Loose Ends: Arden Street

I passed through Marchmont on the way back from the Hermitage and Blackford Hill and realised that I was near Arden Street. I could link it into Loose Ends through books. I had been reading about geology and Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus lived in Arden Street. There’s been more tenuous connections. Anyway, Arden Street is a non-descript Marchmont street and it was sunny with a few residents dotted around, cars and vans parked. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and all was calm. It probably wasn’t under the surface, mind.

To the connections and I could have gone to anywhere linked to Ian Rankin, like Edinburgh University or Cardenden which has a street named after him. Not the Oxford Bar, though: we don’t do pubs. Any place connected to any Scottish literary character would have done, maybe back to Glasgow or somewhere in our capital, which is after all an UNESCO City of Literature. Arden, albeit with a different spelling, is also a part of Glasgow. Thinking laterally would lead me to the next destination.

Thanks for reading. Another Loose Ends post follows in two weeks’ time. The Loose Ends page features the other parts of this series.

Saturday Saunter: Darkness and Glasgow lights

Good morning,

Our post is coming earlier than normal since I’m working today. It is being written fairly late on Tuesday night. I was at the cinema earlier tonight (Brittany Runs A Marathon, at the Glasgow Film Theatre. It was quite decent, funny, dark and a little uplifting. A real millennial sort of film. The cinematography was excellent with big sweeping shots of New York and Philadelphia.) and I’m a little tired but I feel like getting some words out before bed. Our soundtrack tonight is YouTube, currently the very wonderful Tide Lines.

I don’t particularly like this time of year. I’ve written here recently about my antipathy towards Halloween and Bonfire Night plus of course Christmas is coming. My eyes just rolled typing that. Winter is darkness. I work full-time, year-round, now but I used to work casually and that usually meant seasonally. I think a bit of me still sees this time of year as a bit bleak for that reason, leaving aside that the last few mornings have been baltic and all the various festivals this time of year are lousy. I get overloaded in Christmas markets so tend to avoid them, the lights intense and unsettling rather than bringing any sort of bonhomie. I can deal with the cold and there’s a bit of me that would rather be by waves or in a wood than anywhere near a city centre this time of year. Winter is often the best time to experience wilder places, not least because not a lot of others do that. I was off yesterday (Friday) and had been thinking about going for a walk at New Lanark, which I visited on a very warm day in the summer, or possibly on a beach down in Ayrshire. We’ll see.

Last Saturday I was in Perth to see the mighty Hibees win for the first time since early August. They won decisively. I did plan to take a Dervla Murphy book with me but instead I decided to finish Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie, which I have been reading slowly over the last few weeks. It was good to the very last drop. Unfortunately I had only a few pages to read by the time I got on the train home and I had consumed the programme from the football. I bought a new notebook but ended up just looking out the window into the darkness. My journey to my current workplace takes 10 minutes on the train so not much reading to be done. By the time I’ve put earphones in, and shown my ticket to the conductor, it’s about a decent song’s worth, usually something upbeat and dancy for that time of day.

Still Tide Lines on the screen at the moment. It’s songs from gigs they’ve played. I always wonder why on earth people film these things but I’m grateful nonetheless.

Sauchiehall Lane, with lights across the street illuminating a bit of street art

One of the best bits about the monthly trip to the GFT, apart from the film itself and the rather fine pasta I normally have beforehand from the Via Italia street food place on the corner of Gordon Street and Union Street, is undoubtedly the walk through the city after the film. I usually find going back into the world after a film a bit intense. It’s like turning the big light on after sitting with just a lamp on. (I should explain for non-Scottish readers that the big light means a light usually hanging from the ceiling.) The walk from the GFT to Central Station takes me from one end of the city centre to another. Glasgow city centre is mainly laid out on a concentric grid and I usually go along a bit of Sauchiehall Street then down Hope Street. I have a great and fierce love of my adopted home and it often comes out walking its streets. The lights, the tall buildings and the rush of life are thrilling. Sometimes I still can’t believe I live here. Even with what I wrote about earlier about waves, you can’t beat Glasgow.

Finally, this week is Trans Awareness Week. This year I’ve read a fair bit about trans issues, as part of trying to be aware of the society in which we live. I read an excellent post produced by the mighty Jessica Kingsley Publishers with a few of its authors talking about what trans means to them. Take a look.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 16th November 2019. Thanks for reading. Tomorrow’s post is about Glencoe, one of the very finest places on the planet. Wednesday is another Loose Ends post, still in Edinburgh but less geological. Cheers just now.

