Scotland

Once again, my trail has brought me to Glasgow to see Mum. The hiking boots and the rucksack went south and I came north. Just a Virgin train and the No 4 bus from Central Station and I'm quickly back in another world. I had said that I would come and visit again now, but my arrival is always a surprise these days, a pleasant one I believe....

I call Glasgow every evening. It’s just the same when I’m at home, the evening call to Mum. But, somehow, when I’m in London I don’t think of it as the Blighty Nightly. Well, when you’re actually in Blighty you don’t think of it as Blighty, do you? And, in any case, it’s completely inappropriate for a call to Glasgow - too far north of Blighty's border. But the word has connotations that seem just right for the situation. Here, the call has a lot more intensity. Here, I approach it with a palpably greater sense of foreboding – there’s...

It's cold, 4 below in fact, clear, sunny and still. The kind of day when Glasgow winks at you in a knowing way - knowing it's looking its best. The sandstone of the West End, red and gold, just sparkles in the sunlight, its big, bonny buildings braced for admirers. I'm sitting in the cafe of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – gets its name from the 1st Baron of Kelvin, Glasgow University physicist who got his hot and cold sorted out in some thermodynamic sort of way. St Mungo (why not Kelvin, I ask myself) sits at the entrance...