August’s letter to the community

Hello everyone, I hope the start of August finds you all well and eager to experience the new month. If you’re still in summer/holiday mode, I hope you have a great time. I’m due to start the autumn term from next week (not sure I’m ready), but hope the weather improves and we get some summer sun and warmth in Scotland before autumn does really arrive.

July has been a month of ups and downs for me and there’s not as much to reflect on in terms of posts. Between letting my wrist recover (more or less back to normal now) and what feels like constant migraines, I’ve been stuck at home most of the month. Given my lack of activity over the past month, rather than focusing on the things I didn’t do, I’m going to look at what I’ve achieved in the past month, and what’s in store for you on my blog across the coming month. As I’ve indicated in a recent post, I’m reducing my frequency a bit, but hopefully there will still be plenty to keep us all amused.

The academic year

We start the new year (in January) with lots of reflection of the past and planning for the future. Professionally, for me and other academics, August is our fresh start, as we embark on the new academic year. We’re reflecting on the past – what worked; didn’t work; what new ideas and practices I can bring into play with my teaching practice and my new classes. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with academic reflections, but it does mark the start of a new year, and as shown above, I’ve been doing some general reflections – such as Migraine July (my new name for July given my seemingly constant migraines).

Summer reflections

I had visions of being out and about exploring Glasgow, Edinburgh and the surrounding neighbourhood but Migraine July had other ideas. The wet and cool weather throughout the month haven’t helped either. My focus is going to be on what I have achieved rather than producing a list of “failures”. I’ve stopped to listen and learn from the experience. For years, I’ve missed many events – family gatherings, weddings, meeting up with friends etc every July because of the migraines. Despite this happening year in, year out; its taken me until this year to make the connection and realise that plans for July very rarely work out. However, what did I achieve was accepting that I need to change my attitude to July and that I can’t plan as intensively as I tried this year. I need to put less pressure on myself to make the most of the holidays by cramming so much in. Just chill and go with the flow, so to speak.

July’s recap and coming in August


We headed through to see The Declaration of Arbroath while it was on display at the National Museum of Scotland. There is still another post to follow up about the more general visit to the Museum itself, which will be posted in August.

Image shows a bronze sculpture of the sky terrier, Greyfriars Bobby. Its a life-size image
Image by Stefan Baumgartner from Pixabay

After looking at Greyfriars Bobby in a previous post; I will return to share the history of Greyfriars Kirk and Kirkyard. Additionally, I also want to tell you all about one of the hotels I stayed in when in Edinburgh who have a really strong ethical set of values driving what they do, including reinvestment of all their profits into good causes.


I visited Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow and very quickly realised that there is so much to see, that I will need to come back on numerous occasions to cover everything. I’ve shared a couple of posts linked to the museum already, but over the next 4 weeks or so, we’ll find out more about the Spitfire hanging in the museum. While there, the museum displayed information about their approach to ethics, representing Glasgow’s colonial past and the impact of slavery, so I’ll be covering that at some point this month.

Image is of a Spitfire plane on display in one of the big halls of Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
Spitfire at Kelvingrove (photo by Brenda Harrison)

Now that I’ve recovered from my fall, I hope its safe for me to return to Bellahouston Park (I promise to stop moving before looking up searching for the source of any avian singing). Once I’ve done that and collected a few final photographs, its my intention to share more of this Glasgow park, looking at its history and current usage.

I’m looking forward to an August with fewer, less extreme migraines and more blogging. Hopefully more exploring too. What about you? What are your plans for the month ahead?

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  1. I can empathize in many ways with the migraines Brenda and I’m so sorry. I had monthly hormonal migraines for most of my adult life. One of the many reasons I loved being pregnant was that they went away instantly and didn’t return until I stopped breastfeeding with each child- then of course menopause and gone totally. So many things can trigger them… I hope that the months ahead are brighter for you 🙂

  2. holidays almost over… I feel for you 🤗
    it’s a wonderful attitude, Brenda… looking at the positives. I like how you chose to turn it around.
    Hope the rest of your holiday goes well and those migraines subside. 🤍🤗

  3. Sorry about migraine July but I love your response to it by figuring out the pattern and not putting too much pressure on yourself. If the migraines are going to come, at least you can not add to the bad feeling. Hope you have a lovely August.

    • Thats it, Wynne. I can’t change the Scittish summer weather, so might as well just go with the flow. Hope you have a lovely August too 😁

  4. Here’s to good health, plenty of travel and fun…and an easy start to the new academic year, B. Hugs, hugs, hugs! 🥰

  5. August is a fresh start for me as, well. As a teacher, I live by the academic calendar. Your reflections can help you stay positive and plan for the future!

  6. I love your positive response to a not so wonderful holiday. I love the new start that the new school year seems to bring, even though I haven’t been involved in the back to school rush for years. I still feel the need to buy school supplies, though! I hope the migraines disappear and that the new term is filled with new adventures and wonderful moments! 💞

  7. Sorry to hear about Migraine July. Is it the heat that causes the problems? I used to get dehydrated during long days out in the summer sunshine and it would cause the worst migraines. Glad to hear that you’re focusing on the positives and accomplishments. I’m also gearing up for the school year: lesson planning this month as well as reading a book about students’ attention and distractions in the classroom.

    • It’s changes in atmospheric pressure. Our weather this month has been worse than normal.

      I’m actually sitting catching up on marking I deferred in June because of my wrist. But the lesson planning will start soon. I also need law texts to find a new class book

  8. It’s difficult to work against your bodies limitations. A slow July might provide you greater strength in the coming months.
    Best of health going forward, Brenda.

  9. Brenda—THANK YOU for the kind act of visiting my blog, or at least liking a comment there! 😀 It’s actually September as I write this, so how’s the head-? By academics, may I assume college or university-? In a way, I miss the return to school…was a student and then taught a little bit. Still have the occasional dream about substitute teaching (mostly in not finding the lesson plans!) The upper floor balcony around the Spitfire looks a lot like Lara Croft’s place (the movie, with Angelina Jolie) before her Dad’s clock was taken. Won’t bore you with any more…but please return to my blog anytime—OH YES—may I share or reblog whatever I find here (there’s a lot of good stuff—your posts—I do see)? Best regards to you. Jonathan Caswell, poet.

    • Hello Jonathan. Thank you for your message. You’re welcome for the like – yes, visited and read. I won’t like unless I’ve read and appreciated the work. The headaches are subsiding, but the current mini-headwave isn’t helping. Yes, I’m a college lecturer, teaching management. I’m actually headed back to the Museum on Monday, so probably stop by at the spitfire. So long as you share my work with links back to my website, I’m happy for you to do that. Thank you 😁

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