Saturday Saunter: Fireworks and assignments

Good Saturday to you,

Our Saunter for today is being written on Tuesday night, Bonfire Night, as a train has just passed by my window. My part of Glasgow has quietened down now so my earphones are now off. I absolutely loathe fireworks, for their loudness and shrillness, and would ban them except in organised displays. They play havoc with my nerves, having the same effect as a very crowded bus crossed with a drill. Tonight’s music has been mixed, currently Skipinnish. I did hear earlier that it has been suggested that Bob Marley is particularly effective for soothing dogs on this night, so may try that on my human ears.

This post appears as I will be away to Perth to watch the currently managerless Hibees. My current plan is to head up a bit early, scoop up some lunch and eat it at Huntingtower Castle, a rather fine castle just outside Perth and about 15 minutes walk from McDiarmid Park. I like Huntingtower. If I remember rightly it has a painted ceiling somewhere as well as a small colony of bats. I like an away trip when I can combine some history with my football.

My laptop is still warm from working on an assignment for my current OU module, analysing a wallchart and saying how it might be relevant to historians of empire (a wee bit). I think I’ve done enough for tonight. My books and a print-out of said wallchart are scattered on the bed beside me. By the time you read this, the assignment will be submitted and my mind will be turned to next week’s work. It won’t be coming with me to Perth, though. I think I’m going to take Cameron with Egbert by Dervla Murphy, which I bought in Leakey’s Bookshop in Inverness at the start of the year. Regular blog readers will know that I went through a Dervla Murphy phase last summer and I think it suits my current mode and mood.

In my voracious intake of articles and popular culture, I came across a rather cracking thing on Twitter the other day, which showed two colours of shopping baskets. One was coloured to indicate that staff could approach and assist, the other not to make it clear that the shopper wanted left alone. I do most of my clothes shopping in person and particularly for shoes. I particularly like Schuh though get irritated by their very eager staff when I just want to look and make my decisions from careful observation. I suppose being able to shoe shop in under ten minutes might just be my superpower.

Or it could be autism, according to an article by Joanne Limburg on the Guardian website the other day. It is a very nuanced article, going into the perspectives of a fair few autistic adults. My perspective is summed up better by the writer Katherine May and it’s worth quoting here: ‘My autism brings some things I really value – the flood of words I experience, the ability to fixate on a subject and burrow deep into it, and an intense relationship with the natural world. But there are other bits I’d get rid of. I break things and hurt myself all the time; and I hate the way that I don’t remember faces and so come across as rude.’ She also talks about how it can often be easier to speak to a group of people than one person, something I relate to from years of working with the public.

I can also relate to the actress Emma Watson, who is approaching the thirtieth birthday which is recently in my own rearview mirror. In an interview with Vogue, she talked about how she is ‘self-partnered’ rather than single, which is quite a good way to look at it. Self-respect, all the way.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 9th November 2019. Tomorrow’s post is about a statue in Fort William, Wednesday’s Loose Ends about a rock not in Fort William. Any ideas for the 700th post, please send them my way. Have a very nice weekend. Cheers the now.

Loose Ends: Agassiz Rock

The last Loose Ends post was in Charlotte Square Gardens, in the heart of Edinburgh during the Festival. My next trip to the capital brought another few Loose Ends adventures, made much easier by the Festival being over and done with. I was walking through the Hermitage of Braid, a green place I dearly love (and which featured in my alternative Edinburgh post recently), and it occurred to me that the nearby Agassiz Rock might be a good Loose Ends place, being suitably obscure and linked to Charlotte Square Gardens by books. At the time I was reading a book about geology so it worked. Louis Agassiz was a 19th century Swiss scientist who did a lot of work into glaciation, some of it in Edinburgh at the back of Blackford Hill. I came to a big bit of rock that I thought was it but judging by a quick Google search, I wasn’t so sure. After a wee bit of rock climbing, I came to a clearing where a group of folk were gathered, just minding their own, gathered and talking together. A much bigger bit of rock sat behind them and a couple of folk started to climb it as I walked up. Some graffiti was on its left side. It was an ‘other’ kind of place, the kind which you wouldn’t find by accident. I wonder how the folk gathered there would describe it, the stories they could tell. It is a common climbing place so there will be a few stories, some names for spots which wouldn’t appear on a map. I like places like that.

