Saturday Saunter: Borders, sculptures and monuments

Good Saturday to you,

Welcome to another Saturday Saunter, this time being written on a dark and dismal Wednesday night. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing when this is posted but the weather isn’t to be great, which is not out of character for this year so far.

Recently I mentioned the Turner watercolour of the Rhymer’s Glen at Abbotsford. I’ve been thinking about the Borders quite a bit lately and maybe later in the year I might get back there. A wander around Dryburgh Abbey would be nice. I’ve only been there in the summer but I imagine it would be great on a cold, bright January day. Same with Melrose Abbey. Hermitage Castle is a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time – it’s a castle in a very rural part of the Borders with links to Mary, Queen of Scots – though it isn’t usually open in the winter anyway. Plus it isn’t easy to get to, even with a car. Randomly it was owned by a forebear of Sir Walter Scott, since this is a small world. The book I’m reading at the moment was written by a Borderer, actually, Doddie Weir, My Name’s Doddie, and it’s decent so far, going into his rugby career as well as his more recent diagnosis with motor neurone disease. He has a great sense of humour and his book is enjoyable even for someone like me who doesn’t like rugby.

Kelpies - two large sculptures of horses, one in side profile, the other to the right with head up. There is an electricity pylon between the sculptures.
Kelpies – two large sculptures of horses, one in side profile, the other to the right with head up. There is an electricity pylon between the sculptures.
DunBear - a sculpture of a brown bear stood on a plinth.
DunBear – a sculpture of a brown bear stood on a plinth.
Poised - a metal sculpture of a cat sat on a plinth. The cat is in an office building.
Poised – a metal sculpture of a cat sat on a plinth. The cat is in an office building.

I was looking at some photos the other day, including the Kelpies and the DunBear, both of which I visited last January. What I didn’t know was that the leopard sculpture in Marischal Square in Aberdeen was also the work of the same sculptor, Andy Scott, as is the memorial to the Ibrox disaster and the Charles Rennie Mackintosh statue in Anderston. The Kelpies have become a symbol of Scotland since their unveiling in 2013 and they are even more impressive close up than they are in pictures. The leopard sculpture, Poised, is cool too and it sits in the confines of an office block above an ice cream shop.

Glenfinnan and Loch Shiel

This seems to have become a discursion about interesting places around Scotland. That’s okay with me. I’ve written before about the National Trust for Scotland’s efforts to delve into the history of its properties and their links with slavery. The Glenfinnan Monument, which stands at the head of Loch Shiel, commemorates the ’45 Jacobite rising. It was built, according to new research, as written about in The Guardian recently, using funds gleaned from the work of slaves on Jamaican plantations. Even in the Highlands, there are links. It would be interesting to know if there are other connections in Glenfinnan to slavery. It’s a small place but nothing would surprise me.

Before I forget, WordPress is trying out native sponsored posts. One might appear if you read this on the website as opposed to WordPress Reader. I don’t endorse any adverts which appear here. It’s a bit annoying really.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 16th January 2021. Thanks for reading. A post about interesting local places will appear on Wednesday. That appears just when Joe Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States, which is infinitely more important. Until then, keep safe. A very good morning to you all. Peace.

8 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Borders, sculptures and monuments

  1. chinapenguin

    There’s an Andy Scott sculpture trail around Clackmannanshire. Only problem (lockdown aside) is that many of them are situated on roundabouts and both parking and access aren’t wonderful. I’ve managed to visit them all, but some of my photos are better than others. And then there’s Arria in Cumbernauld, which I’ve been to many times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very interesting. I didn’t know about the trail in Clackmannanshire but will look into it, maybe even make a trip when it might be possible. Thanks for your comments and for reading!

      Like

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