I’ve now spent many weeks walking Glasgow, Scotland over 3 long trips. Of all European cities it’s perhaps the one I identify with most.
“People Make Glasgow”
Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.
I love the architecture, certainly.
And the free, quirky Kelvingrove and Hunterian museums.
But it’s the surprises that keep me walking. I stumbled on to charming Ashton Lane near the University of Glasgow. A pedestrian strip of shops and restaurants.
The weather is crap, of course. Can we move Glasgow to the Mediterranean? 😎
Quite recently the reputation was ‘The Murder Capital Of Western Europe‘.
Over the last decade, Scotland’s biggest city cut its homicide rate by two-thirds. A change in the style of policing is seen as a major factor.
Today Glasgow is established as one of the world’s friendliest cities. Wonderful volunteerism. They keep hosting marvellous events.
I like how Glasgow tries to be the opposite of tourist darling Edinburgh. They don’t take themselves too seriously here. This disarmingly hilarious statue of the Duke of Wellington is the de facto symbol of the city. Thousands of Glaswegians signed an online petition insisting the traffic cone STAY!
I find Glasgow down to earth. Good value for the tourist.
Give it a chance.
Glasgow is more expensive than Canada. Tourists have to watch their pence.
Like the last time I visited, I ate one big meal a day at a lunch buffet.
This time Cook & Indi’s was my favourite. All you can eat for US$11.50.
Most of the best food is Indian. But they do have sushi, pizza, pasta, burgers. This keeps kids happy.
Banks is an excellent writer. The plot of his 1988 book Player of Games is superb. WAY ahead of its time.
It’s on some lists of the best Science Fiction all time.
So why am I having trouble recommending this book?
None of the characters are likeable. Jernau Morat Gurgeh — the Player of Games — is a jerk. Everyone else worse.
His drone sidekick, Flere-Imsaho, should have been the character readers can identify with. He’s not.
This book is too long, I feel. Some have called it sluggish.
I will read more Banks, however. He is a canny wordsmith.
Banks died of cancer in 2013 age-59.
As I wandered around Iceland one thing after another struck me as weird. Unusual. Bizarre.
For example, this place I stumbled upon by accident.
This experiment in recycled architecture is the home of Hrafn Gunnlaugsson, a 66-year-old film director whose acclaimed work played an important role in the creation of this exhibition. …
The Other Woman is a 2018 spy novel by Daniel Silva. It is the eighteenth in the Gabriel Allon series…
I read it shortly after it’s July 17th release.
This one is as good as any previous.
It’s set modern day. Trump is President. And it’s clear the author doesn’t like Trump.
Brits and Israelis are once again battling the Russians. Searching to find a traitor mole akin to Kim Philby.
Characters are well-developed and realistic. Plots detailed enough to make me feel this could actually be happening right now.
The Other Woman is a tour de force that proves once again that “of all those writing spy novels today, Daniel Silva is quite simply the best” (Kansas City Star).