Brontosaurus cutlets

Lidl supermarket in govanhill, at night

I love Lidl. Oil paints, chainsaws, nuclear reactors.

Popped in on the way home from the game. Rhinoceros balls, yeti burgers, brontosaurus cutlets.

The checkout guy is pleasant and chatty. He sees the scarf, asks pleasantly if I’d been at the match and I chat.      

Yeah. One nil. Pretty ropey.

He asks who scored, how the forward play was, what about the defending, that left back is a dud, are we still giving away goals, I don’t think that winger will ever be fit, hope we keep the midfielder though, he’s some player, but is the manager the right man for the job, and the guy who’s on loan, do you think he’ll stay at the end of the season?

As I say, pretty ropey.

I place my items in the bagging area. Telescope, ski mask, Royal Navy frigate.

I think about how lucky I am that I don’t shop at another supermarket or support another football team.


Govanhill is changing, maybe I should too

collage of faces

Are we being gentrified? Don’t know. Hope so, sort of.

Dying businesses are taken over, cafes, bars and shops are transformed. Craft beer, sourdough, Himalayan pink salt.

Maybe, if I started paying a fiver for a loaf of bread, I could join that world too and I could be transformed.

I’m not a bad lad, just lazy. Eat chips, drink beer, smoke fags.

I could do with being improved. Gentrify me, gonnae.

I want to get betterer and biggerer, stronger, longer, wiser and hipper.

Hope I qualify. Hope I pass the exam.

Might swear a lot in the oral section though.

I’m free to leave but I can’t find the door

A tenement in govanhill

Not much to behold outside.

Tenement opposite, loud music, the man in his pants at the window.

The horizon is a building just like mine blocking the view.

An imaginary prison is still a real prison. Just because it’s made up doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Tracey from across the street fell asleep in the living room, accidentally set fire to the couch and whoosh, the whole place went up in a red glow and black smoke. The close got evacuated, the whole street woken up, scorch marks up three storeys on the outside.

Aye, cheers Tracey. Daft bastard.

Salvation lies within, hopefully. Is that it? Is that what it is?

Let me know, Govanhill.

Densely populated in that thrilling big-city way

Queens Park on a misty day

Govanhill is the most cosmopolitan part of Glasgow, of the whole country, densely populated in that thrilling big-city way.

This is Queens Park.

Who knows what’s on the other side?

The few who have made it back speak in hushed tones of quiet streets and suburban lawns.

Strathbungo isn’t a bracing spa town near Kirkcudbright. It’s just a few streets away. So are Crosshill, Langside, Pollokshields, Mount Florida, Toryglen, Polmadie, Eglinton Toll and the Gorbals.

We’re surrounded.

Why Govanhill is just like New York 1

Statue of Liberty at Queens Park

Here’s the statue of liberty in Queens Park-slash-Govanhill.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Most folk I know are knackered, skint, overcrowded and smoke too much, so aye. Cheers, New York.

I’ve had neighbours from Romania, Slovakia, Lebanon, New Zealand, even Garthamlock.

But even with such a mix of nationalities, you’ll always find an Irish bar in Govanhill.

Then there’s the hipsters, the buzz about the place, the busy intersections.

And Westmoreland Street used to be nicknamed Ground Zero, yeah?

By the way, Queens Park. Shut it, okay? Nae luck. You’re now Govanhill.