St. Mungo’s Museum

On Sunday I finally went for a look round St. Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art. I’ve been up to the Cathedral and Necropolis several times but never ventured into the museum itself before. However, I’m so glad I did as I found it really quite fascinating  I’m not religious at all myself but I do find the concept of religion an interesting one and I think it’s always good to learn more about other cultures and their practices etc.

The museum itself was actually a lot bigger and more comprehensive than I envisaged it to be. The ground floor is mainly made of a shop and cafe although there is a Buddhist Zen garden which overlooks the Cathedral and is surprisingly peaceful. The first floor is then split between a display of religous art and one of religious life. Both of which were really informative and full of some really interesting pieces to look at. One of the great things about St. Mungo’s is also the fact that, when I went at least, it was nice and quiet with no children running about all over the place – bliss!

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Zen Garden

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Stained Glass

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Shiva

In the temporary exhibition gallery they had a great exhibition entitled ‘Under the Gods: Stories from Soho Road’, a collection of photos showcasing the religious diversity within a three-mile stretch of Soho Road, Birmingham. This was probably my highlight of the whole museum as it was a fantastic exhibition (I enjoy photography anyway) and it was something a little different compared to the other exhibitions on offer. In the middle of the gallery there was also a display cabinet full of different religious items such as prayer flags etc that represented the religions featured in the photographs which added to the exhibition.

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Under The Gods Display

The top floor of the museum also has a great vantage point of the Catherdral and Necropolis which is well worth a look. Unfortunately the sun was no longer shining  but it was still a pretty great view.

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View from the top

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Outside of St. Mungo’s 

All in all, I’d really recommend a wee trip to St. Mungo’s – it was interesting and informative and the Cathedral Square is well worth the 10 minute stroll from the city centre.

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

Yesterday, as the sun was shining, I decided to walk up to Glasgow Green and have  a wee look round the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens. I’ve been to Glasgow Green several times but never had an opportunity to explore the attractions further so I thought I should finally give it a go.

Before I headed to the Green, I had a nice wee morning drinking Starbucks and watching the crowds pass through Buchanan Street (one of my favourite pastimes) before heading onto a vintage fair, the excellently named Gin and Teacups, that was being held in The Arches Cafe Bar. Although it was a relatively small event, I managed to grab a cute stripy dress and a pair of Rayban-esque Wayfarers which I was rather chuffed with. As you may have guessed, as soon as we get any half-decent weather I just cannot help myself from updating my summer wardrobe – very optimistic in Scotland I know!

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Beautiful Sunny Day in Glasgow

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Gin in Teapcups

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Free Promo Mug! 

After stocking up on yet more bits for my wardrobe I finally headed east to the People’s Palace. I headed into the Winter Gardens first, mainly to warm up a wee bit! Although not as impressive as Kibble Palace in the Botanic Gardens, it was still quite a striking glasshouse and a nice setting for a cafe – for once, I didn’t eat anything although I was very tempted by the cakes on display!

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Winter Gardens

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Outside People’s Palace

I then headed into the actual museum itself and, if truth be told, I was slightly disappointed by the exhibitions.  While I enjoy social history and finding out more about Glasgow there was something I just didn’t really like about the museum. It was smaller than I expected and also full of children running around and shouting which didn’t help matters at all. However, I am glad I went so I can say I’ve been and I did see and learn some interesting stuff about life in the city. Also, it was all free so I suppose I can’t complain too much really!

The Lighthouse.

I had the day off on Easter Sunday so, instead of spending all day scoffing my face with chocolate, I thought I’d head on out to The Lighthouse. For those of you that aren’t aware, The Lighthouse is part of The Mackingtosh trail and is Scotland’s national centre for Architecture and Design. The building itself has six different levels and numerous different galleries and exhibitions, including The Mackingtosh Centre (which focuses on the work of Charles Rennie Mackingtosh) and Foundation Glasgow, which is the story of the city from prehistoric times until the present day.

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Entrance to The Lighthouse

 

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One of Glasgow’s most famous exports

Although I enjoyed all the exhibitions (a lot more than I thought I would actually), my favourite part was the viewing platform at the top of The Mackingtosh Tower. Once you climb up the 135 stairs, you’re rewarded with an excellent vantage point of the whole city centre and beyond. Luckily for me, it was clear and dry which made a nice change!

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Spiral Staircase 

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View from the top

Overall, I’d recommend The Lighthouse to anyone looking for a cheap day out in the city (entry is free, although there is a £5 admission charge for Foundation) and an attraction that’s just a little bit different to all the other museums and galleries in Glasgow, due to the heavy focus on Architecture.

 Although I was at work most of the long weekend, my Easter was rounded off nicely with a wee run out to Luss, in Loch Lomond, as part of daycare with work. We had a decent spring day for once, with actual sunshine and everything, so it was good to take the ladies I support somewhere a bit different and we all enjoyed a lovely lunch overlooking the Loch. Work itself is going really well and I’m still massively enjoying my placement which is good.  Unfortunately though, even after seven months of full-time work, my poor body is still not used to all these early mornings!

Viva Glasvegas!

