As ever, this Saturday Saunter is being written ahead of time. When this is posted, I should be having a family day around Glasgow. It is of course the Easter weekend so I’m off until Tuesday, which is quite lovely. Tomorrow I’m off to Edinburgh for the football, which has been thoughtlessly scheduled for a Sunday lunchtime, necessitating an early rise for the trip to the capital. Still, it’s Hibs and I’ve had two weeks without football, a dire situation indeed.
I actually managed to read a book the other day. It was a bit of a diversion from what I normally read, Trans Like Me by CN Lester, a series of essays about the transgender experience. I picked it up off a new books display in the library and read it very quickly, pretty much over a lunch break. As a person who doesn’t know a whole lot about trans issues, it was a great introduction, insightful and thoughtful, tinged with sadness, anger and hope to varying degrees. There were quite a few moving passages and one sentence really got me, in a discussion about feminism. ‘This labelling of the world into things for men, and things for women – good things, bad things – twists what is designated ‘womanly’, ‘feminine’, and uses it to punish nearly all of us’. And another: ‘We do not need to pursue only one goal at a time, help only one type of person’. I think we have a danger of thinking in a silo, to use a horrific management term, keeping in our lane without trying to actively explore and comprehend the world around us. This book broadened my perspective a little, which is always a good thing.
I’ve also been reading the latest issue of Nutmeg, a Scottish football periodical. I’ve actually contributed to Nutmeg (issue 7, if you’re interested) and even if I hadn’t, I would be reading it. I also listen to the podcast and particularly enjoyed the recent interview with Leeann Dempster, the Chief Executive of Hibs, who comes across as knowledgeable and passionate. Any time I hear Leeann Dempster speak, I feel confident about how my club is run. Her focus on community is impressive and even though she didn’t grow up as a Hibee, it is clear that she is emotionally invested in the club and its ups and downs. Nutmeg‘s podcast is excellent and has previously featured various football writers and personalities, including Ron Ferguson, who wrote one of my favourite books, Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil, about Cowdenbeath FC. Issue 11 of the magazine is great and I’m 68% of the way through my digital copy. I enjoyed the articles about Stirling Albion, women’s football and stadium architecture, though I particularly liked the articles at the start about youth football and the Performance Schools run by the Scottish FA, giving a good insight into the future of our game. Reading about football is no substitute to going to the game but Nutmeg is a good way to keep thinking about football in the long week between games. It’s good to have thoughtful comment about the Scottish game, beyond the instant, social media and tabloid headlines.
This is of course the Easter weekend. Like Christmas, Easter is very far removed from its original meaning, lost in a whirl of bunny ears and chocolate. I am a convinced heathen and for me this weekend is all about the time off, first and foremost. The last two Easter Mondays have seen me in Dunbar, last year in snow and general gloom, 2017 a bit sunnier and warmer, and this year I’m not sure where I’m going to end up. Maybe on a bus. With being out today and Sunday, I may just spend Monday in bed. We’ll see.
The above was written on Tuesday. It is now Friday night and I’ve had a very full day out and about. I had never been to Milngavie and set off for there. It has been very warm and sunny today, almost summer, and I had a good walk around the reservoirs at Milngavie, which were beautiful and historically interesting. I then stopped off at the Bearsden Bathhouse, ruined and very well interpreted, built by the Romans nearly two millennia ago as part of the Antonine Wall. Later I headed across town to Queen’s Park to look over the city from the flagpole, then I did a bit of wandering in that rather fine bit of the city. Some of this will appear on the blog in various forms in the coming weeks.
Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today. Loose Ends is back tomorrow and Streets of Glasgow on Wednesday. It’s a street most Glaswegian readers will know. Have a lovely weekend.