Glasgow Gallivanting: September 2017

Forth Bridge View

Let’s start with the highlight! That has to be our trip to the top of the Forth Bridge, part of a charity event in aid of Barnardo’s. Here we are 361 feet above the Firth of Forth. In case of doubt, we are holding hands romantically, not clinging on to the rail for safety 😉

We had booked the sunset slot, hoping for colourful skies, but it had been a cloudy day so they didn’t materialise. However, we still got great views both on the ground and from the top. There are now three bridges crossing the Forth from South Queensferry to North Queensferry (where the event took place), each from a different century – full history on the Forth Bridges website, but here’s the potted version. Until the Forth Bridge opened to trains in 1890, the only crossing was by ferry. In 1964, a road bridge was added, but by the 21st century it was proving inadequate for the volume of traffic passing over it. This year, the new Queensferry Crossing has opened with the original road bridge now reserved for pedestrians, cyclists and, eventually, public transport. Unlike many public infrastructure projects, the new bridge actually came in under budget (by £245m). Well done Scottish Government!

We arrived early to look round the village of North Queensferry and admire all the bridges.

Then it was time to don our hard-hats before riding the shoogly hoist to the top of the North Cantilever. The hoist was a tight squeeze, but the viewing platform was surprisingly large and we had about 20 minutes to wander about and take photographs. Several trains passed underneath us, each producing another little shoogle.

Then it was back down to earth, and dinner in one of the local hotels before getting the train back to Glasgow – across the Forth Bridge of course!

Doors Open Days

For the week of 11th-17th September, many institutions in Glasgow which would not normally be open to the public threw wide their doors for tours and events. I took part at two venues myself – on Wednesday, I was part of a Glasgow Women’s Library event on the hidden histories of women and how we can uncover them through, for example, heritage walks and a databases of monuments and memorials. On Saturday, I led a canal walk at Maryhill (and totally forgot to take any photographs).

Sunday was our day for exploring, so I booked a back-stage tour of the Citizen’s Theatre for the morning. Our guide, Martin, was fabulous and gave us a bit of history before taking us behind the scenes. Originally opened in 1878, what became “The Citz” is the second oldest operational theatre in the UK (Leeds Grand opened 6 weeks earlier). Once we got out of the 1990 foyer this certainly showed, and I can understand why the theatre is closing next summer for two years of much-needed redevelopment. It’s what I would call a bit of a guddle.

However, the Citz will not dispose of its historical artefacts. It has the most complete working Victorian theatre machinery in the UK, and is the only theatre in Scotland still to have its original machinery under the stage. We got to visit that – and also stand on stage looking out to the auditorium.

Another piece of history is the original Victorian paint frame which is still used today to paint backcloths.

The Christmas production of Cinderella is coming up, and we saw a huge clock in preparation, which presumably will chime midnight at the appropriate time.

Designs for Cinderella were also in evidence in the costume department. I somehow don’t think any of these shoes will be suitable to play the glass slipper!

After lunch, we visited St Columba’s Gaelic Church, and Scottish Opera’s HQ. This was of interest less for its current role than for its origins (1907) as the home of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, as illustrated in the splendid stained glass by Stephen Adam.

I really appreciate the work of the hundreds of volunteers across the city who make these days such a success every year.

Blogging news

A new badge has appeared in my sidebar! I was very pleased to be included in a list of Top 30 International Retirement Blogs 2017 by Maxwell Salo of WeLoveCostaRica.com – thank you so much! I haven’t had time to explore the other 27 yet, but I did spot two friends, Donna of Retirement_Reflections and Debbie of Deb’s World. If you don’t know them too, why not visit?

I also joined in with Ishita of Italophilia and her #ItalophiliaPostcards project. Exchange a postcard with her and share the results on social media. Ishita’s card of Vienna has arrived here, but my card of Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens seems to have got lost somewhere on its way. Maybe it will have arrived by next month’s roundup….

Family news

I’m sad to say that one of my uncles, Ian McKay, died in September, just short of his 89th birthday. Ian was married to Elspeth, one of my Dad’s three younger sisters, and although they settled in Brisbane before I was born I still had opportunities to get to know them on their visits back to Scotland. It was Elspeth who looked after Dad and me when Mum was in hospital having my baby sister and it was Ian who taught me to swim. The last time I saw them in person was on our only visit (so far) to Australia, in 2004 when this picture was taken. Ian will be missed.