To the connections and I could have gone across the city to the Forth where Charles Darwin did some of his early research while studying at Edinburgh University. Agassiz inspired John Muir so I could have gone somewhere connected to him. Siccar Point was another contender, one of Hutton’s Uncomformities, or Dunsapie Loch, another hidden place around one of Edinburgh’s seven hills. This time I really wasn’t sure.

Thanks for reading. Another Loose Ends post follows next week. Other Loose Ends posts can be found on the Loose Ends page.

Digest: October 2019

It’s the October digest and another busy month full of life, of football, studying, art, walking and sitting on buses and trains. Let us begin.

The first adventure of the month was on Sunday 5th October and I went on the bus to Kirkcaldy. I often like art galleries on quiet Sunday afternoons and Kirkcaldy is a particular favourite. Some different contemporary art pieces had been put up since the last time, including one from a boat looking towards St. Kilda and another painting, more colourful and possibly Cubist, showing two St. Kilda lads falling from cliffs. I don’t have notes so can’t remember who painted the latter. Frances Walker painted the beautiful one looking back over the sea to St. Kilda with seagulls flying and waves lapping.

That Tuesday I went to the Glasgow Film Theatre for the monthly Access Film Club autism-friendly screening. This month was The Farewell, which featured a Chinese-American woman whose grandmother was dying of cancer in China. Her family decided not to tell the grandmother about her terminal illness. That makes it sound much more miserable than it was, with some wonderful darkly comic moments.

On Saturday 12th October, there wasn’t any football so I went first to Summerlee, the industrial museum in Coatbridge, where I had a wander around the site then took in its temporary exhibition about Albion Rovers FC. The exhibition featured some fine photography and a documentary on a loop. Thereafter I headed to Cathkin Park where I stood, wandered and pondered for a bit. On the way back to town, I went to the Tramway for the Nick Cave exhibition, which I liked a lot more than I thought I would. I thought it would be a bit of a sensory overload but it was really fine.

Saturday 19th October saw a visit to Hamilton to see Hibs draw.

Monday 21st October I was off and went to the Riverside Museum with my favourite little people.

The following day I was in Edinburgh. I went to see the Hibs Development Squad play Hearts Reserves at Meggetland. Rock ‘n’ roll. Before the game started, I sat and did some OU reading. Exotic. On the way to Meggetland, I walked along the Water of Leith walkway for a bit and then through deepest, darkest Gorgie and by the Union Canal. I sat and ate lunch by the Water of Leith near the Dean Village and it was quite lovely. A heron sat on a weir. It looked like something out of a painting.

Wednesday 23rd October saw me in Dundee in a blur of street art, exhibitions and walking.

Thursday 24th October I went out for a couple of hours and had a wander in the West End, sitting for a wee while in the Botanic Gardens, reading some more of that week’s OU chapter in the Kibble Palace.

Friday 25th October was Arran. It was an excellent day, with a little while in both Lamlash and Brodick. Going on a ferry always makes a good day.

On Saturday 26th October I went to Edinburgh to see Hibs.

Monday 28th October saw me in Dunbar. I walked by the waves. I thought and pondered and it was absolutely ideal.

Wednesday 30th October was another trip to Edinburgh to see Hibs.

In blog news, post 700 will probably come in November. Any thoughts on what I should do or questions, send them my way. The blog is on Twitter at @walkin_talkin1. Our next post will be Loose Ends and it will be at Agassiz Rock in the shadow of Blackford Hill. Until then, thanks as ever to all readers, commenters and followers. Cheers just now.

Posts this month –

Digest: September 2019

Saturday Saunter: Stars

Glenfinnan

Loose Ends: Arandora Star Memorial Garden

Saturday Saunter: Persevere and autumn colours

Skye and coos

Loose Ends: Leith Links

Saturday Saunter: The Unexpected Return

Loose Ends: Charlotte Square Gardens

Loose Ends: Charlotte Square Gardens

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Leith gave way to the New Town and the Festival bustle, if the more civilised Edinburgh International Book Festival in Charlotte Square Gardens. I was there anyway to see Kathleen Jamie and had got there a bit early to buy books and sit. It was busy, being a sunny and warm August Saturday evening and I plonked myself down on the grass. The connection with Leith Links came through me being a voracious reader but also through Charlotte, the square named after the Queen and confusingly also first daughter of George III or so Wikipedia tells me. Queen Charlotte Street is just off Leith Links. The Gardens are closed for most of the year, opened only if you know the right person or for everyone in August during the Book Festival. The rest of the time Charlotte Square is quiet, one of the nicest parts of the New Town. August it is busy, not as bad as the High Street but enough to be doing with.

