At last the long month is over. It is now February and as I write this on the morning of Saturday 1st February, it’s grey and dismal. At least it’s not still January and we’re edging ever closer to longer days and slightly less changeable weather. January was of course another busy month in the world and in my own life too, with lots of changes and developments happening. Plus a lot of the same in other ways. Without further ado, let’s do the January digest.
Thursday 2nd January is a public holiday in Scotland and I was keen to get out after the country basically shut down on New Year’s Day. I decided to go to Edinburgh for a walk, eventually walking in gradually wetter conditions from Portobello to Prestongrange, keeping close to the coast throughout. The walk was bracing and good for the soul all the same.
Saturday 4th January was football-free since the Scottish Premiership has a winter shutdown. After doing some business in Paisley, I went into Glasgow to Rottenrow Gardens, part of Strathclyde University’s campus, for Loose Ends then to Kelvingrove to finally see the Linda McCartney photography exhibition. That was tremendous with my favourites the more arty ones, one of Twiggy looking pensive and thoughtful, another of old men in Campbeltown and probably the best a London street scene on a cold winter’s afternoon as it got dark.
The following day I went to Dunbar. This had multiple purposes but was mainly about going to see the new Dunbar Bear sculpture which sits by the A1. First I went to the Creel Loaders statue on Victoria Street, again for Loose Ends, then around the Prom to Belhaven. I walked through Lochend Woods, a place that inspired much writing when I was a teenager, to the Bear then back into the town via the East Links. I liked the Bear a lot more than I thought I would. It stood out well against the landscape, the gently rolling hills and fields.
Friday 10th January involved a trip to Falkirk to see its fine Wheel and the Kelpies. It was a brilliant day in lots of ways. One way was being able to compare the design of the Kelpies to the Dunbar Bear, also designed by Andy Scott.
Sunday 12th January was Newcastle, parking in Tynemouth then going to the Baltic over in Gateshead. The Baltic had a diverse range of exhibitions though my favourite included a sculpture of a hippo spread oot on the floor.
On Tuesday 14th January I went to the Glasgow Film Theatre for their monthly Access Film Club screening for neurodiverse folk. This month’s selection was the darkly funny Jojo Rabbit.
Saturday 18th January was another trip to the cinema, to see 1917, apparently partly filmed in the dry dock at Govan. It was decent though sad in various parts. The cinema was the big Cineworld in the town and looking down from the top after was particularly magical.
The following day, Sunday 19th January, saw Hibs play Dundee United in the Scottish Cup at Tannadice. It finished 2-2. The game was freezing. Before I did some business for Loose Ends, going to the V and A and then the McManus just for myself.
Wednesday 22nd January featured another trip to Edinburgh to see Hibs play Hamilton.
Saturday 25th January involved a trip out to an event at Celtic Connections, the folk music festival which hits Glasgow at the start of the year. This was my first and it was excellent, a selection of bothy ballads, war stories and playing beautiful traditional music.
Sunday 26th January was another trip to Edinburgh, this time not for football. It was a trip to the Writer’s Museum then the National Museum of Scotland, followed by a trip down the West Port for books. It concluded with a posh fish supper. It was braw.
Tuesday 28th January was the replay between Hibs and Dundee United at Easter Road. Beforehand I sat in Starbucks (other coffee shops are available) and did some work on an OU assignment due imminently. The game was also very cold but finished 3-2 to the good guys.
That’s the January digest then. It was nice to relive it as I wrote this all in one go. The walk between Porty and the Pans feels forever ago.
Our Scots word for this month is ‘weel’ or ‘well’. That’s not to be confused with ‘weal’, which is wealth or good. ‘Weel’ cropped up a few times when reading a certain Burns poem at work in January.
As for the blog, we’re back, I’m back, on Wednesday with Loose Ends and some more Glasgow street art. On Saturday is the Saturday Saunter, naturally. Two posts a week is suiting me fine this weather. Time to actually sit down and write is fairly scarce so the time this grey morning is precious. In February there will be the annual Valentine’s Day is a big pile of steaming shite post, which I’ve written already and is milder than most years.
Thanks as ever to all readers, commenters and followers. Have a good month.
Posts this month –