Monday, June 30, 2008

Crookston Castle

Crookston Castle
OK, let's see if I can get a couple more 'travel' and 'local culture' posts in before my parents arrive on Wednesday! Back in May, when it was still summer, Heather and I had a free Saturday. There are still a few castle/ruin-y places around Glasgow we have been meaning to visit, so we decided on Crookston Castle, near Paisley. Rumors of Paisley's quality charity shops/thrift stores may have influenced our decision. The Antonine Wall will have to wait for another day...

Heather at the top of Crookston Castle
Heather descendsHeather descends further!
I won't say too much about the castle. It was built by the Stewarts in about 1400, but got pretty badly damaged early on in its history. It has a nice tower from which you can see the Campsie Fells, a little of Glasgow, and a lot of housing schemes. The moat is pretty cool, but the grounds around the castle tend to be frequented (especially on sunny days) by large groups of intimidating adolescents. The ones playing football/soccer aren't bad, but the ones with cases of Stella are less hospitable. This may be why the castle caretaker has an Alsatian/German Shepherd.

This is one of the better ruins we've been to, slightly nicer than Bothwell Castle, we think. This is mainly because you can climb up so high in the tower.

Once we got back to Paisley, we weren't able to find the amazing charity shops, but I did get a record number of beard comments for one day. None were incredibly original, so I won't bother to post them here.


DaviMack said...

See, you wouldn't get any of the beard comments if you were to get yourself a 'gangster hat'. Seriously - you'd begin to feel more like Moses, with the crowds parting before you, if you had a hat like this. No joke.

Good to know about this local castle. Have you tried the Dumbarton?

Stirling is best, by the way. Beats anything else we've seen, hands down. Take your parents.

Robb said...

Jessie and I want to come visit you.

And how come Joel didn't get a lot of beard comments while Andrew and I were there last year?

Heather said...

D - Nice hat, but I don't think it's Joel's style. He's not quite so .. trendy? He's more granola/hippy/find-free-clothes-on-freecycle type. Good tip though.
We haven't been to Dumbarton castle yet.
We think Linlithgow is better than Stirling. Partly because it isn't quite so commercial/touristy/developed. And you can climb a tall tower. :-) I think we like ruins and going up high better than the polished/recreated look.

Robb - You guys should totally come visit us. Now. Well no, not now, Joel's parents are coming on Wed. But yes, come visit!
I don't know why Joel didn't get comments last year. We weren't in Glasgow much, and it tends to shine brighter from the Glaswegians. Small towns are a bit nicer.

DaviMack said...

Trendy? Oh! Oh! Woe! I'm told by Glaswegians that I look like a gangster ("like in the Godfather"), and now I'm accused of being trendy!

Good to know about Linlithgow - we'll have to check it out. :)

Uilleam Alba Mac Gafraidh said...

, the Paisley Abbey is brill. Also go a wee bit further west to Port Glasgow and you have Newark Castle on the A8, real history there, built by the Maxwells who always were fighting with the Montgomeries of Troon. Some real gory history there and it has a roof!

I agree that Linlithgow is impressive, Doune castle is also (of Monty Python fame) as is Dunblane Cathedral.

Uilleam Alba Mac Gafraidh said...

wonder what happened to the foirst part of my comment,

Crookston Castle is no the best, it has nae roof......

Anonymous said...

Disagree with the Stirling comment - lived there for 4 years when i first came over. It is ok to look at, but a bit depressing I always think. But I guess that melancholy exists throughout the central belt. Best bringing the parents up further north. Dumbarton is ok as a stop off on the way to Loch Lomond and beyond... though againa melancholy area - especially as you look across the loch to Greenock and the surrounding area that were blighted extremely by Thatcherism and the neo-liberals.

Talking of politics, have you watched the cute SSP video? A party like this in the US would definately be deemed as extremists!

DaviMack said...

Be sure and not tell your parents that 18% of Glasgow University's Arts students were out of work six months after graduation.

I wonder if that statistic applies to us?

Justin said...

There are a couple of ways to avoid a ground fault loop (For Joel, not Heather). The first thing I did to screw up sound (though it didn't create a ground fault loop) was to go from an unbalanced out (a 1/4" cable) to a balanced (an XLR, or mic cable) without the use of a Direct Box to adapt the signal. Essentially, I came out of the laptop's headphone jack (1/8"), adapted it to female 1/4", and then took a male 1/4" to male XLR cable into the snake, which went to the board. That wasn't actually a ground fault loop, it was just a signal discrepancy that screwed up the final product. The loop came in when the source of sound (laptop) was plugged into a different source of power than the rest of the sound system. The difference in ground between the two breakers makes itself heard in the audio signal, and gets all up in yo' body. I think I explained that right. I'm no electrician.