One of the nicer parts of blogging is interacting with folk who comment on the blog, either below each post or on social media. Some of the recent Loose Ends posts, particularly Agassiz Rock and Blackford Hill Rocks, have attracted comments along the lines of ‘Never heard of it’. That happens quite often with that series, to be fair, since it is often done on the fly. Indeed the whole point of it is finding connections between places, the loose ends of Scotland that ‘attempt to express the whole’, to quote Hugh MacDiarmid. I prefer the more obscure places, though Loose Ends is getting more mainstream in the coming weeks. I like psychogeography because it can lead to those cool, lesser-spotted places. Sometimes it can be a hit-and-miss but that’s part of the fun.
On the Loose Ends page of the blog is a list of places I’ve been to for the series, which partly serves as a way for readers to find the other instalments but also as an aide-memoire for me. I was just looking at it and some I remember more clearly than others. One of my favourites was from the first lot, in the Wild West. Ironically not so far from Blackford Hill. A wild west set was built in the 1990s on a back street in Morningside in southern Edinburgh. At the end was a garage with local accents and a radio playing. It was beautifully surreal. I had heard about it and meant to go for years. The connection came from Makar’s Court by the Writer’s Museum, I think because of geography, both places being in Edinburgh.
Also on the list are the posts for the Glasgow Women’s Library followed by the Bachelor’s Club. That’s quite a juxtaposition. I’ve been to the GWL a few times and every time I go I get something new from the experience. That time, last summer, was for a Muriel Spark exhibition. The poster ‘PISSEUR!’, recalling A Far Cry From Kensington, was particularly memorable. GWL is a supremely fine place, a force for good in an increasingly dark world. The Bachelor’s Club was all right, though, an interesting couple of rooms which once housed an institution Robert Burns was a member of.
It has become a running joke that I list a whole host of possible connections that never, ever happen. I think Category Is Books in Govanhill has been on there once or twice, as has the Scottish Parliament. North Berwick Law. Hopefully these places might appear eventually. The current Loose End is the Kibble Palace in Glasgow Botanic Garden, which will appear on the blog in January though I actually did it about three weeks ago. One of my favourite places can link from there, the Botanics in Edinburgh, or also the People’s Palace here in Glasgow. Or indeed one of the other palaces of Scotland, like Spynie or Holyrood. Then again maybe not. Palaces aren’t really lesser-spotted.