Know-vember: Lovely Dundee

We’re taking a brief detour from people to get to know a city: Dundee. I haven’t been to Scotland for decades! What a delight to return. And I had never been to Dundee, so it was all a pleasant surprise to me to get to know the land of McGonagall.

The Tay gives the city its distinctive flavour and the Gulf Stream provides its unexpected warmth. And the haar! The thick fog nearly kept me from leaving Scotland (which I wouldn’t have minded at all).

Speaking of unexpected warmth 🙂 I found the locals to be very friendly: Mark, my native guide, showed me the ropes in his town and made me feel right at home.

It wouldn’t be Scotland without a tribute to Robbie Burns. The statue sits outside the McManus, Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.

And one of the attractions at the museum is the Tay Whale, who hangs over the main exhibit hall.

One of the delights of the city are all the whimsical sculptures. These penguins appear around the back of a church near a shopping centre.

What better way to honour Captain Scott, whose ship the RRS Discovery can be found docked on the Tay (more penguins there!).

But here’s an impish monkey playing with the letters on the signboard…

And here’s DC Thomson‘s famed Dundee residents, Desperate Dan and Dawg with Minnie the Minx.

The star may be the fabulous Dundee Dragon

But how wonderful is the Lion and the Unicorn clock? See it in action here.

Britannia tops a building that was once a bank; Mark showed me a Ladbrokes, too, that had been a bank and had a gloriously baroque ceiling. We were probably the only people to look up at it for some time. Everyone else had their eye on the screens and their betting forms.

And here on the same building, perhaps Abundantia, the goddess of prosperity. Given the hard times Scotland’s facing at present, more offerings should be left at her feet.

The Howff, Dundee’s beautiful city cemetery: a gorgeous and peaceful place.

I will have to take more photos here when I go back; I know my cemetery-loving pals will appreciate them. Great history.

The beauty of a chance photo. I don’t know why I like this snap so much, but I do.

This one, too: I call it “£25 Pink Moon” in honour of Nick Drake’s lovely song (although clearly it’s the sky not the moon that’s pink >_<). This was about twilight on Guy Fawkes Night. We went over to Baxter Park to catch the fireworks. A crisp clear night and quite beautiful.

Inevitably, people ask about haggis. The “Scottish” shop in the airport had piles of it. There it remains. I was not tempted. The green labels indicate “vegetarian haggis” — no, not sure what’s in it.

I wasn’t able to resist these coasters though. Pleased I already knew these words, though that’s probably mostly due to Terry (thanks again for being my chauffeur, by the way). Thanks to Mark and his boys for a warm welcome. I had a very lovely time.

It’s been a good week: I was art! And look, I had an insect named after me! Here’s Kate with Irfaan, as photographed by Ayub at the Butterfly World Project (a wonderful place that’s helping preserve those beauties). Life is good.