Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Saturday 12 Feb 2011 along the River Kelvin

Running along the Kelvin River path on Saturday, thinking about Margaret's Memorial service that would happen in a few hours, I stopped at St. Gregory's Church and spent a few minutes praying at the shrine to the Virgin Mary in the car park at the back of the church: From a niche cut out of the rock face, she looks out toward the River Kelvin. I realized that she has been watching me every time I ran by here for the past 4 years.

A few minutes later, in another of the crazy contrasts that is such a part of our life here in Glasgow, as I ran up the path toward Half-penny Bridge, I came upon a gaggle of fisherman, fishing poles held high…. And a piper arrayed in kilt and all. I stopped to watch, and 30 seconds later, the piper began to play “Scotland the Brave”, the unofficial national anthem of Scotland. He processed over the bridge, followed by about 10 fishermen and various fellow onlookers. On the other side, he stopped, and the fisherman gathered by the rail, while two of them climbed over. A quaich and a bottle of Famous Grouse whiskey appeared. One of the men held the quaich, while the other poured the whiskey into it, then passed the bottle back over the rail where is was used to fill a lot of plastic cups. There was brief ceremony, to mark the opening of fishing season on the River Kelvin, “and may be it be a good a last year’s!”, followed by cheers and toasts and around.

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