Glasgow Gallivanting: August 2017

Union Canal, Falkirk

With just coming back from Canada at the end of July, John having two business trips during the month (to Singapore and China) and replacing all the windows in our house, August has not seen us travel very far – at least, not together. Perhaps the most unusual thing we did was going to a play, The Resurrection, which took place on the banks of the Union Canal, including inside the Falkirk Tunnel. Based on the infamous Burke and Hare murders in 1827/8 it was quite scary in parts!

In the 1820s, there was a lucrative trade in selling cadavers to Edinburgh University (for use in the study of anatomy) which produced a spate of grave-robbing leading to the term “resurrection men”. Strictly speaking, the title of the play is a misnomer as Burke and Hare cut out the necessity for “resurrection” by murdering the victims themselves. Four actors met us in turn as we walked along the canal and through the tunnel on which Burke and Hare had been labourers. Below, you can see Margaret Logue, landlady of the lodgings in which the murders took place, and William Burke himself.

It was impossible to take photographs inside the tunnel, but if you are interested, this very short video shows how spooky it was. It was very different to any other event we have been too, and really enjoyable. I’m just glad I wasn’t the person right at the front when Mr Burke suddenly appeared as we exited the tunnel. The first woman out screamed blue murder!

Dinosaurs in the park

Jurassic Kingdom has come to Glasgow! This collection of animated dinosaurs has been touring the country and is currently in our Botanic Gardens. Over a week or so, we watched the models develop from a collection of body parts into rather impressive life-sized models. Once the event opened they were screened off for paying customers only, but we could still hear them ROARRR!

Blogging friendships

Donna at Retirement_Reflections has been hosting guest posts over the summer through which I’ve met some interesting new friends. On August 20th it was my turn. Thanks, Donna, for hosting me. Everyone else – I definitely recommend a visit to Donna’s blog. She and her husband have just finished hiking the Camino Trail which makes my walks look like mere ambles.

Another recommendation is Sarah at The Old Shelter who recently tagged me for the #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop. Thank you Sarah but, honestly, my first post is really not worth the effort! Three lines saying little more than that I’d started a travel blog (though it does have quite a cool picture of me at the Grand Canyon). Nobody visited. Nobody cared. If anyone cares to visit now (here), they’d probably double the page views. Just saying…..

The last bit

In which I occasionally teach you some Scottish words and phrases. Today: reek, meaning smell or smoke. Burke and Hare lived in Edinburgh, the old town of which was so dirty that it was nicknamed Auld Reekie (Old Smoky / Smelly) – but reek can also be used in a phrase wishing someone a long and healthy life. Literally meaning “long may your chimney smoke”, I finish by saying to all my readers:

Lang may yer lum reek!

I hope your August was great too. See you in September!

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The Ideal Hut Show

The Ideal Hut Show has reached Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens! A selection of architects, artists and designers from Scotland and abroad have transformed standard garden sheds for this exhibition, which is touring Scotland as part of the Festival of Architecture. I loved it! Especially as the weather has been so good lately: it’s been fun to wander through the huts. Do you have a favourite?

This has got me thinking about “Festival Glasgow”. In the first 6 months of this year, as well as the Festival of Architecture, we’ve been to events for Celtic Connections (music), Aye Write (books), the Storytelling Festival, Glasgow International (art), the West End Festival and Refugee Festival Scotland.

Some highlights – NB these are mostly phone photos, sometimes from quite a distance away, so they don’t really bear enlarging:

Here’s Frazey Ford (ex-Be Good Tanyas) supported by Ola Onabule at the ABC – this was our favourite gig of Celtic Connections (the emphasis mostly being on Connections rather than Celtic.) We were right at the front which had the added advantage, for an all-standing gig, of being able to lean against the crowd-barrier. The musicians at the Royal Concert Hall (centre) were a little stiff though ūüėČ

I’d never been to a Storytelling Festival before. It surprised me by having music and images as well as spoken word.

I visited a number of small exhibitions during Glasgow International. Below is a 16th century commonplace book which formed the centrepiece of Speaking Volumes at Glasgow Women’s Library, a couple of colourful rooms at the David Dale Gallery, Semi-gloss, Semi-permeable in the gloriously light space of the Albus, and back to the Botanic Gardens where some sculptures by Aaron Angell nestled amongst the plants in the hothouse.

Finally, the West End Festival is still in full swing. Last Sunday we caught this colourful Lion Dance in a street near our home.

Glasgow is a really fun place to live, so the moral of my story is, there’s never a bad time to visit – there’s always something on!

January: Winter Gardens

People's Palace and Winter Gardens
People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, Glasgow

The picture above has appeared on this blog before, but I’m recycling it for Jude’s new Garden Challenge. Her theme for January is Winter Gardens – head to her blog the earth laughs in flowers¬†to see her own entry, and check the comments for others.

