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!

Advent Day 24: Welcome to the party, pal!

On Christmas Eve 2019 we took a stroll to the nearby area of Scotstoun to view its Living Advent Calendar. Each evening in December, one more window had been illuminated. On the 24th, we got to see them all.

Number 24 – Nakatomi Corporation: Welcome to the party, pal! I know this is a reference to the Die Hard film in which, on Christmas Eve 1988, a group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber took the Nakatomi employees hostage during their Christmas party, but I admit to being disappointed. Something a little more festive, such as a nativity scene or Santa’s sleigh, would have pleased me a lot better. But this is what we got, so all that remains is to wish you the very best for the holiday season. See you in the New Year! May it be better for us all than 2020.

Advent Day 23: Silent Night

On Christmas Eve 2019 we took a stroll to the nearby area of Scotstoun to view its Living Advent Calendar. Each evening in December, one more window had been illuminated. On the 24th, we got to see them all.

Number 23 – Silent Night. Glaswegians will recognise the Clydeside skyline.

Advent Day 21: Scotstoun Weihnachtsmarkt

On Christmas Eve 2019 we took a stroll to the nearby area of Scotstoun to view its Living Advent Calendar. Each evening in December, one more window had been illuminated. On the 24th, we got to see them all.

Number 21 – Scotstoun Weihnachtsmarkt (though I saw no evidence of the advertised Glühwein and Lebkuchen)!

Advent Day 20: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

On Christmas Eve 2019 we took a stroll to the nearby area of Scotstoun to view its Living Advent Calendar. Each evening in December, one more window had been illuminated. On the 24th, we got to see them all.

Number 20 – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Advent Day 17: Christmas jumper

On Christmas Eve 2019 we took a stroll to the nearby area of Scotstoun to view its Living Advent Calendar. Each evening in December, one more window had been illuminated. On the 24th, we got to see them all.

Number 17 – a Christmas jumper or dress? Stars, a heart and a tree.

Advent Day 16: Nativity scene

On Christmas Eve 2019 we took a stroll to the nearby area of Scotstoun to view its Living Advent Calendar. Each evening in December, one more window had been illuminated. On the 24th, we got to see them all.

Number 16 – A nativity scene: joy to the world.