Tourist Action: Scotland

i was hoping to document all of the wonderful scenes along the way, as they happened, but here we are more than a week into freedom and already, 25 days on the road!

since May 5th it all starts right here: Stirling Train Station. our hotel is just to the left of the frame and that walk way is how we get to town, about a 15 minute walk.

the Crow Tavern! ha! not sure where this is but i’m riding the rails on my way to the town of Ayr, saw that and thought hey! i should stop in there for an afternoon splash.

swanky crib in the town of Ayr. i’m on my way from the train station to the beach! sunny and beautiful but gosh darn cool out there! i’m wearing two hoodies and a toque!

there she is: the beach at the town of Ayr, and out there, the Firth of Clyde. just 20 bucks local to ride that train from the town of Stirling to Ayr, round trip, and taking about an hour one way with a stop in Glasgow to switch trains.

it was Pitlochry on Thursday, town of Ayr on Friday. great way to spend an afternoon!

town of Lenzie on Monday. saw this out the window on the way back from Ayr and thought yes, i have to get a closer look. just 14 bucks local cash for the there and back from Stirling. not a pub anywhere to be found!

Garngaber Ave, town of Lenzie, looking west. wowza! there are some mighty fine and OLD properties along this stretch of road. check out my youtube channel for a little movie of this place. super swanky cribs on either side of the road and lush!

Scottish country side blazing past the windows, i’m on my way back to Stirling.

oh my goodness lad stay just one hour when you visit the pub and chat up the locals! holy smokes… the No. 2 Baker Street pub is in Stirling, on the way from the train station to the hotel and i thought i would pull over and have an afternoon splash but once those old timers get onto you, they want to hear about it. and they want to hear that wild accent of mine! (me with an accent, ha!) and they like to buy you a drink. oh boy…

the dreamy and big skies of Scotland as seen from the Beefeater diner and bar, in Stirling. the way it is these days is you can go in for a meal but you can’t have a drink with it. if you want a splash you have to sit outside on the patio which at times, can be mighty cool! on this evening though it wasn’t bad. things are supposed to turn around on Monday, we can go into the pub for a splash instead of doing that patio thing.

back in Glasgow on Thursday, George Square. the covid cops are everywhere in this town! rode in for just 8 bucks local cash, return. thought i would enjoy some lunch but you need the mod technology for the trace to gain entry to the diners and pubs and… this old boy doesn’t have the know how with the mod tech so no lunch in Glasgow for this boy!

that kooky scene outside the Gallery of Modern Art, on Queen Street. the Duke of Wellington just can’t seem to get rid of that hat! it was on there in June 2018 and here we are again, May 2021, the dude is still sporting it!

went in for a snoop and saw a 1969 Andy Warhol soup can print! awesome!

the mega crib just outside the Waverley train station, town of Edinburgh, Friday afternoon. i just had to go back and see the Royal Mile and the castle up on the hill. the Royal Mile was a ghost town on Friday at 2 p.m. myself and a few other tourists and that’s it! they’re way more relaxed in Edinburgh compared to Glasgow when it comes to the covid cops, and for the tourist, that’s a good thing! we’re here to enjoy.

i have some fun videos of these trips and i’ll post them to my youtube channel as soon as we have better internet! took about 3 hours to upload that Pitlochry video…

more travel scenes to come! it is Saturday, day is just starting, so we’ll see what fun there is to be had.

Thursday in Pitlochry

the boss cut us some slack so i hit the rails on Thursday and went straight back to the town of Pitlochry! that was our rallying point back in 018 and i sure spent a few hours over at the Coach House playing the waiting game. also spent a few loverly afternoons at the McKay, enjoying their dining.

when we were up there in 018 i took a lot of photos but no movies! not sure what my problem was around that but anyway on Thursday i had the cameras rolling.

i also thought, when rolling out of that town in 018, i’d never see it again!

hey it was COLD up there! no b/s. i had my spring wear and man you needed your winter gear! i walked up and down the streets a few times and caught a chill. in a normal world i’d just pull into one of the little shops and warm up with something but in these times, if you want a splash, you can’t have one in the club! you have to stay on the patio! what is the world coming to? needless to say standing around in the freezing winds with a splash never made any sense to me so it was a short visit to the town of. i did have lunch at the McKay and i’ll say this: the haggis was tasting mighty gamey! the neeps and tatties were awesome but the haggis needed to be followed by something off the red wine list!

