The first is of the Bennie Museum – museum of Bathgate’s history and life hoiused in a traditinal cottage:-
The second is a blue plaque to James ‘Paraffin’ Young, creator of West Lothian’s oil shale industry. (I’ve always found the rust-brown bings left behind by the shale mining in that county to be a strangely attractive feature of the landscape):-
The same day we went to The Kelpies (see the two posts immediately previous to this) we also visited the Falkirk Wheel which is a rotating boat lift linking the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, built using Millenium Fund money. (See Wikipedia’s article here.)
Boat coming down:-
Boat leaving lift:-
Other boat ascending:-
At the quayside were these maquettes of The Kelpies:-
On the path to the Kelpies (see previous post) we saw a family of swans on the other side of the canal. A dog was being walked and had to be wary of the adults.
Closer to the Kelpies a more exotic bird was being exercised. It turned out a man took his parrot there every day. It could fly about a bit on the end of a line. I caught it below when it was on the ground.
Parrot on a stick. Well, on a lead:-
On the walk back to the car the swans had moved over to the near side of the canal and settled down by the side of the path. A wide berth was given and warnings shouted to kids on bikes not to get close:-
I’m obviously not the only one who gets nerdy about this sort of thing.
There was a review by Sam Leitch in Saturday’s Guardian of the book Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation by David Crystal. A review which I enjoyed immensely.
I particularly liked the two sentences, “The big four – comma, semicolon, colon and full stop – were for a long time, and insanely, regarded as precise measurements of a pause: a full stop was worth four commas. The book’s full of this sort of curio: interesting on first encounter; illuminating on investigation,” in which Leitch has deployed those marks with great care. The paragraph on Wordsworth and Humphry Davy and the possible punctuation of the parenthesis it coontained was also a delight.
And then there was the bit on defunct and obscure marks:- the asterism, (⁂); the dinkus (***) and the fleuron (stylised forms of flowers or leaves); the austere pilcrow (¶) and the honourable diple (>); the breve (or háček, in which it pleasingly appears) (˘) and the manicule (a pointing hand); or the caret (^).
I’ll not go so far as to read the book itself though. I’ve too much else on.
Val Doonican was always determinedly old-fashioned and was probably more famous for Irish novelty songs, wearing woolly jumpers and singing while reclining in a chair than for ruffling the charts but he had a good crooner’s voice and five top ten hits between 1964 and 1967.
Doonican’s biggest was What Would I Be – a no 2 – and his cover of Bob Lind’s Elusive Butterfly reached No 5 in the UK charts – as, curiously, did Lind’s own version.
Val Doonican: Elusive Butterfly
Michael Valentine “Val” Doonican: 3/2/1927 – 1/7/2015. So it goes.