I’ve briefly mentioned The Beresford Hotel before and it’ll come as no surprise to most of you that this example of Streamline Moderne is one of my favourite buildings in the city.
It was originally built a year before the outbreak of World War II (that’s 1938, history fans) to provide accommodation for visitors attending the Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park. Unusually its architect was also the owner and managing director of the hotel, something which I’m sure your boy from Grand Designs would be furious about.
During the war it became a favourite haunt of American servicemen but it went into steep decline after the war and was sold off to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in 1952 and was converted to offices.
It was sold again in 1964 to Strathclyde University who reconverted it into accommodation for their students and renamed it Baird Hall, both uses a far cry from the glamour of its original purpose.
The Beresford was converted again in 2003 to private apartments and, speaking as someone who used to live on Sauchiehall Street, they must be lovely and quiet at the weekends.
Image Sources (Row-by-row L-R):
 The Beresford Hotel shortly after opening in 1938. (Source: Glasgow City Archives)  Renovated Beresford Hotel c. 2007. The unit on the right is now a Tesco. (Source: seapigeon/Flickr)  The Beresford during its stint as the headquarters of ICI c. 1955 (Source: Partick Camera Club/RCAHMS)  Sir James Campbell in caricature. (Source: The Glasgow Story)  The Beresford shown on the left in this Miller & Lang postcard. (Source: Miller & Lang Postcard Archive)
This is the latest installment of my Heartlines AU. They might be coming a little less frequently after this chapter as I have a super busy weekend and then I’m back to work, but I will update it as regularly as I can and am happy to try and incorporate prompts if you have them. This is a short chapter and ended up in an entirely different place than I intended it to when I sat down to write it which I am blaming on the two massive Gin and Tonics I drank whilst I was writing.
Thank you everyone for all the wonderful feedback about this series so far. It really is very much appreciated. The other parts of this story can be foundhere along with my other work
He glanced over at her as the drove down the bumpy driveway. Just around the corner Claire would get her first glimpse of the house and he desperately wanted to see her face when she did. Claire, he knew, was the great love of his life,but Lallybroch was the other and his life’s work. His stomach clenched slightly. He wanted her to love it. He needed to her to at least appreciate it. And, he admitted secretly, he wanted her to feel at home here. He had never quite relinquished the dream that one day he would live here at Lallybroch, with children of his own. Only a month ago that dream seemed distant, almost a fantasy, the woman he would share it with faceless and indistinct, but now… Now he saw Claire in the kitchen, drinking tea at the big scrubbed table as she poured over her medical journals, he saw them walking hand in hand across the fields, their children running to and fro. He saw her curled up in the big chair by the fire, her belly swollen with his child, face peaceful and serene in the firelight.
They’d spent Friday and Saturday night in Inverness. They’d had dinner in the town, walked along the river bank in the rain and driven through miles of wild countryside, the top down on Claire’s turquoise porsche. It made him laugh that Claire, the most practical and level headed person he had ever met had such an impractical car. She had bought it when she first started making decent money as a surgeon and she and Frank had divorced, the only extravagance she had ever really indulged in.
“I remember seeing one when I was a teenager and I just loved it. Frank used to roll his eyes and insisted I should have something more practical. The minute we got divorced I sold my Volvo and bought this. It can be a bit draughty in December, but I love it. In fact, until the fundraiser when I spent an obscene amount on my dress and shoes in an effort to impress *you*, its pretty much the only thing I’ve ever splashed out on purely because I wanted it”
She had insisted on driving on this trip, claiming that her car deserved a run on decent roads. Jamie had laughed and acquiesced. She’s even let him drive it after she accidentally had too much to drink at a whiskey tasting.
He’d told her all about Lallybroch. How, whilst it was a profitable working farm, the upkeep of the house, an original eighteenth century building with all the maintenance costs that go with that, had proved difficult. The family came very close to selling the property to the National Trust, who at least would have maintained it, when Jamie had interceded. He had packed in his oil and gas job and invested every last penny he had saved into Lallybroch. They opened the main house to the public initially, building a small tea room and playground. Later he had added a large soft play barn, a restaurant, farm shop and converted some of the out buildings into guest accommodation. A large barn served as a wedding venue. The most recent addition was the craft brewery, which in the current enthusiasm for obscure beers had done incredibly well in a short space of time.
