Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Change and decay ...

Couldn't help quoting that line (from the hymn "Abide with me", if you're wondering) as the heading for this blip. This is Kirn, originally a discrete village about a mile from Dunoon up the coast, now part of a ribbon along the shore but still with its own identity. We lived in Kirn when we first moved from Glasgow - or at least, we lived in a council house in Ardenslate, which is at the top of the hill behind these houses - and I used to walk down here with the pram to buy a much greater variety of items than I could now. 

It seemed more sad today - I usually drive through on my way to the ferry rather than walking and looking - and this building in the centre seems to sum it up with great poignancy. The people of Kirn have made such heroic efforts over the past few years to make the front attractive, and yet this once rather grand building is allowed to moulder away, becoming more precarious and more dangerous with each passing week. You can see that the tower in the centre of the roof is beginning to fall in, and there is a safety fence preventing anyone from going too close. There is also a noticeable absence of the kind of shops that made me feel I could cope with this new, difficult, pram-pushing life 45 years ago - the post office that sold vegetables, the butcher and so on. 

My extra photo shows what it was like around 1900, when the building was a hotel. Later, it was Drovandi's Ice Cream Parlour - until recently you could still see the name in red on the stone, but it seems to have been boarded over.

I used to take my infant son onto the beach just along the road from here - there was a Lido, with deck chairs for hire (I couldn't afford such a thing, so I sat on the beach in the adjoining bay) and ice creams for sale (which I would sometimes buy). The Lido is no more - just a few remaining stretches of concrete plinth and wall. But there was a child and a granny on the beach there, even on a grey day like this.

After this we went to an Open Studios Preview in the house of a friend. We drank tea and ate home-made ginger biscuits and chatted to friends from church who'd all been invited. We bought a watercolour. It was lovely, and gentle, and of a previous age, which suited my nostalgic mood.

And then I made the mistake of listening to the House of Commons while I cooked dinner. We put it off when the food was ready - listened to Bach instead.

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