Saturday Saunter: Darkness and Glasgow lights

Good morning,

Our post is coming earlier than normal since I’m working today. It is being written fairly late on Tuesday night. I was at the cinema earlier tonight (Brittany Runs A Marathon, at the Glasgow Film Theatre. It was quite decent, funny, dark and a little uplifting. A real millennial sort of film. The cinematography was excellent with big sweeping shots of New York and Philadelphia.) and I’m a little tired but I feel like getting some words out before bed. Our soundtrack tonight is YouTube, currently the very wonderful Tide Lines.

I don’t particularly like this time of year. I’ve written here recently about my antipathy towards Halloween and Bonfire Night plus of course Christmas is coming. My eyes just rolled typing that. Winter is darkness. I work full-time, year-round, now but I used to work casually and that usually meant seasonally. I think a bit of me still sees this time of year as a bit bleak for that reason, leaving aside that the last few mornings have been baltic and all the various festivals this time of year are lousy. I get overloaded in Christmas markets so tend to avoid them, the lights intense and unsettling rather than bringing any sort of bonhomie. I can deal with the cold and there’s a bit of me that would rather be by waves or in a wood than anywhere near a city centre this time of year. Winter is often the best time to experience wilder places, not least because not a lot of others do that. I was off yesterday (Friday) and had been thinking about going for a walk at New Lanark, which I visited on a very warm day in the summer, or possibly on a beach down in Ayrshire. We’ll see.

Last Saturday I was in Perth to see the mighty Hibees win for the first time since early August. They won decisively. I did plan to take a Dervla Murphy book with me but instead I decided to finish Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie, which I have been reading slowly over the last few weeks. It was good to the very last drop. Unfortunately I had only a few pages to read by the time I got on the train home and I had consumed the programme from the football. I bought a new notebook but ended up just looking out the window into the darkness. My journey to my current workplace takes 10 minutes on the train so not much reading to be done. By the time I’ve put earphones in, and shown my ticket to the conductor, it’s about a decent song’s worth, usually something upbeat and dancy for that time of day.

Still Tide Lines on the screen at the moment. It’s songs from gigs they’ve played. I always wonder why on earth people film these things but I’m grateful nonetheless.

Sauchiehall Lane, with lights across the street illuminating a bit of street art

One of the best bits about the monthly trip to the GFT, apart from the film itself and the rather fine pasta I normally have beforehand from the Via Italia street food place on the corner of Gordon Street and Union Street, is undoubtedly the walk through the city after the film. I usually find going back into the world after a film a bit intense. It’s like turning the big light on after sitting with just a lamp on. (I should explain for non-Scottish readers that the big light means a light usually hanging from the ceiling.) The walk from the GFT to Central Station takes me from one end of the city centre to another. Glasgow city centre is mainly laid out on a concentric grid and I usually go along a bit of Sauchiehall Street then down Hope Street. I have a great and fierce love of my adopted home and it often comes out walking its streets. The lights, the tall buildings and the rush of life are thrilling. Sometimes I still can’t believe I live here. Even with what I wrote about earlier about waves, you can’t beat Glasgow.

Finally, this week is Trans Awareness Week. This year I’ve read a fair bit about trans issues, as part of trying to be aware of the society in which we live. I read an excellent post produced by the mighty Jessica Kingsley Publishers with a few of its authors talking about what trans means to them. Take a look.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 16th November 2019. Thanks for reading. Tomorrow’s post is about Glencoe, one of the very finest places on the planet. Wednesday is another Loose Ends post, still in Edinburgh but less geological. Cheers just now.

17 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Darkness and Glasgow lights

    1. The cold and wind has underlined the gloom this week. We haven’t had a lot of rain, which is unusual! I quite like that there are fairy lights all year round there and on Gordon Street.

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  1. I don’t think I’ve ever been down Sauchiehall Lane, I’ve certainly not seen that street art. Glasgow is full of surprises! I read the trans article, interesting. My friend Beverly and I went to see Jo Clifford at the Tron the other week in Jesus, Queen of Heaven which reimagined bible stories through a trans lens. Very controversial when it first came out 10 years ago, apparently. I find her very inspiring.

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    1. That’s interesting. I don’t know anything about Jo Clifford but will need to read up! I actually saw the book Jesus, Queen of Heaven in a shop yesterday but didn’t know the connection.

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      1. You definitely couldn’t! All sorts of images are going through my head now of folk standing under hairdryers like they’re in a shower or irons being pulled too far and ceilings coming down.

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  2. Alli Templeton

    I’m quite into waves and wild woods at this time of year too, Kev. I agree they can be at their best – especially as they’re quieter. I find that with castles too. They are always quieter at this time of year, especially in not-so-good weather, but I find all that just increases the atmosphere enormously.
    I’m amazed you can find time to read anything other then your module stuff. I’m probably a much slower reader than you though.

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  3. I like Christmas, but not quite this early! I had to put out the Christmas stock in my museum shop last week, because people expect to be able to buy it around now, but I’m so not into it yet, even though every other retailer has had that stuff out since late summer!
    I get how you feel about your love for the city coming out whilst walking its streets at night. I have sort of a love/hate relationship with London, but seeing it at night, especially whilst crossing Hungerford Bridge, makes me love it all over again.

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  4. Pingback: Digest: November 2019 – Walking Talking

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