Welcome to this final instalment of Virtual Loose Ends, a connections adventure around Scotland but done on a screen. By the time this is posted (I am writing this in late June 2020), it might be possible to visit some or more of these places once more.
We left off last time at the Girl With A Backpack statue on Cumberland Street in the Gorbals in Glasgow. Along the street is a set of sculptures by Liz Peden of three boys wearing high heel shoes out in the street, based on a famous Oscar Marzaroli photograph taken nearby. I rather like the photograph and have a postcard of it beside me as I write.
Also close by is a mural of the Gorbals Vampire. The Gorbals Vampire was an urban legend of a creature who would come from the Southern Necropolis and come after children. The mural is of a more recent vintage and adorns an arch under a railway.
The DPM park is in Dundee, near the Hilltown and the football grounds. It is a legal graffiti spot, adorned with some amazing and creative art. I believe art can be found everywhere and can be created by virtually any means, be it a paintbrush or a spray can. DPM stands for Dundee Pasteurised Milk, which used to be made on the site. Nearby, incidentally, is a great mural of Oor Wullie talking about mental health, which is well worth a visit too.
Firhill Stadium is the home of Partick Thistle FC, the only team in Glasgow as they often proclaim. The only one in League 1 at the time of writing, certainly. They have a cool mural on the wall which leads up to the Jackie Husband Stand at Firhill, which features fans, a ball and general football scenes. It links with the DPM Park not only because of the art but also because the DPM is near Tannadice and Dens Park.
Brown’s Lane in Paisley also features street art and indeed art relating to football. St Mirren won the Scottish Cup in 1987 and this feat is depicted on the wall in Brown’s Lane as well as musicians, since the Bungalow music venue is nearby, and much else besides. It’s worth exploring the street art in Paisley but particularly the lane.
Another place which depicts the Scottish Cup is the Famous Five Stand at Easter Road Stadium, home of Hibernian Football Club who won the 2016 Scottish Cup. I don’t think I mention that here enough. A panel featuring club captain Sir David Gray and Lewis Stevenson lifting the cup hangs on the side of the stand. The Famous Five Stand is at the northern end of the stadium, built in 1995. The Famous Five were a notably successful forward line for Hibs during the 1940s and 1950s, comprising Gordon Smith, Eddie Turnbull, Willie Ormond, Lawrie Reilly and Bobby Johnstone. The Hibernian Historical Trust has done a lot of work showcasing the history of the club around the ground and the lower concourse of the Famous Five has a plaque about James Main, a Hibs player in the 1900s who died of a ruptured bowel the day after being kicked in the stomach during a game.
On the open-top bus route when Hibs win a trophy is the statue of Queen Victoria, which stands at the bottom of Leith Walk outside what used to be Woolworths. The statue is one of very few of women in the capital. Indeed there are more statues of dogs than women in Edinburgh, which surely, surely should be remedied.
Victoria and her husband Albert gave their name to a museum in Kensington in London, which in 2018 opened a branch dedicated to design…in Dundee.
That’s Virtual Loose Ends. Thanks so much for reading. I’m not sure what will be here next week but something there will hopefully be. Until then, keep safe. A very good afternoon.
Welcome to another instalment of Virtual Loose Ends. This whistle-stop tour is a virtual connections adventure around Scotland. We left off last time at Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow. We will continue, by dint of geography, at the Hunterian Museum, part of the University of Glasgow. The nearby cloisters featured in the post last week but I was clever enough to be specific about the place. The Hunterian Museum is one of the oldest museums in Scotland, the collection of William Hunter featuring art, anatomy and geology amongst other things. The Hunterian is particularly old-fashioned in its design with a balcony and I’m fond of its old-school anatomy charts. There is also the Art Gallery across the road, which has an excellent collection of Scottish Colourists.
Cramond Island is an island in the Firth of Forth, accessible depending on the tide over a causeway. It has some World War II-vintage defences including triangular defences across the causeway. I’ve been there a couple of times though always make sure I look up the tide times lest I be cut off. It happens a lot.
