Saturday Saunter: Gardens and reading

This post was written prior to the announcement that Glasgow and Moray will remain in Level 3 restrictions as of Monday 17th May.

Good Saturday to you,

It’s Saturday, it’s a fairly decent hour so it must be Saturday Saunter time. This is being written way back on Tuesday and unusually I don’t have many ideas to start with. Last Saturday was a bit of a Carlsberg day with Hibs winning in the semi final against Dundee United. The football was the priority though I also kept half an eye on the election results too. I think I prefer the more chilled out counting during the day rather than staying up overnight. I suspect those counting the votes might do too, if not the candidates waiting to find out whether they’ve convinced enough voters to cast a ballot for them or not. That the Scottish Parliament now has the most female members ever, with two of them also being women of colour and another the first permanent wheelchair user to be an MSP, is excellent. The election was of course made more interesting because of those candidates not elected rather than those who were, but we won’t give some of them the oxygen of publicity here.

Benmore Botanic Garden: two rows of redwood trees on either side of a grassy path.​
Benmore Botanic Garden: two rows of redwood trees on either side of a grassy path.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and there has been quite a lot of interesting posts and articles about it. The Mental Health Foundation Scotland released a survey that almost two thirds of respondents found that being out in nature helped them, which I can relate to, while the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh posted that each of their gardens – Edinburgh, Logan, Dawyck and Benmore – has a Silent Space where people walking there are asked to switch off their technology and try and just be present in the space without distractions. Of course many folk in cities don’t always have green spaces near them though I am lucky to live in a city with many fine parks. Even being in one of them, even near cars and bustle, can help, trees and birdsong never far away. Indeed I was in Paisley Gilmour Street station the other day and clearly heard birdsong while stood in Scotland’s fourth busiest railway station. Whatever works.

Talking of the four Royal Botanical Gardens, I’ve not been in any of them for a wee while, though I have been to all four. I was thinking about Benmore the other day. It’s near Dunoon in Argyll, on a hill and very varied. The entrance features a line of redwoods, by far and away the nicest entrance to a garden in Scotland, and there are trees from mountainous places across the world like Chile. I know the Edinburgh Garden a lot better and have been there on bright days and some more thoughtful. I haven’t been for well over a year and I miss it. The views over the capital are excellent and it’s the only place where Edinburgh Castle looks threatening and striking rather than something off a tea towel. I think I might need a trip there before long.

I’m still reading Westering by Laurence Mitchell, which I’m enjoying. After that I’m toying with reading Dervla Murphy, who Laurence Mitchell has written about, and I’ve got a couple I haven’t read, plus Cameroon with Egbert which I started before the first lockdown and still haven’t finished. My more immediate reading will be the latest issue of When Saturday Comes with its shiny pullout Euro 2020 wallchart and Super John McGinn on the front of the magazine. My attention span suits magazines and articles this weather though I have liked going in and out of Westering.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 15th May 2021. Thanks for reading. Intercity is back again on Wednesday and it will be back in the capital too. Until then, have a good weekend. Mar sin leibh.

7 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Gardens and reading

  1. I like the idea of gardens having a silent/technology free space. I only take my phone out on a walk if I’m following a map or taking photos for something I know I’m going to blog about, but if I’m just going for a walk in my local park, I don’t even bother bringing my phone. Marcus, on the other hand, has his phone in his hand the whole time to play Pokemon, and it drives me insane. What’s the point of going for a walk if you’re just going to stare at your phone the whole time?

    Sorry to hear about your continued restrictions. I’m sure it must have been disappointing with an end finally in sight.

    Liked by 1 person

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