To the connections, then, and I could go anywhere related to any of the authors speaking at this year’s Book Festival or indeed anywhere in Scotland which has a book festival, like Wigtown, Dumfries House or Lennoxlove, to pick three off the top of my head. Gin trollies could take me to just as many places which make gin, a burgeoning industry in these islands. I don’t know nor particularly care if our First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, drinks gin – she’s a big reader, though – and the fact her official residence is on Charlotte Square could take me somewhere linked to her, the SNP or the nationalist cause. Or just to a square someplace. The possibilities are endless, just as many as could be found in the books across the way in the bookshop or the heads of those writers talking away at the Festival. As long as we read, we’ll be all right. That’s what I think.

Thanks for reading. Another Loose Ends post will follow next week. Other Loose Ends posts can be found on the Loose Ends page.

Incidentally, soon will come the 700th post here. I’m opening it up to suggestions. Any ideas of what I should write about will be gratefully received. Or questions for a question and answer. Any thoughts, put them below or in a message another way.

Saturday Saunter: The Unexpected Return

Good Saturday to you,

It is actually Saturday too, as I write this. Just about half eight. The sun has come up and there is a cold, pale blue light out my window. The trees aren’t moving so much so there can’t be much wind. I am currently in the midst of time off and that usually means I don’t post anything here either but I woke up this morning with an almost overwhelming urge to write. So, here I am, laptop on my knee, ready to write something.

It’s been a good week or so off so far. I’ve been on ferries, buses and trains and I’ve even managed to read a fair bit. Yesterday was excellent with a trip to Arran and Lamlash, a part of the island I hadn’t been to before. Despite the cloud and the cold, Lamlash was lovely with views across to the Holy Isle and the mainland in the distance. I’m always a believer that going on a ferry is like being on your holidays and I definitely got that sense yesterday. I still have it lingering now though I have the feeling it will be expunged at Easter Road later. One of the best parts of being by the sea, particularly in the west coast, is the big skies and the sky was particularly special on the way back to Ardrossan, one side towards the mainland sunny, the starboard side dark and stormy looking. As we sat on the train in Ardrossan, waiting for it to leave, a nice sunset broke over Arran, some pinks and purples at the edge of that piercing blue.

On Wednesday I was in Dundee and that was great too, with a whole bunch of street art. I was thinking yesterday about one of the paintings I saw in the McManus, a John Houston one of a western sunset, all yellows and oranges. I like Dundee more every time I’m there and the street art was immense. My favourites related to mental health, a subject particularly close to my heart. There was a black dog sculpture at Dundee University and a mural by the Hilltown Clock of Oor Wullie with his bucket over his head. Around him were words ‘Don’t Push Me I’m Close To The Edge’ and ‘I’m Trying Not To Lose My Head’. In a close by the bus station there were a few graffiti creations which weren’t particularly kind to our current Prime Minister, sentiments with which I heartily concur.

This week I’ve managed to spend time with some of my favourite people as well as time myself too. Edinburgh on Tuesday was particularly good. I went to see the Hibs Development Squad play the Hearts Reserves (surprisingly well attended for a Tuesday afternoon with a few laddies there who probably should have been at the school). Before the game I walked along the Water of Leith and sat and ate my lunch at a weir at the edge of the Dean Village. A heron sat on the weir, tall with a curved neck or preening. It was a far nicer spectacle than the Antony Gormley sculpture just along the way, which just ruins the whole scene. I know I’ve ranted about that before but it’s enough to appreciate a beautiful place without bringing more human intervention and interpretation to it.

My reading has been mixed this week. My OU chapter has been read in some unlikely places, including in the stand before the wee derby and in the Kibble Palace at the Glasgow Botanics on Thursday. I’ve read a couple of memoirs, by Jonathan Van Ness, who stars in the reboot of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, and footballer Mark Walters. Both were difficult for different reasons. Van Ness wrote about his troubles with addiction while Mark Walters discussed some of the despicable racism he experienced playing here in Scotland. The discussions of racism in football are particularly pertinent at the moment after the England-Bulgaria game last week and it isn’t enough merely to condemn; as a society we need to change these attitudes for they are deeply rooted for many.

