Occasionally book buffs will come across black and white picture books from the 19th century, usually leather bound with embossed national swirls enclosing plate photographs capturing the essence of our culture as it was seen then. A panoply of images, castles set against rocky slopes and vivid skys, steaming waterfalls emerging out of forests, swirling bandsmen performing to attentive hoards and the ubiquitous collection of emphatic stags, docile highland cattle and alert Scotty dogs.
In a curious echo the annual review of our achievements by our Arts and Culture team captured this eclectic mix. Of all our interests and pre-occupations it is the least defined, the least agreed and the least constrained. Who are we to limit the ebb and flow of opinion, judgement and inspiration.
Our pot-pourri of exploration framed by a loose adherence to the letters of the alphabet therefore spanned the full extent of the linguistic topography of our Monday Word: anatomy, bedlam - referring to some thinking we are doing in the student theatre at Edinburgh University, crow-step, diagnostics, engagement, festival, generosity, historic, instrument, juggling, Kelvinhall and Kelvingrove - our two projects transforming Glasgow’s historic exhibition hall and the river edge amphitheatre; learning, mirador, Nicholson Square, opportunity, phasing, questioning - where we developed the ideas of refurbishment based on the concepts of surgery; battery pack and implant, redesign, snowdrops -that unique floodlit night display at Cambo near St Andrews, thriving, unique, vision, wow - which is what we hope the Theatre Royal project will be for Scottish Opera, xperiment, youthful and zest - where we reminded ourselves that there is life beyond work for our team.
Nicola's Argentinean Tango and jewellery making, Andy's tennis, Nicole's rock climbing, Anne's drawings, Karen's tap dancing, Oona's golf, Andy's cycling, Isobel's screen printing, Eilidh's collection of transformed cities and Justin's cairn terrier.
Yes you've guessed it - a sort of Scotty dog.