Given that in previous years I’ve woken up in Havana, Agadir and the Cayman Islands on my birthday I think I can say that emerging blinking into the light of a Bearsden Premier Inn wasn’t the most exciting way to start my first year as a 57 year old (I don’t like saying “in my 58th year” as it makes me feel almost middle-aged).

But the drive through the western suburbs of Glasgow was smooth and exciting and cheap, like a good pint of Doom Bar.

Motel Air on Inchinnan Road cost £35, possibly because flights from Paisley/Glasgow Airport have dried up and possibly because it’s a half mile walk from the motel to the landside Spoons.

I could have had a 5am pint of Abbot in the Sandpiper if I’d got myself in gear.

Instead after dumping the car I had a 15 minute walk down Love Street to the station, and a forlorn search for evidence of St Mirren’s old ground.

(Note Duncan’s private jet aka Tick 1 on the runway).

But I do get a good mix of Hydroponics shops,

solid Edwardian brick,

and a gorgeous water feature in Fountain Gardens.

Now you know where Lennon got the inspiration for his best work in 1967.

A bit more splendour, this time courtesy of the NHS,

and a lone bar that somehow fails to have the Draught Bass that would have got my birthday off to a great start.

10 minutes before the 9:45 leaves Gilmour Street.

Enough time to admire the mural of the history of Paisley, and prompt a Twitter debate about “Porridge” that the country didn’t deserve in 2021.

One issue. I’d forgot to have breakfast on my birthday, my hunt for something healthy in Paisley to kickstart the day proving (literally) fruitless. Do they even have fruit in Scotland ?

Deep fried currant bread at the Costa on Gilmour St platform would have done, but everything was closed.

I gazed forlornly outside the station to the Last Post, where a Spoons breakfast was just out of reach. Still, drinking on an empty stomach never hurt anyone, did it ?

Right, let’s get to Miliken Park, where my GBG Ticker approved taxi awaits.


  1. “(I don’t like saying “in my 58th year” as it makes me feel almost middle-aged)”
    Middle age? How many 114 year-olds do you know?

    “Still, drinking on an empty stomach never hurt anyone, did it ?”
    Absolutely never.


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