I think I’m going to take Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie with me to Edinburgh today. It’s one of those books I don’t want to rush as it’ll be a while until the next one and Kathleen Jamie’s words need savoured.

It’s also been very cold this last couple of days and unseasonably so for October. Summer feels a long time away. The clocks of course go back tonight and I just hate it. I’m a fan of natural light and it becomes ever more precious this time of year. I’m looking forward to a good walk before the game today in Edinburgh and probably a trip east on Monday.

Anyway, that’s the unexpected Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 26th October 2019. The blog will return more properly with Loose Ends on Wednesday and that will be in Edinburgh back when it was warm. A Saturday Saunter will be here next Saturday and the October digest next Sunday. In the meantime I’m going to try and do some more writing, maybe some OU reading. Have a very nice weekend, whatever you do. Peace.

Loose Ends: Leith Links

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The last link took me to the Arandora Star Memorial Garden in a quiet corner of Glasgow city centre. As I was there, I thought of a Proclaimers song, Scotland’s Story, about how our country was essentially built by immigrants. One settled in Leith so I decided that the next instalment of Loose Ends would take me to Leith, more specifically Leith Links, a park I know well. Leith Links is a place I often sit in before going to the football, reading and often eating lunch on a bench there. As the name suggests it has a golfing history – we don’t do golf on the Walking Talking blog, holding to Mark Twain’s credo that it ruins a good walk – and also proper history. Near where I sat and ate my lunch was the Giant’s Brae, the remains of the mound where the English artillery gathered during the siege of Leith in 1560. I know that particular place better as Hanlon Hill, where tens of thousands of Hibs fans gathered to greet the 2016 Scottish Cup winners the day after that wonderful day. This day was warm and sunny with a few sunbathers, families and dog walkers. A football pitch was marked out but no game was in progress. I was about to go to one not far away at Easter Road so I didn’t linger long after finishing my lunch.

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Unusually the next connection was already decided since I was in Edinburgh anyway. I had two different connections ready with another place across the city only open once a year.

Thanks for reading. Another Loose Ends adventure follows in a fortnight’s time. The Loose Ends page features other parts of the adventure so far.

Skye and coos

Even if the journey’s short, going on a ferry always makes me feel like I’m on my holidays. Stepping onto the CalMac ferry to Armadale from Mallaig came when I was actually on my holidays but it was a voyage into the unknown, a trip to a part of Scotland I had never been to before. Our focus was to explore but more immediately to find breakfast, which hadn’t been immediately apparent back in Mallaig. Armadale wouldn’t oblige, with it being easier to buy clothing than any scran. The ferry had only a vending machine with only a couple of chocolate bars. Eventually we succeeded in Broadford.

The road to Broadford was suitably pleasant with views back across to the mainland and curving coastlines carrying the car forward. The ferry across had been great, not too long at 45 minutes, and it was possible to see the broadest sweep of the landscape, from the Knoydart peninsula to Skye itself and to Wester Ross. The drive brought some of this into closer focus. We also passed the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a place I had heard about and may well end up studying at one day.

After brunch in Broadford, we drove a little way further up Skye, the road becoming steadily more mountainous and dramatic as we went. I had asked to stop and take a picture towards Raasay, an island just off Skye which had captured my imagination years ago when I first started to read Sorley MacLean’s poetry. The best view didn’t come at Sconser, where the ferry runs to Raasay, but further up the road and even from Duirinish on the Kyle.

We stopped at Kyle of Lochalsh on the other side of the Skye Bridge. I thought briefly about the political struggles about that particular bridge, the tolls once levied to cross it, and about the campaigner Robbie the Pict, who I remembered the Queen’s private secretary used to refer to as ‘Mr Pict’ when responding to his letters on behalf of the monarch. The views from the bridge were glorious and they were quite evident from Kyle of Lochalsh too. The railway station was also interesting, at the pier from whence the Skye ferries used to leave.

A diversion to Plockton, a picture-postcard village, took us through Duirinish, which really tickled me. Not just for its wonderful Gaelic name but also the views across to Raasay and the free-range cows and sheep which roamed the sides of the road and occasionally the road itself. Signs did warn of this but it’s quite something to see Highland coos and sheep actually blocking traffic.

