Skye weather left something to be desired but the scenery on the island did not. It was stunning. I hope to come back again in better weather before I’m too old to hike across the amazing terrain.
I met Andrew at Glasgow Central railway station before taking the but to pick up Mark at the airport. Collecting our hire car from the charming Fraser we drove north throught the Trossachs up the shore of Loch Lomond to stay in Fort William. Despite the weather being a bit grey the scenery was breathtaking and only became more so the further north we drove.
We had tea in a cozy little pub in Fort William with served the nicest meal that I’d had in Scotland so far. We left first thing in the morning for Skye stopping off to have a quick look at Eileen Donan castle on the way. We grabbed a bite in Portree and despite the rain thought it looked very cute. We had dinner in the Staffin Community Hall restaurant surrounded by a few of the locals. We spent the night in our rented cottage in Staffin before exploring the island over the next couple of days.
After my lazy day yesterday and inspired my the Scots outside of my window who seem to just ignore the rain and do whatever they want regardless of it. Joggers sloshed by as I walked intothe city to visit the Saint Mungo museum of religious art and also to had a second look at the cathedral as they closed for the day before I could see all of it two days before.
The museum was really interesting and covered many of the religions of the world as well as religion in Scotland. The only glaring omission was the pre-Christian religion of Scotland no more than a passing mention. Very strange.
I went back into the city and found that the food fair on Sauchiehall street was on again so I had delicious Moroccan food for lunch. And it had vegetables in it. Scots seem allergic to vegetables. I miss vegetables.
I wandered about central Glasgow and found a coffee shop called The Project in a back street. The coffee was good! My day complete I meandered home taking some shots as I went and getting a bit lost in the Barrowlands as I went.
Sometimes I just feel like doing nothing. When I’m on an overseas holidays this causes a problem. I can do it only for a short while before the guilt kicks in and I feel like I have to something or I’m wasting my holiday.
After spending yesterday lazing around the flat all morning reading my book and surfing the net I could withstand the guilt no longer.
I took the train to the other side of central Glasgow to Charing Cross station and then walked to Kelvingrove House. Despite the grim grey day it was magnificent. I spent three hours looking at the amazing collection of art and artifacts. There was everything from Dutch paintings to art nouveau furniture, Egyptian antiquities to dinosaur bones. I didn’t realise home long I’d been there until the staff started announcing that it is time to leave.
The surrounding gardens are beautiful too and well used by the locals and I got to see quite a bit of them when I got lost on the way to the house. Considering the size of the place I’m not sure how I missed it.
How brilliant to wake up to my first day in Glasgow to see the sun shining brightly. I decided to spend the day wandering the city and making the most of the sun as it’s to not last.
A cup of black tea for breakfast…I was too tired to buy food last night… And I decided to walk to the Peoples’ Palace on Glasgow Green. I walked through an assortment of industrial estates and public housing but as it’s all new even ugly was interesting. In the midst of a housing estate I saw an old stone church looking very out of place amongst it all.
Not much further along my walk was a cute little square which somehow managed to survive the huge amount of development in the area. While I was taking some shots a Scot hopped out of his wee red car and came over asking if I was a local. He needed directions which he managed to get from a taxi driver who pulled up to see if I wanted a lift. It was the longest conversation which I had for the day. The ‘village square’ had the cutest little bandstand in the center.
Not much further on I came to the Glasgow Green and luckily for me the Peoples’ Palace was right there on my side of the lage park. In front of the Palace was the elaborate Doulton Fountain which depicted the main parts of the Empire on the central column.
The Peoples’ Palace is well worth a visit and I’m glad Morag’s brother Andrew suggested it. It is three floors of the recent history of Glasgow and is quite a managable size. There were some grreat exhibits on how cramped there living conditions were even up to the 1960s. This especially hit home when I realised that the Airbnb in which I’m staying with a kitchen, living/sleeping area and a small bathroom would once have been home to a family with five or more kids.
I spent the good part of the day just wandering about the city so snap happy that I forgot that I’d not even had breakfast or lunch and it was almost two o’clock. Georges square in the centre of the city was being set up for a ‘Fresher’ festival for the start of of the Uni year here.
The fitbit on my arm was reading over 28,000 steps for the day as I trudged home from picking up some Indian takeaway not long after arriving home. More than 20km of walking, no wonder I’m tired. I must be a little more restrained tomorrow.
After a gruelling flight from Australia… well, okay I slept for most of the first leg to Dubai and watched a movie, ate and had a stilted conversation with a Pakistani-Scottish woman with very limited English on the shorter second leg. Yes, because of my big sleep I’ve managed to avoid getting jet-lag yet again.
Now I’m in Glasgow, and even though the weather is grim and a little damp I’m a happy man. My Airbnb is an entire flat above an old disused shop in a terrace built of red stone. The host’s sister Evelyn welcomed me and setup the new wifi at the same time. Evelyn kindly offered suggested ideas for sightseeing, shopping and restaurants nearby. I think I’ll see how Scots do at Italian food tonight.
Tomorrow, I’ll be governed by the weather. If it’s pouring I’ll be off to the peaple’s Palace. Stay tuned.
and now … I need a shower before I go out for tea or they may not let me in.
I’m not very diligent in writing a blog, but I shan’t beat myself up over it.
Last weekend I went to the National gallery of Victoria and saw a very interesting photography exhibition by Alex Prager and it was well worth seeing.
On the way in I saw these sculptures. Modern sculpture usually leaves me cold but these entranced me. A charming woman from the gallery also kindly explained them to me which made them even more interesting.
Go to the NGV and explore. Every time I go there I discover something new and interesting. It’s one of those lovely place that you can go and relax and afterward you never feel as if you were wasting time. You’ve opened up a window in your mind and let the sun in.
Where do weekends go? Most weekends, I get to Sunday night and this question enters my mind.
I wake up on Saturday morning full of great ideas and then before long I’m distracted by little things that inexplicably takes up a large amount of time. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it were relaxing, productive or even social but it’s usually none of these things.
Finally, on Sunday evening, I made Anzac biscuits and a jar of home-made muesli just to get a sense of achievement from the day. It still didn’t take away the sense of disquiet that comes from the aimless yet rushed passing of time which marks my weekends of late.
Not that it’s all bad. I can point to nice things like breakfast with a mate, lunch with another, visiting my sister and helping her hang a picture.
In the end though, it’s perhaps a sad sign of the times that we’re expected to be super productive 100% of the time at work that this mind-set has seeped it’s way into our private lives as well.
Perhaps I should be happy and feel a little bit rebellious if I manage to waft my way through the weekend every now and then.
It’s an odd feeling when you find a treasure which was unkown to you. Torn between wanting to share the good news and wanting to keep it free of crowds, I decide that as few, if any, people read my blog, I may safely do both.
Fitzroy gardens is a not very well hidden gem. With its wide expanses of lawn and its forested glades it is part English park and part botanic gardens.
Far enough from the CBD to deter folk who despise walking but close enough for people who are up for a stroll, Fitzroy Garden will reward anyone prepared to look outside the City Circle Tram route.
Last night, overcome by boredom and not a little guilt that I’d not taken many photos of late, I set out after dark on the streets where I live. Well nearly, I went to Swan Street in Richmond. I tried out lots of different things and once again deleted more than I kept and learning more of the apparently infinite number of things that my camera can do. In the end there were lots of failures, a bit of frustration at my ineptitude but enough joy to balance it out. All in all I learnt a lot and next time I’ll be better placed to catch those elusive images. Sounds like life really.