Schottland 1974, Teil 4 … Scotland 1974, Part 4

Ihr findet die alte deutsche Version hier (Teil 3 und 4 in einem).

Cambuslang – Loch Long – Cambuslang

[I always thought that Cambuslang was a suburb of Glasgow (sorry, Cambuslangers!), but that does not seem to be the case. It is a town in its own right, a town without townhall though, or a very large village, as the Wikipedia mentions … 😉 😀 ]

July 7, 1974 (Sunday)

The next day we want to take a closer look at Glasgow and, above all, buy books. Margaret’s neighbours Julie and Hughie, who invited us to a party in the evening, take us into town in their car. In Glasgow there is a huge covered flea market called ’The barrels’ that is open every day. We really want to go there. Otherwise we walk around more aimlessly but, in my opinion, get a pretty good picture of Glasgow.

(As you can see, I remembered the name incorrectly, the market is not called ‚The Barrels‘, but ‚The Barras‘.)
I think that this photo is from the „Visit Scotland“ website.

Back in Cambuslang we are greeted with cheers because Germany has just won the World Cup in football. ** We also have the opportunity to watch Margaret cutting hair. She didn’t learn that, but she manages to make a totally professional cut. The young man is delighted.

During our after dinner digestive walk we suddenly hear pipes and drums from somewhere. We follow the sound and come to a kind of Greek theater in miniature, where a small group of young people in tartan play music. The acoustics are excellent. „They must be students,“ says Margaret, „if they were soldiers, they would have shorter hair.“ – Some things are the same everywhere.

The evening is approaching, and with it the party and the worries about what to wear. After all, we only own jeans and t-shirts. We are not prepared for a ball. Margaret says it doesn’t matter and that everyone will understand. She lends me a very cleverly cut brown and white T-shirt from her own inventory.

When we arrive, Julie is already drunk. Besides the three of us there are Eddie, two unknown couples and Willy with his wife. We met Willy the evening before. He is at least 1.90 m tall, red-haired or better red-maned and totally tattooed on both arms. One of the pictures in his exhibition reads: “Marriage? – Never more! ” – Does he mean that he wants to stay true to his first love or that his marriage to the pretty black-haired Carol is not very happy? After all, they have a child together. That evening, however, they give each other various slaps in the face. Deary me! According to Margaret, Willy is a guy who works six months and then takes six months off. He and Carol have split up before, but moved back in together because of the child. From him we hear the first gælic sentence, or is it? Maybe it is only gælified English. In any case, he says: I’ll gang haeme noo! 😉

Hughie is continuously scuffing sandwiches with the battle cry „Feed the bear“. While dancing he lifts me up with a crazy cry, but he doesn’t even look at me and I have to think of an animal’s cry for help.

Julie pours more and more alcohol into herself, the others too, and I’m completely sober. A recent hepatitis forced me to abstain for a year. So I feast on delicious orange juice in the kitchen while Julie looks over my shoulder with a stupid giggle and asks: „Does that make you feel sexy?“ – Hughie has fallen asleep in his armchair by now, and Eddie confides to me that Julie makes him drunk on purpose, because then he falls asleep and she can get approach the other women’s husbands all the better. Margaret refers to her as ’flout’, a person who wants to get other people’s attention. Later I am told that this term is more than polite, that women like this are more likely to be called ‚cow‘. Julie would have loved to jump into bed with both men, only the wives disturb. These are very nice to look at and I don’t understand how their men can choose the unattractive, skinny Julie over their own women, even if it’s just for one round. I understand even less, why the wives seem to sympathize with Julie and sit down next to her and try to calm her down. [In my youthful righteousness I didn’t recognize true kindness.] „I am so hot tonight!“ she moans. My goodness, Sodom and Gomorrah, where did I end up here at the tender age of 19?

My best friend and I are fed up and say goodbye. Julie is currently crouching at the sideboard and wants to pull herself up at the tablecloth that is covering it. She tears everything down, records, glasses, everything lands on the floor and she half dies of laughter about it.

