This Saturday Saunter is actually being written live on Saturday morning. It’s horrible, wet and windy outside my window here in Glasgow. There’s been some rain in the last few days interspersed with the sunshine. I hope everyone reading this is okay.
The other day I walked to Pollok House. Pollok House is a couple of miles from here, right at the heart of Pollok Country Park. I hadn’t been in a while – usually I like an autumnal walk there, my feet crunching in the leaves – though I was prompted listening to the Scotland Outdoors podcast, where one of the contributors chronicled her daily walks in the park. It was the longest walk I’ve had in ages and I was absolutely knackered when I got home but it was excellent. The park was fairly busy with walkers, runners and cyclists every few yards though social distancing was generally in effect throughout. I walked as far as Pollok House, looked down the White Cart Water to the waterfall, then headed home. I hadn’t walked to the park before and the walk from Dumbreck Road was particularly fine, past an empty golf course and surrounded by trees and flowers. I love being in the woods and much like when I’m by the sea, I tend to think clearer there. It was an excellent walk and I got a lot out of it.
I’m not sure if I will manage a decent walk today, though. It’s still wet and windy out there. There hasn’t been a magical change of weather in the last twenty minutes or so. This might be a day to catch up with telly. I’ve not long watched Brooklyn Nine Nine and then it’s First Dates Hotel and later over to the iPlayer for Landward and the latest episode of Hidden Lives, which has been profiling different parts of Scottish life, with the most recent episode called The Blackening. I also have a programme about railway architecture to watch, which is on UKTV Play.
I’ve managed a bit of reading this week. After a few days away from my Harry Potter re-read, I am now back in the midst of the Deathly Hallows, and Harry, Ron and Hermione are in London after the Ministry has fallen. I’ve also managed to read The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett and Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama. Former President Obama has been in the news lately – apparently he has instigated something called Obamagate though actually he has implied some pretty strong criticism of his successor. Mild and nuanced perhaps compared to a lot of what can be levelled, to be fair. Anyway, Dreams from my Father is unlike any politician’s memoir I’ve ever read, going into his family background, his father from Kenya, mother from Kansas via Hawaii, his siblings and visit to Kenya as well as community organising in Chicago, some of which didn’t go smoothly. At some points it was hard squaring this story with the guy who was President of the United States for eight years but I could also see how much of his upbringing fed into his politics. The Lady in the Van I read in one gulp. It was a long piece by Alan Bennett about Miss Shepherd, a lady who parked her van in his driveway and didn’t leave for nearly two decades. It has been made into a film more recently starring Maggie Smith. Alan Bennett is an excellent writer and chronicled Miss Shepherd’s life and times with style and compassion, always an important quality.
So, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 23rd May 2020. Thanks for reading. Loose Ends Redux will be here on Wednesday and it will be on Tayside. There might be something else here too but we’ll see. Until then, keep safe. Cheers just now.