Yesterday I went to watch Hibs play Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy. Hibs were mince but hopefully they will raise their game in a significant way for Hearts on Wednesday and more importantly for the league beginning with Dunfermline at home on Saturday. I was in Kirkcaldy for the football, really, but combined it with a few minutes in the art gallery too. The last time I was there was the day I got offered my job so emotionally I was over the place and didn’t really pay much attention to the art. Yesterday I managed to actually see the pictures. I particularly enjoyed the McTaggart paintings. They really cheered me up. Not that I was particularly unhappy, the experience of being myself in an art gallery elsewhere hasn’t been one I have had lately, if I’m honest, and it was good to be out in the world outside the west in a place I like doing something I like.
I walked to Stark’s Park after that. On previous visits, I had sat lower down the stand though this time I was right at the back. I prefer to be higher up anyway when I watch football but the McDermid Stand has the added bonus of a smashing view across the Forth to East Lothian. I was there early so immediately after eating my pies I spent a while looking across the Forth trying to place what I was seeing. Without a pair of binoculars, I couldn’t be sure and it wasn’t the clearest day but I think I was seeing the Hopetoun Monument, Aberlady Bay, Port Seton and the Lammermuir Hills. I have written here before about the fine views the Fife coastline has towards East Lothian, particularly at Dysart and along the East Neuk, and when the game was boring I chanced a look across the Forth and it made a frustrating game all the better.
Kirkcaldy is a two-hour bus ride from Glasgow and on the way there and back I read and chilled out. On the bus ride back, I was sitting in front of two Raith Rovers fans who had just been at the game I was at and were rather happier with the result than I was. I couldn’t help hearing what they were blethering on about. One of them had been going to watch Raith for 52 years and had seen some great games in his time. He still went despite being elderly and needing care a lot of the time. It reminded me of an article I had read on the way over to Kirkcaldy by Peter Ross about the dedicated fans that lower-league teams in Scotland have, those who go week-in, week-out, very often with little reward. Even as I was discontented about my own team’s fortunes, there are always people worse off than me. Still, there have been worse trips and it was good to be away.