“We’ve made a decent profit the last two years, and set to make even more this year.”
“Jamie?” Claire asked, “If you work so hard on this, why do you live in Glasgow?”
“Ah,” he replied blushing slightly, “Weel, under normal circumstances I live in Glasgow Monday to Wednesday, seeing to the business side of things and the brewery distribution and then I’ll be at Lallybroch Thursday and Friday and then spend the weekend wherever I’m needed most. Though the last few weeks, well, I’ve found I’ve needed to be in Glasgow.” He looked at her with a sheepish grin.
“Jaaamie,” she gave him a push, you shouldn’t be neglecting your life’s work in order to snog me outside pubs on Sauchiehall Street”
“Oh, but Mo Nighean donn, it was totally worth it.”
She pulled up outside. He moved to unbuckle his seat belt but noticed that she was very still.
“Everything alright, Sassenach?” He asked, the strain apparent in his voice.
“Of course, Jamie. It’s just…” she faltered as she searched for the words she needed. “I don’t really know how to act around families. As you know, my upbringing was unconventional and there is really just me now and even when I was married to Frank, he wasn’t close with his parents and they never really approved of me so, it tended to just be the two of us.”
She looked down before inhaling with deliberation and raising to meet his eyes again.
“I know how important your family are to you. What if they hate me? I couldn’t ask or expect you to choose me”
This was the first time since their first date when she told him about Frank that she’d ever really displayed insecurity. He felt a little stab in his heart, a tender spot in the place where he kept her.
“Oh Mo Nighean donn,” I took both her hands in his body twisting to face her. She looked so vulnerable, trying to meet his eyes, breath coming not entirely steadily. “Please know this. I love my family. I love Lallybroch, I love Scotland, I love the glens and the lochs and hills. Hell, I even love the rain.” She laughed shakily and he continued. “But believe me when I say this Claire, I would choose you over all of them and not even give it a second thought. I would walk away from everything and all that I hold dear if that is what I had to do to be with you. And I wouldna regret it a bit, Claire. I wouldna think twice, wouldna hesitate. You are my heart and my soul, Claire. In the thirty eight years that I have walked this earth I have never felt as alive or full of joy as I have in the last 4 weeks. I had no idea it was possible to feel this way. To ken that you have a soulmate and that you’ve found them and they might feel the same.” He looked searchingly into her eyes, for confirmation and she leaned forward and kissed him hotly and with feeling. “Claire, oh my Claire. I didna expect the first time I said these words to be sitting in a ridiculous coloured car in the carpark of my own home, but oh Claire, please know this. I love ye. I have been in love wi ye since I spilled whiskey on ye in that awful club. And every moment I spend with ye only makes me love you more.” He exhaled strongly and dropped his head, spent with the emotion. And then he felt fear. He had no meant to say so much, to lay his heart and soul on the line with such unambiguity. His hands shook and he dragged his eyes up to meet her face as if they were made of lead.
She was looking at him. Looking at him with such a look of utter tenderness on her face that he felt his heart lift a little. She reached out and stroked a finger down his face, like she had done in the club, what felt like centuries ago, but had in fact been a little more than a month.
“Oh Jamie, my Jamie” he could hear the emotion in her voice. A single tear overflowed and ran down her cheek. He wiped it away with his thumb. “I love you, too” He leaned forward and kissed her and his world was complete.
<GREAT DESCRIPTIONS FROM 'GREAT THINKERS' - POLITICAL THEORY EDITION.>
It was not long before his [Savonarola's] regime became a threat to the corrupt Pope Alexander, whose henchmen schemed, captured and tortured him, hung and burned him in the centre of Florence. This, in Machiavelli's eyes, is what inevitably happens to nice guys in politics.
the stress of fleeing had also caused a series of mental breakdowns.