Considerable views can be had from Cramond Island towards the north of Edinburgh, Fife and along the Firth of Forth, including to the Forth Bridge. There are three bridges at Queensferry, the new Queensferry Crossing, the Forth Road Bridge and the real thing, the Forth Bridge. It is one of my favourite structures in the entire world, metal and overdesigned but gorgeous. Sadly I don’t cross it very often any more but I always feel my spirits rise when I see it or indeed cross it.
On the same railway line is the Tay Bridge, opened in 1887. It was the second railway bridge to cross the Tay, of course, with the first washed away in a storm in 1879, which, as William McGonagall noted, ‘will be remembered for a very long time’. From the Dundee end it is possible to see stumps from the old bridge, running almost parallel to the 1887 bridge. It winds across the Tay from Wormit right to the centre of Dundee. On a particularly long train it is possible to see the other end of the train out the window as the train turns into Dundee.
The Clyde Arc is rarely called that in Glasgow, instead being called ‘the squinty bridge’ because it looks like an eye. It passes from Cessnock to Finnieston, near the BBC and STV on the southern side, the SEC on the north. It was built in 2006 as part of a continuing redevelopment of the riverside area in the city. The Arc is a handsome structure and adds considerably to the cityscape.
Along the Clyde is the People’s Palace, the museum of the people of Glasgow. Its displays about how people lived and thought are excellent and the video of Glaswegian comedy is always worth a look, particularly for Parliamo Glasgow.
Outside the People’s Palace is a more recent addition to Glasgow Green. Our city and country was changed utterly by migration, particularly because of famine in Ireland and the Highlands. An upturned boat and plants stand amidst some interpretation boards and the names of families and places on the path.
That’s another instalment of Virtual Loose Ends done. Next week we will continue a little way away and continue towards some castles. Until then, keep safe. Bye just now.
Welcome to another Virtual Loose Ends, the sixth instalment which will once more criss-cross the country in an entirely virtual and socially distant way.
We left off two weeks ago at the Mary Barbour statue in Govan. It connects geographically to the Riverside Museum, Glasgow’s transport museum, which features cars, trains, buses and social history of many kinds. My favourite part, as with the old museum in the Kelvin Hall, is the recreated street, which last time I was there had posters about rent strikes, another connection with Mary Barbour. The street has a pub, cafe, shops and a Subway station.
Another transport museum, and place with recreated streets, is Summerlee, in Coatbridge. Summerlee is excellent with exhibitions about the local area and its industries as well as local life, sport, religion, leisure and much else besides. The last time I was there they had an exhibition about Albion Rovers, the local football team, with some cracking black-and-white photographs chronicling life at Cliftonhill.
The Summerlee company also owned Prestongrange, a mine, brickworks and many other things in East Lothian. The nearby harbour, Morrison’s Haven, has since been filled in though boats took coal, bricks and other products out to the world, once busier than the port of Leith a wee bit further up the Forth. Morrison’s Haven was filled in when Cockenzie Power Station was built in the 1960s and it is a particularly fine place to walk, as I like to do when in the area.
From Morrison’s Haven it is possible to get great views across the Forth, to Edinburgh and Fife. Kirkcaldy can be seen and a must whenever I’m there is Kirkcaldy Galleries, the museum, art gallery and library, which has an excellent art collection particularly, with Glasgow Boys, Colourists and William McTaggart represented. It also has locally made Wemyss Ware on display, linking to the industries on the other side of the Forth, made at Prestongrange, Macmerry and Portobello particularly.
To get to Kirkcaldy from Glasgow requires a bus, passing through Buchanan bus station in the heart of the city. In the bus station, apart from buses, is a statue by John Clinch of a couple embracing after a long separation. It is called the Wincher’s Stance, winching being Glaswegian for kissing. I suspect lots of similar gatherings have taken place there at one time or another.
