MY Dad was, for decades, an officer in the fire brigade.

Awarded the Oak Leaves, he seemed neither up nor down about the fact that I cheekily wore them to a gig on the lapels of my new-second hand jacket; which then got stolen.

I take my hat off to our fire fighters. Not least because of our recent incendiary incidents.

Talking about hats, I’ve just spent the weekend in majestic Edinburgh. I stood at the statue of the Duke of Wellington at Waverly Station and thought if ever he was to don a pokey hat, I doubt he’d be allowed to keep it on.

Then joined the throng trundling luggage behind ourselves. It’s as if Edinburgh has been inadvertently leased out by Edinburghers; while Glaswegians seems to have staked a claim on their city.

It was at our Wellington; who sits, coned, astride his horse Copenhagen at the Gallery of Modern Art, that, as a wee nod to my dad on Father’s Day, I met an old friend to walk the Firefighters' Heritage Trail that was created to tell the stories of the people who have played an important part in the history of firefighting in Glasgow.

You probably, as I have, walked oblivious across the twelve memorial plaques embedded into pavement flag stones, around our city which mark the sites where firefighters lost their lives. I blame my dad as he was always telling me to truly appreciate our city, you must look up at the buildings.

He was passionate about Glasgow and had stories about most of Glasgow’s famous buildings. He once pointed out to me the stone angel atop the Gorbals library, an open book in her hands and said: “As a boy I climbed up beside that statue reading a book."

Once home, I reported to my mum: "Did you know when dad was wee he could climb and read at the same time?"

Last week I was at my pal and neighbour Tom Sheilds's book launch. A book I think the old man would have liked, entitled: 111 Places in Glasgow You Shouldn’t Miss.

Suggestion 88 is the People’s Place Single End. A replica of his childhood abode, in the Gorbals. A wee aside, myself and my son, in his childhood, recorded the wee family debacle you hear as part of the exhibit.

The heritage trail ended at the statue Citizen Firefighter at Central Station. Again, in that way we Glaswegians interact with our artefacts, someone had hung around his neck a canvas painted with the word, in Mackintosh style, ‘Hope’.

In Rivercity we used to chuckle at our characters being repeatedly described in a script as being devastated only to rock up again regardless in the next episode. It seems our Art School’s next episode is already under discussion.

My friend Ewan Kennedy who ran the Leiper Art Gallery has made what I think is a brilliant suggestion.

That the school be returned to its former glory but as an art gallery and museum housing artists who studied at the school.


An avian encapsulated in the metacarpus has a value comparable to that of a brace in an arboreal setting.


A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.


There is detectable the nonappearance of fine clouds of carbon carried by hot gasses and air, whenever there is lacking the presence of a combustible conflagration.


You regularly get back up, out of bed, to make sure you have turned everything off!