Good Saturday to you,
It is actually Saturday too, as I write this. Just about half eight. The sun has come up and there is a cold, pale blue light out my window. The trees aren’t moving so much so there can’t be much wind. I am currently in the midst of time off and that usually means I don’t post anything here either but I woke up this morning with an almost overwhelming urge to write. So, here I am, laptop on my knee, ready to write something.
It’s been a good week or so off so far. I’ve been on ferries, buses and trains and I’ve even managed to read a fair bit. Yesterday was excellent with a trip to Arran and Lamlash, a part of the island I hadn’t been to before. Despite the cloud and the cold, Lamlash was lovely with views across to the Holy Isle and the mainland in the distance. I’m always a believer that going on a ferry is like being on your holidays and I definitely got that sense yesterday. I still have it lingering now though I have the feeling it will be expunged at Easter Road later. One of the best parts of being by the sea, particularly in the west coast, is the big skies and the sky was particularly special on the way back to Ardrossan, one side towards the mainland sunny, the starboard side dark and stormy looking. As we sat on the train in Ardrossan, waiting for it to leave, a nice sunset broke over Arran, some pinks and purples at the edge of that piercing blue.
On Wednesday I was in Dundee and that was great too, with a whole bunch of street art. I was thinking yesterday about one of the paintings I saw in the McManus, a John Houston one of a western sunset, all yellows and oranges. I like Dundee more every time I’m there and the street art was immense. My favourites related to mental health, a subject particularly close to my heart. There was a black dog sculpture at Dundee University and a mural by the Hilltown Clock of Oor Wullie with his bucket over his head. Around him were words ‘Don’t Push Me I’m Close To The Edge’ and ‘I’m Trying Not To Lose My Head’. In a close by the bus station there were a few graffiti creations which weren’t particularly kind to our current Prime Minister, sentiments with which I heartily concur.
This week I’ve managed to spend time with some of my favourite people as well as time myself too. Edinburgh on Tuesday was particularly good. I went to see the Hibs Development Squad play the Hearts Reserves (surprisingly well attended for a Tuesday afternoon with a few laddies there who probably should have been at the school). Before the game I walked along the Water of Leith and sat and ate my lunch at a weir at the edge of the Dean Village. A heron sat on the weir, tall with a curved neck or preening. It was a far nicer spectacle than the Antony Gormley sculpture just along the way, which just ruins the whole scene. I know I’ve ranted about that before but it’s enough to appreciate a beautiful place without bringing more human intervention and interpretation to it.
My reading has been mixed this week. My OU chapter has been read in some unlikely places, including in the stand before the wee derby and in the Kibble Palace at the Glasgow Botanics on Thursday. I’ve read a couple of memoirs, by Jonathan Van Ness, who stars in the reboot of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, and footballer Mark Walters. Both were difficult for different reasons. Van Ness wrote about his troubles with addiction while Mark Walters discussed some of the despicable racism he experienced playing here in Scotland. The discussions of racism in football are particularly pertinent at the moment after the England-Bulgaria game last week and it isn’t enough merely to condemn; as a society we need to change these attitudes for they are deeply rooted for many.
I think I’m going to take Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie with me to Edinburgh today. It’s one of those books I don’t want to rush as it’ll be a while until the next one and Kathleen Jamie’s words need savoured.
It’s also been very cold this last couple of days and unseasonably so for October. Summer feels a long time away. The clocks of course go back tonight and I just hate it. I’m a fan of natural light and it becomes ever more precious this time of year. I’m looking forward to a good walk before the game today in Edinburgh and probably a trip east on Monday.
Anyway, that’s the unexpected Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 26th October 2019. The blog will return more properly with Loose Ends on Wednesday and that will be in Edinburgh back when it was warm. A Saturday Saunter will be here next Saturday and the October digest next Sunday. In the meantime I’m going to try and do some more writing, maybe some OU reading. Have a very nice weekend, whatever you do. Peace.