It’s Saturday Saunter time again. It is being posted a wee bit early because as this post appears, I will be on my way to work. As ever, though, it is being written on Tuesday night. It is about ten past nine and there is quite a bit of sun in the sky. It has been a beautiful, sunny evening here in Glasgow, warm even. On in the background is a certain football match which took place three years ago today (Tuesday). Anthony Stokes has just scored the first.
On the way home tonight I got a haircut. I hate getting my haircut. I don’t like people being near my head and I usually close my eyes. Same at the dentist, incidentally. I tried a new place and it was efficient, back out the door within ten minutes. My hair is fairly short anyway and now it is even shorter. Unusually, though, I left feeling absolutely great. I’m not so confident about my appearance so any positive feelings like that are to be cherished. The chair span, which was cool and suited the little boy in me. I resisted the urge to say ‘Whee’.
This is also a bank holiday weekend and I am off tomorrow and Monday. I have no immediate plans for the weekend and might go out on a bus somewhere on Monday. It might be Dumfries though I have a feeling it could be East Lothian. If it is to be my home county, I haven’t been to Prestongrange for ages or I might finally get to the Hopetoun Monument or Chesters Hill Fort, which will require an OS map and walking across some fields. Then again I might feel like sitting on a bus and end up in St. Andrews. All options would suit me fine.
I’ve been going on regular day trips for eleven years. Eleven years this weekend, actually. The first real solo day trip I took was Durham, a place I had never been to before. I had only read about it in a Bill Bryson book and decided to book train tickets for the following day. It was a balmy May Saturday and I walked from the train station up to the Cathedral, walking about that magnificent building for a couple of hours, also spending some time sitting in the pews. Afterwards I walked by the river and sat for a bit there too. At the time life was a bit interesting but that day I felt that everything was going to be all right. I’ve been back many times since and that sense doesn’t change. This weekend, wherever I go, I’ll be celebrating that day and the many benefits it has brought to my life, to give me things to talk about and write about, to open my world to new possibilities I might not have considered before.
Last weekend I started reading Underland by Robert Macfarlane, getting about 55 pages in. I plan to read it in stages, savouring Macfarlane’s prose rather than bolting it down as I do with so many books. He wrote about going caving, which made feel claustrophobic even reading it. Macfarlane is an excellent writer and he managed to scale back his words to reflect his limited physical space and broaden them out to fill all the dimensions resumed when he hit the surface again. The closest experience I’ve had to that was going to St. Andrews Castle, which has a mine and countermine dug during a siege in 1546-1547. The countermine is much more narrow and you have to stoop down into it then the mine is much more comfortable, reflecting the lack of urgency in trying to dig into the castle.
A lot of my news comes through social media. Not politics, normally, since I’ve heavily culled political accounts from my Twitter timeline. I suspect I am better off. A happy bit of news was that a book has been written about Walnut Tree Farm, home of Roger Deakin, a place of wildness and wonder in the heart of Suffolk. Roger Deakin was an incredible writer about nature and I try to read a bit of Notes From Walnut Tree Farm, a posthumously-published volume of jottings, every month. Waterlog and Wildwood are also class. Anyway, Roger’s son Rufus and the farm’s owner, Titus Rowlandson, have published a book about Life at Walnut Tree Farm and I will procure myself a copy on pay day.
Before I go, a bit of blog business. The other day I was tagged into a blogging challenge. Please, oh please, don’t do that. That is especially pertinent when it’s not about what I tend to write about. Right now I’m keeping to this format of Saturday blethers, Sunday Loose Ends and Wednesday Streets of Glasgow. Occasionally Thursday something else. I write around my life which can be quite busy so please don’t make this harder than it needs to be.
Anyway, rant over. On a more positive note, it’s Saturday and it’s the weekend. Thanks as ever to all readers, commenters and followers. Loose Ends is back tomorrow and it’s back in Milngavie. Streets of Glasgow is on Wednesday and it is down south again. Another north Edinburgh Railwalk will be here on Thursday. Next Saturday is the May digest. Have a very good weekend. Peace.