Monday, September 04, 2006

Days 4 & 5: First weekend in Scotland

This entry was written 3 Sept 2006.

We are learning to use the bus system, at least to get ourselves to and from the West End, the really interesting, fashionable section of Glasgow. Saturday we took it to near the crossing over the River Kelvin, then walked down through the park to the Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow's big general-purpose municipal museum that has been closed for the last 3 years. In a striking contrast to the Toledo Museum of Art, it was full of families and children running about enjoying themselves, with no docents to be seen. In addition to Glasgow painters ("The Glasgow Boys" 1880-1895), there is the famous Dali painting Christ on the cross looking down at fishing boats below him. The children seem to like the armor collection, but really gravitate toward the two rooms with stuffed animals, one of them with Scottish animals. One of my favorites is the stuffed haggis invented by the museum staff because so many people think that haggis is actually a small furry animal, instead of a kind of sausage (made of beef/lamb chopped heart, lungs, liver plus suet, oats, onions & spices).

Today was even more ambitious: We went to St. Mary’s Cathedral in the morning, which we liked. It’s not Trinity, but the service was reasonable, the choir terrific, and the people very friendly. The assistant priest, Caroline, is female. We met a woman named Anne Whitaker Halliburton who used to supervise at the Counselling Unit 10 years ago but has since moved on to do psychological astrology, in which she has obtained an advanced degree from an institute in London. We figure we’ll be back to St. Mary's.

Then we rushed home in time to change before Dave and Elke picked us up for an afternoon walk and a meal. They blew us away by presenting us with a bread machine, since they knew I bake bread. Then they took us up to the Trossacks National Park where we did a long walk along Loch Ard, looking at the last of the heather and the new growth of the heritage forest that is in the process of being restored here as well as elsewhere in Scotland. They are cutting down the oppressive pine plantations and letting native birch, rowan, and oak grow in their place.

There was more, but it will have to wait for another time. Tomorrow is another week and my second day of work here. Maybe I’ll even get something done!


Risukun said...

That walk sounds lovely. Did you take any pictures of the heather?

Robert Elliott said...

Yes, we have photos of the late heather, which is almost out of season. We will try to get them posted...