The Kelpies are a new Andy Scott installation at the Helix Park on the Forth and Clyde Canal between Falkirk and Grangemouth, where canal boats can enter or exit the Carron Sea Lock, sculptures that have attracted worldwide interest and acclaim. This was my first visit, apart from shooting past on the nearby M9, so I decided to take my bike. Like a lot of "Honeypot" media hyped events it was very popular but three large car parks soak up the visitor numbers. The Kelpies are an amazing sight for first time visitors and any additional new car parks with a network of walking and bike trails in Scotland are always a bonus. Both Falkirk and Grangemouth have many tourist attractions which can now be linked by bike and it was this I was intending to explore. My heart will always belong to Arria though. My favourite A.S. sculpture now for years...
http://www.its-called-cumbernauld.com/angel-of-the-nauld.shtml Full history and reason for her name here.
At this point I turned back around as I was entering Falkirk and heading in the direction of 14th century tourist destination Callendar House, and the Roman built Antonine Wall which I had already explored on previous posts. Although tracks led in numerous directions the River Carron exerted a mighty pull on my curiosity magnet so I turned around and headed back into the elephant swallowing swamps of Stenhousemuir and Downtown Larbert. Mostly terra incognita for me ( and most casual visitors I'd imagine.)
I had an uncle and aunt who lived near Falkirk and offered to take me as a boy to see the works on an unofficial tour, while they were still open.(1960s at a guess) Shame I've waited until this time for a visit but I still enjoyed vague half memories of certain nearby areas.
A great song from a local singer. The soaring vocals of Elizabeth Fraser and band the Cocteau Twins who all came from Grangemouth... A beautiful and very under rated Peter Jackson film, much better story and plot than the over hyped King Kong or the Hobbit. Great music throughout and no dwarfs or elves in sight. Saoirse Ronan has since gone on to be one of the most sought after young actresses in Hollywood with Hanna, The Way Back, and Byzantium an interesting and eclectic mix of parts. Song to the Siren is also an under rated classic that's been covered by many different artists over the years.
Cocteau Twins info here. Was she the first mainstream artist to deliberately "sing in tongues" and be noticed for it? Dead can dance formed in 1981 a few years after the twins and REM formed in 1980 as well. Two bands who also seemed to use "glossolalia " at times although certain religious groups have practiced it for centuries. Not an important thing to know but it's the little things that bother me the most. This particular song has conventional lyrics though.