Glasgow Gallivanting: January 2021

View from Gleniffer Braes, New Year’s Day 2021

The weather on New Year’s Day was fairly typical of January: cold and icy.  A steep path opposite the end of Mum’s street in Paisley leads up to the Gleniffer Braes from where we got the best view of the month. The Campsie Fells are to the right in the picture above, and the beginning of the Highlands, including Ben Lomond, can be seen to the left. A couple of zoomed shots show more detail.

We are still in a fairly strict lockdown, so otherwise have been confined to Glasgow. We have hardly any new photos because we are doing all the same routes that we did in the Spring, often in the dark after John finishes work. Thank goodness for weekends and the canal and river paths. Here’s a great view down the Clyde towards the Riverside Museum, including the tall ship Glenlee, and a swan admiring its reflection on the frozen canal.

In January I would normally be reporting excitedly about all the Celtic Connections concerts we had been to. Not this year! The entire programme has been moved online. Nothing can replace live performances, but the upside is that we can watch everything: over 100 musicians and 19 days with at least one, sometimes two or three, concerts each evening. At only £30 for a Festival Pass, that’s an absolute steal. I suppose it is better for my waistline too, because we are also not going for all those pre-theatre dinners. Nor could we go out for Burns’ Night this year, but we improvised with John making a very good Address to a (veggie) Haggis.

The virus continues to rage (though vaccines are on their way – Mum has had her first one) and Brexit continues to have “teething problems”, but at least Trump has finally gone. I often include a Scottish Word of the Month in my gallivanting posts, but this month a Scottish video seems more appropriate. Here’s Iona Fyfe with a ditty called Donald whit a loser to the tune of  Donald where’s your troosers?

You’ll be sad to know that Iona is sometimes the target of vile abuse for daring to sing in Scots, as is Miss PunnyPennie who offers a Scots word of the day on Twitter. Here’s another phrase for you: the Scottish cringe – a feeling that anything Scottish is bound to be inferior. Do any other countries have a similar phenomenon? Or people who are so threatened by their own culture that they have to go on the attack to decry it? It’s bizarre and sad.

Anyway, let’s not end on a negative note. How about some graffiti ceramics? We first noticed these in the summer around Sydenham Lane in Hyndland, an area we often walk through. Lately, we’ve spotted some new ones even closer to home and I recently read an article (click the link for more examples) identifying the artist as Louise McVey. She says: “When lockdown initially hit … it became clear to me that this was what I could offer – to add something to the streets that may make a difference for people on their daily walks.” It has certainly made a difference to us – we love spotting them, and it’s very different from the usual type of street art.

So we’ve made it through January healthy and safe – I hope you all have too. There is no chance of our current restrictions lifting before mid-February at the earliest, but I’ll do my best to have at least a little bit of gallivanting to report on at the end of the month.


      • A good read Anabel. The canal is a favourite walk of ours. I was there a couple of weeks ago but taking a different route starting at Kirklee, Kelvin walkway, children’s wood, up to the student village, Ruchill park and then on to the canal and Applecross Quay. Then back to Kirklee. It was quite a walk. We have been exploring Bearsden and Milngavie this past year and we are still finding new places.
        I’m off to the hairdresser next week and I’m so excitrd!


        • Thanks Linda. We walk on the canal at least once or twice a week, though the route variations are slightly curtailed while it’s blocked off at Lochburn / Ruchill. It’ll be great once that new bridge is built though. Ruchill Park is always good: so much quieter than the Botanics!


  1. Love the graffiti ceramics, quirky and colourful. Just what we need right now.

    Never heard of ‘Scottish Cringe’ , when I lived in Scotland I had a sense of fierce pride in all things Scots , such a shame that some feel otherwise!


    • The ceramics are very pretty. I haven’t spotted any new ones, but yesterday came across a photograph I had overlooked so I might include that at the end of this month. As for the cringe, I hope it is dying out, but it still rears its ugly head too often.


  2. An amazing blue sky, Anabel. I can almost feel the crisp, cold air. The zoomed shots do show the details. I also miss live performances, yet, no lack of concerts to watch online. First time I have heard of a veggie Haggis. Oh no, the Scottish cringe. Also, first time I aware of this. Us, Canucks are made fun of in many ways. I will give this more thought. The graffiti ceramics are creative and a pop of colour. We have painted rocks on walking routes and trails. We are pretty well locked down, too, right now. Increased cases on our Island. Counting my blessings how my immediate family is good at the moment. (An aside, Anabel – are you using the Classic Editor for your photos? I prefer the appearance of your photos and how the captions show up when we hover over a photo. The new editor has the words right on top of the photos and I do not like the effect)


  3. I’ve been too occupied these past few weeks to keep up with WordPress – partly due to watching Celtic Connections – thanks for the tip off 😉👍. It’s certainly been a treat and besides enjoying the jigs and reels and some singers I know, I’ve also made some discoveries which I’ll be following up to listen to more of their music. And I’ve enjoyed the Gallic singers too – so no prejudice from me on that point. Oh, and we had a veggie haggis on Burns night too – you can even get them at Tesco’s down here south of the border.
    Hope you’re not suffering too much from the snow. I was in a zoom this morning with a colleague who lives in Edinburgh and they certainly had plenty of it.


    • It has been fabulous, hasn’t it? We managed to spin it out to this weekend and still have a few related concerts to catch up with on BBC Alba. It was very poignant for us to see all the empty venues we normally love attending, and the closing montage to “This is where I lay my heart” was just gorgeous.

      Was your haggis MacSween’s? Theirs is very good. As for the snow, it quite thick here, but I think not as bad as the east coast.

      I did email Natalie, but no word as yet.


      • I think it was a MacSweens haggis.
        missed the closing concert, alas. And it’s too late to watch it now. But I’m keener than ever to get up to Glasgow to see some live concerts next year – I’m sure we’ll be over the worst of this mess by then. Even this bunch of clowns 😜 have surely got to have blundered their way through it by then.
        I hope Natalie is OK – but she must be really overstretched. and stressed out.