Glasgow Gallivanting: December 2020

December, eh? A dark, dreary month for the most part, only enlivened by watching the Christmas lights appear in houses and gardens on our after-work walks. Like most people, we had a Plan B Christmas. Months ago, when things still seemed to be improving, I booked a cottage in the Scottish Borders for Mum, John and me. Of course in the end we weren’t allowed to travel, but we’ve postponed our booking rather than cancel it – fingers crossed for Easter! Tonight, we will also have a Plan B Hogmanay because we can’t celebrate with the friends we usually go out with.

When we visited Scotstoun’s Living Advent Calendar last year, I knew immediately that I wanted to use the photographs on my blog this December. The first lockdown gave me the time to prepare most of them and I’m now looking at a bare drafts folder for the first time in months! Thanks to everyone who followed daily. A couple of you, I think Carol (The Eternal Traveller) and Jude (Travel Words), suggested a gallery of all 24 windows, so here they are. Best viewed by clicking on the first one and scrolling through as a slideshow if you have the time or the inclination. Scotstoun has some very artistic and ingenious residents as I’m sure you’ll agree.

Many of my blogging friends have been busy with the 10 Days / 10 Travel Photos challenge in the last few weeks. Thanks to Su (Zimmerbitch) and Andrew (Have Bag, Will Travel) who both nominated me, though I declined at the time because my Advent Calendar was ongoing, and to Geoff (TanGental) who nominated me a couple of days later. Instead of a day to day version, and because I really don’t have much else to say about December, I thought I’d include a gallery here of 10 photos, fairly randomly selected, which featured in the first couple of years of my blog when I knew very few people, though some images are obviously much older than that. Arranged in date order (with links to the relevant posts) you can see:

  • Florence 1992, the only Christmas we have spent abroad. We loved it: much more understated and tasteful than the homegrown version. I also loved that tartan coat: I bought it for £10 in a second hand shop and spent another £10 replacing the torn lining.
  • Havana, 1999. We were sitting on a café balcony from which this man saw us watching him as he delivered oranges and tossed one up to us. John caught him at just the right moment.
  • Mount Teide, 2006. We spent our Silver Wedding anniversary in Tenerife. There’s a lost luggage story attached to this.
  • Grand Canyon, 2009; Bryce Canyon, 2010; North Carolina, 2011; Peggy’s Cove, 2012; Acadia National Park, 2013. Part of a run of North American road-trips which may, or may not, happen again.
  • Berlin, 2012, and Dublin, 2013. Both involving large beers, and both destinations planned for the same purpose: a concert by the late, lamented Leonard Cohen.

All happy memories!

One positive thing about December to report – I have another article published about Jessie Stephen, the Suffragette I have been studying for the last few years, this time in the journal Scottish Labour History. Woohoo!

In December I take a peek at my stats, and I note that my page views have more than doubled this year. I don’t take from this that I am any more popular, just that I’ve posted an awful lot more, sometimes daily – my Advent Calendar, for example, and some of the lovely Becky’s quarterly Square Challenges. (Follow the link to discover what she is up to in January.) As I said earlier, my drafts folder is now empty, so I’m expecting those stats to plummet any time now! It doesn’t matter, I appreciate every visit, especially this year when I think we have all valued our online friends more than ever. So thank you to everyone who has read, Liked, or commented, and may our friendships continue into 2021 and beyond. Happy New Year!


  1. Not sure how I missed this Anabel but a very belated New year to you! Always enjoy your fascinating blog posts and thank you for your support of mine too, best wishes for a better year ahead!


  2. I remember walking through those columns back when I visited Glasgow and got to meet you (which feels very long ago indeed now!). I hope we’re at least allowed to travel domestically by this summer, as even going somewhere else in England would feel very exotic at this point. Very belated Happy New Year!


  3. Happy New Year, Anabel. It’s been such a joy meeting you this year and following your gallivants. Your posts are always fascinating and chockfull of interesting photos. I love your advent windows. I think the Havana orange toss is my favorite. James and I wish you a 2021 filled with joy, peace, and good health. 🙂 ~Terri


  4. Congrats on your published article, Anabel. Very impressive. Thanks for sharing your happy travel memories. I particularly loved the Havana one. I would still love to go there one day. Happy New Year to you and John. 🙂


  5. A lot of beautiful, fun, and positive nuggets in this month’s roundup, Anabel! The advent photos are spectacular and colorful – I’m happy you decided to gather them here. The memories of past travels are great. A lot of the views I recognize, especially Acadia and other coastal shots. And, an empty draft folder… ooooh that must feel so good. I just love going through things, ticking items off my list, and “cleaning house.” 🙂 Congratulations on the article publication and the higher blog stats! The pandemic had some positive effects as well! 🙂


    • Thanks Liesbet, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Not so keen on the empty drafts folder, it means I have nothing ready! Just one post scheduled for next week so I’ll have to get busy. I read your memoir over Christmas and enjoyed it very much, but it doesn’t inspire me to a life on the waves!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh great!!! I’m glad you enjoyed my memoir. If you’d like me to come over to Glasgow Gallivanter one day to tell your readers a story or answer some questions regarding “Plunge,” I happily do so and that would be another blog post figured out. 🙂 Or, if you have one burning question that you’d like me to elaborate on – about my lifestyle or my book – I am sure to be able to spin an answer around that as well. I can always use a bit of a boost…

        And, what the lifestyle aboard concerns, I’m not surprised I didn’t entice you to give it a go. It’s surely not for everybody and I don’t even know whether I will ever (want to) do it again! 🙂


  6. Happy New Year! I always enjoy your posts, but I especially enjoyed your Advent windows this year. Thanks for taking the time to share them. I hope you are able to go on your trip in Easter, and I think that the odds are good. The vaccine will slowly but surely make a difference and free us from the stranglehold that Covid has on our lives. Meanwhile, I enjoyed your pics of happy times past, and wish you many happy moments and travels in the future!


  7. Well thank you for another enjoyable year following your adventures. And thank you for the gallery – there are some very talented people in Scotstoun – I think my favourites are no7 and no8 and no11. Wishing you and John all the best for 2021 and here’s hoping we get a chance to travel a little further afield this year.
    Jude xx