Near to the bus station is Glasgow Caledonian University. Another higher education institution, Glasgow University, used to be based in the city centre before moving to the West End. Its buildings are Gothic and grand, the cloisters like being in a cathedral. I particularly like to stand in them for a wee while whenever I’m in the area.
The University of Glasgow overlooks Kelvingrove Park. Kelvingrove Park stretches through the West End of Glasgow and has high and low parts. The views from Park Circus, high towards Charing Cross and the city centre, are particularly outstanding, a perspective right across the city and beyond.
Well, that’s another Virtual Loose Ends done. Thanks so much for reading. Next week we will continue in the West End before venturing forth once more. Until then, keep safe. Cheers just now.
Welcome to this fourth instalment of Virtual Loose Ends, a virtual adventure around Scotland, travelling by connection. We paused last week on Arthur’s Seat, the hill which dominates Edinburgh. We continue from Salisbury Crags, just downhill, a series of cliffs which look over the west of the capital, connected to Arthur’s Seat by geography and geology, certainly.
Nearby is St. Patrick’s Church in the Cowgate. St. Patrick’s is known as being where Hibernian Football Club was founded in 1875 by the Catholic Young Mens Society. A plaque to this effect sits just inside the main door of the church. It is a particularly fine church and I recommend a visit to explore it properly.
Arguably the greatest day in the history of Hibernian Football Club happened on 21st May 2016 at Hampden Park in Glasgow when Hibs won 3-2 against The Rangers to lift the Scottish Cup for the first time in 114 years. I suspect I don’t mention it here very often. Hampden Park is Scottish football’s national stadium, for a little while longer also the home of Queen’s Park. In its heyday Hampden attracted well over a hundred thousand people to big matches, hosting European finals, internationals and of course Cup Finals. A more modest 52,000 capacity exists today. Also at Hampden is the Scottish Football Museum, an interesting look at the history of the game in all its facets.
The first football international didn’t take place at Hampden, the third Hampden nor the first two, but at a cricket ground, Hamilton Crescent in Partick, which was then, as now, the home of West of Scotland Cricket Club. I’ve walked around its perimeter and while I have utterly no interest in cricket, I can see that it would be a fine place to watch it or indeed a proper sport.
I am astonished that the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has not featured in Loose Ends already, being one of my favourite places on the planet and a place I like to go to to think, reflect and read from time to time. The Botanics also features a very fine view across Edinburgh and plant collections from across the world. My favourite spot is under the sequoias. There are really few finer places. It connects with Hamilton Crescent since near to RBGE is a cricket ground, The Grange.
Benmore Botanic Garden is on a hill in Argyll not far from Dunoon. It has a sequoia grove near its entrance and I never fail to feel uplifted when I walk between them. Benmore is part of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Scotland, as is the Edinburgh Garden. It is hilly though has a pleasant green at the bottom with a burn. I’ve been there in a few weathers and it is always worth spending a few hours there.
Ben More is a mountain, as is Ben Nevis. In the shadow of Ben Nevis is Neptune’s Staircase, a series of locks which are part of the Caledonian Canal and designed by Thomas Telford. It is a fascinating place, simple scientific principles put to work by complex design.
Well, that’s another Virtual Loose Ends. Thanks for reading. We will continue next week with a more maritime connection. Until then, keep safe. Cheers just now.
I started doing Loose Ends Redux back in March when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write, only that I needed something easy to put together. It’s been nice to revisit past adventures but as they are getting much more recent – and readers remember the original post – I’ve decided to curtail it here. This super post will contain thoughts on the most recent round of Loose Ends, just to get it done so I can post something else. Next week will be the start of Virtual Loose Ends, a virtual journey around Scotland with brand new connections. Starting at Aberdour Castle and ending at the V and A in Dundee like the series did, I’ve pieced together some places that didn’t feature in the original, finding connections between them. Some I’ve been to lots of times, others only once or in the passing. That comes next week.
