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The Annexe

The Annexe

The Annexe
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The Kelpies

Not everything on our holiday, was dreadful. One day was spectacularly good. The day that we travelled to Falkirk to see the Kelpies.

The Kelpies (Water Horses) are a 30 metre high (nearly 100 feet for us oldies) sculpture. Two magnificent horses’ heads; gleaming metal on a sun-filled day. I am not a fan of public art – I have seen too much scrap dumped on local roundabouts, masquerading as ‘Art’. The Kelpies are much more than that. They fill what was once an old industrial eyesore, with something bold, bright, and, it has to admitted, fun! ‘Art’ is not supposed to be fun, according to ‘experts’. “It is too serious!” say the arty-farty critics. The numpty from the Guardian (A newspaper that Health & Safety says is unsuitable to wrap fish & chips) describes the Kelpies as “Scotland’s new public art is just a pile of horse poo.” I tell him bull-shit (or should that be horse-shit!). The Helix Park where the Kelpies live, is full of walkers, cyclists, people in wheelchairs, children; they were all smiling, laughing, enjoying the day. The caretakers were setting up the site for a forthcoming visit from the Queen. Now there’s a lady who knows about horses!





It isn’t only the people who take selfies. Kelpies do it too!



The Kelpies were modelled from two Clydesdales named Duke and Baron. If you try really hard, you can even feed them!





The Kelpies are set on the site of the old Forth & Clyde Canal and Union Canal. When I was young, these canals were disused, derelict, and only featured in the news when some unfortunate fell in, and drowned. Now, they are transformed; once more a benefit to the community. If you walk along the canal for a mile or two, you can visit the Falkirk Wheel – another marvel for a new age.







Is there any practical use for two giant metal horses? Not in the slightest! Are they worth the millions spent on their construction? Every single penny! I wouldn’t buy a single issue of the Guardian, but I drove the length of Britain to see them. Most of the Scotland that I see these days, is ravaged with neglect and meaningless petty rules and regulations. What use is a speed camera, when 44 tonne trucks are forced to drive through the centre of a town? What rename a town, when all you are doing is whitewashing the dirt. It makes me angry when the place I was born, is referred to as ‘an administrative district’, like some Communist-era Eastern European slum, or homes are described as ‘ideal for commuting to Edinburgh’. Who gave a damn for the people?
It has been suggested that I was unkind to Girvan in my previous blog. A few yards from the ‘church for sale’ in Dalrymple Street, you can sample the delights of ‘shamanism’! I never realised that civilisation has slipped so far into the Dark Ages.



I may have rambled a bit into the dark side of Scotland, and perhaps I haven’t seen all the shining, forward-looking parts of the country. I seem to have difficulty locating them. I have found The Kelpies, and you should go and see them too. They are a delight.
As for the Guardian? Nothing is entirely useless. Perhaps you could cut it into squares, and hang it in the loo! To clean up the … !

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