Saturday Saunter: Earplugs, role models and books

Good Saturday,

Unusually this is being started on Sunday night as I’m busy on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week, when normally I might think to write this post. It’s just about 10pm and I’ve had a busy day, walking in the rain on Bute. It was much better than it sounds. We had driven the long way to get to Bute, taking the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ferry from Colintraive to Rhobodach and then down to Rothesay and Kilchattan Bay from there. Anyway, home now and in the background I have a Skipinnish playlist from YouTube.

The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ferry

This post appears on a Saturday morning when I’ll be off to Edinburgh to watch Hibs. It’s going to be a ‘go to the game and straight home’ sort of occasion as I can’t be doing with Edinburgh during the Festival circus. Last year I bought a packet of earplugs and I’ve put a set in my jacket pocket and my backpack. They worked a treat last year and they’ll probably work today especially as leafleters were gathered beyond the Playhouse when I was in Edinburgh two weeks ago, a zone I would normally consider safe.

The schools have just gone back here in Glasgow. I should explain for non-Scottish readers that school holidays in Scotland go from the end of June to mid-August. Our education system is generally different from England, as is our legal system, of course. It’s traditional that the weather gets nicer when the schools go back and it was sunny and warm on Thursday when the schools went back in Renfrewshire (where I work) though wet and windy on Friday as I write these words. The best part of the schools going back for me, a contentedly childless person, is the fact the museums and shops are quieter if I’m off on a weekday. Happy days. Another bonus is that I’m long past school age and I don’t have to brave school again myself.

Greta Thunberg is a remarkable person. As a society we need to do a lot more to deal with the effects of climate change and Greta Thunberg is spreading a valuable and essential message. Unfortunately she gets it tight on social media on account of her age, what she’s saying and because she’s autistic. I read a thread on Twitter the other day that mentioned that she’s a rare autistic role model since a lot of media portrayals of our condition tend to be negative and driven by stereotypes. They don’t reflect the diversity of neurodiverse folk, how many of us have empathy, how we can communicate and how we are not serial killing loners. Changing that will take time and any positive contributions that people can make must be embraced and cherished, especially if they might actually help move our society forward.

I haven’t been reading terribly much this weather. A fortnight ago, I took my favourite book, The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd, when I was heading to the football. Today I have a book I got for my birthday, The Pebbles On The Beach by Clarence Ellis, which from the blurb and the cover looks like my kind of book. Also on my pile just now is a Marsali Taylor crime novel that’s been there for ages, the new Stuart MacBride and a book by Diego Maradona about the 1986 World Cup. A book I got recently was the rather cool Spirits of Glasgow featuring illustrations by Jo Whitby and a story by Chris McQueer. I got it as a pre-order (it’s not out properly until September). Don’t panic, I’ve not turned into a blagging, bragging book blogger – I heard about the pre-sale on Twitter and promptly bought a copy. The illustrations are beautiful, quite like Neil Slorance in style, and I’m looking forward to reading it properly.

I often like to catchup with American late night comedy shows and my favourite is the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Stephen Colbert was interviewed the other day by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and amidst the discussions about Donald Trump, they talked very movingly about grief. I sat and watched it this morning and it was profound. We do not talk enough as a society about serious matters of life and death. We get too preoccupied by trivial nonsense.

On a brighter note, and not at all trivial, this very Saturday morning Natalie from Wednesday’s Child has published an ex-pat’s guide to Glasgow so have a read at that.

Anyway, that’s us for today. Intercity is back tomorrow and it’s Dundee for the second time. It features one of my favourite bizarre photographs I’ve ever taken. Wednesday will be a bonus walk from my recent trip to Aberdeen. Another Saturday Saunter will appear a week today. In the meantime, have a great weekend. Cheers for now.





14 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Earplugs, role models and books

  1. I can only imagine what the ‘festival circus’, as you put it, must be like. I love Edinburgh and the arts, but I couldn’t handle the crowds. I do best when I visit in the ‘off season’ when it’s mainly just the locals milling about. Enjoyed today’s post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the mention!
    The schools here are still on holiday for another fortnight – I’m sure my commute will get much busier after that.
    I think the vitriol directed at Greta Thurnberg is horrible – she’s a great role model for everyone, and it’s pathetic to see middle ages Twitter trolls attacking a 16 year old girl. I wish her all the best on her journey to the US.
    Good luck and Godspeed through the capital today! May your path be blessedly leaflet free!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alli Templeton

    Hi Kev, I’m back from Wales now and settled back in Buckinghamshire (more’s the pity), and enjoying getting back in touch with my blogging friends. Great Saturday Saunter this week. I didn’t know Greta Thunberg is autistic. She’s a fantastic young woman and I think she’s got a great future ahead of her. She puts all the politicians to shame.
    And I’m looking forward to your Dundee post tomorrow, as I’ve just enrolled on the Scottish Medieval and Early Modern module there. And I’m intrigued about this photo…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Scottish school holiday system is a lot closer to the American one. I never paid much attention to English school holidays until I started working at a museum, when I had to be aware of them because of all the special events we run. Even though I don’t like kids, I do like the school holidays from a work perspective because the museum is a lot busier, and there’s less traffic in the morning, so my commute is faster. I certainly prefer quiet museums for visiting purposes though!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Digest: August 2019 – Walking Talking

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