Friday Friends: Jerry Dwyer, Reader

I thought I would let my readers know that I am not the only blogger in the family. My older daughter started her Key of Dee blog last year. On Fridays she posts interviews with writers and readers and for this Friday she decided to interview me! This is my first reblog on Crow Canyon Journal.

Key of Dee

Happy Friday, Friends!  I interview authors, bloggers, and readers on Fridays. We are #hunanswholovebooks. Today I am delighted to share a very special interview with you: my own dear father, who instilled in me my love of reading and writing. Welcome, Dad!


1. What are you reading right now?
Restless Hearts: Walking the Camino de Santiago by Roy Uprichard

2. What did you read last?
Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer (literary fiction I found on Kindle Unlimited)

3. What do you look for in a book?
I like to research before traveling – fiction, history and travel guides. Before going to Barcelona last year I read Barcelona by Robert Hughes, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series (three books) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The South: A Novel by Colm Toibin, and Rick Steves’ Pocket Barcelona.
See # 12 below for more examples.

4. What book has most influenced you?

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MM 3-23 Dancing along the River Clyde in Glasgow

I was walking along the River Clyde in Glasgow one Sunday during our recent trip to Scotland and came across this scene. There were lots of other people walking along just like me. And some were on bikes. And some paused their walk or ride when they heard some music and danced a bit. Others like me paused to watch them dance. Then they continued on their way and so did I.


Dancing along the Clyde. Across the river is Laurieston House on Carlton Place.  John Laurie wanted to build a high-class residential area near the river during the early years of the 19th century but wealthy Glaswegians preferred to live elsewhere and Laurie’s development failed. John and his brother David lived there for awhile but that was around 200 years ago. I believe the building is mostly empty these days.

Click on the photo to see a larger version of that photo.

I walked across the South Portland Street suspension bridge and returned 10 or 15 minutes later and the music was still playing and people were still dancing but they were a completely different group of people. I guess this goes on all day! Maybe just on Sundays.

This will be my entry for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness Challenge this week. Go check out Leanne’s website to see what other photographers are doing in monochrome these days.

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Our Favorite Museum in Edinburgh

We visited the National Museum of Scotland one day during our stay in Edinburgh. Two-thirds of the museum is devoted to art, design, science, technology and the natural world outside Scotland. We chose to spend our time solely in the one-third of the space devoted to the history and archaeology of Scotland.

The National Museum of Scotland Grand Gallery.

The National Museum of Scotland Grand Gallery.

Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.


One of several Window on the World displays in the Grand Gallery.


The Large Tree Group tapestry is based on a 1975 painting by Victoria Crowe. The tapestry was produced entirely from un-dyed native wool.

We arrived in the Grand Gallery just in time for the 1pm Scotland History and Archaeology tour.


James was our guide through the galleries devoted to Scotland History and Archaeology.


Metal sculpture by Eduardo Paoloxxi in the Early People gallery is used to display Bronze Age jewelry.


Bows and arrows used by Scotland’s Early People.


Carving from the Roman times.


Vessels depicting both pagan and Christian themes date from the Roman occupation period.


Pagans and Christians had different burial customs. Viking settlers in Scotland finally converted to Christianity in the 10th century.


St Columba (521-597) was an Irishman who brought Christianity to Scotland in 563. He founded a monastery on the isle of Iona in the Inner Hebrides.


After his victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 Robert the Bruce became Robert I of Scotland.


Mary, Queen of Scots flanked by her father James V and her son James VI. Mary was imprisoned by her cousin Queen Elizabeth for 19 years and then executed. Elizabeth died without an heir and so Mary’s son became King James I of England and Ireland.


The story of Bonnie Prince Charlie whose army was slaughtered at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Charlie escaped first to the isle of Skye and then to France. About half of the Scottish folk ballads we heard during our trip to Scotland were about Charlie and the 1745-46 Jacobite Rebellion.


In 1707 Scotland and England merged to become Great Britain.


One of the largest displays we saw was the Newcomen Steam Engine. Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine in 1712.


James Watt (1736-1819) improved on Newcomen’s invention. The steam engines he and his partner Matthew Boulton produced brought on the Industrial Revolution. Watt is also credited with coining the term “horsepower.”

After touring several levels of Scotland galleries we found ourselves on the roof gazing at terrific views of the city of Edinburgh. See here for my entry for Monochrome Madness 3-21 and here for more photos of the views from the museum’s roof.


Entrance to the Tower Restaurant below the roof.

We then thought we might grab a late lunch at the museum’s Tower Restaurant but the food and the prices were a tad too ritzy for us. So we walked back down to earth and had a very nice lunch at the Elephant Cafe up the street toward the Grassmarket. I’ll have more to say about this place in my next posting.

We enjoyed our trip to the museum and are glad we took the Scotland History and Archaeology tour. If we ever return to Edinburgh we will have to go back to the museum to see Tyrannosaurus Rex and all of the other galleries we missed. And maybe this time we will have a fancy lunch at the Tower Restaurant.

Admission to the museum is free but donations are welcome.





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MM 3-22 A View from Stirling Castle

We visited Stirling Castle one day on one of our Rabbie’s bus tours out of Glasgow. This photo is one of many shots I took of the different views from the castle walls and it will be my entry for this week’s Monochrome Madness Challenge.


One of many views you come across while walking along the walls of Stirling Castle. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro to get that underexposed look that accentuates the clouds and the shadows on the walls.

Click on the photo to see a larger version of that photo.

We joined a tour of the castle (the guide talked a lot about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary, Queen of Scots) and I took several more pictures of the different views. I’ll post some of them in a few days.

This was one of Rabbie’s day-long trips. We toured Stirling Castle in the morning and then drove to Loch Lomond in the afternoon (see here for my posting on Loch Lomond). Our last stop before heading back to Glasgow was to visit the Glengoyne Whisky Distillery and sample some of Scotland’s liquid treasures.  We listened to some interesting history, viewed some beautiful scenery, and tasted some local liquid libation to the gods. What else can you ask for? Well, the service was rather poor at lunch and we had to rush to get back to our bus but it was otherwise a delightful day.

Australian photographer Leanne Cole hosts the weekly Monochrome Madness Challenge. Drop by Leanne’s website to see what other photographers from all over the world are doing in monochrome these days and to find out how you, too, can submit your entry next week.


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More Views from the Museum Roof

The National Museum of Scotland is located on Chambers Street between W College Street and King George IV Bridge. From its Roof Terrace you can obtain a terrific 360 degree view of the city of Edinburgh. This first photo is looking north to the Royal Mile and St Giles’ Cathedral.

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MM 3-21 The View from the Roof of the National Museum of Scotland

We visited the National Museum of Scotland one day during our recent trip to Edinburgh and I took this shot from the museum’s roof. It will be my entry for this week’s Monochrome Madness Challenge hosted by Leanne Cole.

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Why We Drove through Six Mile Canyon to Dayton

OK, I promised I would finish the story on why we drove from Virginia City through Six Mile Canyon to Dayton that October Day in 2007 (see my previous posting here on the Monochrome Madness Road theme). We went to Dayton because I wanted to take a picture of an old tombstone in the Dayton Cemetery.

Here’s the short story: I found the tombstone and I took the picture. Here it is:

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