The Caledonia Road Church is a ruined church designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson. It has been a ruin since the 1960s and it is one of Glasgow’s great curiosities. I went there straight from Queen’s Park and wandered, looked and took photos.
The Arandora Star Memorial Garden is in the grounds of St. Andrew’s RC Cathedral by the Clyde. It connected from Caledonia Road through religion. The garden is a memorial to those who perished when the Arandora Star was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland in 1940. Italian and German internees bound for Canada were on the ship. 805 people were killed. The garden is a beautiful memorial to this event and a reminder of how we should never judge people for their origins, only what they make of themselves.
Leith Links came about because I had a Proclaimers song called ‘Scotland’s Story’ in my head. It mentions internees and Leith. I was in the capital for football and to go to an event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I sat there, ate my lunch then went to the game. It’s amazing, writing this in June 2020 as movements are restricted, how remote that feels.
Charlotte Square Gardens lies empty most of the year. Only in August – in normal circumstances – is it opened, housing the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I was there in August and so I sat, read, wrote, bought books and went to an event. It linked to Leith Links because of geography.
At the time I was reading a book about geology. That was how I linked Charlotte Square to the Agassiz Rock, in the shadow of Blackford Hill in the south of Edinburgh, named after Swiss geologist Louis Agassiz who did some fieldwork there. On the way back into the city I came to other rocks, which linked to the Agassiz Rock by geography.
On the very same Sunday I walked back into Edinburgh city centre and came down Arden Street, the street where Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus lives. I linked it to Blackford Hill through books. Arden Street was bright and sunny and no sign of Rebus’s beaten-up Saab.
Espedair Street is in Paisley, a little south of the town centre. It’s residential, with a ghost sign and a park behind. I know it a bit better since I did Loose Ends as someone I know stays near there. It linked to Arden Street since Espedair Street is the title of a book by Iain Banks.
Glasgow Central Station is the busiest railway station in Scotland. I haven’t been there since March at time of writing. It is a grand station, fronted by a hotel, with trains going to England and across western Scotland. I had to look up the link I found from Espedair Street:
‘Central had a tenuous link to Espedair Street through the works of Iain Banks. As well as Espedair Street, he also wrote The Bridge. Bridge, railway, station, Central Station.’
The Kibble Palace is in Glasgow Botanic Gardens. There used to be a railway station in the Glasgow Botanics and that was the link from Central. I was there in October just as there was about to be a light show in the Botanics. The Kibble Palace is a greenhouse with temperate plants, sculptures and benches. I like to sit there and read from time to time.
George Square was the next link late one afternoon. George Square houses the headquarters of Glasgow City Council, who manage the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. It is a city square with statues, restaurants, traffic and pigeons. I like to sit there and peoplewatch, sometimes to eat lunch on a nice day.
Donald Dewar was the first First Minister of Scotland, a Labour politician who represented Glasgow and did a lot of work to establish the Scottish Parliament. He died suddenly in 2000 and his statue sits at the top of Buchanan Street in Glasgow. The statue linked to George Square by geography.
La Pasionaria is a statue by the Clyde put there by various groups including the Labour Party to commemorate those Glaswegians who fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War. At time of writing, it is one of four statues of women in Glasgow. It links to Donald Dewar by being a statue in Glasgow as well as through Labour. I did this while on the way into town one December Sunday.
Around the corner is one of the murals of comedian Billy Connolly, this one painted by Jack Vettriano, depicting the Big Yin being blown about on the Caithness coast. It is public art in Glasgow, as with the next link, the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids mural of a woman with a magnifying glass. It sits on the end of a building on Mitchell Street, a back street not far away from the Clyde.
The next link was a sculpture by Gardner Molloy of two fishermen by Fisherrow Harbour in East Lothian. I was there early in the New Year on a dismal, dreich day. It is public art and I like it. The walk from Portobello to Prestongrange blew cobwebs away, I have to say.
