St Roche's Gate

The Head of the River.

I am passing through Springburn. High concrete banks are on either side. To the left is a Victorian warehouse and then an enormous industrial park, which contains two supermarkets and a petrol station, I have no memory of it ever ending or what is beyond it.

In front of the bus, facing South, is a footbridge spanning 6 lanes of road. Underneath and through the bridge is Glasgow.

To the right are two tower blocks directly beside the road. Every window is differently dressed. I look up at them and for the second time in my life I am overcome with the feeling, which in Greek is called agape, an all-consuming love.

The bus passes beneath the footbridge.

Renfrew Street.

It is midday on the tenth of October. I am 18 years old; I have never been to Glasgow on my own before and I am visiting the art school for the first time. I want to be an illustrator but I intend to apply to the painting course.

I get off the bus at the station and follow the directions given to me by a friend. I walk past the drama school he has recently been enrolled at and pass under the first bridging walkway. I see the second that marks my destination.

Now there are houses there are little gardens and the air is cleaner, I know immediately this is my favourite part of the city of which I have seen very little and it will remain so.

I enter the art school.

The Iron Ship

An afternoon in February, I am 28 years old and in my second year of art school. I've written these to get people to read out as part of a crit' for a public art project. The strong, freezing wind is badly affecting the girls in the group and we hide in the shelter of the iron ship sitting on the bank of the canal at Port Dundas.

i've prepared five passages to be read and in the final one I induce my friend Andrew to swallow a small fragment of a meteorite that landed in China in the 17th century.


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