2 hours of sightseeing was all i could manage in those frosty climes so it was back on the train and rolling south. up there in Pitlochry there are some mighty high cliff faces, big trees, and big green but just south of there it turns into rolling farmlands, low hills and a lot of sheep! saw some deer, pheasants, swans (one of them was on the nest!) and a bunch of other smaller birds we don’t have in Canada. beauty scenes in all directions, a brand new landscape for this boy. i tried to film the scenes flashing past the windows but the camera kept focusing in on the window itself and not the scenes beyond! darn!

so here is a short vid i made of that fun and frosty adventure!

Wednesday in Stirling

they cut us loose and let us out on Wednesday morning and oh my goodnezz… walking out of there and into sweet freedom was a brand new experience! lovely bus ride from the Glasgow Airport Hotel to the town of Stirling, sunny and beautiful.

looking south across Forthside Way

three types of weather in one afternoon! we had a blaze of sunshine, lovely, an awesome show of clouds rolled in from the west, next thing we knew it was snowing, or hail… and then pounding down rain! all in the space of about 2 hours.

scenes along Barnton Street, Stirling

i love seeing the architecture! and of course chatting it up with the locals (of all ages!)

at the corner of Murray Pl and King Street

so where is everybody? the empty streets of Stirling! wow. this virus scare is everywhere!

and so that evening after a three hour walk about we returned to the hotel patio and settled in for a nightcap. next to us were two lovely Scottish gals, 18 and 21, blond and full of spirit. we got to chatting with them and yes, it was not easy to follow what they were saying and so the younger one said to the older, stop speaking that, you have to speak english or they won’t understand us! what was that language they were speaking? the Gaelic of Scottish?

it was lovely sounding and they were lovely! silly me, how come i didn’t get some pictures? and i’ve said this before, these gals up here are TOUGH! it was a balmy 2 C yesterday and i saw them out there with their mini skirts, fishnets and clodhoppers, cruising past where i was sitting: No. 2 Baker Street.

now we are well aware of the history around this town! at some point we’re going to take a walk over that famous bridge and take a good look around.

here is a short video of those awesome clouds! (and just 2 short hours into FREEDOM!)

Day 6 behind the Wire

in their books we’re on day 5 of being locked up but in my books we’re on day 6. they don’t count the day we arrived and let me tell you we arrived here first thing on Saturday. and so it is life behind the wire, locked up! i haven’t seen any of the boys since i got here. i get out for my 15 minutes and haven’t seen anyone! i snapped this one this morning at around 630. we have the parking lot and that’s it!

turns out that is the M8 up there. the south view windows at the hotel look out onto that so i’m very happy i have the north view which is the airport and the mighty hills of Scotland out beyond that. plus i have a tree outside my window and…

so yeah. we’re in here. and we’re not getting out till mid next week! which leaves plenty of time to get busy with this:

it would be very cool if we could find a brand new print of this on our desk the Monday morning after we get back. a horror story… rechecked while in lock down…

(so get going lad! (oh yes: over here, i forget that it is us Canadians who have the heavy duty accent!))

Sunday morning at Glasgow

truth is we’re at the hotel out at the airport and we’re under lock down for ten full days! i’m tucked away in a room where all you’ll hear is a knock at the door for breakfast, lunch and dinner. we ain’t going anywhere and there’s a security guard down by the elevator to make sure of that! so we put our jungle training to the test.

one last look at Toronto, Ontario, Canada!

like i said, the plane was nearly empty! once we got the all clear i took off for a window seat. as you know i don’t fly too often so when i do, i want to enjoy the view! i was also very happy to have all that room! the last time we we’re over this way we were packed in like sardines, flights to and from. on this one it seemed like it was just me and that drop dead gorgeous KLM stewardess with the super sexy accent. (i’m like Jamie Lee Curtis in a Fish Called Wanda, when i hear exotica… that does it for me… )

flying over the North Sea

that’s the back of the seat ahead of me: i’m one of those folks who never watches TV but this show, every now and again, was worth a look. 158 of 3800 miles to go! nice flight! no one around so you could stretch your legs! and all those place names, so many things to see. maybe one day we can go there together!

there she is, town of Ifs

i used the view selection on the journey log and zoomed into this section. we’re not going to Caen but as soon as i saw it on the map i zoomed in and up came the town of Ifs. now if you know my blog here on WP, you’ll know how the town of Ifs fits into the story.

switching planes at Schipol, 9 a.m. Saturday

those are some wild high jinx that go on inside the airport these days with the covid thing causing such a fuss. like everyone else in the world, i look forward to when things get back to normal. one way to get along is to stay cool! after the big snit inside the airport we headed out for a look at the selection of planes and got busy with the rest of the journey.

the view on Sunday morning

and so here we are, rise and shine on Sunday morning, dug in. it would’ve been super aces if we had the freedom to toss our luggage aside and head out to the local for a refreshing snort of whatever they have on the taps but none of that is happening for the next ten days. not sure if you can read that blue sign over there but it says Glasgow Airport, and let me tell you it is NOT a hive of activity over there.

