It’s Saturday and once more I am on the move. This post is actually being written on Wednesday since when this is posted I will be on the way to Dundee for football and culture, quite firmly in that order. My book for the journey is The Life and Death of St. Kilda by Tom Steel, bought a couple of weeks ago in a secondhand bookshop in the West End, a place further from St. Kilda one cannot possibly imagine. I would love to go to St. Kilda at some point, not because of any romantic notions of its past but because it is almost as far as you can go and still be in Scotland. The history would be an undoubted bonus. So, the St. Kilda book comes with me to the land of pehs, circles and clubbies.
It is the September weekend so I am currently in the midst of four days off, my day off coinciding with public holidays, a convenient turn of events. Today I am off to Dundee and tomorrow I will be about Glasgow, not sure what I’ll be doing yet. Doors Open was happening in Glasgow last weekend but football and a quiet day in the hoose precluded me from seeing anything, unfortunately. There’s always next year. For tomorrow, I fancy a wee trip to the Hunterian. The last time I was in the Hunterian Museum was as the staff were setting up for an evening event and mildly irritating indie music was playing over the speakers, a peculiar sound to accompany the medical specimens and anthropological artefacts that line that particular museum. Whether we’ll get there or not, who can say?
As I write this, Malcolm Middleton’s Red Travelling Socks is playing, one of the jauntier songs in his repertoire. Quite a few years ago, there was an attempt to get ‘We’re All Going To Die’ to Christmas number one, to combat the insidious spread of manufactured pop shite from Simon Cowell. It only got to number 31, unfortunately, though the message of laughing into the dark was spread to the masses nevertheless. I didn’t download music at the time but still bought a copy on vinyl, just to do my bit. I might still have it somewhere.
My travelling music will probably be a bit cheerier though. The journey up to Dundee will be by bus, through some quite decent countryside, certainly once Cumbernauld is comfortably bodyswerved. An undoubted highlight is passing Stirling with the Castle and the Wallace Monument behind on the Abbey Craig. Stirling Castle just looks the part with the right setting and thousands of years of history having taken place all around. I was there earlier in the year as part of the Loose Ends series and passing by on the bus always makes me want to go back. The journey up to Dundee takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes, usually a bit held up by traffic coming into Dundee itself, though the bus goes right by the Tay, past the Rail Bridge and Magdalen Green, the Discovery and the new V and A museum into the bus station, one of the nicest entries into a city I’ve encountered, Dublin excepted. I’ll have my earphones in, glancing out the window between pages of my book.
The way back will be dark, unfortunately, as the nights are fair drawing in. It’s one of the things I hate about this time of year, though the autumn colours and the leaves falling compensate more than a little bit. I would be happy if it got dark about 8pm all year round but sadly I live too far north of the equator. What will be nice tonight will be the run back along the side of the Tay, the lights of Fife hopefully twinkling on the river as the bus moves steadily back home. As much as I’m looking forward to today, the journey home shouldn’t be bad either.
Have a good Saturday! Thanks for reading, cheers for now.