Saturday Saunter: The Big Cup

Good Saturday to you,

Welcome to another Saturday Saunter, this time being started on Wednesday. Today is Scottish Cup Final day, a day I feel should be a public holiday for us football fans. Hibernian face St. Johnstone, live on the telly from Hampden Park. Either it’ll be a highlight of a lifetime or enough to put folk off football for a while, nothing in between. It is sad that no fans will be able to be inside the National Stadium though of course Glasgow remains in Level 3 so that isn’t possible. Hibs have had the best season in nearly twenty years and the only folk who’ve been able to see it in the raw have been up ladders. Five years and a day have passed since the Hibs last went up to lift the Scottish Cup and even if I’m not going to be there this time, it’s just a little special. Either way, I’m happy that neither of the Gruesome Twosome nor Hearts are involved today, that last mob dispatched many rounds ago by Brora Rangers. I’m hoping for a good game but above all for a win. Still, if there aren’t green ribbons on the Cup tonight, I’ll be gutted.

Scottish Cup: a trophy on a plinth in a museum display case. The trophy has a footballer on the top.​
Scottish Cup: a trophy on a plinth in a museum display case. The trophy has a footballer on the top.

I was thinking the other day about five years ago. In the lead-up to the 2016 Final, I took a trip around Glasgow to Hampden and then the two venues where Hibs had won the Cup up to that point, Cathkin Park (the second Hampden) and Celtic Park. Parkhead was the scene of the 1902 Scottish Cup Final where Hibs beat Celtic 1-0 to lift the Cup. Little did that team know that Hibs wouldn’t lift the Cup again for 114 years until that glorious day in May. The manager of Hibs then was Dan McMichael, still the longest-serving manager in the club’s history, and the story of his death in 1919 is a tragic one. He died in the midst of another pandemic, the influenza or Spanish flu pandemic, and was buried in a mass grave in the Eastern Cemetery in Edinburgh, unmarked until 2013 when a group of supporters fundraised to put up a stone. I couldn’t help thinking about it in the midst of another Final and the current situation.

For the last couple of years, I have tried to make my small corner of the Internet as accessible as possible. I add alt text to the images here and an image description to the Tweets sharing posts. There was an article on the Guardian website the other day about how they are trying to make their own content more accessible and I liked the idea of narrative descriptions. I tend to be very literal when writing image descriptions though I like the idea of making them more descriptive. Unfortunately WordPress allows sharing onto social media directly from the app but not to add alt text to the Tweet, which is a pain in the hoop and limits the length of any descriptions. Pith is the order of the day, in other words.

I had quite a successful reading day last Sunday, finishing two books, a Nick Hornby novel and Westering by Laurence Mitchell, which I had been reading for a couple of weeks. I enjoyed Westering a lot, despite covering unfamiliar terrain. It was the kind of book I like to read, a rich blend of memoir, history, travel and nature, and spurred me to delve back into the work of Dervla Murphy and Cameroon with Egbert, which I started before the first lockdown last year. I know that quite a few blog readers are Dervla fans and so am I. After Cameroon with Egbert, I’ve got a couple of others on the shelf that might just jump the queue and be next.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 22nd May 2021. Thanks for reading. I’m all out of Streets of Glasgow posts and the two Intercity walks I did in Edinburgh have appeared here too. I may manage a Streets walk or two over the weekend but I’m not sure. Since Glasgow will probably be in Level 3 for a wee while, unfortunately, there’s only so much I can do. There will be something here on Wednesday though. Until then, tìoraidh an-drasta. I don’t know the Gaelic for Glory Glory to the Hibees so I will be content with the English. COME ON HIBERNIAN!

A late update just before going to press. Streets of Glasgow will be back on Wednesday. It’s a good one too.

5 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: The Big Cup

  1. Westering sounds interesting. I know Norfolk well and was a student at Aberystwyth but I don’t know the places in between! It reminds of the Oldie Outdoors blog and his really good write up of walking Coast to Coast from Norfolk to North Wales – not an easy feat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll check that out! Thanks for that. Laurence Mitchell has a blog called East of Elveden which has excerpts from the book. It’s a decent book.


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