Saturday Saunter: Studying, writing and reading

Good morning,

Saturday again. Today I’m in Edinburgh. Not for football, unusually, but on academic business. Some readers may know that I’m slowly but surely working through an history degree with the Open University. This year I’m on hiatus but will be getting back to it in October. The OU history faculty are having a day of lectures and talks in Edinburgh so I’m probably listening to one of those just now. The programme looks interesting. There are two lectures, one on the Scottish Enlightenment and the Napoleonic Wars, the other on Islam in Britain in the time of Empire. Both of these should be good, with the last one particularly relevant for the module I plan to study next.

It is Tuesday night as I start this and on in the background is The West Wing, one of the finest programmes ever committed to film. The episode is ‘Bartlet for America’, where Leo McGarry is testifying to Congress. Leo is a particularly great character, someone who radiates stability and depth, and this episode is one of the finest of the entire run.

My life is generally pretty busy. I’m lucky though that I have a few things going on, rather than just work and nothing else. This week I’ve been able to write something for a writing competition and think thoughts towards a book of my own. The writing competition is one I’ve entered before, the Scottish Book Trust’s annual writing campaign, and I had a piece published in it two years ago, which was about getting a steak bridie nicked out of my hand by a seagull. This year’s theme was ‘Blether’, which is particularly effusive talking for those outside Scotland, and I wrote a piece about bus journeys I used to take each morning to Govan on the way to work. Glasgow buses are usually quite loud with people talking and that was the case even around 8am as I journeyed to work. It was one of these things that was an idea the other lunchtime and I just wrote it down, making minimal revisions as I typed it up later.

Astonishingly, with pre-season friendlies, the League Cup, work and a wedding, the spare Saturdays I thought I would get this summer won’t be happening. I know I don’t have to go to Dunfermline for a pre-season or to Easter Road for the League Cup match with Alloa but it’s very likely I will. I may need to be creative about how I use the Fridays I have off, or the Sundays, to cover as much of the country as I would like.

Right now the episode of The West Wing is pretty much done and President Bartlet has just given Leo the handkerchief with ‘Bartlet for America’ written on it, the way Leo floated the idea of Bartlet running in the first place. Wonderful moment. Good telly for a wet, miserable night. It’s raining pretty heavily out my window just now.

I’ve not been reading that much recently. I’m about 90 pages into Underland by Robert Macfarlane and I’ve started a book of short crime stories by Denzil Meyrick on my iPad. I’ve also been re-reading issues of Nutmeg, the Scottish football periodical, which has been about my level reading-wise. Nutmeg is great and it has good quality articles about all aspects of Scottish football, which has suited my attention span. With reading, though, I go through fits and starts. Mostly it’s been magazines, online articles and blogs. Three posts I’ve enjoyed have been Alex Cochrane’s words and photos of Kolkata, Alison’s review of Calgary Bay beach and Alli Templeton’s Berkhamsted Castle visit.

That’s the Saturday Saunter post done for today, Saturday 8th June 2019. Tomorrow is the final instalment of Loose Ends, for now at least. Wednesday is back to Streets of Glasgow and it’s the big one, GWR. Not sure if there will be a Thursday post yet. Thanks as ever to all readers, commenters and followers. Have a nice weekend. Tatty bye.



8 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Studying, writing and reading

  1. Alli Templeton

    Looks like your Saturday Saunter will involve some interesting history, Kev. It’s so nice to know someone else going through an OU history degree. Which module are you going to do next year? I’m pretty sure I’m going to do the Scottish Medieval History one. We did cover the Scottish Enlightenment in the module last year, and it also covered the Reformation north of the border. It was pretty interesting if you haven’t done it yet.

    Good luck with the writing competition. You’re right, the theme would flummox me, so I’m guessing ‘Blether’ is another Scottish word? And thanks for linking to my Berkhamsted post, and I’m very glad you enjoyed it. My Latin exam is on Friday, so I’m looking forward to getting that out of the way so I can relax a bit and concentrate on the Welsh castle adventure over summer.

    Have a great weekend, and I hope you enjoy the OU lectures. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Best of luck for Friday. ‘Blether’ is indeed a Scots word, indeed one of the best ones. Next year’s module, which I heard a fair bit about today, will be A326 Empire 1492-1975. It looks absolutely awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alli Templeton

        Thanks, Kev. I’ll need all the luck I can get! 🙂 I’ve heard things about A326 as well, so I hope you enjoy it. I reckon my last two will be the Scottish Medieval one with Dundee uni, and then of course the Welsh history one so I can do my dissertation on Edward 1st’s welsh wars/castles. It’ll be nice to compare notes. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Welsh history module does look interesting – and I heard a bit about it yesterday – though it isn’t for me, especially since the closest I’ve been to Wales is listening to the Stereophonics. The Medieval Scottish one looks great but of the two, the Modern one would be just right.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Alli Templeton

        I guess I’m biased towards the Welsh one because of my love of castles and the story of the Welsh wars. Either way, I don’t blame you for taking a break from studying – doing a degree is exhausting! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Digest: June 2019 – Walking Talking

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