I've been making the most of the fantastic weather today, firstly by scattering a few seeds and picking up litter from my Wilson Street flower bed, or my garden as I like to think of it, at the unholy hour of 8:30am. Then it was back to Clairwil towers for a spot of breakfast a play about on the internet before being swept off to the countryside by mummy and daddy for a belated birthday lunch.
As some of you may know I don't drive. I tried it once and nearly drove into a wall -though in fairness I was drunk at the time. After that I thought that it might be best for all concerned if I were to avoid cars. Naturally mummy sensing that I was perfectly happy not driving has leant on me to change that, so much so that I was thinking of having a go whilst sober.
Today changed all that. My parents are good people but never in my whole life have I seen two human beings more ruined by the automobile than them. Firstly they took me to the Lomond Shores retail outlet which has a marvellous view and mediocre shops including a branch of popular confectioners Thorntons. Can anyone tell me what the point of that wretched place is? A sweet shop should be a place of joy but it's so beige. If I had the money I'd open a proper fucking sweet shop and drive them out of business.
Now had we stayed at Lomond Shores we could have gone for a walk in the national park or even visited the Loch Lomond Aquarium but since we had a car we could leave and be elsewhere in a flash. Elsewhere, after speeding through beautiful scenery at an alarming rate, turned out to be Luss but we couldn't get parked so carried on flying along in the car until we reached The Drovers Inn, I was perfectly happy, there was a rooster, several chickens, a tit, stuffed animals and a beer garden. However Mummy didn't like the menu so we left and drove to the Ben Lomond Restaurant but again the menu didn't meet Mummy's exacting standards. So we got in the car again and eventually had lunch at The Tickled Trout in Milngavie.
Now imagine how much better that would have been without a car. We'd have hopped on a train at Queen Street, hopped off at Ardlui, gone for a walk and been so hungry we'd have been delighted with the fare on offer at The Drovers Inn (which was better than what we ended up with). In other words we'd have got by. We wouldn't have allowed a bit of snootiness to send us scurrying back to a pub barely outside Glasgow for a mediocre lunch. Cars make people soft and unable to cope with even something as trivial as a country pub's limited menu.
All of the above explains why my parents hated Port Logan whilst I and it would appear the anglers of England know it to be heaven on earth. We took the time to look at it, mum and dad drove in, saw the pub had a tartan carpet and drove back out. Cars have their uses but appreciating the land is not one of them.
Still on the plus side the whole pointless experience has got me plotting train journey's both great and small for the summer. The sooner speed bumps and vehicle tolls are erected in the countryside the better as far as I'm concerned. The countryside was made to be taken slowly with a smattering of public transport for the tricky bits. So for all the delays, aching muscles and bad food endured by the walker and passenger I'm happier on my feet taking the world at a natural pace and really seeing it. As someone who loathes the idea of roughing it, getting by and making do it's not easy to admit but sometimes the easy way is not the best way.