Tag Archives: Scotland

Start of the season

Saturday 28th July 2018, 3.00pm (day 2,529)

Gretna FC, 28/7/18

It’s that 3pm Saturday feeling again. OK, I admit it, this is actually my second game of the 2018-19  season — you don’t think I went to Rhyl on the 12th just to take the air, now, did you? — but the first to be depicted on here. The balmy weather broke definitively, particularly over Gretna, which is just over the border in Scotland and was whipped all day by a very chilly wind coming straight off the Irish Sea. Under this grey blanket Gretna FC, in white, and Edinburgh University FC trot out for their first game of their seasons, in the Lowland League, all full of optimism and hope, something that 90 minutes later the students probably maintained better than their hosts, seeing as they deservedly won 3-0.

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Aberdour beach and the Firth of Forth

Monday 7th May 2018, 12.25pm (day 2,447)

Aberdour beach, 7/5/18

A glorious — and three-day — weekend continues with the chance to spend a Monday relaxing with our friends in Aberdour and exploring its stellar beaches: this one, known (erroneously) as Black Sands is particularly fine. This weekend has reminded me why I should come to Scotland more often.

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Ball girl, Raith Rovers FC

Saturday 5th May 2018, 4.35pm (day 2,445)

Ball girl, Raith, 5/5/18

The football season comes to its many and diverse ends, each club finishing in different ways with different emotions. Raith Rovers of Scottish League One have managed to blow their hopes out in the last three games, promotion hopes have disappeared and at the final whistle today all was over. It was a very melancholy place all round — club, and town (Kirkcaldy in Fife). Maybe this picture captures something of that.

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Hamilton Academicals get ready

Saturday 9th December 2017, 3.00pm (day 2,298)

Hamilton players, 9/12/17

Another stop for Joe and I in our efforts to see lots of different football competitions in one season — today was our 13th, the Scottish Premier League. Hamilton Academical have a great name and I like their red-and-white hoops. I can identify the player on the left as their captain Xavier Tomas; not sure about the other two however, but let me off — we were not even supposed to be here today, having headed for a different game entirely which was postponed as we arrived in Glasgow, hence this emergency replacement, which made all my prior research irrelevant. Accies should have won, but their failure to put the ball in the net when given clear chances to do so meant they lost 1-0 to visiting St Johnstone.

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Catching the London flight

Friday 30th June 2017, 4.25pm (day 2,136)

Aberdeen airport, 30/6/17

I have been excessively mobile during June. The trips to and from Siberia and Norway had already taken 11 flights and eight different airports, and on the last day of June I added one more flight and two airports — Aberdeen to London City. Too much… I need to reconnect with home over the next seven weeks (the next major trip being the last two weeks of August to the USA). How is Aberdeen airport? Same as other airports, except that it doesn’t seem to have been refurbished since about 1980.

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Granite City steps

Thursday 29th June 2017, 6.05pm (day 2,135)

Bridge Street steps, 29/6/17

Aberdeen is known as the Granite City and for good reason, as almost every building in the centre seems to be made of this mid-grey stone. It’s not unattractive, but on a day of foul weather like today was the effect can be to swamp you in grey. This picture was a matter of being in the right place at the right time, but yes, I could perhaps have been six inches to the right for perfect symmetry.

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Library, University of Aberdeen

Tuesday 27th June 2017, 6.25pm (day 2,133)

Duncan Rice library, 27/6/17

It’s conference season… I got up at 5am this morning and spent seven hours on a train to come north to Aberdeen, where I was two years ago at this time of year, for the same conference (i3, at the Robert Gordon University). We had our opening reception in the Sir Duncan Rice library of the University of Aberdeen, and that was an extremely impressive building, with this eight-storey high twisted atrium running up through the centre.

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Hampden Park, before kick-off

Saturday 3rd December 2016, 2.50pm (day 1,927)

Hampden Park, 3/12/16

After we visited Hampden Park last year I decided that at some point I wanted to see a match there. Football tourism, why not. Something different to do other than hang around at home on a Saturday. It is one of the world’s great football stadia and I’d never before seen a Scottish league game in my 47 years on this planet. Hampden is home to Queen’s Park FC, the oldest club in Scotland (150 years old in 2017), and the last remaining bastion of amateurism in senior British football. The crowd for their game with Brechin City was a few hundred strong, swelled by Joe and myself, and we saw the home team win 2-0 (despite Virgin Trains’ best efforts to screw up our day trip).

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Celtic Park

Friday 11th March 2016, 9.15am (day 1,660)

Celtic Park, 11/3/16

Thought I’d better do a photo of Glasgow today even though I saw nothing of it except the hotel, the room where we did the viva examination, and a restaurant for lunch. Still, the view from the second of these, being up on the 11th floor of a building at the University of Strathclyde, was a damn fine one and included this monumental structure (in both senses of the word). Celtic Park (aka Parkhead), home of Celtic FC, one of the best-supported football clubs in the world, towers above its surroundings and seems colossal even from two miles away. The ‘mist’ is, rather, steam from chimneys between it and where I stood.

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Old dressing room, Hampden Park

Saturday 22nd August 2015, 12.10pm (day 1,458)

Old dressing room, 22/8/15

Hampden Park is Scotland’s national football stadium and also home of Queen’s Park FC, currently in the fourth tier of Scottish football, a bizarre but strangely endearing arrangement surely not replicated elsewhere in world football. The stadium has been on this site since 1903 and when it was substantially rebuilt in the 1990s this old version of one dressing room was preserved as part of the Scottish Football Museum. In this room, more or less, Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt prepared before the 1960 European Cup Final, often cited as one of the best games of football ever played (7-3 to Real).

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