Neil Munro (1864 – 1930) was born in Inveraray and worked as a journalist on various Scottish newspapers. He wrote a number of historical novels but is best known for his humorous stories about the fictional Clyde puffer the Vital Spark and her captain Para Handy, written under the pen name of Hugh Foulis.
Although Neil Munro didn’t emigrate any further than Glasgow, his background (his grandmother was from a Gaelic-speaking part of the Highlands) would have given him an insight into emigration and what it felt like to be an exile. This poem is written more from the perspective of someone who stayed behind.
Are you not weary in your distant places,
Far, far from Scotland of the mist and storm,
In drowsy airs, the sun-smite on your faces,
The days so long and warm?
When all around you lie the strange fields sleeping,
The dreary woods where no fond memories roam,
Do not your sad hearts over seas come leaping
To the highlands and the lowlands of your Home?
Wild cries the Winter, loud through all our valleys
The midnights roar, the grey noons echo back;
About the scalloped coasts the eager galleys
Beat for kind harbours from horizons black:
We tread the miry roads, the rain-drenched heather,
We are the men, we battle, we endure!
God’s pity for you people in your weather
Of swooning winds, calm seas, and skies demure!
Let torrents pour then, let the great winds rally,
Snow-silence fall, or lightning blast the pine;
That light of Home shines warmly in the valley,
And, exiled son of Scotland, it is thine.
Far have you wandered over seas of longing,
And now you drowse, and now you well may weep,
When all the recollections come a-thronging
Of this old country where your fathers sleep.
They sleep, but still the hearth is warmly glowing,
While the wild Winter blusters round their land:
That light of Home, the wind so bitter blowing
Look, look and listen, do you understand?
Love, strength, and tempest-oh, come back and share them!
Here is the cottage, here the open door;
Fond are our hearts although we do not bare them,
– They’re yours, and you are ours for evermore.
River Ghosts, By: Chris Smedbakken
Chris Smedbakke web site
Gazing into the Stars
Wishing for what there could never be
“All of the stars I dedicate to thee,
the spirits of the forest and the songs of the sea”
She, the River Ghost of his long lost dreams,
singing mournful songs among the silent streams
Pale, dark eyes uplit by white moonlight beams
Beware, the fate of her is not what is seems
Frozen flowers, sunset eves
Deathcold breeze in the icy leaves
Autumn goddess surrenders and then she leaves
for Lady Frost to conquer a world that grieves
Her the River gave in to and turned to ice
Restless fay gave up a scream towards the pale blue skies
Fooled by a vision of Winter in disguise,
she lies down to final sleep in the white of her despise
He, the sun, weeps silently at her lonely grave
The lost dreams did not die with the River wave
Missing, longing for the water’s song, the happiness it gave
The sun mourned the frozen River, that its warm light could not save
I am that kind of person who would rather give you a story than an introduction. You would be hard put to find something that doesn’t inspire me. Feed me a theme and I will give you back a text, it’s almost as simple as that.
More … About Chris Smedbakke
A Poem By Margaret Tait
Did you say it’s made of waves?
Yes, that’s it.
I wonder what the waves are made of.
Oh, waves are made of waves.
Waves are what they are,
Rhythmical movement which is the inherent essence of all things.
Ultimately, there’s only movement,
The movement that light is
Comes out of the sun
And it’s so gorgeous a thing
That nothing else is ever anything unless lit by it.
At the start of April this year I promised myself that I would go and visit some Art Gallery’s and cultural museums one of these vists was to The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The museum and art gallery in located in Glasgow, Scotland. It reopened in 2006 after a three-year refurbishment and since then has been one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions.
The gallery is located on Argyle Street, in the West End of the city, on the banks of the River Kelvin (opposite the architecturally similar Kelvin Hall, which was built in matching style in the 1920s, after the previous hall had been destroyed by fire). It is adjacent to Kelvingrove Park and is situated near the main campus of the University of Glasgow on Gilmorehill.
Floating Heads Installation by Sophie Cave
Just one of the many installations the Gallery has to offer is by Artist Sophie Cave …
If you Ever had that feeling that a hundred set of eyes are watching you then Sophie Cave sculptures turn the feeling into a reality!
The Floating Heads installation located in one of the open public areas in the Gallery, literally turn your head around the moment you first see this work. Sophie Cave has created over 50 sculptures of heads, each displaying different emotions including laughter and despair. The heads are completely white, but are lit so that their expressions are accentuated, which gives the installation a somewhat eerie feel. Since the installation is hung over the foyer, it is one of the first things youwill see when they enter the museum.
Its a great installation as it truly makes you stop and look at each of the heads as they slowly move around to face your direction, I relay enjoyed this work 🙂 🙂
Kelvingrove, Art Gallery, Glasgow
The Lighthouse Museum, Scotland’s Center for Design and Architecture, is a visitor center, exhibition space and events venue situated in the heart of Glasgow, just off the Style Mile. The Lighthouse acts as a beacon for the creative industries in Scotland and promotes design and architecture through a vibrant programme of exhibitions and events.
