Glasgow Gallivanting: April 2017

Mothers’ Day

But Mothers’ Day (UK) is in March! I know, but my incompetence at getting something booked in time meant that I took my Mum out for her “treat” the following Sunday, April 2nd. We had a lovely afternoon tea in Mad Hatter’s in Paisley.

Rita McGurn

One of my volunteer roles is guiding walks for three different organisations. Now that Spring is here, the season has well and truly started – I’ve already done three in April, including two Women of the Gorbals walks for Glasgow Women’s Library.

The former mill above is one of the stops. We talk about the lives of the women weavers, and also about the sculpture billowing from the chimney. Smokestack was designed by Rita McGurn who died in 2015. Rita also worked with wool and crocheted fabulous giant figures, some of which you can see in a recent article in the local press about her daughter who has yarn-bombed a bench in the Botanic Gardens in her mother’s honour. As the Botanics are very near our house, we set off to find it the other day, and there it is in the gallery above

Soutra Hill and Fala Moor

Soutra Aisle

This outing was also prompted by a cultural event. One of the concerts we attended at Celtic Connections back in January was Wind Resistance by Karine Polwart, a combination of spoken word and music inspired by Fala Moor and Soutra Hill close to her home in Midlothian. We wanted to go! And now we have.

Soutra Hill was once the site of an extensive medieval monastery and hospital. All that remains is the Soutra Aisle, not, as once thought, part of the monastery, but a burial vault constructed from its rubble. John Pringle, who died in 1777 aged 77 years, his wife and sons lie here.

Fala Moor is bisected by a track which, until the mid 20th century, was part of the road network. To the east lies Fala Flow Loch, and to the west the ruins of Fala Luggie Tower. We met not a soul along here, though we spied a party of workers in the distance burning off the heather. This accounts for the rather hazy quality of the photos below.

The track ends after 3.5 miles at Brothershiels Farm, where we were objects of curiosity for some of the residents. That was one lippy lamb – and I really don’t like the look of those mushrooms, or what they’re growing in!

Happy birthday, John!

It was John’s birthday in April and, as it coincided with the long Easter weekend, I booked a cottage in Dumfries and Galloway for three nights. The weather didn’t really cooperate, but we had a lovely time anyway and there will be lots of pictures shared in due course, both of this and another weekend away in Arran. In the meantime, here is John enjoying his birthday fish and chips in Wigtown.


Scotland’s Gardens Open for Charity is underway again for the summer and, on a free Sunday afternoon, we checked the programme and decided to heard for Rosneath to view Kilarden. The Rosneath Peninsula is bounded by two sea lochs, Gare Loch and Loch Long, each of which has a naval base so if you can avoid those the views are pretty. It’s also worth avoiding the thought that this is where all the UK’s nukes are stored. Scary.

This is the 25th year the owners of Kilarden have opened their garden as part of this scheme. It has lawns around the house, on one of which the Shandon Ukulele Band were providing entertainment, and ten acres of hilly woodland with a huge collection of rhododendrons.

The ruined St Modan’s Church in the village was picturesque, the current church was open for viewing and the church hall was selling very good teas. Not a bad afternoon out!

So that was my April – how was yours?


54 thoughts on “Glasgow Gallivanting: April 2017

  1. Jemima Pett May 1, 2017 / 10:56

    Mine was just as interesting, but nowhere near as picturesque! Fala Moor is amazing. Love the horse.

    One of the things my April contained was early morning bird surveys. On one of them there were new sheep in a field I normally go through unhindered. I was only hindered because they all got up and came over, hoping I had something for them! They were gorgeous… possibly Romney or Danish Landrace. Must take my camera on the second survey (or just go for a walk…)


    • Anabel Marsh May 1, 2017 / 11:31

      Good idea! Sheep normally run away (apart from our lippy lamb) so that would be interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marcia Strykowski May 1, 2017 / 11:57

    Beautiful pictures, as always. The Mad Hatter looks wonderful and I love the colorful bench and farm animals. The flowers and scenery are gorgeous, too. Happy Birthday to John!


  3. Liesbet May 1, 2017 / 13:05

    What a diverse April you had. So much to see and do and it is nice that you manage to find new things every month. Happy birthday, John! In April, we finished our house sit with Lola, flew to the East Coast of the US and immersed ourselves in doctor’s visits and family “obligations”. Oh, and we visited the Nike Missile Site near San Francisco, which housed a set of nukes during the Cold War…


  4. BeckyB May 1, 2017 / 13:56

    oh your April sounds fabulous . . .I do love your monthly roundups 🙂


  5. susan@onesmallwalk May 1, 2017 / 14:55

    I love this cascade of monthly activities. What a great patchwork display – love the photo of you and your mom 😉


  6. kethuprofumo May 1, 2017 / 15:11

    Wonderful places for two charming ladies 🙂
    Best wishes,


  7. shazza May 1, 2017 / 19:00

    Looks like a fun month! I stayed in Dumfries & Galloway too for my birthday in November. 🙂 x


  8. darwinontherocks May 1, 2017 / 20:45

    April was also full of afternoon tea for me 😀

    It looks like you had nice weather in April!


    • Anabel Marsh May 1, 2017 / 22:10

      We did sometimes! No photos of the days it rained and we didn’t go anywhere….


  9. the eternal traveller May 1, 2017 / 23:19

    Beautiful photos, Anabel. Instead of giving gifts, my sister and I take my parents out for Mothers/Fathers day. We usually have a high tea at a nice restaurant and enjoy a lovely afternoon together.


  10. Su Leslie May 2, 2017 / 00:15

    Looks like a fun month. I do love sharing in your walks.