Rottenrow used to house Glasgow’s maternity hospital and is now a park with only part of the hospital’s exterior remaining. It also has a sculpture of a nappy pin. It links to Fisherrow through the word ‘row’, pure and simple. I remember this day for other reasons. It was an early January Saturday and I had been in Paisley for business before going to Kelvingrove to see the Linda McCartney photography exhibition before it closed.
‘Row’ also provided the connection to the Creel Loaders statue on Victoria Street in Dunbar, Victoria Street formerly housing a row of houses called the Cat’s Row. The Creel Loaders statue, sculpted again by Gardner Molloy, marks the fishing industry of the burgh, creels of fish and shellfish often taken long distaes over the hills.
The new DunBear sculpture of a bear sits in a field under Doon Hill on the outskirts of Dunbar. It links to the Creel Loaders by geography. I was there that same January Sunday and it took a few minutes for it to be free of people enough for me to get some photos. I quite like it though of Andy Scott’s sculptures, I prefer the Kelpies.
The DunBear is dedicated to John Muir, who sailed across to America on a ship. The Abandon Ship art is on the wall outside a pub in Dundee and I noticed it on the bus into the city. I liked it and realised it connected just dandily with the bear and with the last connection of the current round, which was across the road. The V and A is fairly new, a ship-shaped museum jutting into the Tay. From the museum it is possible to get a great panorama up and down the Tay, to Broughty Ferry, Fife and up into Perthshire. It seemed the right place to pause.
That is the end of the Loose Ends Redux. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. Next week will come a brand-new virtual adventure, beginning in Aberdour. Until then, keep safe. Cheers just now.
I remember these three particularly clearly. The two in Porty were on a very cold Saturday and I was taking a very scenic route to Easter Road for the football. As I recall, afterwards, I walked by Seafield and Leith Links to the ground. Strangely I can’t remember the game itself.
Portobello Community Garden I remember but I can’t remember how I connected it to Meadowbank. It was bright and sunny but very cold. I remember looking from there over to East Lothian, a view right up the coast to North Berwick Law possible. The Garden has pillars salvaged from a nearby garden (Coade Stone, I gather from the original post) and at that time Meadowbank was being demolished and built anew. I’ve always liked them and I think it was because they’re a bit unusual that I particularly wanted to shoehorn them into Loose Ends somewhere.
The Portobello Potteries connected, purely and simply, by geography. The kilns which now stand in the middle of an industrial estate are particularly cool and the photos I took of them for this post are some of my favourites ever taken for the blog. Portobello has a lot of history and some of it is still in plain sight, which is particularly cheering, even on a very cold day.
Leakey’s Bookshop was a new one for me. I was in Inverness a few Fridays later, mainly to write the Intercity post for Inverness, but I had seen pictures of Leakey’s and resolved to pay a visit. I came out with a decent wee pile of books, some of which I still haven’t read over a year and a half on. Leakey’s is in an old church, the Gaelic Church, to be precise, and a big log fire helps keep it relatively toasty. I connected Leakey’s to Portobello because of a big section of books about pottery on the mezzanine. Hopefully I will get back to Leakey’s soon. It is a glorious place with an excellent selection of Scottish books particularly.
That’s today’s contenders. Thanks very much for reading. Next week’s post will cover a considerable swathe of Scotland, first Dundee then back to Glasgow. Until then, cheers just now.
Right into it and Greyfriars Burial Ground is in Perth. I was in Perth for a whole lot of blog business and was walking back towards the Tay when I glanced down a street and saw the old cemetery. It was gorgeous, properly old and leafy. I really enjoyed my walk around Greyfriars and it was a really good surprise. It connected with Perth Bridge because of geography, pure and simple.
A more obscure connection led me from Greyfriars to the John Witherspoon statue in Paisley. Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh was where the Solemn League and Covenant was signed in 1638 and remains part of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. John Witherspoon was a minister of the Kirk and he preached in Paisley before going off to America to establish Princeton University and sign the US Declaration of Independence. The statue sits outside the University of the West of Scotland on the High Street, just across from Paisley Museum, currently getting revamped. The statue was sculpted by the Queen’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland, Alexander Stoddart, who also sculpted the Adam Smith, David Hume and James Clerk Maxwell statues in Edinburgh.