On Friday night, me and the rest of the team at work got all dolled up and headed to Alea Casino for Mark’s leaving do. I’d never set foot in a casino before (shocking I know!) so I was really looking forward to hitting the tables and trying my luck. As it turned out, I wisely ended up choosing to spend my money on alcohol instead of gambling but I still had a cracking night!

We started the night with a gorgeous three-course meal in the restaurant – I had deep fried Haggis Bon Bons in a whisky sauce to start, followed by pork loin and then probably one of the best Sticky Toffee Puddings I’ve ever tasted in my life. The food was absolutely delicious and was really good value at only £20 a head. Apparently the restaurant does a really good lunch menu as well so Ill definitely make a point of going back again one day.

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Haggis Bon Bons

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After dinner, we all headed into the bar and continued the evening with lots of drinking and gambling. I had a great night catching-up with everyone outside of work and by the end of the night,  the four of us who’d stayed to the end were all up dancing the night away. Somehow we managed to stay in the casino until 4am so it was a pretty late one – I was not feeling so fresh the next morning as you can imagine!

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Me, Paola and Claire

At the moment, I’m really enjoying life up in Glasgow. It suddenly feels like everything has clicked and I’m feeling positive about the next few months again which is good 🙂 Worrying to think that though tomorrow marks the start of my final five months – this year really is flying by at the moment.

The Barras.

Yesterday morning I decided to brave the gale-force winds and venture over to the east end of Glasgow so I could finally have my first experience of The Barras. For those of you that don’t know, The Barras is a famous fleas market that basically sells bric-a-brac, antiques and a selection of dodgy designer knock-offs. However, it’s also meant to be a real experience for the atmosphere and all the Glasgae ‘patter’ (or banter) that you encounter.

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Barrowlands

I had high hopes for The Barras when I arrived but, unfortunately, I found the whole experience a little disappointing. The market itself was quite sparse and it had very little of the vibrant atmosphere I’d been expecting. Also, most of the stuff was just not appealing to me and my tastes so I was unable to find a hidden gem amongst the rubbish. Admittedly, I did choose to go on a day that was freezing and extremely windy and it was relatively early when I arrived so I understand people may not have been out in their droves. Thus, I would be more than willing to go again, maybe on a Saturday afternoon when the weather is that bit nicer and warmer. It wasn’t entirely a wasted trip though as I can now say I’ve ventured to the East of the city (and survived!)

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

Last Saturday I decided it was finally time to tick off one of the attractions on my list and visit Kelvingrove Museum. It’s a building I’ve walked many times before and also wanted to visit but had never quite got round to doing so. I was first struck by just how big the building actually is and how much there is to see. The museum is divided into two sections – life and expression. Broadly speaking, expression is the art gallery element and life is the museum element. Throughout the whole building  there are actually 8,000 different objects in 22 themed galleries – unsurprisingly it took me several hours to see everything and even then, I probably missed a few things out!

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Outside

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Inside

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Sir Roger The Asian Elephant

As well as the collections themselves, there is also a cafe and shop on the lower ground floor. As I stupidly visited during lunchtime I decided to pop into the cafe for some substance to help me round the next floor of exhibitions. I opted for a Lanarkshire Blue Cheese and Broccoli Tart, served on a bed of salad with the house vinaigrette. It was beautiful and, at £4.45, was actually quite reasonably priced (always a good sign!)

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Food!

All in all, I’d really recommend Kelvingrove for a good day out. There is so much to see and do there and a real mix of collections spanning all different periods, as well as an extensive artistic collection. Plus, I hasten to add, all this is free so really you can’t go wrong either way!

St. Patrick’s Day.

Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day so to celebrate, me and Bronagh (along with Dom and Paola) decided to head to an Irish Pub in town and celebrate in traditional style – aka with lots and lot of Guinness! We headed to Waxy O’Connor’s, which is a great pub right in the centre of town. The bar itself is absolutely huge – there are three different floors, numerous bars and far too many different flights of stairs to try and navigate. In all honesty, I was getting slightly lost before I’d even finished my first drink so by the end of the night I had no clue where I was heading!

Me and Bronagh started proceedings just after 12pm and I’m pretty pleased to say we managed to last almost a whole 12 hours! As you can imagine, the next day was not very pretty at all. Note to self: do not mix Guinness with Jagerbombs, it is fowl and it will get you drunk very quickly! However, I did have an absolutely cracking day/evening. There was live music, good conversation and then, later on, there was DJ to see you through the evening so then there was lots of crazy dancing – including a few slightly embarrassing attempts at an Irish Jig! Somehow, we also managed to gain a lot of rather cool Paddy’s Day merchandise including a Waxy O’Connor’s Rugby Shirt, a Guinness Hat and a wee green St. Patrick’s Day Rosette.

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Rockin’ the Guinness Hat

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Getting into the spirit of things…

It’s been far too long since I’ve had a proper good old session in the pub and I actually really did enjoy myself. It was also a great opportunity to get to know everyone that bit more, as everyone is much more chatty once they’ve had a pint or two (or four!) Fingers crossed we’ll all be able to go out again soon, although I think I’ll definitely be giving the Guinness a miss this time.

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