After a few days of getting up before dawn, some early train journeys, painting the flat bathroom and having the boiler fixed for a hefty sum, it was time for a little pleasure. The sunny, warm and still Indian summer days we have been enjoying for the last few weeks are coming to an end. The sky was still blue today but the wind was strong and had blown all the fallen leaves onto the pavement.
I was heading for the National Portrait Gallery in Queen Street to see a photography exhibition documenting Scotland one year after the Referendum entitled ‘Document Scotland: The Ties That Bind’. The gallery itself is a fabulously decorated building:
The section of the exhibition that spoke most to me was Sophie Gerrard’s ‘Drawn to the land’, a series of pictures of female hill farmers in various parts of the country. Having been brought up with the children of hill sheep farmers on the Ochils and the Perthshire hills, a sheep to me will always mean a Scottish Black-faced Hill Sheep. I love the uplands and cannot believe that I have spent the last 25+ years living just above sea level. The photographs did not shy away from addressing the hard life many hill farmers have but also celebrated it and why these particular women had chosen either to stay in what is usually a male career or return to it, having moved away.
Other parts of the exhibition focussed on the links (particularly slavery) between Scotland and Jamaica and the lower levels of the Scottish Football League. I am still waiting for my camera to come back from repair and to indulge my passion again.