St. Andrews Drive in Glasgow, Sunday morning

okay if that’s the deal, it is what it is. we’re here to stay for ten days. the last of the big snits for me was the power converter for the local electricity, i forgot mine at home! duh! the lads at the front desk fixed me up so we’re back online.

and so what are we going to do, locked up for ten days?

there is this project! the very last of the edits which i could never get to while in O Town, is on board this computer and we’ll see to them over the next 24 hours.

the famous “first run”

she’s filled to the brim with errors! and i will admit i am to blame for three of them! we’re here with time on our hands and so we’ll make something of it. on the plus side, i can flip that novel open to any page, start with the reading and be entertained! it IS one WEIRD horror story! and i keep telling them: this thing would go a hundred million if we turned it into a movie! (hopefully the right ears will come along)

Last Week, Chapter 3 of Sun

here is a little taste of the work in progress. hopefully, when this thing gets back from the printers and is squeaky clean and error free, we can put it to bed and go onto the next thing which is tentatively titled: Fighting In Hell…

okay so it is 9 a.m. local time, which means it’s time to go to work. we have today and we’re very thankful for it. GO!

Saturday morning in Amsterdam

6 a.m., 3800 miles later!

that flight was awesome! me and Joe got on board and found the plane empty! except for a few indians up near the front end, the back end was empty! Joe opened up the 4 seats in the middle and created a little bunk and that’s the last i saw of him.

i’m more of a “plenty of time for sleeping in the grave” type so i got me a window seat and watched the Atlantic Ocean roll past!

we’re here now, 6 a.m., bar isn’t open until 7 a.m. for us Canadians, the time is 1 a.m. still time for a splash before we jungle on out to Glasgow and whatever they have for us over there.

more to come!

At Pearson International, Friday afternoon

holy smokes! try getting into this joint in a hurry… no chance. the obstacle course i had to muggle through to get this far… sheesh! it sure takes the fun out of going out on this type of road. anyway, we’re here now, in the KLM special lounge where you have to pay a little extra but man it is worth it. especially after the loony toons going on out there in the general issue service area.

the view on Friday, 3 p.m.

that isn’t our bird out there, me thinks they’re going to wheel in a jumbo at some point as we are going overseas tonight at 5. and what goes on over there, well the boss wants us to keep it quiet about who, what, where, when, and whysville so i can’t give you any details. not that i know anything anyway, about what is going on. all i know is i got this far and its nice to have a special place set aside where you can switch it to glide.

looks like a nice night for flying! clear blue skies and let’s hope and pray those pilots are sober when the get behind the controls.

ah but these are fun adventures. when i was out there waiting for Joe, at the Departures drop off, i saw this indian walking past and he said hey man! turns out it was one of the boys from Wiki! so it seems like the gang is getting back together!

there is a small hawk right outside the window: hanging on the wind…

did i tell you about that dream i had about the cougar?

twinravens ART on the street!

in Unionville, Ontario on the morning of April 10, 2021. nice work! and big!

and back in November of 2020, in the town of Vanier, Ontario. also very cool!

it would be super cool to get this on a huge billboard somewhere! (anywhere!)

and this one too! of course if these were on billboards i’d have to pull over and taken another look!

a little memory lane while we’re at it, music by James Cohen. artwork by Mark Seabrook. most of these pieces are away in private collections.

bottom line is this: we need to keep working!

Coming Soon!

here is the top half of the promo the folks at the Lunar Lanterns in Unionville have in Now Magazine. cool.

those paintings are some of my fave “Mukwa” pictures, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20″, in private collections except for the blue one at bottom right/left. (i had to keep that one!)

so it’s up there in Unionville, at the Varley Art Gallery, happening in April. i hope to see it myself, up close!

starting to get there… photo of the artist by the Great Terry H., photographer/teacher. that’s yours truly out there on the Manitou River, late in July 2020, deep in Indian Country while the pandemic goes on.

yes… starting to get there indeed…

Bear Moon and Family Stories…

Nice work by the good folks at Lunarfest!