Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Barras

This weekend I stayed over in Glasgow to release my mind and body from the usual journey from the top end to the bottom end of the United Kingdom - and back again.  I have taken to using the public swimming pool that is only a five minute walk from the hotel.  So the weekend's activity had the pattern of a morning swim followed by this nomad's favourite pastime - walking.  I am never bored on a long walk and love exploring new territories.

On the Sunday I set myself the challenge to swim a little more than the set thirty minutes and achieved the goal of swimming for one hour straight.  I was tired but pleased with this effort.  I walked around the corner to an Italian cafe and ordered a cup of coffee.  This particular cafe does a fine coffee - far superior to the fast coffee served in the well known high street hangouts.

How rare it is to have a day ahead without an itinerary to structure the hours.  I thought back to a comment left by the author of one of my favourite blogs - "Our Life In a Caravan".  "Have I visited the Barras yet", asked Jools.  I really had no idea what the Barras was so punched it into my new Samsung Galaxy Ace phone - and with interest I learnt this was some sort of trading market in the East of Glasgow.  At the turn of the last century, when the children of the poor had to work - a twelve year old girl, Margaret Russell, discovered a talent for trading when she minded the fruit barrow of her mother's friend.  The girl that had to work had a vision beyond the shackles of her impoverished surroundings.  The vision became a huge trading court and static stalls would be rented out to the hawkers, the collectors and those whose place in life was to duck and to dive as way to survive.  Her vision became "the Barras".

Now this new gadget of mine has a GPS function and so I decided to see how it worked.  I selected the Navigate application and entered the location of the Barras.  The phone calculated a route and to get there would only be a 20 minute walk.  And so I paid the nice lady in the cafe and set off on foot to see what the modern Barras was really like.  I was impressed by the huge gated entrance.

Walking through the gates is to enter a trading world on a complete tangent to the high street with its fancy air conditioned plazas and branded shops.  Here is where the less fortunate and the thrifty gather to sell and to buy the material goods passed from hand to hand and from generation to generation.  Here is the car boot sale to beat all car boot sales.

1 comment:

  1. It use to be a no go area for the police as well. You could get anything on the Barras!