He was a hard-working student and very close to his mother. In his childhood, he was briefly kidnapped by gypsies. He had a charming smile. His study was usually very messy.
At the posh and prestigious University of Bonn, he racked up huge debts, was imprisoned for drunkenness and disturbing the peace, and got into a duel. He also wanted to become a drama critic.
On his return to England, Ruskin was struck by the contrast between the glories of Venice and the often dingy realities of Britain urban life. It's a familiar phenomenon. We too are liable to come back from the Grand Canal to Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow or Acton High Street and feel our spirits sink.
Henry David Thoreau:
He attended Harvard College in 1833 and graduated in 1837 with good marks. Yet he rejected the Ordinary career paths. He was, in short, dissatisfied with every obvious trajectory.
Matthew was a disappointment, and a puzzle, to his father. He liked to read in bed in the morning, he enjoyed strolling through woods and meadows, he was charmed by young women in Paris, he wrote poetry, he neglected his studies ... he was never quite on top of his finances.
When he was 18 Morris went to university. He didn't do much of the work he was supposed to but he had a wonderful time.
So Im planning a trip to Scotland soon and really have no idea where I would like to really visit. Since you seem to know alot about Scotland, is there anywhere you would suggest I visit? Sites to see?
i’m actually most definitely not the first person you should ask about doing touristy things in scotland as i haven’t been there yet (i’ve been to the uk, but not scotland), so instead, here’s @kazliin‘s guide to scotland:
Edinburgh (the capital) - there’s loads to do in Edinburgh including Edinburgh castle (make sure you’re there for the 1 o'clock canon), Edinburgh Zoo with the pandas and the penguin parade, Edinburgh dungeons if you like cool scary historical tours, if you’re there from the 4-28th August definitely go to the Fringe Festival because it’s full of really amazing acts and shows. There’s also lots of museums and historical things to visit like Greyfriars churchyard.
Glasgow (the biggest city) - Glasgow is full of things to do. There are lots of amazing museums like Kelvingrove, Riverside and the Science Centre and historical things like Mackintosh house and the Tall Ship. Glasgow also has a really good music scene so there are big venues like the Hydro or little famous ones like King Tuts where people like Oasis and Paramore played before they were famous. Glasgow is also the best for shopping so places like Buchanan and Sauchiehall street and good places to go. There’s also lots of weird and wonderful things to see in Glasgow like Sharmanka and there’s plenty of theatres and opera houses if you want to see plays/shows/opera etc. Glasgow is also surrounded by lots of mountains (as are lots of cities in Scotland) so there is plenty of outdoor activities and hiking to do
For other outdoor things, Scotland is very beautiful so there are lots of things like Lochs to go and visit if you want to do outdoors stuff. Loch Lomond is very pretty with lots of good walking trails and hiking opportunities around it, as places like Loch Ness (plus you can try and spot the monster). Scotland also has hundreds of castles and they are always worth going to see. Some like Doune Castle have had famous things like Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Game of Thrones filmed there and some like Eilean Donan are very beautiful and full of lots of history, especially Jacobite stuff.
Wherever you are in Scotland, there is almost guaranteed to be a castle nearby and they are always worth visiting because they usually have fun guided tours or cool things to do and see.
There are loads of other historical things in Scotland that are really fun to go to. Places like the Wallace monument in Stirling (it’s not just a monument, there are historical reenactment, costumed guided tours and things like archery), Calanais standing stones, the Antonine wall, St Andrews cathedral etc.
It all really depends on what you’re looking for, cultural, historical, outdoors or city life.
But you can pretty much guarantee whatever city you go to, if you pick up a tourist brochure at the local visitors centre there will be tons available to do.
Apart from that just remember to pack an umbrella. Because you’ll need it.
From what I’ve picked up in my research for BtDS, I know that Scotland is known for scotch (of course), and mead and fruit wines (there’s a couple interesting small wineries that specialise in those things).
