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Xscaped 2006/07/09

Posted by Dave in Family, Reviews, shopping.
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Everyone seemed to be going to ‘T-in-the-Park’ this weekend… but we were glad we weren’t there; the weather is weird at the moment. It changed from sunshine to dark clouds and rain then back to sunshine more than once — and all the while it was blowy — with a chilly wind at that. We did not fancy a walk to the hidden gardens or even just around the shops for it seemed far too cold for pavement cafés, parklands or heading into the city centre for the big Lord Provost pageant.

X-Scape
Instead we decided to see what Xscape was all about. Ruth’s old pal had invited her to get involved in some mad wall-climbing and roof-based assault-course… However, as a general rule of thumb, Ruth is unlikely to attach herself to the roof of any building with a recent history of roof collapse. So, although she graciously declined Suzanne’s invitation, we were nevertheless interested to see what it was all about.

Olivia’s too young to make the best of this place, but it seems to be designed for family activity, there’re plenty of pubs and restaurants, a ten-pin bowling alley, shops and it’s all very spacious. We went up in the lift to check out the real snow ski-slopes…. you can see people on the slopes through windows — but if you do as we did — go through the bar, you can go “outside” onto a balcony of decking — and it’s FREEZING cold. Seeing your breath blowing about suddenly is very strange. We looked over the railing for a couple of minutes before deciding to get out of the biggest refrigerator in Scotland. The 12 screen cinema is still closed due to the roof collapse, and there are still a lot of vacant shop units, but things should pick up over time. Olivia was having a ball, running about with her reigns on — raising smiles from passers-by.

Later, while we enjoyed a buffet at Pizza Hut, we wished it well, even though it is a bit like Butlin’s Holiday camps — one can easily imagine a bunch of friends and their kids spending whole days there — Dads playing pool or 10-pin bowls with their sons, the girls shopping or getting a massage, some snow-boarding, others climbing — and meeting up later to see some movies. If we’re still living nearby, we may have to come with Ollie, and become like “normal” families!

Braehead
From X-Scape, it’s just 5 mins to IKEA and 2 minutes to Breahead — which beat East Kilbride’s Olympia to be the biggest shopping centre. Braehead is on the south bank of the Clyde and has a boat link to Glasgow. There is a massive regeneration project right along the Clyde — loads of new skyscrapers, shopping centres, cinemas and concert halls.
Squinty Bridge BBC

However, it’s not all and only happening on the Clyde (New BBC HQ, New Squinty Bridge, Braehead and X-Scape) — this morning we passed the new shopping centre in Pollok on the way there — and it looks even larger than Braehead! The sign declared that Tesco Express is opening in just 2 days time! Wow!

We already have too many choices!  It’s almost too much! Within 15 minutes by car, we have a choice of multi-screen cinemas at Parkhead Forge, Renfrew Street, The Quay, Clydebank, Linwood, Paisley, East Kilbride, and the Showcase on the M8 near Bellshill. The massive shopping centres within 15 minutes are: Forge, Fort, Braehead, Olympia East Kilbride, Pollok, Govan, and more besides… it’s nuts!

I suppose one could argue that this is good for regeneration, good for the economy or jobs or something. I once would have been really excited, but I have lost faith. I have seen so much stuff come and go — all the massive buildings like Hyundai, NEC and Rosyth. The fiasco of the 1960’s skyscrapers, Linwood, Singer, Springburn, Ravenscraig and so on and right through to the recent fiasco of the Scottish Parliament building.

I do think, though, that shopping is not the way to happiness. Wanting LESS stuff is the way to be happy, and so is living in the countryside. I suppose that we will soon have to think carefully about where we ought to bring up Olivia.

Glasgow is changing, and changing rapidly. So are its neighbouring counties… the countryside (and happiness) seems to be getting further and further away!

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Comments»

1. Andy C - 2006/07/29

That BBC building is an eyesore next to the science centre and armadillo. Even the squinty bridge fits in better. The tv licence payers should have been asked to vote to pick the final design. The BBC has single handedly ruined the clydeside.


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