Good Saturday to you,
This edition of the Saturday Saunter is being started on Wednesday, at lunchtime and into the pages of my notebook. This Saturday is a very rare one when I have no football or work so as you read this I’ll be having a lie-in before going out to the cinema at night. I’m going to see 1917, which I’m told is quite sad in places so I’ll have the hankies at the ready. Tomorrow I’m off to Dundee to watch the Hibs play Dundee United in the Scottish Cup. United are running away with the Championship so despite being a league below us at the moment, they are currently favourites for an upset. We’ll see.
Since I last wrote here, I’ve been all over the shop. On Friday I was at the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies, which were great. I hadn’t been up close to the Kelpies before and they’re far better up close. I had been at the Dunbar Bear, also sculpted by Andy Scott, the previous weekend and noticed a fair few design similarities. Sunday took me past the Bear on the way to Newcastle, where my dad and I visited the Baltic art gallery across the Tyne in Gateshead. The Baltic used to be a flour mill and is now home to many ever-varied, ever-changing exhibitions. They also had a kid’s birthday party on in one of the temporary exhibitions, which was set up like soft play. There were three other exhibitions on, Judy Chicago, Joy Labinjo ‘Our histories cling to us’ and Animalesque. Judy Chicago was interesting, featuring tapestries, photographs and installations about feminism, climate change, the process of giving birth and the Holocaust. Joy Labinjo’s paintings were all right. I liked the way the people were depicted but it almost seemed like the backgrounds bore no relation to how the people were placed. Fine all the same. Animalesque was especially random with a sculpture of a hippo placed in the middle of the floor and a German-dubbed version of The Jungle Book playing in the background.
It’s now Thursday morning as I continue on with this, home with Runrig on in the background. I also went to see Jojo Rabbit at the cinema on Tuesday night. It was the Access Film Club show at the Glasgow Film Theatre, so the usual laid-back affair with the noise turned down and no trailers. I really liked it. I was with a friend who loves the director of the film, Taika Waititi, so I had been briefed on his past work beforehand. It was on different levels darkly, brilliantly funny and also poignant and sobering. We were united that our favourite character was Yorki, played by Archie Yates, Jojo’s friend who ends up a soldier despite only being 10. He had the best lines.
I read an article this morning about weekend loneliness, whereby people can be actively busy during the week and seriously lonely at the weekend. I’ve written here before about loneliness and it is one of the worst things to live with. Recently I’ve had a lot of people around me and some new connections, which have been amazing. It doesn’t make me complacent, though, or forget how it feels to be lonely. Sometimes I actively crave solitude – it helps me recharge – and other times it’s the last thing I want or need. I get the concept of weekend loneliness, though. It also strikes during the festive period, in my experience.
On Wednesday Scottish CND put out a statement about the Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ assessment of how close we are as a society to nuclear or climate disaster. Last year, they announced that the time was now two minutes to midnight, which the scientists called ‘the new abnormal’. Next week the Clock gets set again so we may well edge ever closer. Without getting too political, stepping away a little from the CND’s statement, we live in dark times between the conflict with the United States and Iran, the fires in Australia, climate change and the rise of the right politically. The new abnormal is probably about right.
Anyway, on that rather dark note, it’s time to end this Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 18th January 2020. Thank you very much for reading. Loose Ends returns on Wednesday and it’s still in Glasgow, down by the river. Have a good week. Cheery bye.