Also, there’s a railroad line from Glasgow that goes up to Maillaig (which is roughly where I’ve located Torvill lol) called the West Highland line that has been rated the top rail journey in the world (even past the Trans-Siberian railway). It goes past Loch Lomond, I believe. Parts of the Hogwarts Express were filmed there, as well as in Maillaig, and also from Maillaig you can take ferries or other trains out to islands in the Hebrides, which are another set of really great locations for hiking and photography and things.
As for other cities you could visit if you’re in the Highlands and stuff, I’ve heard Inverness is pretty cool. It’s the capital of the Highlands, and there you can find Macbeth’s castle, the fields of the battle of Culloden, etc. Fort William is also on the West Highland line, and is the location of Fort Con, which is a pop culture convention! Besides that Fort William is good for hiking and outdoorsy stuff, and is also the setting for a lot of films as well (Braveheart, Harry Potter, etc)
If you’re really looking to get away, the Orkneys are a good place to do so, though I hear it gets terribly cold up there all the time. There’s some fascinating cliff structures up in the Orkneys that definitely influenced the look for Torvill, so yeah.
If you…. um. Want to go seal watching (because why not?), harbour seal pupping season in Scotland is from mid-June to roughly mid-July or August (followed by the moulting and mating seasons), and you’ll get to see tons of the cuties all over the Hebrides and Orkney and Shetland and stuff. There aren’t as many harbour seals as there are grey seals (and I know you’re not going to Ireland but bruh, Wicklow City in Ireland has their own Katsudon – look up Sammy the Seal!) but from the photos I’ve seen they’re all ridiculously cute.
When I first came to Scotland, I stayed in a small stone cottage. This cottage was only accessed over a footbridge above a small, swift brook.
The man who owned the cottage, an elderly gentleman with a long, wise grey beard who was surrounded by sheep as he bottle-fed them, told me how he distrusted the big city now, and he never went. The big city in question was Oban.
The cottage had no insulation or double glazing on the windows. The heat and electricity were only available through a coin-operated system. Since we’d come from Hawai’i, and it was February, we froze.
The nearby castle was the site of many a prank from the locals. The pub was always busy even though it seemed like nobody lived there, and ceilidhs were frequent in the town hall. The mountains huddled close to this town, and the sun only shone into the glen at high noon. This made the valley even colder.
When we waited for the bus one day, a man wearing a kilt walking an Old English bulldog passed by and said hello. We were told later on that he always dressed that way and was considered an eccentric sort of fellow. Many negative experiences followed that bus trip, and my entire first time in Scotland would color the life I would come to live there. I remember the train journey leaving that village as one of the greatest moments of relief in my life. As I watched a group of women get more and more tipsy on the bottle of champagne they had brought with them, and the train rattled its way out of the Highlands, I didn’t think I’d ever return. In the guest book of that cottage, I wrote a long, sad statement about how I never wanted to go back and my visit had broken me of any interest in the country.
Some years later, I would not only return, but come to think of Scotland as home.
Scotland has its own magic, but romanticizing a place will only disappoint you in the end. If you go to Scotland hoping for the kinds of things you have seen on television or in films, you’ll be sorely disappointed. If you allow Scotland to be what it really is, and accept it for that, you’ll soon find a kind of magic that no tartan fantasy has ever discovered.
Scotland is nights out on Sauchiehall Street with women who are more orange than white, with long bleach-blonde hair and dark roots, who wear tights instead of trousers under long sweaters and high heels even strippers won’t touch. It’s the neds in Possilpark, drowning in Buckfast and crowing with glee at any interloper. It’s Hogmanay in the islands, whisky-drunk and warm. It’s endless cups of tea and arguments about how to make it. It’s your boss buying you bottles of wine for a job well done. It’s hailing the lady on the train with her cart for an overpriced tea as you watch the countryside pass by. It’s going home on the clockwork orange with a box full of wine bottles in your lap, ready for the party.
Scotland is now. It’s today. It’s full of real people, living and breathing.
It’s not just a set-piece for tartan fantasies that have nothing to do with the real thing.
Scotland is Glasgow, and Edinburgh; Aberdeen and Dundee; Ayr and Stirling.
It’s also that little cottage in the Highlands.
Maybe one day I’ll go back, and find my entry in that book.