Friday, October 08, 2004

Heron house (now, risibly, renamed ‘The Pinnacle’) was/is a New Brutalist behemoth sitting astride the Glasgow skyline like a giant discoloured monolith. Or alternatively, a grave marker for the kind of visionary utopian thinking now so resolutely unfashionable. Originally the Citizens Theatre was to be housed there, as well as bars and restaurants and an outdoor performance space (complete with mime artists no doubt). Characteristically, where architects are concerned, these worthy ideas were rapidly watered down and what we got was a massive unwieldy (yet peculiarly beautiful) building that quietly died where it stood. It lay empty for years an embarrassment to all concerned, until one day, along came your friendly neighbourhood redeveloper to give a shiny new facelift and a ludicrous new name. Personally I think it should have been left to rot, perhaps with the addition of some jungle creepers and a forlorn light left on in the topmost suite to bemuse passersby.

Sauchiehall Lane
Bath Lane
West Regent Lane
West George Lane
St Vincent Lane
St Peters Lane / Bothwell Lane
Wellington Lane
(Robertson Lane)
(St Mary’s Lane)

Running parallel (literally and metaphorically) to the commercial overkill of the main thoroughfares the lanes provide a grimy, smoke-blackened antidote to their rampant consumerism. They seem to embody the dark, chaotic aspects of this city. Many of Glasgow’s inhabitants have bleary memories of stumbling into these places to fuck or to vomit (or both). I’ve had sex at least twice in the lanes, nothing too romantic just drunk, horny fucking and groping up against a graffiti-stained doorway. How many people have made love here? Been beaten to death here? A magnet for the desperate and the damaged, these roughly cobbled alley’s are the flipside to our consumer friendly metropolis. If, like me, you take pleasure in the hum of the extractor fan coalescing with the smell of frying food, mixed up with the clangour of the restaurant trade then the lanes are worth a visit. Just keep a weather eye out for those urban jackals.

Gran Feudo, Navarra. 12.5%
Just got back from the CCA. 4 Icelandic women and their art. I'll go back later and look harder, but Bjork has a lot to answer for. There is a certain whimsy going on here. Goes all the way back to Siggurdur Gudmundsson and his playful conceptualism I think. (Who is excellent by the way. Although the later stuff seems a bit laboured, as if he began to get paranoid about his status as joker or something...) Maybe Icelanders are labouring under the cool/weird baggage? But I doubt it.
VS had double braces and I wondered why. Obviously there is something wrong with her teeth but I don't remember any obious flaws/gaps?
I can recall my first ever experience of an art opening. Transmission Gallery around about 1988/89 or something. I felt utterly alienated and full of hate. It seemed at the time to be an exclusive club, everyone very bohemian & c. All the girls seemed to be impossibly attractive and unapproachable. The art incomprehensible. I found out later that they aren't and its not, but to an outsider it seems that way. Actually the art still seems incomprehensible at times but you learn to let that slide.
Tonight both E and L had new hair. The other L was attempting to recover from the Liverpool Biennale. R is staying out on the piss with her compatriots (my girlfriend is Icelandic). On the way home I purchased the above wine and had a chat with the guy in Oddbins about Chianti and Rioja and then felt like a prat for talking about wine as if I knew anything about it, which I don't and don't want to either. Fuck. I then worried that Una would grow up to think her Pabbi is a prick. Which is likely to happen anyway but...

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