This part of our trip brought a lot of books to mind. Some people see the world through films or paintings. For me, very often, it’s books. Driving from Newtonmore towards Fort William the previous day, it was Nan Shepherd. On Skye, looking towards Raasay, it was Sorley MacLean. At Kyle of Lochalsh, it was thinking of Gavin Maxwell and his otters, who were just across across the way from there. Skye is a place with considerable tales tied to it and around it. I was just keen to be there, somewhere different, and I liked it. I wouldn’t move there but I got why it was popular and it was all the better to approach it by ferry, the best way to travel.

Saturday Saunter: Persevere and autumn colours

Good morning to you,

This Saturday Saunter is being posted as I’m probably easing into the world gently after a lie-in. No football today so I’m planning on going to a couple of exhibitions in and around the city.

My travelling book today might just be Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie, which I haven’t got round to reading yet. It did come with me to Lochaber a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t get round to it. What I did read last weekend was the superb Constitution Street by Jemma Neville. It’s quite hard to describe, various parts social history and political call to arms. Despite ostensibly being about Constitution Street in Leith, it goes far beyond the top of the Walk or the docks in its content, going deep into the lives of the people of the street, their successes and hardships. I finished it feeling a little inspired, a little more hopeful about the world and the people in it.

It’s now Wednesday night as I write this as I completely ran out of words on Monday. Runrig is on in the background.

I was thinking earlier about Halloween. It leaves me a bit cold. It always has done so I really don’t care about it. I don’t go in for the cod-spooky Twitter names and guising and everything else. Halloween and Bonfire Night can bolt for me. I saw a story in the news last week that quite a high percentage of Scots would like to ban the sale of fireworks and I wholeheartedly agree. My earphones go in and music or Netflix goes loud. In my part of suburban Glasgow, there are a fair few folk letting off fireworks in the weeks before and after 5th November and they put me on edge. I don’t have anything against Halloween, however; I just don’t like it. Plus the oncoming of Halloween and Bonfire Night means darker nights and I don’t welcome them.

What I do welcome are the autumn colours of the trees and I just saw a beautiful picture of a very yellow Katsura Tree on Facebook courtesy of Dawyck Botanic Garden, down near Peebles. I’m off soon for about ten days and I’m going to make sure there is some autumnal garden walking over that time, maybe not at Dawyck but probably in the Botanics in Edinburgh. It feels like I haven’t been there in ages. The Edinburgh Botanics (as shown above) are special, a place I’ve been to think and celebrate the wonder of trees and whatever I’ve been reading or studying at the time. I haven’t been able to linger much in Edinburgh lately so a day or two in the capital might do the trick when I’m off.

Thursday was World Mental Health Day and I thought a little bit about what I could share to mark that event. Self-care is vital. Sometimes I’m crap at it. I find visual stimuli helps. My screensavers are useful for that. My work computer usually has a picture of Tranter’s Bridge at Aberlady Bay (above). I just changed my iPad tonight to the view from the campsite I stayed at the other weekend near Arisaig, looking towards Skye and the Small Isles. Before it was my favourite Glasgow view, from the flagpole at Queen’s Park. My phone screensaver was taken not far from there, the Time For Heroes banner displayed before the start of the 2016 Scottish Cup Final. I often look at pictures. I’m a very proud uncle so my favourite little people are often among them. It’s about conjuring up good memories, the best of those days to carry us forward.

Lately I’ve been walking to and from work, about three miles each way, and despite the heavy rain showers this morning and tonight, I get a lot of benefit from it, emotionally and physically. It gives me space to think plus it gives me exercise. My walk isn’t exciting – it involves crossing a railway and a motorway as well as another busy road – but my spirits usually lift on the way back when I look east and I see the Glasgow city skyline along the curve of the M8, towers, houses, hospitals and all life. I don’t linger long as the traffic is constant under my feet. But it helps me keep perspective and that can’t be underestimated.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 12th October 2019. The blog will take a pause after Wednesday’s Loose Ends post, which features Leith Links. I will be off and it has become traditional to take a blog break too. The Walking Talking blog will return on Wednesday 30th October with another Loose Ends post, which will again be in Edinburgh. Tomorrow sees another post from up north, featuring the Isle of Skye and some cows and sheep. In the meantime, be good to one another, have a good weekend, and remember these words, not far from Constitution Street by the Water of Leith:

‘So with the darkest days behind

Our ship of hope will steer

And when in doubt just keep in mind

Our motto ‘Persevere”

Cheers.