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. Stunning photographs of the water – our Boxing Day was good but not that good! And your shawl, that is just amazing. So very very special.

    Thanks for making me smile with Hermes – wishing you a wonderful 2018 and here’s to our meet up in the spring x


  2. That shawl is magnificent, what a lovely gesture from a totally unknown person. I loved the cat story. They are very wily things and clever at conning everyone that they are the only one feeding him…


  3. Magnificent shawl!!! Happy New Year to you Anabel. I’ve so enjoyed sharing in your gallivanting and am looking forward to more. Now if only I could get FitBit steps vicariously 🙂


  4. Happy New Year! And thanks so much for sharing your travels with us. I really enjoy your posts, and thanks to them, I keep adding places I want to visit on my “bucket list” for travel. I only hope I live long enough to get to them all.


  5. Could bringing the cat back be Saint Mungo’s fourth miracle (in addition to “The fish that never swam, the bird that never flew, the bell that never rang, and the tree that never grew”)?

    It’s now auld claes and parritch for me too!


  6. Nice reflection shots. Probably more common than folk realise about cats. A couple of ‘stray cats’ here that I know get taken into various houses if the weather is bad or too cold. Impressive shawl.


  7. I love the silly conversations too. 🙂 🙂 What a lovely December round up, Anabel. Those bright, beautiful days totally transform the landscape, don’t they? I have a few walks that never quite made it, too. Sometimes an abbreviated version slips into Six word Saturday- a use for everything! Which reminds me of the shawl- what a remarkable gesture, and such a lot of work! I ought to be guided more by my stats, I suppose, but I forget and just ramble off. Doesn’t matter if you’ve got nice company, does it? Thank you for being part of mine.


    • Thank you, Jo. Finding your blog was a boon because I’ve met so many other people through it too. My Gallivanting posts were meant to absorb the walks that never quite made it into full posts, but sometimes they get too long to include everything. The shawl, I just couldn’t believe! I’ve not even met the student, never mind his mother. I take it as a great compliment to John’s role as his supervisor.

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  8. I have thoroughly enjoyed gallivanting with you during 2017 Anabel, both home and away. You have introduced me to so many new places which is what I love about blogging, though my favourite part are the conversations and natters we bloggers have. Such fun!
    Aberfeldy rang a wee bell, and I realised that in 2016 (seems like only last month) we had a little walk in the Birks of Aberfeldy. Some posts just never get written… I am keen to see where we go together this year. I shall be very quiet as I sit on your shoulder. Promise.

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