1 EAGLETON NOTES: Escape?

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Monday, 10 August 2020

Escape?

It wasn't easy. Saturday morning at 6am and the ferry was very busy with people and their cars leaving the Island. I sat in my usual part of the ferry by the now-closed-for-the-time-being Coffee Cabin. There were half a dozen other small family groups in the area all very well socially distanced and, initially until they started having breakfast and coffee, fully masked as is required by law on public transport in Scotland. It was a beautiful morning for a sail and I spent some time on deck enjoying the fresh air and the views.

It was my first time off the Island since early January. It was the first time I had been amongst people since early March. Because everyone was well spaced apart I didn't feel particularly apprehensive. The journey itself is 2½ hours and I was on my way down the road to Bishopbriggs by 0930.

I'm down for my drugs trial review. I can't think of anything else that would have got me off the Island at the moment.

A loo-stop in Kingussie and soup and another coffee from my flasks and I was in Bishopbriggs by mid afternoon. I was heartily glad I was not going North. The traffic around Perth must have seen delays measured in hours rather than minutes. Traffic in both directions was very heavy.  Presumably it was largely due to staycationers.

What had not been anticipated was family turning up at Anna's unaware that I was coming and that was a bit traumatic and I left to make a delivery I'd brought from the Island for another friend. Once I returned and had settled down with a sizeable g'n't in the garden the 6 months of isolation started to become a memory rather than a problem for me.

On Sunday we decided on a walk around Hogganfield Loch in Glasgow. It was a beautiful morning and with my recently re-awakened desire to know the name of every flower we passed was a very pleasant way to spend a morning. We had arrived fairly early ie around 9am but it was quite clear that that was late for many of the walkers, cyclists, runners and the rest. 

There are many types of waterbirds on the loch

I didn't envisage ice being a problem

I don't think it was personal

Too enthusiastic for me
It's quite sizeable

39 comments:

  1. That ice warning is very strange.
    Good luck.

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  2. Lovely photos! The first one reminds me of a line from Hamlet, Act 4 Scene 7, spoken by his mother, Gertrude. "There with fantastic garlands did she come, Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples..."

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    1. Marcheline, I can always rely of you for an appropriate Hamlet quote.

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  3. Your first time off the island since January - it must have felt weird! As I have been largely doing more or less the same things as "before corona", I have had few "firsts" since mid-March. Good to know all passengers on the ferry stuck to the rules. Over here, most people on public transport do the same, but many seem not to understand that the mandatory mask-wearing extents to the platforms and the entire station.
    Lovely pictures, and yes, a G&T can contribute a lot to make one feel much more at ease about things, can't it!

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    1. Meike, it was very odd going from isolation except for socially distanced friends to travelling on public transport and being around other people. I've been in a very large garden centre and that seemed very safe and so did the first hospital yesterday. Today will be my first supermarket since lockdown - it's a nice spacious Waitrose so here's hoping.

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  4. Having once lived in Scotland I'm in on the correct pronunciation of Kingussie. However, I'm surprised the road trip is as little as two and a half hours. Which ferry do you use?

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    1. Sorry, Tasker. My wording was a bit ambiguous. The ferry journey from Stornoway to Ullapool is 2½ hours (it used to be 4 hours when I went to live there in 1975) but the road part from Ullapool to Bishopbriggs via Inverness is about 5½ hours including comfort stops. My I ask where you used to live in Scotland?

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    2. Ach! I stayed at the Bridge of Don.

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  5. I can well imagine it seemed strange leaving the island after months of not going anywhere. I haven't "been anywhere" myself during this time either (except for walks close to home).

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    1. Monica, it was stranger than I expected in some ways and yet in others it seemed almost normal. I suppose that was because for most of the journey South I was travelling in my own bubble.

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  6. I am wholeheartedly glad that I read this since I think a gin and tonic in the garden is just what I need. I expect I can coax Miriam into joining me!

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    1. Well, David, I hope that you and Miriam enjoyed it.

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  7. oh what a lovely area. Tai chi is very popular here in NZ, I've never done it though, I prefer Yoga but the G n T sounds great, enjoy :-)

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    1. Thank you Amy. We had been wondering what it was they were doing. I've never tried any of them to be honest although I used to go to the gym a lot. Even that has stopped now.

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  8. Great walk to take. You have some excellent photos.

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  9. I love your post...and seeing photos of the area surrounding you, and thereabouts.

    My great-grandfather,Robert Hose, was born on the 20th of April 1866 in Kilwinning, Ayrshire. Many of my ancestors on my maternal side came from Ayrshire. "Hose" and "MacDonald" names featured greatly. And my grandmother, our mother's mother married John "Hay".