  11. Kathleen Jennette May 2, 2017 / 02:00

    Happy Birthday John and can I have a scone pleeeeeaaaaazzzzze! They look so wonderful! So do those horses! I often wonder what the whole building looked like when I see ruins of this kind. I think that is what I love the most about seeing your travel photos… it brings me to imagine!


    • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2017 / 07:38

      Thank you! I’m afraid the scones didn’t last long……


  12. Donna May 2, 2017 / 02:49

    Our April was quite rainy…and not as photo-worthy as yours. I love the picture of you and your mum. And happy birthday to John!


    • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2017 / 07:39

      Thank you! We had some rain, but no pictures of those days.


  13. Birgit May 2, 2017 / 05:11

    You have been busy! Your mom looks great! She must have just loved going out and having tea with you. Happy belated birthday to John who seems to be quite happy despite the weather. You took some great pictures and you are busy! As you know, the Aa to Z was all month so that took up quite a bit of time and I still fell behind. I was able to sort through some drawers and cupboards in the kitchen which pleased me quite a bit. I saw a specialist for my joint pain which did not go well because she just said there wasn’t much she could do and nothing, once again, in writing. A dear friend of mine got married and I wish I could have been there to see this. I have also been busy with my best friend who is going through a horrible divorce.


    • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2017 / 07:42

      Oh dear. Your month sounds busy in not such a good way. Sorry about the Doctor 😦 I followed your A to Z and learned a lot as usual – I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again – too much of a challenge. And thanks for the good wishes.


  14. ms6282 May 2, 2017 / 07:57

    I’ll look forward to your report of your trip to Arran. Always fancied going there (and the Irish Aran islands too). Hope there weren’t too many midges around – too early in the year?


      • ms6282 May 2, 2017 / 08:39

        I guess that’s what puts me off visiting the Scottish Islands – midges and the weather!! A long way to go to be washed out or blown away. But I know that it’s beautiful up there if the weather is good.


        • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2017 / 08:46

          It’s just knowing when – the weather can be so unpredictable. I can’t remember the last time I had real trouble with midges though (maybe that just means it’s always windy).

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Green Global Trek May 2, 2017 / 10:09

    Well Annabel you outdid yourself in April! What a good month.

    I think the yarn bombed bench is terrific ~ so creative.

    The scenery is all stunning. Love the moor AND the gardens

    Happy Birthday to John ~ you throw quite a terrific celebration!!

    Is he a ( fellow) Aries?



  16. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy May 2, 2017 / 16:09

    What a great month! We had a very pleasant one – we were home for most of it, which is a rarity for us. On the plus side, things are getting done there (and May is already looking like a busy one for us!).


  17. Blue Sky Scotland May 3, 2017 / 01:31

    Thought I’d been most places in Midlothian over the years but Fala Moor is a new place for me although the name is familiar from OS maps. I think the band Franz Ferdinand used to rehearse in that factory in the early days before they hit the big time.


    • Anabel Marsh May 3, 2017 / 07:43

      That’s possible! The Halls at Maryhill where I volunteer used to host Wet Wet Wet. Occasionally fans come on a tour for that reason.


  18. RuthsArc May 3, 2017 / 09:32

    Thanks for sharing your busy month. That bench is great, full on yarn bombing!


    • Anabel Marsh May 3, 2017 / 18:02

      Isn’t he?! Disappointed we weren’t there to feed him though.


  19. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) May 3, 2017 / 18:35

    It is indeed scary to think about nukes being kept in that otherwise lovely landscape, but it looks like you had a pretty nice April! I love those photos of you and your mum enjoying your tea, and those jam crumble bars don’t look half-bad either!


    • Anabel Marsh May 3, 2017 / 20:16

      The afternoon tea was brilliant! My only consolation about the nukes (if there can be such a thing) is that we are so close we’d go up straight away in any attack and wouldn’t have to suffer the nuclear winter. Cheery soul, aren’t I?

      Liked by 1 person

  20. restlessjo May 4, 2017 / 09:21

    You do lead an interesting life, Anabel. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder to check the open gardens scheme. What with flying south to an 80th birthday party celebration and generally chasing my tail, I hardly know where April went 🙂


  21. Nas May 4, 2017 / 23:15

    April was my birthday month so it was great. I love, love, love your photos and your post!


  22. jazzfeathers May 6, 2017 / 09:25

    Anabel, you’re the photocopy of your mother, you know that? 😉
    All my best wishes to both your mother and John… although I’m afraid I’m a bit late.
    Your April looks wonderful, I can’t wait to see all your pictures.
    As for mine… well, you know what I’ve been up to 😉


    • Anabel Marsh May 6, 2017 / 09:36

      Thank you for the good wishes! I definitely take after my mother and my sister is more like my father’s family.


  23. catbird in japan June 1, 2017 / 10:49

    It sounds like you had a busy April. Happy belated Mother’s Day and Happy Birthday to John. I love the walks you lead; I especially love Soutra Aisle and the concert you attended. It sounds wonderful. I see some of your more recent posts are about Budapest. I may be going there not too long after I return home from Japan. 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh June 1, 2017 / 18:13

      Thank you! Yes, we had a wonderful week in Budapest in March. I’ve done a few posts already, and still a few more to come. We loved it – I hope you do too.


      • catbird in japan June 8, 2017 / 12:07

        I can’t wait until I’m not working so much so I can find time to read about your trip to Budapest. Mike and I are definitely planning to go in late Sept- early Oct. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Elaine - I used to be indecisive June 21, 2017 / 17:16

    My April was so long ago that I can’t remember what I did! I know I was busy because I’ve fallen very far behind with reading blogs.
    That afternoon tea looks very tasty. 🙂


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