Glasgow Gallivanting: March 2018

In like a lion, out like a lamb? March certainly lived up to the first part of that proverb: in fact snow has been a feature of most of it. There were plenty of snowmen/women about, but this year igloos seemed to be in fashion too. This one is in the Botanic Gardens.

Neptune’s Steps

When it wasn’t snowing, it was often raining. Neptune’s Steps is an annual swimming and climbing event which takes place on the flight of locks on the Forth and Clyde Canal at Maryhill. This year, I was determined to see some of it despite the cold, wet weather. The races went on all day but we only caught two, the last women’s heat and the first men’s semi-final, before retreating somewhere that served hot coffee.

I was quite pleased to capture the belly flop above on my phone – I didn’t realise till I looked at my photos later that I had pictured the same woman attempting the climbing wall towards the end. For her, it was the end: a few seconds later she dropped back into the water and admitted defeat.

The gallery below includes some of John’s pictures. When I looked at the results later, I realised he had a portrait of the eventual men’s winner. I bet that hot tub at the end was welcome!

Women’s history

Two follow ups to things I have written about before. Glasgow’s fourth statue to a named woman was unveiled on International Women’s Day (8th March). Mary Barbour organised rent strikes in World War One when rapacious landlords thought they could charge anything they liked while the men were away fighting. Her campaign resulted in a law being passed fixing rents at pre-war levels. My pals Beverly, Mary Alice and Louisina were well prepared for the event!

(I haven’t yet been back to take pictures of the statue without hundreds of people thronging around, but Kev over at Walking Talking has a few good ones.)

Last month, I mentioned Jessie Stephen, the Scottish Suffragette whose life and work I am celebrating throughout this anniversary year of the first women in the UK getting the vote. This month, I travelled to Edinburgh to meet Ann Henderson, who had also nominated Jessie for the Suffrage Pioneers project, and she introduced me to Sheana and Kirsteen, great-nieces of Jessie. Over lunch at Sheana’s house plans started to be made – watch this space, you have not heard the last of Jessie.

For US friends, here’s a great list I found in Forbes: A state-by-state guide to the top women’s history landmarks in America. Anyone been to any?

A wedding!

After 23 years together, our friends Jayne and Mark decided to get married. We were very honoured to be asked to be their witnesses and enjoyed the intimate ceremony at the City Chambers with just the four of us.

Afterwards, we all went to Port Appin for the weekend. Although familiar to Jayne and Mark, John and I had never been before. What a treat! Airds Hotel was perfect and the walks straight from the door were beautiful, particularly the one to Castle Stalker. We were blessed with beautiful blue skies, but don’t let that fool you – it was freezing, and it did snow the day we drove home.

Although I joked that this was the first time I’d ever been invited to the honeymoon as well as the wedding, in reality the happy couple flew off to Athens for the real honeymoon a few days later! What a great way to get married.

Aye Write!

Glasgow’s book festival, Aye, Write!, has been running this month. I went to four sessions and, well, I might have bought a few books. Oops!

Sunshine Blogger

Do you know Kim from Glover Gardens (“A multifaceted blog for multifaceted people”)? If not, pop over and have a look at her mixture of food, gardens and travel. Kim has nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award, for bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community. Many thanks, Kim! I don’t advertise myself as an award-free blog, but I don’t always have time to follow awards and challenges up and when I do I usually break the rules. This time, I hit upon the wheeze of answering Kim’s 11 questions one or two at a time over several monthly gallivants. Here’s the first two!

What advice would you give to your younger self? Assuming I could talk to the angst-ridden teenager (that’s everyone, right, not just me?) I would simply say “Don’t worry! Everything’s going to be great!”

What’s your favourite food memory, a meaningful meal that you will never forget, and why? What was so special about it? Well, at the moment Airds Hotel, mentioned above, is uppermost in my memory. Unlike many fancy hotels and restaurants, which usually only offer one vegetarian choice, often bland, I had a whole menu to choose from and everything I ate was delicious. In fact, everything everybody ate was declared  delicious and dinner was a real event on both nights. As you can see, Mark and John were most definitely relaxed afterwards.

The last bit

So if March came in like a lion, did it go out like a lamb? Well, not exactly. There was no snow, but it was certainly blowing a hoolie. On Good Friday (30th) we went for one of our favourite canal walks before climbing to a viewpoint above the old claypits at Hamiltonhill which now form a nature reserve. The whole West End was spread out before us. As we shivered, we agreed it was beautiful, and that we were thankful to be dry at least.

Easter Saturday was a little better – we took a ferry to the island of Great Cumbrae and had a lovely walk there, but that merits its own post later on.

Finally, for my Scottish Word of the Month I’ve chosen one I used in the comments on a previous post – remember the story of Miss Inglis and the dog? I suggested that Miss Inglis was a bit crabbit, i.e. grumpy or bad-tempered. I’ve been feeling a bit crabbit myself at all this March weather! Let’s hope April does better. Snow is forecast but has not yet appeared …

90 thoughts on “Glasgow Gallivanting: March 2018

  1. Lisa Dorenfest April 18, 2018 / 07:06

    I looked at the state-by-state guide of women’s landmarks and can report that I’ve been to two.

    – Ida B. Wells-Barnett House in Chicago
    – Matinicus Rock and Whitehead Light Stations in Maine

    The pictures from Port Appin are magnificent (congratulations to your friends for finally tying the knot) as are the views from Hamiltonhill.

    Hope that April brings you warmth and sunshine

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh April 18, 2018 / 07:36

      Oh well, plenty more to target then! April hasn’t been great so far but, finally, yesterday there were signs of spring warmth.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh April 18, 2018 / 08:31

      I have tried several times to reply to your comment on your own blog and it won’t work (maybe you’ll suddenly get 3 identical comments at once!) just to say I agree about Sri Lanka – sure we would love it, especially after reading so much about it on Peta and Ben’s blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lisa Dorenfest April 18, 2018 / 15:16

        Oh my! I so apologize that my blog is acting up. How frustrating. Thank you so much for leaving your comment here. Would be great to see you and John visit Peta and Ben!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. pommepal April 15, 2018 / 21:52

    What an interesting and varied month you have had. My word those contestants must be crazy to put themselves through that torture test.

    Like

  3. Kim of Glover Gardens April 15, 2018 / 13:58

    What a delightful post, Anabel. I learn so much from your blog! There is so much richness in this month’s summary that it will take me a while to absorb it all. I truly appreciate the list of prominent places for women’s history in the US, and your photos are breathtaking. And your simple and profound advice to a younger you (in answer to my question) is a keeper!

    Like

  4. dunelight April 13, 2018 / 04:04

    Out of fifty states I’ve only been to one on the Forbes list, Willa Cather’s home…and I drove probably 60 miles out of the way on a long trip home.

    Like

  5. Dr Sock April 8, 2018 / 06:18

    Well, you were busy during March! The landscape photos are lovely. I admire the work that you have been doing to acknowledge women in history, and I think that we need to more of that here in Canada.

    The igloo photo brought back memories. When I was a small child, my father built us an igloo to use as a winter playhouse. He built the traditional dome shape, and sprayed it with water so that it froze solid and was not likely to collapse on us. It was popular amongst our neighbourhood playmates, and we played in it all winter.

    Jude

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh April 8, 2018 / 08:17

      What a lovely memory! I have never seen igloos in Glasgow before, we don’t usually get enough snow. This year, it started with some tourists building one in George Square in the city centre. It got into the media then everyone got in on the act.

      We are lucky in Glasgow to have the women’s library which acts as a catalyst for so many things.

      Like

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