I see thistles everywhere.
I’m just back from 5 weeks in the USA and England. Four of the 5 weeks were spent in the US, mostly in New Haven, and mostly working in Yale University’s Sterling Memorial Library, sometimes in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The Sterling is a fabulous library; it was a great place to write and research, and late afternoons, watery autumn sunlight dancing on the walls, a great place to day-dream …
On a side entrance into the library from Wall Street, there’s a door whose brass hinges—I assume they’re brass, but they could be some other metal—are fashioned in the shape of thistles. There are a fair few Scottish names attached to buildings and on plaques and signs scattered around the Yale campus so perhaps the thistle hinges stem from one of those connections?