On a much happier note, John has been presented with the prestigious Chengdu Jinsha Friendship Award for “foreign experts” in recognition of his role in the development of the relationship between the University of Glasgow and the University of Electronic Science and Technology China in the city of Chengdu. As you usually see him wearing walking gear (and now a hard-hat) you might not recognise him in this smartly turned out gentleman. Doesn’t he scrub up well? More info on the University of Glasgow news page if you are interested.

The last bit

And finally, on to Scottish words of the month! I’ve used three that might not be totally familiar. If you’re puzzling over Firth of Forth, it means the mouth of the River Forth. (Firth is pronounced the same but spelled differently from furth meaning outside, e.g. outside Scotland would be “furth of Scotland”.)

The shoogly lift and bridge were shaking, but I think shoogle is a much more evocative word than shake. The Glasgow Subway makes extensive use of it in its advertising. It is also used in the phrase “yer jaiket’s on a shoogly nail” meaning “your jacket is hanging on a loose peg”, i.e. you could be out on your ear at any time.

Earlier, I described backstage at The Citz as a bit of a guddle, which is my favourite word to describe a mess of impressive proportions. It’s also possible to guddle about, which I quite enjoy doing, or to find yourself in a bit of a guddle, or a confusing situation where you don’t quite know what to do. I enjoy that less.

Of course, guddle rhymes with puddle – plenty of those here at the moment, where the weather is getting colder and wetter and the nights are fair drawing in, as my Grandad used to say. Who can believe we’re into the last quarter of the year already?

Let’s see what October brings.

Advertisements

96 thoughts on “Glasgow Gallivanting: September 2017

  1. Elaine - I used to be indecisive November 13, 2017 / 20:30

    I’m a bit late catching up with this! How marvellous to visit the bridge like that – it must have been amazing. Also amazing is the backstage tour of the Citz – a theatre I visited in the dim and distant past. And finally – the words! Shoogle and guddle are two of the best words – I really must try and use them more often. 🙂

    Like

  2. rosemaylily2014 November 12, 2017 / 05:26

    So sorry for your loss Anabel – always a sad time. On a happier note great pictures of you at the top of the Forth Bridge and congratulations on your retirement blog accolade! 🙂

    Like

  3. lisadorenfest November 9, 2017 / 02:24

    Sorry to hear about your Uncle Ian, such incredibly somber news. But I was thrilled to hear that congratulations are in order for both you and John. Delighted that you’ve been recognized for being the awesome blogger that you are. And John receiving the Chengdu Jinsha Friendship Award is an incredible tribute to his work. You two are a dynamic duo…and still romantically holding hands!
    Love, love, love the pictures with the one from the North Cantilever of the train passing under the Forth Rail Bridge being my favorite. Wow!!!

    Like

  4. Heyjude November 6, 2017 / 13:01

    You certainly don’t lead a quiet life do you? Well done both of you for your rewards! Well deserved I am sure.

    Like

  5. anotherday2paradise October 28, 2017 / 17:12

    Great set of photos, Anabel. I love those beautiful stained glass windows. Condolences on the passing of your Uncle Ian. I haven’t had an uncle for many a year.

    Like

  6. cassam101 October 18, 2017 / 09:46

    What a busy time you’ve had gallivanting. My friend abseiled off that bridge on Sunday for charity. I think going up on the shoogly lift would be enough for me. Congratulations to hubby and yes he scrubs up well.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 18, 2017 / 10:48

      I saw some pictures on Twitter from the abseil. Brave friend! I definitely could not have done that.

      Like

  7. dunelight October 15, 2017 / 22:57

    I am sorry for your loss, such things are the most difficult part of growing older.

    How did the charity/bridge thing work? I think in America we have too many lawyers, it would never happen but I would so love to be on top of a magnificent structure like that.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 15, 2017 / 23:37

      Thanks.
      We just saw it advertised and bought tickets, nothing special required. We had a health and safety briefing at the beginning (don’t jump off in essence) and there were staff there from the company which maintains the bridge. They operated the lift and were around on the platform so I felt it was all very safe and nothing to worry the lawyers!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. claudiabookwright October 9, 2017 / 21:00

    Each bridge the latest and greatest of its century! I’m glad you an John went to the top. My stomach goes a bit shoogly just looking at the pictures from there.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 9, 2017 / 22:13

      Yes, it’s interesting to have 3 bridges so close together and all from different centuries. Sorry to give you a shoogly stomach!

      Like

  9. cometravelwithme2017 October 9, 2017 / 17:03

    Visiting Glasgow in February and I love how detailed your post was! Bridges look amazing

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh October 9, 2017 / 17:18

      Fantastic! My blog is full of info about Glasgow so please have a look and feel free to ask questions.

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s