Posted by: christinelaennec | November 9, 2013

A lovely day out

Yesterday I had a wonderful day.  I went to Dundee, which is about half-way between Glasgow and Aberdeen, to meet my dear friend T.  In Aberdeen, he and I met up at least once a week for 19 years, so I very much miss our catch-ups.  A rainbow followed the train for a while between Perth and Dundee.  At some points it was very big and vivid, following along the road beside the train, but this was the best photo I managed to get of it.  The large hoops are covered in the spring and summer, and strawberries are grown underneath.  The berries of Tayside are a real treat!

Rainbow over the berry fields of Tayside.

Rainbow over the berry fields of Tayside.

After a delicious lunch, we took a stroll down by the river.  The R.R.S. Discovery was in drydock, and there was a brave soul up in the riggings.  We didn’t pay to go inside on this visit- it’s a beautiful thing to see, and maybe I can show you another time.  T hadn’t known what both my children always remember – that the ship is meant to be haunted.  We both agreed it was amazing that it had been to the Antarctic with Captain Scott.

R.R.S. Discovery, Dundee.  November 2013.

R.R.S. Discovery, Dundee. November 2013.

We walked down the riverside and back.  The view was stunning:

The River Tay, looking towards the Tay Bridge.  Dundee, November 2013.

The River Tay, looking towards the Tay Rail Bridge. Dundee, November 2013.

On our way back, the moon looked as if it had been caught in the ship’s rigging.

Waxing moon hung in the rigging of Discovery.

Waxing moon hung in the rigging of RRS Discovery.

It was so good to see a longtime friend.  It’s not just that you care about each other’s lives and families, and that there are lots of memories that you share – for me having moved to a new city, it’s the simple fact of being known by that person that I find so soothing.  It was also nice to meet up in a different place, and make some new memories.

As I said to T, I am feeling a bit less cut in half these days.  A bit less exhausted, less shaky, less in shock.  He’s been a great help to me over the past three months: concerned about how we’re all doing, but being positive.  He’s encouraged me to look after myself as well as Michael and the Dafter, and to make new friends here.  One thing he said, à propos of a mutual acquaintance who sadly has Motor Neurone disease, really struck me.  “It just shows: you don’t know your lot in life.   You just have to count your blessings.”  Yes indeed.  Good friends and trips out are high on my list of blessings!

When I returned, the Dafter and her Dad had enjoyed some quality time together watching t.v. shows that are too scary for me (i.e. not very scary).  A good day all round, then.

I wish you all a very good weekend!



  1. So glad you got out for a lovely day in Dundee and a good visit!!! Am hoping to hide away in my closet (which is as big as the ground floor in our Airdrie house) today and get an hour or two of creativity in and hopefully some soul refreshment after the week of homeschooling.

  2. There’s nothing to revive the spirits quite like meeting up with an old chum, it sounds like a lovely day out.

  3. I’m really glad you had such a good day. And your photos of Dundee are brilliant. The one of Discovery with the moon showing is just wonderful!

  4. Beautiful photos. Your friend is right that you need to look after yourself as well as your family. It is hard, all of it. Have you been to The Yarn Cake in Glasgow yet? From all accounts it is lovely and very friendly. I’m with you on the scary programmes, I have a very very low scary threshold.

  5. What a lovely day out. So glad you took some time out for yourself. I so know what you mean about being ‘known’. i missed that very much when i came here at first. James and I recently read the sad story of Scott’s expedition. it was very interesting but such a tradgedy. xx

  6. You always have the most fabulous day trips, Christine! And I certainly agree with you – good friends (and good trips to see those good friends) are indeed a blessing. Blessings to you and your family! ❤

  7. Ah, the restorative powers of Dundee, that well-known spa destination! The pole-vaulter, as a Dundonian, will be interested to hear that. Being known is such a precious thing. I experienced this recently when I was in Moray looking after my Dad on his return from hospital. Every time I stepped outside I met several people who knew me as well as my Dad, and that was such balm to the soul. Glasgow is a friendly place – I’m sure this will build up for you.
    Recently I’ve been on a Scott/Antarctica reading theme: Sara Wheeler’s books, Cherry Apsely Garrard’s ‘The Worst Journey in the World’, ‘I May Be Some Time’ by Francis Spufford.

    With you on non-scary. I don’t do any sort of scary, including the current vogue for crime series. How people can cheerfully pay to watch a horror film beats me.

    Rainbows from trains seem to be a theme at the moment – I saw a gorgeous one on the train south from Inverness the other day (but my camera battery had died), and M texted me on Friday afternoon from the train to London to say she was looking at a perfect rainbow.

  8. Sounds like a perfect day! Great pics too! xxx

  9. I’m glad you had a nice day with an old friend. Old friends are the best – they know us so well. I’ve never been to Dundee, it looks very interesting. It was nice for your hubby and daughter to have some time together too. I’m sure you’ll soon be ‘known’ in your own area, I guess it must be difficult, a bit like starting a new job where everyone knows everyone and everything and you feel a bit left out?! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos. x

  10. It does the spirit such good to get out and connect with a dear old friend, especially when you are feeling a bit untethered from your recent move! What a nice portent the rainbow proved to be of your lovely time. With the Dafter and her Father home watching scary films, you had your own spooky sighting of the moon in the haunted ship’s rigging! Hope you have a lovely week, Christine.
    Karen x0

  11. I saw the covered hoops when I was there in May and wondered what they were. Had no idea they covered strawberries. Thanks! I enjoyed the pics.

  12. What better way to spend the day – old friends and new places – a great mix. Maybe you can repeat it soon
    Take care

  13. You inspire me to get out of the house more. It really makes everything easier.

    I laughed about the scary movies. My older kids have started asking about creepy movies (Halloween, The Saw). No thanks, I say. I watched plenty of them as a teenager and never care to watch another one.

  14. Thanks, everyone! I was heartened to find that you understand what I mean about seeing an old pal, and “being known”. Interesting also that a few folks are reading books connected to the Scott expedition. So very sad. And as for watching scary things – it’s nice that the Dafter and her Dad have something just for them.

    Heather – thanks for the laugh about your closet in the States being as big as the ground floor of your house in Scotland. I can just about imagine that!

    Stephanie – yes, I have indeed discovered the Yarn Cake and have been there a few times. The cakes are as remarkable as the selection of wool and knitting needles. A great place!

    Linda – how cool that rainbows from trains are appearing for your family as well.

    Karen – I hadn’t thought about the ghostly aspect of my own day! “Untethered” is a brilliant word for how it feels sometimes.

    Jen – glad I could clear up the mystery!

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