Kugelhopf Train Christmas


IMG_3455Here’s a merry Christmas Kugelhopf cake!

If you look closely, there’s an engine pulling its carriages through the snowy forest around the bottom of the cake.

A very fine piece of engineering. Delicious, too. (Thanks Becky.)



A sailor’s pocket handkerchief

pockethandkerchiefEarly for the train, Central Belt Shuffler spends a little time shopping before buying a ticket. This is to be a particularly pleasing journey for a work meeting, given it is Monday, and the train is heading the opposite direction from the office. Somehow (late winter snuffles? early spring hay fever?) a handkerchief, adorned with clouds, soaring birds and a vaguely nautical stripe, becomes a necessary purchase.

As we step off the train, to await the ferry over to Kilcreggan, the weather is living up to the promise of the handkerchief: bright, blustery, spring-like. The clouds race in over the Clyde and onwards to Glasgow, from sun to rain and back again in minutes. The quick trip over the river to the peninsula carries us to a different world, yet one eminently commutable from Glasgow.

On the return journey, as we disembark the ferry to catch the train back to the city, a rainbow appears. It almost spans the river, signalling gold on the other side.

Shuffle Adventurously

photo (3)Many of us return to work tomorrow (apologies to those of you who have already, or have been working through the festive period to keep us safe, well and well-stocked of crucial Christmas goods). It’s never the most cheerful day of the year.

Central Belt Shuffler spent Christmas resting up south of the border in Kendal. Kendal is home to the fascinating Quaker Tapestry. Each panel was designed and created by different groups round the world, depicting aspects of Quaker history and philosophy.

One panel celebrates ‘Quaker Enterprise and the Early Railways’, and is decorated with wagons passing over a bridge, a stream rushing down below. Another, with a fully-rigged ship, encourages us to ‘Live Adventurously’, while advocating one of the key tenets of the Quakers: pacifism.

MoreFreedomAnother – Central Belt Shuffler’s favourite – depicts a long-skirted woman on a bike. ‘More Freedom,’ reads the legend. (Quakers were quick to the cause of women’s rights, anti-slavery and gay rights.)

These motifs of travel and tolerance, and a life lived adventurously, with freedom and equality, are good ones to take into the new year shuffle.

Not Shuffling but Coasting

Central Belt CoasterSome days are work-from-home days. No shuffling (or outdoor shoes) required.

But Central Belt Shuffler likes a little reminder of the daily commute, and so has a set of Central Belt Coasters for morning coffee and afternoon tea.

Old maps repurposed as vintage Central Belt Shuffling merchandise, by Rosie’s Retro Styling (whose Etsy page unfortunately no longer seems to be working).

Served with shortbread, of course.

Reading and Shuffling

Big notches on the Central BeltWhen not observing (or interacting) with fellow passengers, Central Belt Shuffler is often reading, or sometimes observing other people reading.

Indeed, one of the reasons to travel on the train is to read. Reading and travelling go together; hand and glove.

So it was appropriate to fall upon a review of this future read, after only a few days of starting to record the centralbeltshuffle: Robert Crawford’s On Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Willy Maley’s THE review, ‘Big Notches on the Central Belt’, begins by commenting, ‘This is a fascinating book, if in some ways a peculiar one…’

Fascinating and peculiar. Surely one for the centralbeltshuffle reading list.