It’s Monday and a special post because the Walking Talking blog turns four today. It’s out of nappies and at nursery now. To be honest I forgot about the anniversary until WordPress reminded me so this is a live post. It’s about 6 in the evening here in Glasgow and I’m not long home from work. It’s sunny and warm outside my window and a train has just rolled past. They do that a lot around here. My soundtrack as I start this is Skipinnish’s new album, beginning with the joyous Anchors of the Soul.
When I started writing this blog, I didn’t know how it would go. It was a way to get words out of me and into the world. To some extent it’s still like that though I know some people actually read them, which is great. The words have changed from being on whatever I feel like to a wee bit more disciplined, with all the series and the havers I put out here every Saturday.
Our blog has taken in a lot of these islands, including Cambridge, London, Belfast and Dublin as well as a whole lot of Scotland. Earlier today I was thinking about an adventure I took to York a few years back. I love York. It’s incredibly historical and I always like going there. The National Railway Museum is one of the best places on the planet and York Minster is a gorgeous church. It’s no Durham Cathedral but it’s no’ bad. Anyway, when I was walking around the walls I came across a bit of graffiti which posed a question: Why Not? At the time I thought about the wonderful Glasgow comedian Arnold Brown who often posed that very question in his stand-up. Sometimes I can be too cautious in life and I see that question now not as a funny line but as a mission statement. Well, why not?
In its 650+ posts, the blog seems to have reflected my moods and inclinations, my interests and predilections. It is, however, more rooted in Glasgow than ever before and that makes me happy. Last weekend I stood under the flagpole at Queen’s Park, looking over the city. I was there on blog business but as ever it was more than that. Being able to look over the city and feel like it’s home, really home, and spot familiar landmarks as much as unfamiliar terrain was wonderful. I am an east coast person to my fingertips but I am a very proud Glaswegian too. Of the south side, in fact, always the best side.
The blog has also delved into my twin loves, football and history. Sometimes football history. I try not to show my frustrations when Hibs don’t play well – as is the case at the moment – though my travels to watch the Cabbage have often helped the blog, particularly when doing Intercity and Loose Ends, destinations dictated by the fixture list. Football is a release from the here and now, whatever the final score at the end of the game. One of my favourite places is Cathkin Park, the second Hampden Park and once the home of Third Lanark, the terracing slowly being reclaimed by nature. I read a description of it once that it’s like a cathedral. I think that’s true, holding up Camille Pissarro’s credo that ‘blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing’.
What’s next? Well, there is a post about places to visit in Edinburgh, which appears here on Wednesday. For the blog, I’m not sure. Personally the rest of the year looks mentally busy and I may need to cut down the posts. But I’m a writer and I can’t help it. One day I want to write a book, probably psychogeographic, maybe about Glasgow. Some wiseacre said that you should write the kind of book you would want to read. That’s my view of this blog anyway. I write what I want to read.
Anyway, I would like to close by thanking the readers of this blog for choosing to alight here, for following or commenting. I’m lucky that my comments section is a benign place, though sometimes populated by stories of mean seagulls, and I like reading what folk have to say as it helps me to think differently. To those friends and family in real life who have said nice things, cheers indeed. Four years. Wow.