Getting from John Witherspoon to Meadowbank was especially tricky. Reading the post back, I had forgotten about the statue in between though I ended up using the fact that Witherspoon went to the University of Edinburgh. Meadowbank now looks very different to this. It is in the process of being rebuilt too, with a new sports centre and stadium slowly emerging. When I did this walk, the old, Brutalist stand was getting torn down, with only one section left.
So, that’s another Loose Ends Redux done. Next week will start in the perishingly cold Portobello and finish in a much warmer bookshop. Until then, keep safe. Cheers just now.
I was in Dundee for quite a few reasons that early January day. I had just started doing Intercity so had walked along Tannadice Street and part of Sandeman Street as a street I associated with Dundee. I realised that Dundee Law also connected with Calton Hill, the last link in Loose Ends, as both are hills that stand in cities though it is also possible to see football grounds from both of them, Easter Road (and Meadowbank) from Calton Hill and Tannadice and Dens from Dundee Law. I remember this one quite clearly. It was the first time I had been up the hill and I tried to do it carefully up the steps. I sat for a while and looked out over the vista. I’m also reminded, by reading the post back, that I had passed a guy drinking from a bottle of wine on the way up the Law. I think it was actual wine as opposed to Buckfast, if I remember rightly. It was a grey and cloudy day, quite mild for January. At some point I’ll need to go back on a summer’s day to see the difference.
The Martyrs’ Monument is in St. Andrews and I went there that day on the way back to Dundee from Cellardyke. I never pass up an opportunity to go to Cellardyke. St. Andrews is rather fine too. The connection was being able to see St. Andrews from Dundee Law, if I remember rightly. The Martyrs’ Monument exists to commemorate those Protestants who lost their lives for spreading their version of the Word prior to the Reformation.
I was in Perth as it was a nice day and I fancied a jaunt, plus I could do several blog things all in the one trip. I had just done Intercity: Perth, walking by the Tay, and realised Perth Bridge connected just braw with the Martyr’s Monument. Christianity was the link. Perth is St. John’s town. I remember walking across Perth Bridge on a bright, cool January afternoon though have checked that the bridge was built between 1766 and 1771 by engineer John Smeaton. I walked from one end to another, carefully reading the information boards and looking up and down river. I’ve always liked the Tay in Perth. Despite flowing through a city, and by a busy road, it is still a proper river with wildlife and everything.
Loose Ends Redux returns next week with three more adventures from the second round of Loose Ends, first staying in Perth then going to Paisley and finally, on another perishingly cold day, in Edinburgh. Another Saturday Saunter will be here on Saturday. Until then, keep well. Cheers just now.
Welcome to another Loose Ends Redux, this time entirely in Edinburgh. Loose Ends invariably involves finding connections based around where I happen to be. These three are from a day I was bookhunting in Edinburgh so I remember them well. I decided that 21 would be the pause in Loose Ends as it was a bit exhausting and if I remember rightly Calton Hill had been earmarked as the pause place because it connects with a lot of other places.
I had to check how I connected Makar’s Court to the Ramshorn Cemetery in Glasgow. It was through John Muir, whose words written in the Bonaventure cemetery in Georgia I often think about in graveyards. Makar’s Court is in Lady Stair’s Close in Edinburgh outside the Writer’s Museum. On the pavement are quotations from eminent Scottish writers. I like to walk there every so often and see if there are any new ones. John Muir has a stone in Makar’s Court though I have other favourites, including Nan Shepherd and Muriel Spark.
The next one was the Wild West. The image still adorns the top of the Loose Ends page to this day. In the mid-1990s, a furniture showroom decorated a back street in Morningside in Wild West style. Even though the furniture shop isn’t there any more, the Wild West backdrop remains. I remember this well. It is wonderfully surreal. There’s a garage there and pop music blared from within, as did very Edinburgh voices. Go when you can. I connected it with John Muir.