July 8, 1974 (Monday)

We all want to spend the last day together in a peaceful atmosphere. Margaret, the children and we are taking a bus tour through the Trossachs. We drive the route along Loch Kathrine to Loch Lomond, which I already know, but then turn left towards Campbeltown („Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky …“ [by the way, Campbeltown Loch is a bay/short fjord with connection to the Firth of Clyde, and not a lake, ahem … The link leads to a YouTube video, in which Andy Stewart relates the story behind the song, and then he sings the song itself.]).

Campbeltown and the loch, photo:

We visit a ’Weaver’s Shop’, where we get a real impression of the variety of tartan patterns for the first time. Clan-labeled ties hang on the walls and I try to memorize as many as possible. Unfortunately, some of them are so similar that I would only recognize a maximum of ten patterns at once. [Now only five.]

Of course you are welcome to buy something!

At Loch Long we (the whole tour group) have ’High Tea’, a Scottish evening meal. This includes a warm platter, fried eggs or fish with French fries or baked beans and various small cakes. In addition, white bread and jam are served. You can also drink as much tea as you want. My friend and I are paying for this because Margaret did not allow herself to be dissuaded from inviting us to the bus tour. When we go out we take three pieces of ginger cake for Janet and various bread sticks for Heather along from the next table.

It is 48 miles from Cambuslang to Loch Long. Short before Balloch, one passes through Alexandria, where Patrick worked, my Celtic beau. That is a drive to work of about 30 miles in each direction, not very close to home, I’d say.

In the evening we go to the pub for the last time to say goodbye. A friend of Pat assures me that if I leave now, it will break his heart. „C’est vrai,“ says Pat. He is a pretty boy, tall and slim with these charming Celtic colors, black hair and dark blue eyes, just like Heather and Willy’s wife Carol (and Donovan [Sir Donovan Leitch now] …). Tom and Pat take us home, and the touching farewell scene then takes place in the back yard. When we finally want to go inside, I can’t open the apartment door with the key, so Eddie, who fell through the door some time before (because drunk), has to get into his pants again to let us in. „That was a nice, peaceful day,“ says Margaret.

(To be continued)

** During all those years I haven’t noticed that this is my checkpoint for the dateline! The 7th July 1974 was the day, when Germany won the Worldcup, and it was a Sunday, I checked that too now. So all my reasoning and calculating of dates and week days in part 1 is herewith supported and found correct. 😉 🙂

Schottland 1974, Teil 3 … Scotland 1974, Part 3, Kendal – Patterdale – Glasgow

Ihr findet die alte deutsche Version hier (Teil 3 und 4 in einem).

July 2, 1974 (Tuesday)

The next day we plan to hitchhike to Loch Windermere. The weather is wonderful and we have no problems being picked up.

Windermere is a beautiful town, with clean parks, rich villas and only older, venerable buildings. Unfortunately it is also ’highly touristic’. In any case, nothing keeps us there for long. We slowly walk back, singing, dreaming and playing guitar.

Foto: Wikipedia

July 3, 1974 (Wednesday)

We spend another day in Kendal, when we actually want to look at the castle complex, but then we are too lazy and  look at it from below, from a distance.

(Kendal Castle, aerial photo by Jonathan Webb)

In the vicinity of our domicile we meet a lady who is dragging her dog for a walk, and we start a conversation with her. „You shouldn’t hitchhike,“ she says, „Men are so bad!“

[I think the other nights we slept in the youth hostel in Kendal and not with John.]

July 4, 1974 (Thursday)

We do it the following morning anyway, or let’s better say, we try! There are almost no vehicles on the road we have chosen, not to mention cars. It then starts to rain, and we both regret not having brought our parkas with us instead of the waterproof but cold oil jackets. After three hours we are close to tears. We are really well equipped!

A lovely young couple then finally takes us with them and drops us off at a parking lot after an endless and beautiful up and down hill drive in a breathtaking gorge. A bus full of college boys is parked there. They would love to take us with them, but the driver won’t allow it.

How we arrive at the youth hostel in Patterdale is not recorded. But all sources report that we are reaching it alive. Patterdale is in the heart of the Lake District. There we meet a group of Scottish girls, two Irish and two girls from ’Birmingim’. One of the Scottish girls, Janet, is waving the blue and white flag and pleading for ’Scotland the brave’ to be made the national anthem. I later play chess with her, even though I haven’t practiced it for three years or more. Still, the game ends in a stalemate after three hours and I’m very proud.

