Wednesday, 22 March 2017

One For The Weegies

Many of you, my dear readers, will know what a Weegie is but many of you will not. A Weegie is a Glaswegian. The Scottish equivalent of a Liverpool Scouser. The difference being that Weegie has an obvious link with the term Glaswegian and Scouser has no grammatical link to Liverpudlian. (I do like rambling introductions).

There has been a rumour for the last couple of centuries that the folk from Lewis are a dour Presbyterian lot.  Presbyterian many may be. Dourness is, however, fading fast and, even then, I'm not sure a many deserved the accolade.

Some years ago a number of statues began to appear in Stornoway. This is one of them. Recently someone with a sense of humour (and probably with Glasgow connections) has tried to outdo the Weegies as their own game.

So what, you might ask, is the Weegies game? It is adorning the head of the Duke of Wellington statue outside the Museum of Modern Art in Glasgow's Royal Exchange Square with a traffic cone.

Monday, 20 March 2017


This week we visited the Huntarian Art Gallery. I enjoy going back every so often to see the Whistler collection and a few other special pieces. Often there is a special exhibition and I never cease to be amazed when I find something new to see in a work I've seen a dozen time before.

Anyone who knows the work of the American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 to 1903) will have their favourites (assuming they like his work). His most iconic works (I think) are his life-size portraits which started with The Symphony in White No 1. The Hunterian has a significant number of these portraits. However whilst they are wonderful works (they have a vaguely Pre-Raphaelite feel about them which attracts me) far and away my favourite work is a small portrait apparently unusually done in one sitting entitled Dorothy Seaton, A Daughter of Eve (1903).

There are a great many versions of this image on the internet including an enlargable one on the Hunterian website at the last link I have given .

This is how I see it:

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Books and People

One of the things that I do when I am in someone's house is look at their book shelves. Books interest me. In fact books interest most people that I know.

I was recently reminded of an incident about 40 years ago when I was living a few doors away from one of my colleagues. We were both new to the Isle of Lewis and were both from the North West of England. Our families had become friendly. We often shared a car into work.

One day I was in the friend's house waiting for him to get ready (I am compulsive about being on time. He wasn't). I started looking at the books on his bookshelves. When he came into the room I said (and I have absolutely no idea why I said) "I hope you don't mind me looking at your books." To which he responded that he most certainly did. Of course I thought he was joking. He was not. He went on to opine that it was a violation of someone's privacy because you could tell too much about a person from their bookshelves.

I suppose that he was correct but I certainly hadn't seen that coming.

Would you object if I was looking at your bookshelves and do you think I would learn a lot?

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Flora Edwards

Where does time go? Where do people go? On this day 15 years ago (and it seems like such a short time) the mother of CJ and me died at the age of 93 with all her faculties. It was her decision to, as she believed, join her husband and many of her friends.

Today the father of a very close friend died. A few days ago a friend in New Zealand died. All during one's life people die but as one gets older it is those of the same age who start dying and somehow this brings one's mortality to one's notice quite forcibly.

This first photo was taken in the early 1930s by my Dad. Mum would have been in her 20s.

I have blogged this photo before. I took it perhaps over half a century ago and it's a photos of which I've always been quite proud.

This photo was taken in the caravan we had towed up to Scotland in about 1960 and somehow the dress doesn't reflect the fact that the caravan was in a waterlogged caravan site at the foot of Ben Nevis. Mum hiked (tramped) and camped all over the English Lake District and Wales but somehow always seemed to be beautifully turned out.

This photos was taken on the same caravanning holiday in Killin. I've spared CJ and me the embarrassment of our photos being shown.

How things have changed.