Saturday Saunter: Walks, blossoms and Edinburgh

Good Saturday to you,

It’s a sunny Friday morning as I start this. It’s been cooler and more changeable this week, not as nice as last weekend but just in time for beer gardens to be open, naturally. The blossoms have been out too. The other day I heard a discussion on the Radcliffe and Maconie show on BBC Radio 6 Music about blossoms and they were questioning why anybody wouldn’t like them. I don’t mind them but with tree pollen being at its peak and everyone cutting their grass, my hayfever has been having an absolute party the last week or two. It’s a tricky balancing act between wanting to be out in the world and being all snotty and sneezy as a result.

Edinburgh: a city street with a church and clock tower in centre, trees on left and buildings on either side.​
Edinburgh: a city street with a church and clock tower in centre, trees on left and buildings on either side.

I was in Edinburgh the other day for the first time in many months and it was excellent, sunny but not too warm. I walked up Calton Hill and then along to Easter Road and back through the New Town. Being in Edinburgh, indeed being anywhere, was glorious and did wonders, I must say. When I was walking through the New Town, I stopped on a bench on Drummond Place. It was dedicated to a Kenneth Morrison, 1883-1968, with the phrase below ‘Ann an taing’. I recognised this as Gaelic as I’ve been doing Gaelic on Duolingo recently and it works out as ‘in thanks’, which is about what I was feeling. It wasn’t my first foray out since restrictions changed but it was just good to be in Edinburgh again, to feel an east coast wind and see familiar places once more. I stood on Calton Hill and looked for different landmarks, from the Queensferry Crossing to the Botanics, Leith to North Berwick Law, and it was wonderful.

I don’t think I followed any of the walks suggested by VisitScotland recently. They picked a few Edinburgh walks scattered across the city but guess where the Glasgow ones all were? That’s right, the West End. In fairness, the Mitchell Library isn’t but it’s still west of the motorway. Don’t get me wrong. The West End is perfectly nice. They have a Waitrose. There are, however, some very fine walks in other parts of this fine city, encompassing canals, cemeteries, country parks and other things not beginning with ‘C’. I could rant about this for a while but the fact remains, there’s a city beyond the West End. One of the few pleasures of the last few months has been being able to explore some of Glasgow’s parks, for example. I was in Buchanan Street last week and it will probably never be as quiet again just to look up at the buildings. In a time when people are rightly being prescribed going for a walk, it’s good to promote a greater diversity of places to walk in. I can recommend Rosshall Park, for example.

My current reading is Westering by Laurence Mitchell, a walk from Norfolk to Wales encompassing history, philosophy and a bit of psychogeography for good measure. I’m enjoying it a lot even if I read a few chapters going east instead of west.

Before I go, this is the last one of these posts before the elections to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Parliament and English local authorities, all on Thursday. As Will Bailey said in The West Wing, no matter who you vote for, make sure you vote.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 1st May 2021. Streets of Glasgow resumes on Wednesday. Until then, have a good one. Mar sin leibh.

3 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Walks, blossoms and Edinburgh

  1. Delighted that you are reading Westering, Kev. Hope it held some resonance for you despite its territory being considerably south of your own stomping ground. Did you finish it? Any feedback to offer? All best. Laurence

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not quite finished it yet, Laurence. Thanks for this. About 50 pages to go, currently around Birmingham. I read a fair chunk the other day. I’m enjoying it and particularly liked the bit at the start about the pandemic. I don’t know much about Norfolk nor the Midlands so that’s been interesting. I liked what you wrote about drifting too. Plus I was thinking about reading more Dervla Murphy soon as a consequence of reading you!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.