What I haven’t shown you before¬†are these photos¬†of the¬†inside of the Winter Gardens, two of which were taken from the balcony on the top floor of the People’s Palace. It’s very green and more spacious than it looks. I’ve been to a conference reception in the paths and clearings amongst the plants, and the caf√© area – which just creeps into one shot – can be hired for weddings, graduation dinners and so on.

If it’s colour you’re after, head west to the Botanic Gardens where the hothouses are a delight in any season. Reds everywhere at Christmas! Disclosure: I’m far too impatient to take photos like these. All credit to John.

Or how about this? Between Christmas and New Year we had a short break at the Forest Hills Hotel near Kinlochard, which has beautiful grounds and gardens. When we arrived, it was dark and festively lit.

And it was lovely in a different way by day.

We had some rather damp walks when we were at Kinlochard – more on them to follow tomorrow.

Electric Gardens 2

Kibble Palace
Kibble Palace

For the second winter,¬†Glasgow’s West End Festival is putting on its Electric Gardens light show in the Botanics. We headed along on Friday evening¬†and braved the cold to wander around for an hour or so. We enjoyed watching the fire-dancers.

Then it was on past the glass-houses – one of my favourite sights this time and last. They look as if they are on fire.

Glasshouses
Glass-houses

Then wandering in amongst the spookily lit trees and plants:

Finally, we watched the Kibble Palace change colour several times before heading off for some food and drink to warm us up.

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Electric Gardens is running until 6th December. Follow the link for ticket information.

Electric Gardens

Kibble Palace
Kibble Palace

Take a walk round Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens as you’ve never seen them before. Electric Gardens is the West End Festival’s first winter venture and it’s on till 15th February (follow the link to find out how to get tickets). The walk takes about 45 minutes.

Enter by the gates next to the Kibble Palace (above) then follow the lights round to the hothouses.

Pass eerily lit trees and go through the Rose Garden.

Marvel at the Disco Ball as it changes colour.

Shout into a microphone and see your voice represented – in this picture, it looks to me as if the house behind is screaming. Just round the corner, a spooky row of dresses blows in the breeze.

View the hothouses again from the other side of the gardens.

Before leaving, go inside the Kibble Palace. The statues look quite different, almost scary, with the lights from outside shining through the glass.

When you’ve finished, take a final view from outside the railings then head off for one of Byres Road’s many caf√©s or restaurants for a warming cup of tea.

I have added this post to Restless Jo’s Monday Walks. It’s a great idea, check it out!

Scottish Snapshots: Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Scottish Snapshots is a series of short posts about places I visited in 2013 but didn’t write about at the time

Wandering round¬†Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens is something of a Boxing Day tradition for us – see also 2011’s entry. You can spend ages without getting wet in the Kibble Palace and the hothouses. The former has great statuary as well as greenery and splashes of colour:

The hothouses are more colourful overall:

We live very near these gardens and I’m able to walk through them most days.

Glasgow’s West End Festival Parade

Glasgow’s West End Festival is celebrating its 18th this year – happy coming of age! Almost every year, there has been a magnificent parade but I have to admit to being a fair weather friend. Given the usual Scottish summer weather, the last time I went was probably about 2005! However, Sunday was, as they say, scorchio, and the local weather report was definitely “taps aff”, so off we went. We couldn’t see much at the beginning (Botanic Gardens), but by wending our way through the back streets we arrived at the end point in Kelvingrove Park in time to get a really good view. This is a small selection of many photos, and I’ve found several other blogs with loads more. I recommend clicking on all of these!

In a bun dance

Lynne Rickards author

Through the Lens of a Girl

westendreport.com

Glasgow Orchid Fair

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This weekend sees the 15th Glasgow Orchid Fair which takes place in the Kibble Palace (above) at the Botanic Gardens. We visited this morning, and it’s on again tomorrow if you want to see it (entrance is free). Dealers from all over the country come to sell their wares but, as we don’t have a good record when it comes to green fingers, we just looked and took photographs:

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The Botanics themselves looked very colourful too with the Spring planting:

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Afterwards, we had lunch in Oran Mor, the bar / restaurant / concert venue at the top of Byres Road. The burgers (both veggie and non-veggie) are recommended. We were joined for beers (their own brew) by a friend from Edinburgh, Lynn Corrigan, who was over from Edinburgh to see the orchids too. Although Lynn is a librarian, we work in different fields and I might never have met her if not for Twitter. Never let it be said that virtual social networks get in the way of “real-life” ones. In my view they expand the potential for meeting new people. As they say on Twitter – #win!

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

There’s not much open in Glasgow on Boxing Day, so we spent a happy hour or so wandering through the Kibble Palace and hothouses at Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

Kibble Palace:

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Hothouses, including Orchid House:

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We then had a great lunch in Oran Mor, a converted church diagonally opposite the gardens which is now a pub / restaurant / venue. Three huge haddock and chips for the omnivores and a melt-in-your mouth stuffed aubergine for the veggie (me). The entrance looks very festive at the moment:

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