Good Saturday to you,
Welcome to the first Saturday Saunter of 2020. I am writing this on Friday morning. I am off until Monday so I am still a person of leisure. It’s one of those days when it is bright outside but when I went out to the bin a few minutes ago, it was raining. Glasgow is like that quite often. As this is posted, I have a couple of bits and bobs to do in Paisley then might try and catch a lower league football match since the Premiership is on its annual winter shutdown. Then again I might not. On Sunday, I might go to the art gallery in Kirkcaldy, one of my favourite places.
I try not to write much about football here. I appreciate that a fair few readers here really don’t care. If you’re in that group please scroll down to the next paragraph. I’ve been thinking a fair bit about football and unfortunately about the off-the-field stuff more than the actual game itself. Then again Hibs getting beat by Livingston last Sunday isn’t worth dwelling on. Sunday also saw the Old Firm match. Either way humanity lost. Anyway, the following day a statement was dispatched from Ibrox calling for Video Assistant Referees (VAR) to be introduced in the Scottish game, specifically citing three incidents which went against The Rangers. This was set against a backdrop of English football where VAR has been widely criticised for its impact on the game, taking the spontaneity and vivacity out of it. I am firmly against it. Referees aren’t great but decisions are made in the spur of the moment. It is an interpretation, a subjective decision following supposedly objective rules. They can go wrong. That’s part of life. The joy of football is flowing football, good play, sometimes a dicey tackle. Plus I can’t seriously see the point in Ross County, Hamilton, Livingston, St. Mirren or anyone else spending money on screens and technology that might realistically be employed three times a year, i.e. when the Gruesomes come to town. It would make the game sterile and I would probably find something else to do with my Saturday.
One thing might be walking in the rain. On Thursday I went east for my first foray out into the world in the new decade. I decided to walk along the coast from Portobello as far as Prestongrange, about 4.5 miles. It was cloudy as I got to Edinburgh, though by the time I got off the bus in Porty, there were some spots of rain. Despite that the Prom in Porty was busy with walkers, cyclists, even swimmers in the Forth. Better them than me. I was soon alone walking by Joppa with the Forth opening out before me. The rain got heavier and I gave myself until Fisherrow Harbour before I made the decision. I ended up walking on, managing an impromptu Loose Ends mission along the way. I was there, I might not get there soon so I walked on. I reached Prestongrange after first walking across Morrison’s Haven, standing looking back towards Edinburgh, Porty distant across the bay. I didn’t realise how wet I was until I got off the bus on Princes Street about an hour later and I was still ringin’.
Tuesday was brighter but colder as I went across the country to St. Andrews. I like a run to St. Andrews and the bus ride is 2.5 hours, long enough to read, lunch, listen to music and otherwise chill as the bus rolls forward. I got off then headed towards the sea, through the Cathedral kirkyard. The sky was cloudless, the sky and sea a bright, sharp blue. I walked to the end of the pier then back up by the Cathedral and Castle. Being by the sea was all I needed. I didn’t care that it was cold. It was just the right light, at a time of year when there isn’t enough of it. It was dark by Kincardine on the way home, a low ring of orange on the horizon the last light of the year as the bus moved steadily back to Glasgow.
Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 4th January 2020. Thanks as ever for reading. Tomorrow will be the December digest. Wednesday will be the return of Loose Ends and it will be right at the heart of Glasgow. Have a good week. Peace.