Glasgow Gallivanting: December 2017

Loch Lomond, Boxing Day 2017

Christmas and New Year

So here I am playing catch-up in January with my December round-up. I hope, like us, you’ve all had happy times with family and friends over the festive season. I hope also that you didn’t get too blootered (one of many Scottish synonyms for, ahem, over-refreshed).

Weather-wise, it wasn’t great here, the brightest and best of it being Boxing Day when John, Mum and I took a trip to Loch Lomond. When we arrived, Ben Lomond had its head in the clouds. By the time we left, it was clear and beautifully lit.

I had one totally unexpected gift that I want to share with you because it is so amazing. One of John’s PhD students presented him with this fabulous shawl which his mother (in China) had made for me. Apparently it took her 6 months, which I can well believe – I’m touched that she was so generous with her time for a complete stranger.

Shawl from China

In between Christmas and New Year, we had a few nights in Aberfeldy, a small town in Perthshire, which will probably make it onto the blog – eventually. In the meantime, here’s the pretty central square.

The Square, Aberfeldy

Annual Review

I took my annual look at my WordPress stats and discovered that, for the first time, page views are down on the previous year. Before I started to feel too unloved, I remembered that this was probably because in 2016 I was (mostly) posting twice a week, whereas in 2017 I was (mostly) only posting once. So, I dried my tears and decided things weren’t so bad after all. The most read post in 2017 surprised me, because it isn’t particularly spectacular – Glasgow canal walks, which leads neatly into the “ones that nearly got away”. I have several posts that almost got written, and probably won’t now, one of which is a walk along the Forth and Clyde Canal in October, this time near Kirkintilloch. It was a bright, still day with wonderful reflections.

I also noticed that three of these monthly round-up posts made the top ten last year, so I shall take that as encouragement to keep on with them. In 2017, according to my Fitbit stats, my gallivanting led to me walking almost 1700 miles. I’m not sure I believe that, but it sounds impressive! If I keep it up, I should have plenty to write about.

The Station Cat

Here’s a heart-warming little story. I use my local station a couple of times a week and often see the same black and white cat wandering around. Eventually, I discovered that he is so well-known that he has his own Twitter account, ScotRail has appointed him Cat Controller and the adjacent hospital, which he also patrols, has made him an Honorary Purrfessor! Apparently, his owners staff knew nothing about this alternative life until the local paper ran a feature about him. Then – cat-astrophe – the week before Christmas he went missing. Twitter went into overdrive, and eventually, almost three weeks later, he was found and returned home on January 2nd. I must say he looks rather sleek and well-fed, so I don’t think he’s been trapped in someone’s garden shed over the holidays. He maybe has another secret life – I remember a children’s book called Six Dinner Sid about a cat who conned six different families into feeding him. Hermes has probably read it.

The last bit

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has followed, read, commented on, or liked posts in 2017 – it’s been a pleasure to be part of such a friendly community. Special thanks this month to Karen of Profound Journey, who made me one of her Favourite Blogs and Channels of 2017. If you don’t already know her, please give her a visit now, especially if “you are a woman who has made everyone and everything else priority #1, and now, finally, you are going to put yourself on the map” – and even if that doesn’t apply to you, it’s still a good read!

So now the holidays are over, it’s back to auld claes and parritch (old clothes and porridge). All the best for 2018 everyone.


  1. What a beautiful shawl Anabel – a gift to treasure. Our first cat in London had several secret lives, which we only discovered alas when she had to go to the vets with kidney failure 😦 Apparently the lovely Polish couple down the road had been feeding her Polish vodka sausages not to mention our neighbours who had been feeding her each night thinking she was a stray 😦 We learnt our lesson after that and our current cat is on strict rations as being an indoor cat she is prone to weight gain (she is white and tabby and her pink nose would not survive the Australian summer sun but she does have the run of the house!). I haven’t been able to blog much recently due to an influx of visitors so am happy anyone is still taking time to read my blog at all! Hope to have a bit more time again soon 🙂


    • Well despite the Hyndland cat now wearing a collar saying Do Not Feed Me, I spotted him tucking into a pile of ham the other day so obviously people are taking no notice! The theory is he is too well fed to bother going home for his dinner. Vodka sausages don’t sound very good for a cat! We had a cat once who practically mugged the neighbours for their takeaway chicken curry, and said neighbours informed us seriously what her favourite type of cheese was! Cats can get round anyone I think.

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      • No vodka sausages are definitely not good for cats – we had no idea but it explained her early onset kidney failure 😦 Really nothing too rich! The Hyndland cat may have to be confined indoors to curb his eating out!


        • I suspect he might be one of those who makes such a fuss if he’s kept indoors that they let him out for peace! We had one like that (the same one that liked the cheese – also not good for her I suspect).

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  2. That shawl is gorgeous. It wouldn’t be much use in our heat but I’m sure you’ll get plenty of wear out of it. Aren’t people wonderful?
    I was intrigued by your comments about your stats. I look at mine sometimes but not with a great deal of interest. It never occurred to me to compare them to previous years. But then, I’m not especially consistent, although I have been trying a bit harder lately.
    I’m looking forward to more of your posts. And I’d love to see the one you almost wrote about your walk along the Forth and Clyde Canals.


  3. Beautiful shawl, Anabel. What a wonderful, genuine and surprising gift! I love the Hermes story, and that’s an impressive amount of miles walked as well. My Fitbit broke in November (and was replaced weeks later), but I lost weeks of tracking, so probably no way to figure out my annual step count.


    • I saw Hermes this morning. Apparently his collar now reads “Please do not feed me” which doesn’t seem to have worked because he was tucking into a mound of ham that someone had left for him. The theory is that he gets so well fed elsewhere he doesn’t need to go home. So much for affection!

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