planet book group has been resurrected, much like this blog.  I'm glad the book group is back as it's great to have a chance to discuss comic books with other people.

Beautiful Darkness was an interesting choice. It's a French book, a sort of twisted fairytale.  The art looks great but I didn't really enjoy it.  The story revolves around some fairytale characters who come to live in and around the dead body of a young girl, lost in the woods.  We don't know how she died or if anyone is looking for her.  She is the elephant in the room.  The fairytale characters gradually turn feral, meeting horrible fates or dispatching each other in senseless and cruel ways.  It has a "lord of the flies' feel to it.

This comic book is like a cipher.  The reader can project his or her own ideas onto the story with no real confirmation of anything from the creators.  I guess it would qualify as art and many of the others in the group really liked it.  I felt it was needlessly unpleasant at times even though it looked great.  I don't think I'll rush to re-read it.

Interestingly, the writer Fabien Vehimann has also written some Spirou books.  They are much more wholesome and enjoyable to my mind.  I would like to see other work by these talented creators but Beautiful Darkness just didn't float my boat.

Check it out if you want a really twisted fairy tale but this is not a book for children.