Saturday Saunter: Parks, books, football and Whithorn

Good Saturday to you,

How are you? I’m writing this on Wednesday afternoon and there is a big ominous rain cloud over yonder as I start this. To be honest I’m not sure what I will be doing when this is posted. I’ve had notions to go for a big walk, possibly as far as the mystical and mythical land of Glasgow city centre but definitely not to shop or go to a beer garden. It might be one of the hopefully much quieter local parks for me. That was what I did last Saturday. I went to Barshaw Park, though it felt too busy to take photos or sit in the walled garden, so I headed instead to Rosshall Gardens, which were much quieter. There’s a woodland walk there which is wonderfully peaceful and fools you into thinking that you’re not in a city.

Rosshall Gardens: a woodland scene, looking from under a tree over a pond, which reflects the trees and foliage above it.

When writing the Saturday Saunter each week, I sometimes have an idea or two, sometimes I don’t. Now and then I write out of frustration, more frequently with a skip and a jump as the words tumble out. I was tempted to write about some stuff in the news but I’m at the point where I want to avoid it. Instead I want to write today about other things. Firstly a blast from my boyhood. When I was a kid, highlights of Scottish football matches came twice a weekend, thrice if I had been at the game. Saturday night would be Sportscene on the BBC (probably Sunday as it was on late so it would get taped), Sunday Scotsport, which was on ITV (where I lived got Grampian even though we were in the catchment of STV). Scotsport is no longer and Sportscene moved later into the week, only on a Saturday night after games in the Cup. No more. Sportscene will be back on Saturday nights from the start of the season, currently looking favourite for August. BBC Scotland comes in for some stick. Some of it justified, some not, but this is a very good move. Roll on the start of August and the return of proper football, none of this corporate English pish. Even if it’s behind closed doors, it’s the real thing.

Whithorn is in Dumfries and Galloway, beyond Wigtown and Newton Stewart. It is notable as being an early centre of Christianity in Scotland. I went there once and the museum was excellent, just the right blend of text and images to appeal to most audiences. Researchers have found that the Whithorn monastery might have been established later than thought, using carbon dating to make their case that it might have come into being in the 7th century AD rather than the 5th. The BBC News story is worth a read though if you are squeamish, please be warned that it shows a burial.

Also, it is worth looking to Twitter for an interesting thread. Sara Sheridan has written about lesser-known Scottish female writers, including Susan Ferrier and Muriel Spark.

Our weekly different perspective comes from The Guardian with some black photographers looking through their archives and talking about them.

I’m currently listening to an audiobook, A Short History Of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I’ve read Bryson’s travel books for years but I’ve never been able to get through one of his science books. I listened to The Lost Continent a couple of weeks ago and realised that audio might be the way to go with the science. So far I’m an hour in and it’s fine. I have to take science in small dozes. It is very important, of course, though understanding it and remembering it is harder.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 11th July 2020. Thanks very much for reading. The final instalment of 5 In 5 will be here tomorrow and it’s a sculpture. Virtual Loose Ends continues on Wednesday and it will be continuing back in Glasgow. Until then, keep safe. A very good morning.

8 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Parks, books, football and Whithorn

  1. Alli Templeton

    We’ve had some rotten weather down here too this week, although it seems to be picking up again now. Whithorn featured in my studies this year as a centre for early saints and pilgrimages, but it also sounds a fascinating place to visit. And what a very beautiful woodland scene you’ve captured in Rosshall Gardens. Just the kind of scene I’d love to step into and explore. Fantastic. Have a great week, Kev, and hope the weather up there picks up too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like Bill Bryson, but he can sometimes be a bit pompous (though I guess I can too, so…). He did an audio guide for the Roman Baths in Bath, and he came across as completely insufferable in it, even though I generally enjoy his travel books, and I did like A Short History of Nearly Everything. Definitely not an audiobook person myself, though I’m glad it’s working for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked the woodland scene from Rosshall Gardens. You’d never think it was in a city!
    I agree with you about Whithorn Museum. It really is excellent and when I went inside the reconstructed Iron Age roundhouse I was so over-awed by it that I forgot to take any photos!

    Liked by 1 person

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