All is well in Glasgow, apart from the marking Margaret has to do and an annoying cold (or allergy) that jumped on me last weekend and, not taking the hint, has lingered through the week. We’ve had a truly remarkable run of weather recently. Remarkable, that is, for its unvarying typicality. Starting I-don’t-remember-how-many-days-ago, the high temperature has been 10 or 11°, low 4 or 5°, with variable clear skies and clouds, and intermittent rain. Last I checked, this trend is set to continue indefinitely.
Now, this weather is not at all out of bounds for Glasgow this time of year; indeed, I would reckon it’s pretty much the default setting. But the consistency with which it has settled in is eerie. Ordinarily I’d expect more day-on-day variability; a drier, sunnier day here, a bleaker, blusterier day there. But hey, there’s no ice on the pavements, and rain is just par for the course here in Glasgow.
Speaking of what’s typical of Glasgow, I’ve introduced Margaret to Rab C. Nesbitt — a sort of Glaswegian amalgam of The Beverly Hillbillies, Steptoe & Son/Sanford & Son, All in the Family, except with a radically amped-up degree of over-the-top rudeness, all in uncompromising Glasgow patter. (I see a number of episodes on YouTube: you can watch the first episode here.) The lead character is a determinedly unemployed waster, resident in the Giro Valley of Govan, who can’t tell you the last time he got blootered because he doesn’t remember being sober. (He gives up drink later in the series. Don’t tell Margaret, she hasn’t gotten there yet.) Margaret more pure of heart than Rab’s gutter humour, but she can’t help herself from taking sidelong glances at the screen and snickering in pained dismay. Nesbitt is not crassly exploitative comedy, though — there’s a very sharp political edge to Nesbitt’s street-philosopher monologues, pointed take-downs of social-climbers and politicians (and especially social-climbing politicians), and an affectionately self-deprecating perspective on scroungers, drunks, and numpties. Still offensive, but not solely offensive.
But the precipitating point for this morning’s post arises from the laudable prevalence of compact fluorescent bulbs here. Three cheers for long-life, energy-efficient illumination! In the course of yesterday’s spring spruce-up for the two-room castle here, though, I came upon a burned-out CFL bulb that I’d saved to dispose of safely. I don’t want to contaminate a landfill with mercury, no indeed. So I started looking for Glasgow Council’s facilities for proper disposal of CFL bulbs. After a few minutes of intensive searching, it became clear that the reason it was so hard to find the Council’s policy is that the best alternative Council offers (again, so far as I can make out after diligent searching) is traveling to one of the four recycling centres at the margins of the city. Now, I appreciate the difficulty of disposing of these bulbs — one doesn’t want just to put a bin somewhere and say, ‘Toss your CFLs in here’. At the same time, does someone actually expect me to hop on a bus, ride for twenty minutes or so, alight, walk for ten minutes or more, hand over a single CFL, then return home, at a cost greater than the price of the bulb, having taken about an hour of my time? My ingenious neighbours must be able to devise some more practical alternative. Or, if there’s already such an alternative, spomeone will put it on the Council website.