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Drymen, Stirlingshire

Drymen (pronounced ‘drimmin’) is a village in Stirlingshire, Scotland.

Main road through the village.

Road Through Drymen, Stirling District

The village is now bypassed so there’s not too much traffic but you have to go through it to access the road to the east side of Loch Lomond and the foot of Ben Lomond.

Shop and War Memorial. The War Memorial is behind the road signs.

Shop and War Memorial, Drymen

Drymen War Memorial. From southeast. A simple cross above a column on a rectangular base. Great War names:-

Drymen War Memorial

Drymen War Memorial. Dedication reads, “The Great War 1914-1918. On this Memorial are inscribed the names of the men of this parish who at the call of King and country left all taht was dear to them endured hardship faced danger and finally passed out of the sight of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice giving up their own lives that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that their names be not forgotten.”

Dedication, Drymen War Memorial

From north. Dedication and WW2 panel to left. Nearest panel contains Great War names:-

War Memorial, Drymen

Art Decoish Extension, Drymen. Thirties style at any rate. Banded contrasting painting, flat roof.

Art Decoish Extension, Drymen

The Bonniest Companie by Kathleen Jamie

Picador, 2015, 70 p including 1p Notes and Acknowledgements.

The Bonniest Companie cover

This, Jamie’s latest book of poetry, won the Saltire Society Book of the Year Award for 2016.

There are 47 poems here of which only two stretch over 1 page in length. Most take the form, if not the formal structure, of a sonnet, though Soledades has eight lines of what look like prose before opening out in its last three lines. Some are very short indeed. The last, Gale, has only 16 syllables, shorter than a haiku. The longest, Another You, bears out the potency of cheap music, the titular deer in The Hinds are “the bonniest companie”. Ben Lomond refers to the bonny banks in a poem which, like the song containing those lines, is about death and remembrance. 23/9/14 is an injunction to gird up again after the Scottish Independence Referendum. High Water compares ocean tides to an adulterous affair, Scotland’s Splendour scopes out the delights of memories from a book stumbled on in a charity shop, Wings Over Scotland is a litany of the recorded deaths of birds of prey on various landed estates, taken – verbatim it would seem – from the original reports.

The language Jamie uses goes from standard English to various degrees of Scots depending on the poem. Migratory II, (eftir Hölderlin) is the most uncompromisingly Scottish. The prevalence of poems about animals or landscape places Jamie’s poetry firmly within the tradition of Scottish literature.

Pedant’s corner:- midgies (I know Scottish spelling is a moveable feast but midges, please,) “one less left” (“one fewer” sounds more natural to me.)

Grasmere and Windermere, Cumbria

You could be forgiven for thinking I had gone to the Lake District and not visited any lakes, but of course I did.

En route to Cockermouth we passed Bassenthwaite Lake which is large but flat looking if you know what I mean.

We passed Thirlmere, a pretty enough lake but nothing spectacular, in order to visit Grasmere, lake and village, where we sampled the “famous Grasmere gingerbread.”

We also climbed up to Allan Bank, a house which William Wordsworth once rented.

Allan Bank, Grasmere

From the left hand side of the house as seen above I took three photos of the lake and village, stitched into the one below.

Grasmere

The lake itself is little more than a puddle but the village is a delightful wee place.

Then onwards, up and over from the A591 to the A592 a very steep ascent giving me the opportunity to photograph Lake Windermere. Again a stitch (of two this time.)

Lake Windermere

We then kept on up the A592 travelling almost the full length of Ullswater – which is impressive, if not quite as magnificent as most Scottish fresh-water lochs. Particularly appealing were the tourist pleasure boats plying the lake, reminding me of the Loch Lomond of my youth and a trip to Loch Katrine about 12 years ago. It was raining by that time though and we didn’t stop. Perhaps next time.

Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage 21: Loch Lomond Hotel

I took my photos of this over a year ago and have only just got around to posting them.

Loch Lomond Hotel, Balloch

The Loch Lomond Hotel is in the village of Balloch which as its name suggests is at the foot of Loch Lomond. The loch is only five or so minutes from the hotel.

Balloch and Loch Lomond are only a few miles from Dumbarton.

This one shows the doorway with its nice rounded portico but the windows have been mucked about with.

Loch Lomond Hotel, Balloch, Doorway.

These two old postcards show how it used to look. It seems once (in the 1960s, judging by the cars) to have had a pointed pediment above the doorway.

Old postcard of Loch Lomond Hotel 1
Old postcard of Loch Lomond Hotel 2

Edited to add:- some more of my photos of the hotel are on my flickr.

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