The Museum building formerly housed the Glasgow Herald, it was the first public commission completed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and is the perfect place to begin a Mackintosh tour of Glasgow, as it has a permanent exhibition of his work.
We visited both the viewing tower and all the great exhibitions three weeks ago, it was one of the highlights of our time in this great Scottish city…..
These images show the spiral staircase that accesses the viewing tower and a view from each of the platforms at the top.
As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the world, the Clyde was dredged to allow ships to sail all the way to Glasgow, rather than stopping at Port Glasgow which had previously been the case. As well as turning Glasgow into an important port, it transformed the city from one of trade to one of manufacturing, specifically steel work and shipbuilding. As factories and shipyards sprung up, the city’s population boomed to a breaking point of over one million (almost double the current number), and one of first cities in Europe to do so.
The Clyde’s reputation and success continued until World War II, when several of the shipyards were struck by the Luftwaffe during The Blitz. This, coupled with post-war competition from other nations, saw the decline of shipbuilding in Glasgow. In present day, the only two surviving yards, Yarrow and Fairfields, are both owned and operated by BAE Systems.
However, this decade has brought with it renewed investment in the waterway and its banks, thanks to the Clyde Waterfront Regeneration project. One of the prime examples is the Glasgow Digital Media Quater located at Pacific Quay; it is new home of the television companies BBC and STV, as well as other media companies. Next door to this, directly across from the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), is the Glasgow Science Centre, IMAX Cinema AND Glasgow Tower. Further along, in the neighbouring town of Renfrew, lies the Braehead Shopping Centre and Xscape Leisure Centre, directly across from the King George V Docks. Next to the shopping centre is the newest of Glasgow’s parks, the Clyde View Park. It features statues by artist Kenny Munro, which he designed with the help and input of Renfrewshire’s schoolchildren.
Of course, a river would not be so handy if there were not bridges to cross the tremendous flowing waters. Thankfully, Glasgow has a staggering 21 bridges crossing the Clyde. These are a mixture of road, rail and footbridges that speak volumes about the history of the city, from their names and design to the type of transport they were designed for. In addition to these there is the Clyde Tunnel, which delves under the river connecting Govan with Scotstoun and Partick.
The Bridges can all be seen as part of the Clyde Heritage Trail. For more information and articles about the River Clyde and her features, please visit the Clyde Waterfront Heritage website, and also the Riverside Museum.
1. Millennium Bridge (2002)
2. Bells Bridge (1989)
3. Clyde Arc / The Squinty Bridge (2006)
4. Kingston Bridge (1970)
5. Tradeston Footbridge (2008)
6. George V Bridge (1929)
7. 2nd Caledonian Railway Bridge (1905)
8. 1st Caledonian Railway Bridge (1878)
9. Glasgow Bridge (1899)
10. South Portland Street Suspension Bridge (1853)
11. Victoria Bridge (1854)
12. The City Union Railway Bridge (1899)
13. Albert Bridge (1871)
14. Tidal Weir and Pipe Bridge (1901 (rebuilt 1949)
15. St. Andrew’s Suspension Bridge (1856)
16. King’s Bridge (1933)
17. Polmadic Bridge (1955)
18. Rutherglen Bridge (1896)
19. 1st Dalmarnock Railway Bridge (1861)
20. 2nd Dalmarnock Railway Bridge (1897)
21. Dalmarnock Bridge (1897)
We just returned from a great long weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, visiting many of the city’s great attractions. Glasgow has always been one of my most loves European cities with its great river and surrounding mountains, stunning Victorian architecture including central station and its many hotels and city blocks.
What a wonderful weekend, the weather was perfect for the two full days, blue blue sky’s and it was warm for March 🙂 🙂
It was back in 2014 that I last visited Culzean Castle on the west coast of Scotland, so I am planning another visit as soon as I can, Culzean Castle is in Ayrshire and just has to be one of the most treasured and interesting castles in Scotland.
Robert Adam was the architect and he designed the castles structure on a basic L shaped design. The structure is a fine country house and when completed it was the seat of the 10th of Cassilis ( David Kennedy ) , earldom.
The castle was built in stages between 1777 and 1792. It incorporates a large drum shaped tower, circular inside (which overlooks the sea), a grand oval staircase and a suite of well-appointed apartments.
In 1945, the Kennedy family gave the castle and its grounds to the National Trust for Scotland (thus avoiding inheritance tax). In doing so, they stipulated that the apartment at the top of the castle be given to General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower in recognition of his role as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during the Second World War. The General first visited Culzean Castle in 1946 and stayed there four times, including once while President of the United States. An Eisenhower exhibition occupies one of the rooms, with mementoes of his lifetime.
During my own days visit I took many images here as both the grounds and castle itself offer some wonderful photography, including a walked garden, cannon’s, walls, see cliffs and court yards.
If you are visiting Ayrshire , this castle has to be high on your list for a visit.
Culzean Castle , Gallery