The Games countdown is picking up speed

THE diggers are out before 8am every day and the chewing gum is being sucked off every pavement in sight.

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It can only mean one thing. Yes, the Commonwealth Games are just around the corner.

We've been hearing about how the Games are going to transform the city since the start of time. Or it certainly feels like that.

But now we can really see it - mounds of fake grass are being laid on the old Schipka Pass site near Glasgow Cross which has been derelict and unsightly for years.

Shop fronts on the Gallowgate are being tarted up, while the empty ones are being filled with art installations.

And it's not just the chewing gum and litter that's being removed. Whole uneven pavements and roads are being ripped up and replaced.

Although there have been major changes happening over the past seven years since Glasgow won the bid - hello, Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome! - it's the everyday stuff that you notice more.

Like when the sporadic cycle lanes were built between the Green and the Parkhead Forge a few years ago: causing road rage in taxi drivers since 2011.

If you believe some, you'd think the whole East End was being gentrified. This makes me laugh.

One of the many differences between the Calton and Finnieston - the latest hip place to live - is that the east is better. The best thing of all is there no hint of a pretentious vibe. There's not a shop called East End Misfits on London Road for nothing.

Now we are into the final push, the last lap before the Games arrive.

God knows what will happen when they do. I have a feeling the media may have swelled up and combust with exhaustion and excitement by then.

That's because it's not just the physical changes that are happening, it's the corporate side too.

Press releases are landing in our news inbox almost every hour.

It is interesting because my dad remembers a time when the Games were nowhere near this league.

In Edinburgh in 1970, he said the whole thing was so laid back that his parents had an athlete kipping over at their house.

I can hardly imagine Usain Bolt squeezing onto my sofa in between races.

Right from the very start Glasgow 2014 seemed like a well-oiled machine.

From their shiny headquarters in Albion Street right down to their branded uniforms and matching umbrellas, it has been meticulously planned.

Being in their offices is like visiting your strict auntie's house - I'm scared to touch anything in case I get a row.

If the attention to detail by the Glasgow 2014 team translates to the East End then I'm sure no pavement will be left unturned.

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