Saturday Saunter: Travels and books

Good morning,

Welcome to another Saturday Saunter, this time being written on a wet and dismal Wednesday. On in the background as I start this today is Tide Lines, more specifically ‘Innocent and Beautiful’, the opening track from their very new album, ‘Eye of the Storm’, which I’ve been listening to over the last couple of weeks.

Last week here I talked a bit about Black Lives Matter and the history of slavery in Glasgow. Since then, protests have happened and statues have been chucked in rivers. Rather than rehash what I said last week, I would urge readers to go search out some other voices who can speak with more credibility than me. David Olusoga has written insightfully about Bristol in recent days. Geoff Palmer has spoken about the history of slavery in Scotland. Also, the excellent poem ‘Scotland, You’re No Mine’ by Hannah Lavery, one of the Best Scottish Poems of 2019 according to the Scottish Poetry Library.

North Berwick: looking across a beach on a sunny day towards a harbour with a red building in the centre of the image.

The Scottish Government has announced this week that it hopes that 15th July will see the start of the tourist season here in Scotland, depending, of course, on continuing progress. That is excellent news for many people, those of us who like to roam our land and even more for those whose livelihoods depend on tourism. I’ve written many words here about the places I love right across Scotland. I want to go to the sea. Whether it’s in Ayrshire, or East Lothian, or anywhere, some waves and wind would do me fine. Then a castle or two, even if the National Trust for Scotland has said that it doesn’t expect some of its properties to reopen for up to two years. Some food, a fish supper, a meal in a cosy restaurant, a packed lunch, even. In time, hopefully, this will be possible once more.

In the meantime, five miles is the leisure limit. Tomorrow will see the first of my 5 In 5, five places within five miles of my home which are interesting. On Tuesday I was in Bellahouston Park and stopped off on the way homeward at a bit of ghost signage I like. Not sure what the other three places will be. Maybe some street art or a statue. We’ll see.

Last Saturday I read It Wisnae Us by Stephen Mullen about Glasgow and slavery though I haven’t read much else since. By my bed I have two editions of The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd so could just wander virtually into the Cairngorms. Or I have a book I bought quite recently about design on London transport, London By Design, which I’ve delved into but not fully. When we look around our world, we see finely – or not-so-finely – honed designs everywhere.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 13th June 2020. Thanks so much for reading, commenting, following. Tomorrow will be 5 In 5, and Wednesday will see the return of Loose Ends Redux, this time in Dundee and Glasgow. Until then, keep safe. Peace.


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