Today’s Saturday Saunter is being written on Friday night live from a Citylink bus just leaving Inverness on the long road home to Glasgow. My earphones are in and I am ready to read and write my way down the road. It’s been a good day. I managed to get the Intercity walk for Inverness done and also do a bit of walking, book buying (more on that story later) and museum visiting. These kinds of day trips happen less and less these days now I work full time and spend so much time watching the still-managerless Hibees. I must manage ten or twelve a year and that’s okay. Most adventures are on a smaller scale now. I left for Perth at lunchtime a couple of weeks ago so I could fit in some life stuff and a lie-in. Today I left the house around 8am and will get in around 9.15 tonight, traffic and weather permitting.
When you read this I will be on the move again, this time to the capital to see the Hibs. For the second week on the bounce, there is also rugby on at Murrayfield so I’ll be heading through early to avoid the hordes. Scotland are playing Ireland so things could be fun. I have to get back quick from Edinburgh because I have a work night out at the theatre. We’re going to see something called Abigail’s Party, about which I know next to nothing except that Alison Steadman was in the original. Then I fully intend doing as little as humanly possible on Sunday.
Today’s travelling book is one from the pile I bought from Leakey’s bookshop in Inverness, Night Falls On Ardnamurchan by Alasdair Maclean. It’s about his family’s history on a croft in Ardnamurchan, according to the blurb, which tempted me to buy the thing in the first place. I’ll see how it goes.
I’ve managed to finish two books this week, Di Stefano by Ian Hawkey, about the Real Madrid talisman of the 1950s, and Moonwalker by Alan Rowan, tales of climbing Munros at night time. That last one I finished on the way up to Inverness hence I justified the book purchases at Leakey’s. It is a glorious shop, incidentally, built inside an old church and containing a real fire as well as books kept at a safe distance away from the flames. I’m going to write about it for Loose Ends because it’s an interesting place. It will appear in a few weeks time, after I write the thing and after the next three instalments after Greyfriars Burial Ground appear.
I know this blog is a football-free zone but I wanted to write a little bit about my trip to see Hibs get beat by Celtic the other night. For those unfamiliar with the game in Scotland, Celtic Park is the largest football stadium in Scotland, holding just over 60,000 people. Celtic take the matchday experience seriously and over the summer they spent £2 million sorting their ground including installing a brand new PA system and spotlights. The spotlights have been widely derided but they were used on Wednesday night. MC Parkheid played the usual nauseating Celtic tunes pre-match then announced that there was to be a light show. The tannoy got cranked up to 11, the lights swirled around and AC/DC’s Thunderstruck played with bass level visuals on the advertising boards. This tableau was completed by Celtic’s mascot, Hoopy The Huddle Hound, dancing around in the centre circle. It was awful on many levels, so cringey that I laughed in disbelief. Then I realised how much of an overload it was, the whole combination of music, vibration and lights just far too much. I could thole them, just, but for many people, autistic or not, they would have been a major problem. It was only the surreal spectacle of some poor soul dancing about in a foam costume that kept me going.
There’s just one more city left in the Intercity series, Aberdeen. I hope to get there in a couple of weeks’ time. After a break I might expand it to include places with cathedrals. It’s an interesting series and I like doing it. I’ve enjoyed the last two – Perth and Inverness – particularly and those places are very similar, both by rivers and yet in the heart of the city. The Perth one appears here tomorrow.
Well, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today. Thanks as ever to all readers, commenters and followers. Have a very nice weekend.
Before I go, a wee bit of blog admin. I’ve added a page where all the Saturday Saunter posts can be found in one place. It should be in the menu at the top of the screen.