Calton Hill soon came and my feet were tired from a long day wandering. Calton Hill and the Wild West are both in Edinburgh and that was the connection. It was sunny and bright and I was relieved that the first Loose Ends round was finished. At this point, in September, I stopped doing Loose Ends things for about three months though I did do Streets of Glasgow and Intercity.
The series resumed back on Calton Hill and I can’t remember it at all so here’s what I posted for the second visit:
‘Calton Hill was the place where Loose Ends left off, back in September, a fitting culmination of a few months of connected adventures including old football grounds, the Wild West, castles, bridges and fever hospitals. I was in Edinburgh just before Christmas and decided to start it all off again, beginning once more on Calton Hill, walking up on a suitably bracing December Saturday. It was bright as I headed up from Waterloo Place, as ever moving around the crowds who generally took the stairs rather than the winding way up the hill. There was a gorgeous light cast across the city, the buildings a golden brown hue, particularly across the New Town. From the prow of the hill a shadow was cast across the nearest streets, particularly London Road, a Lothian bus one of the few spots to escape the darkness.’
The series would return to Calton Hill later, though the next instalment was on the shores of the silvery Tay. We’ll continue with that next week.
Hope everyone reading this is keeping okay. This missive is being written later on Friday. It’s a bit windy out and it was raining when I was out earlier. Given the warm sunshine a lot of us have had lately, some rain is a decent change of pace. I can also confirm that I smelled petrichors so all good there.
This week I’ve been listening to a few podcasts. I have quite a few built up and despite having a lot of time to listen to them, the backlog only keeps growing. I’ve been listening to the Terrace Scottish Football Podcast and the British Museum podcast, very, very different, obviously, but no less interesting. The Terrace is continuing despite these football-less times – the Bundesliga resumes today, of course – and they have been discussing the life and times of the Scottish game as well as what to watch and play in the midst of lockdown. Hopefully that will continue amidst the dissection of the latest, interminable statement from Ann Budge or whoever. The British Museum is one of my favourite places on the planet and its work continues even while its doors are currently shut. The podcast features discussions about museum accessibility and volunteering – both areas close to my heart – as well as Venetian maps. Accessibility is particularly important to the BM, I’m glad to say, and it was good to hear about their work in that area.
Most of my telly watching has been through the BBC iPlayer, including A View From The Terrace‘s clip show of their films (which is on in the background now), Landward, about Scotland’s great outdoors, Inside Central Station and Hidden Lives. Hidden Lives is a series of documentaries about Scottish life, so far taking in the burning of the Clavie (a tar barrel) in Burghead and the Bo’ness Fair, presented by journalist Peter Ross. Peter Ross is great so go watch that if you can. Inside Central Station is about the mighty Glasgow Central Station, normally the busiest railway station in Scotland, in its glass-roofed finery. It is weird seeing Central so busy in light of current events. I’m advised that I appeared in the background of the Christmas Special last year, striding across the street. Central has an incredible history and it is amply covered in this new series.
I’ve been out for a few walks over the last week including to Bellahouston Park and Crookston Castle. I hadn’t been over to Bellahouston for ages and since it’s quite near here, I thought I would remedy that, even if the grass and dandelions didn’t play nicely with my hay fever. I walked nearly to the top of the hill, looked across to the Cathkin and Gleniffer Braes, then came back home through the Craigton Cemetery, which as usual tree-lined and flower-filled. Like Central Station, Crookston Castle has featured in my Loose Ends series and I hadn’t been there since. The castle itself is closed at the moment so I walked around the perimeter, checking it was still there and enjoying the sunshine.
Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 16th May 2020. Thanks for reading. Loose Ends Redux resumes on Wednesday and it’s back in Edinburgh this week. There might be something else out too. Until then, keep well. Cheers just now.