It’s Saturday Saunter time again and once more I’m writing this in advance. Away to the football this Saturday morning, leaving early since there is also rugby on in the capital and a train full of rugby people is more than I can possibly stand. I hope to use this extra time in Edinburgh to maybe do a Loose Ends adventure, possibly just wander aimlessly before going to watch the first game of the post Neil Lennon-era.
A little earlier I finally managed to finish the book that’s been in my backpack for over a week and which I took to Motherwell last week, Dark Suits and Sad Songs by Denzil Meyrick. It is a bit more fantastical than a normal police procedural novel but it was all right. I have the next volume downloaded through the library eBook app, ready to go for whenever I feel like reading it. In physical book form, I also have the new Hania Allen crime novel, Clearing the Dark, the follow-up to The Polish Detective, and some of the books I picked out before Christmas. Unfortunately, though, those are all fiction and I feel like reading something with a Dewey Decimal number. I was going to take Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie. Apparently Surfacing will be out in 2019 and I am looking forward to it already. We need more of Kathleen Jamie’s words in our world. I might sit down and read it tomorrow. Instead today I’m going to read a biography of legendary Real Madrid player Alfredo di Stefano, which I came across yesterday. I need something different in my head.
The other night I saw a Tweet from CalMac Ferries, suggesting that instead of chocolates and cliches, loved-up folk should celebrate Valentine’s Day by going to a west coast island somewhere. The Tweet was illustrated by a well wrapped-up couple snogging with a snow-capped mountain in the background. It’s bad enough that Valentine’s Day has conquered whole supermarket aisles and a load of library displays, it has to take over day trip planning too. Don’t get me wrong, love is fine. I would rather people be happy and in love than the opposite. It is just this nauseating shite promoting the mushy, romantic ideal which rarely exists in actuality. It is also rude to those of us who don’t have a significant other for a myriad of different reasons, by choice, circumstance or some other factor. I suppose the Tweet I just saw from Sesame Street‘s Oscar the Grouch makes it feel a bit better. It states: ‘“What are you getting for Valentine’s Day?” Me: Trash.’ I suspect a lot of people would share that sentiment. Anyway, if any Valentines go on a CalMac ferry on 14th February, all power to them. Our islands are very fine indeed. Thankfully they are often best experienced alone too.
In other thoughts, the Oxford comma is a wonderful piece of punctuation, often maligned but sometimes necessary. I didn’t use it in a Tweet promoting a post here a couple of weeks ago and I noticed and it bothered me. Some people don’t like the Oxford comma. I aim for clarity and don’t often succeed so I use whatever tool I have to hand. Except the ampersand, of course.
I was very sad to hear yesterday that the comedian Jeremy Hardy died, of cancer at the age of 57. At one time I listened to a lot of Radio 4 and he spoke softly but with passion, verve and no little political conviction. His ‘singing’ on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue was truly woeful but unforgettable.
Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today. Thanks for reading this muddle of thoughts. Tomorrow the January digest will appear here. Wednesday will see the latest instalment of Loose Ends, staying in Perth. As ever, cheers indeed to all readers, commenters and followers. Have a very nice weekend.