This is a gallery of photos taken along the Firth of Clyde highlighting the different moods of it's coastal towns from bleak, miserable conditions of week long rain and dull grey skies, to fog banks, to nightfall to bright sunshine. Coastal places have a certain magic to them and Scotland would be a much poorer place without them. Mind you, as a recent survey of coastal towns UK wide showed many have far lower rates of job opportunities, lower incomes to spend locally in the district, high social problems, suicide and depression after a 40 year slide into obscurity and neglect since the tourists, extra ferries, shipbuilding, and money evaporated with cheap airline travel to sunnier places abroad. I love this ever-changing area deeply though. A moody shot from the Bowling district here, above, where many of the small sea going Clyde puffers had a base in the past where inland canal network meets west coast seaboard head on.
Or maybe by simply dying young herself she retained his lasting poetic affection for her, which may well have waned otherwise had she lived and moved on in her life without him. A tried and tested device that often insures immortality for pop/ rock stars and others of that ilk even today... as then they can no longer disappoint you with their faults/ embarrassing antics, and can take on that 'bright star forever' mantle in minds left behind to grow old and fade away with age. A very simple but thought inducing memorial.
A few years ago several major Hollywood actor/ actress types arrived in Scotland to make films. Brad Pitt occupied a sunny central Glasgow location for a few weeks during a dry warm September filming zombie apocalypse blockbuster World War Z. Halle Berry and others filmed scenes for Cloud Atlas in the same city in similar conditions. Around the same year but later on Scarlett Johansson rocked up to film in Glasgow, Glencoe, the North West Highlands and Inverness district during the dark, bleak winter months. Many thought then she'd drawn herself a short straw comfort wise as prime filming destinations, revealed daily in the tabloids, included the East End of Glasgow, Parkhead F.C Stadium, an ordinary garage in Wishaw and empty rural industrial estates in the far north. This was intriguing. What the hell was she making in these out of the way locations?
Having seen all three films since then Under The Skin wins hands down for being a truly memorable and unsettling experience. Low budget, art house, deliberately slow, silent and in places mundane it's not for everyone- dark, cold and psychologically sinister, but highly imaginative this remains an underrated gem. Not to everyone's taste though as it is bizarre and very unusual in its offbeat style and nothing really graphic happens in it except the miserable Scottish winter filmed in all its appalling grimness/ glory which really adds an extra dimension to this haunting film. A pretty girl plays an alien life-form wandering in the ankle deep slush on highland pavements but unusually for this familiar 'human meets alien' concept- it really does work to great effect. A strange and compelling cult classic that delivers the goods in a unique way. Some films are instantly forgettable... others are not. Definitely obsidian.
For those who prefer a nice gentle romantic film however set in Greenock and Gourock, beautifully acted and shot with real artistic flair to capture the stunning seascapes in a pastel wonderland of soft, highly memorable, views then this is it. Similar to Gregory's Girl and Local Hero in mood but less well known it's a real delight to watch for anyone. Pure sunlight.
A modern fable that deserves a much higher profile in this age that often steals dreams before they start.