Saturday Saunter: Music, Scots and Sunny Woodlands

Good Saturday to you,

What a week it’s been. I’m writing this on Thursday night and unusually I have a load of ideas for this post today. Whether I’ll get through them all, I’m not sure. I didn’t want to tempt fate by writing this post earlier than Wednesday in case I used expressions like ‘President Biden’ or anything like that. Amanda Gorman, the inaugural poet, was particularly brilliant.

One of the other things I’ve watched this week, aside from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s inauguration, has been Celtic Connections, the folk music festival which normally happens in real life in Glasgow in January. This year it has been online, a wee bit on TV too, and it was one of the best investments of the year to buy the Festival Pass. I’ve watched a couple of the concerts so far, including the opening concert featuring Duncan Chisholm and the one the other night with Karine Polwart, Rab Noakes, Siobhan Miller, Findlay Napier and Eddi Reader. Karine Polwart’s opening song, Come Away In, inspired by a Burns poem, was particularly brilliant. Hopefully it’ll be possible to go to Celtic Connections in person next year.

The Scots language often features in Celtic Connections and this week there’s been a bit of a stooshie with people slagging off Len Pennie, otherwise known as Miss PunnyPennie on Twitter, for posting in and about Scots on social media. Many of us talk and think in Scots. It is a language and varies widely across the country with influences from all sorts of languages and media. Len Pennie is a talented person and she chooses to communicate in Scots. Braw.

End of the pier at Eyemouth - a wooden pier with a post at the end and waves lapping at either side. Cliffs extend to the left. The grey clouds are ​low, below a light blue sky.
End of the pier at Eyemouth – a wooden pier with a post at the end and waves lapping at either side. Cliffs extend to the left. The grey clouds are low, below a light blue sky.

Since travelling great distances isn’t possible at the moment, I’ve found a fair bit of inspiration from social media. One was from the wonderful chip shop Giacopazzi’s, in Eyemouth, which shared a view from their harbourside shop across to the old Maritime Museum which is in the process of demolition. Eyemouth is one of my favourite places and I was glad to visit last summer when restrictions were eased. Last February, meanwhile, was my last visit to Kirkcaldy Galleries, my favourite art gallery, and one of my favourite paintings there, which is ‘Sunny Woodlands’ by Thomas Corsan Morton, with a person sitting under some leafy trees. They posted it on social media the other day and it was a wee boost, I have to say.

An excellent and timely article I read the other day was by David Leask, of The Herald, about the importance of learning the truth about Scotland and its links to slavery unfettered or diluted by political narratives.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 23rd January 2021. Thanks as ever for reading. Not sure what’ll be here on Wednesday. Until then, keep safe. A very good morning to you all. Peace.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Music, Scots and Sunny Woodlands

  1. We’ve been glued to Celtic Connections every night. I agree the Karine Polwart event was a highlight, not just because of the wonderful content but because it came across as a real concert, whereas the rest, so far, is a cut and paste job of different segments which I don’t always feel hang together. Also watched the inauguration and liked Amanda Gorman, and have been keeping an eye on Miss PunnyPennie’s account. I find the antipathy to Scots (and Gaelic) incomprehensible – the Scottish cringe in action – and particularly hate the bullying of young women like her and Iona Fyfe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with everything there, Anabel! The Celtic Connections concerts have felt spliced together though the ones on BBC Alba have worked better as they’ve concentrated on one artist. I agree too about the bullying aspect. It’s abhorrent. These are talented people who are only expressing themselves using words many of us speak every day. If people don’t like it, there is always the option to switch off or do something else. I think people forget that.


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