    I may have mentioned previously, in my possession, is a small hard-covered book that featured greatly in my childhood. "The Clans and Tartans of Scotland", by Robert Bain. Foreword by His Grace...The Duke of Montrose C.B., C.V.O. My now late brother, Graham and I grew up loving this book. Originally, this cherished book belonged to our Nana and Mother.

    Noted on one of the first pages is how much it cost upon purchase...."58/6"! The book was first published in August, 1938. The copy I have was reprinted in April, 1947.

    And now...after taking up too much of your time...best wishes, Graham...keep taking good care. :)

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    1. That was really interesting, Lee. Kilwinning is a place I've passed through but not, as far as I can recall, stopped. 58/6....that was a lot of money. At a rough estimate 58 shillings and six pence would be about £200 at today's value of the £.

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  10. What were those 'enthusiastic' people doing in the park; it looks as if they were learning to mend bicycle tyres.

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    1. Cro, I think, according to Amy, above that it was Tai Chi.

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  11. The walk around the loch looks beautiful. I hope all goes well with your review. :)

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    1. Thank you Jules. It was a lovely walk on a lovely morning.

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  12. Lovely walk and travels
    Life is thin ice.
    The island built from wires or a support for the aquatic plants is charming, and considerate of the birds that appear to love it there.

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    1. Thank you, Maywyn. I like your statement that Life is thin ice. I'd not thought of it that way before. There are a lot of 'bird islands' in the loch.

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  13. Hope everything goes well at hospital Graham, it must feel incredibly strange having so many people and cars around after the relative quiet and seclusion of the island.

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    1. Thanks, Jayne. It's very strange but so far the places I've been have had very effective social distancing and personal protection.

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  14. Hope the tests went well for you Graham, and I can well imagine how strange it would feel to travel out after so many months in isolation. We may be having similar feelings on a 3-day outing next week, even though we are staying within NH. You certainly had a wonderful day for photos and thanks for sharing here.

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    1. Beatrice, I'm relatively fortunate compared with the rest of the UK and the US in that Scotland has a relatively low incidence of the disease at the moment.

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  15. Hi Graham, I'm glad the sun is shining on you off the island. It must have seemed strange. I felt strange yesterday having to social distance again after our current outbreak. I don't think those people are doing Tai Chi, the stance isn't right for it. But Tai Chi in the sunshine is just what I feel like right now. Hope your test results are all good.

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    1. Pauline, we've had G n T's in the garden each evening. I'll take your word re the exercises. All I know is that they were using some strange contraption like a solid half tyre.

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  16. I hope you weren't affected by the thunder, lightning and heavy rains that have afflicted Scotland in the last two days. Clearly, The Lord God Almighty was not happy that you has escaped to the mainland!

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    1. Oddly, YP, we have seen no inclement weather at all - just a bit of mist one morning. I'm returning home today and very happy to be doing so.

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  17. What lovely weather you have had! You didn't mention it was hideously hot, and so I am imagining you had more reasonable temps in Glasgow than in London. It's been up to 35 which is frankly quite horrible. Incidentally, that I have come across several people who say that it's hard to get round to socialising again - i am finding also that even the tamest trip is starting to feel like a bit of an expedition. For this reason I think it's a good idea to leave the comfort zone occasionally. It is quite remarkable and rather impressive IMO how we can adapt to circumstances, but I don't want it to be too hard to return to a more normal sort of existence. What do you think about that?

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    1. Jenny, we had beautiful weather most of the time whilst I was down. It was a bit dull sometimes and it was a bit chilly sometimes (our maximum was a very pleasant 23ÂșC) but not enough to stop us doing anything. On the question you asked I would say that now that I'm back and have been on the ferry and in some supermarkets, a large garden centre and several hospitals I shall not be as apprehensive going down again next week for my bone scan. I didn't go anywhere crowded and the shops I was in were well controlled. However, given the choice, I wouldn't be leaving the Island again any time soon.

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  18. Hope your checkup went well.
    Beautiful pictures,! I would love to visit Scotland someday.

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    1. Thank you, Kathy. I'm sure you'd enjoy Scotland. It's a beautiful country.

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  19. What lovely photos! I also must know every flower I see, every butterfly and bird also! Will I ever make it to Scotland? Not sure but glad to see it on your blog. Take care!

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    1. Thank you, Kay. I hope, and I'm sure Pat hopes too, that you will eventually make it. You'd be very welcome here as you know.

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