One of the few youth hostels (in comparison to earlier years) that still exists.

In the evening my best friend and I turn pale , when we set eyes on the Scottish dinner. It consists of at least five courses, with vegetables, potatoes, pastry, bread, cheese, everything your heart desires. We, on the other hand, eat our Chinese coolie meal and are happy that we don’t have to stuff our stomachs so decadently. 😉 😀

July 5, 1974 (Friday)

The next day we have to walk a long distance, but then we get a good lift with a large family from Northumberland, all red-haired, all in a good mood and chatting, typical ’Nukassel breed’!

A red-haired truck driver finally takes us as far as Glasgow, and he has to deliver his whiskey in Cambuslang, of all places, on a street parallel to Woodlands Crescent, where Margaret lives [see 1973 diary, we met her and her 2 daughters in Rowardennon and had a remarkable journey on foot over Ben Lomond to Loch Ard, it seems that I have not written anywhere that we planned to go and see her, we did, and we did 😉 ]. If that isn’t luck! No searching for buses in a strange city. In the warehouse, the driver’s cabin is immediately surrounded by the young workers and we are being talked to from two sides. Unfortunately, we only understand every tenth word. This is Glaswegian!

My best friend and I flee and drag ourselves and our luggage up the hill to Woodlands Crescent, accompanied by a happy crowd of children who imitate our slightly bent posture and accompany us to Margaret’s house. That’s a good thing, because house numbers don’t exist (the poor postmen) and the children help us with our inquiries. When my friend unpacks the guitar, they are completely delighted and cannot be moved from our side. Heather and Janet do not remember me, but Margaret is delighted and welcomes us very warmly.

This is a Google Earth photo of Cambuslang with Woodlands Crescent in the centre of the photo. It looks the same as in 1974.

In the evening we all go to the local pub to celebrate our arrival. There we also meet Eddie, Margaret’s friend, our rescuer from Loch Ard, who has put on a lot of fat since last year. In the pub, we again are immediately surrounded and meet some charming young men. It happens that we agree with two of them, Tom and Patrick, to meet again in the pub the next evening.

Glasgow, river Clyde,

July 6, 1974 (Saturday)

During the day we are invited to the grandparents‘ home with Margaret and daughters, a lovely, amiable couple. Margaret’s father knows a lot about Scotland and recommends that I read the book ’Kidnapped’ for a better understanding of the highland mentality and atmosphere. (Although this is a children’s book. I remember hearing this story by R. L. Stevenson as a series on the radio.) [There is also a follow-up book called ’Catriona’. I have read both books.] I am particularly interested in the meaning of these often recurring prefixes in place names, such as  ‚Aber‘, ‚Kin‘, ‚Drum‘ and ‚Kyle‘. For example, ’Aber’ and ’Inver’ are words for confluence, as in Aberdeen and Inverness. „And Lochaber“? I ask him. He doesn’t know this name, but thinks that two lakes should flow into each other there. One look at the map and you can see that he is right. Unfortunately I don’t remember everything he tells us, otherwise I would have been able to guess the geographic location from many Scottish places by their names. [I did a little more research. With „Lochs“ there are often places with „Kinloch …“ in the name. They’re all at one end of a Loch, not somewhere along the banks, but at one end. Then there are different places with “Drum” or “Drumna”. Most of them are located on a watercourse that either flows into a larger river or into a lake (Loch). But that’s not always the case, so I can’t be sure.]

In the evening we meet our two young men and have a good time. Patrick has a bit of a rough, gruff manner and unexpectedly twists my wrist around. I am really angry about that and he apologizes immediately. Apparently this is ’the Glasgow way of playing’. By the way, Pat works in Alexandria, which I find somewhat confusing. But then it turns out that it is a suburb of Glasgow. Later we accompany them a little further in their direction. But we notice a wild brawl from afar, apparently nothing unusual in Glasgow, and the guys send us back with kisses, which again comes very unexpectedly for me.

(To be continued)