Archive for the ‘museum’ Category

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Barcelona!

May 17, 2017

Oh my God! What can I say about Barcelona that would do this city any justice? It’s an amazing place with the most stunning architecture…I’ve included some pictures of a tiny fraction of the buildings above, but there are far bigger, better and stunning buildings in this city. We just didn’t have the time to see them all.

How we got there…the ship docked in the early hours that Friday morning at Barcelona’s port. We took a taxi to the airport, dumped our suitcases with Left Luggage (because we were flying home later that day) and then took a bus from the airport to the Plaza Espanya near the city centre.  Look how amazing this square is…

And here’s what else is near there…

It’s the Museum of Catalunya. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go and see it. Instead we headed down a wide tree filled street (stopping at a really nice wee pizza place for lunch first) to find the Sagrada Familia (pictured at the start of this post) which is something I’ve always wanted to see. The place was hoaching with tourists, but it was well worth having a look at…the cathedral is truly inspiring and amazing to look at. Every nook and cranny is filled with exquisitely carved modern art. As you can see from the cranes, the building is still not finished more than 100 years after it was first begun. I loved it.

After that we headed for the city’s beach area which my mother assured us wasn’t that far to walk. It took us about an hour with a stop off for some drinks because the weather was so hot. Because it was Good Friday, there was a right festival atmosphere about the city and the place was jumping with locals and tourists. There were a range of street stalls and myself and the kids spent the rest of our holiday money on bits and pieces to take home – I bought two lovely fans painted in a modern style. I was really hot on holiday, but I knew I’d use them again back home…being a right Northerner, I get hot in muggy weather and stuffy offices, so the fans will come in handy. Plus we do get the odd hot day in Scotland. There are also some cheeky folk who would point out that I am a lady of a certain age who is hurtling towards 50 and therefore menopause, but as I am still only 25 (in my head) and will be forever, this will never happen!

Anyway, after the beach we walked up the packed Ramblas. It was uncomfortably busy, but didn’t put me off the city…in fact I’d love to return there for a long weekend at some point in the near future. We caught a bus at the Placa de Catalunya to get back to the airport in time for dinner and then our flight home. We only had a few hours in Barcelona, but I loved it. Verdict on Barcelona: fab. Will definitely go back. Only issue: I had the song ‘Barcelona’ by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe ringing through my head the entire time I was there and every time I think of the word ‘Barcelona’. It’s a great song, but really annoying if you can’t get it out of your head!

Anyway, that’s the holiday. We arrived back home around midnight that night and it was great being back in Scotland, but I really loved the holiday. We all loved the holiday.

Right, so back to real life. This week is the first full week I’ve had since leaving work and it’s already Wednesday and I don’t know where my time is going? Okay so this week, I have walked the dogs every day (and got soaked on Monday), I have had lunch with a friend (down at Ardardan today) and visited my father-in-law yesterday who is very old and frail. On Monday morning I also went to a pilates class with another friend. These events took up a few hours each day, so that’s my excuse for not achieving a huge amount over the last three days. The big news is that I have gone back to writing my book for adults…the one I started last year. I can’t say it’s been easy getting back into the swing of things, but I have written up my workplan and I intend to stick to it.

The rest of the week will be spent doing the bits and pieces around the house that need doing and assembling my new bike. I have great plans to take the kids out cycling more over the summer. There are some great routes around here plus I have a cycle carrier which we can use for further afield.

Over to books and I am currently reading: Caroline Moorhead’s ‘Martha Gellhorn: A Life’, which is a great read. On holiday, I got through several books:

The first three were fantastic. You cannot beat a Pratchett for humour and a good read, and Joanna’s books are just so funny and a great beach/poolside read. I had hoped to enjoy McIlvanney’s book more because he so revered as a writer, but it was alright. I doubt I’d read it again.

Right, I think I will finish up here and say adieu until next time! See you then.

Dawn xxx

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We went to the Burrell Collection today

October 12, 2015

It’s got fabulous full rooms…

 

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…and ancient ceramics…

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…tapestries…

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…embroideries…

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…costume…

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…carvings… (this is Mary Magdalene, it’s German and I loved the soft expression on her face)

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…carpets…

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There’s was millions of more things to see and take photos of including paintings, glassware, jewellery and tonnes of other stuff!! I just didn’t have enough time to do it all!

We went there because the boy is doing Ancient Egypt as his topic in school and wanted to see the Egyptian collection at the Burrell. So we drove over this morning and spent a happy hour wandering around and enjoying the museum. He came back with a little sarcophagus with a mini mummy inside…

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…and she got a parasol…

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En route home we drove through the westend and saw a beautiful gold dome in the distance. So we went exploring…

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…and came across the new Sikh temple at Finnieston. You can see a wee tiny bit of the large gold dome on the top left of the picture. It’s a gorgeous building. It doesn’t appear to be open yet, but I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pics.

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Right, am off. Til next time!

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Minions and Museums – doing family stuff this week

July 2, 2015

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The weather has been pretty good recently and there’s been some really nice skies. It’s been warm and the kids have been out playing and having a great time.

Because it’s the holidays (I have another week off work…yippee!) and we’re not going anywhere, we’re trying to take the kids on wee day trips here and there. Hubby still isn’t up to full strength, so it has to be somewhere near-ish and something he can do without walking too far. This week we went to see the new Minion movie at Clydebank. The kids loved it, we thought it was pretty average. In fact, it’s safe to say I doubt I’ll ever watch it again. Then we went to Frankie & Benny’s for lunch. Was nice to go out as a family again after months of poor hubby being so ill.

We had a few days at home and today we ventured into Glasgow to the Kelvingrove Art Galleries and Museum in the westend. I have loved this place since I was a kid and hope my kids love it too.

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I took the camera, so here’s a wee selection of what you can see inside the museum…

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I found it odd seeing this armour with guns as I thought armoured soldiers just had swords and spears, but apparently there were guns around in 1610 when the armour and the guns were made and folk were still wearing armour. You learn something new every day!

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You can’t go to a Glasgow museum without having some sort of Rennie Mackintosh influence!

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The heads (or heids as they say here in Glasgow). I love these.

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I just love the costumes. I wish there were more on display.  I wish there was a museum of costume in Glasgow – there was one in the Borders, I don’t know if  it’s still there – and I’d go all the time. The work on this dress is stunning.

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Couldn’t go by Robert Louis Stevenson without taking a quick pic.

Not sure where we’ll go next week. The boy wants to go back to Vikingar! in Largs – I’ve never been but I’d like to go. Ho hum! Decisions, decisions.

Right, am off. Dinner is nearly ready and I’ve got plans to do stuff tonight (yes including writing!). Til next time!

Dawn xxx

 

 

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Escaping to Perthshire and enjoying the peace

February 8, 2015

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We escaped from the madhouse this weekend by taking a two night stayover at Crieff Hydro in Perthshire. We’ve been before – I’ve spoken about it before in this blog – but we’ve always taken the kids. This time round, however, hubby and I decided to leave the kids with their grandparents and go ourselves. It was great. We had a lovely relaxing time. We didn’t make use of the spa or the sporting opportunities the hotel offers, which are many and very good, but we just went with the flow about what we wanted to do.

We arrived late afternoon on Friday and after we’d settled in we had dinner, a few glasses of wine and went to see The Other Woman in the hotel’s small cinema. The film starred Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton. It’s a film where Cameron’s character Carly, a successful lawyer, discovers her boyfriend (played by the oh so handsome Nikokaj Coster-Waldau from Game of Thrones) is actually married. Anyway, the wife (Kate King, played by Leslie Mann) finds out and in her despair befriends Carly. They then find out he’s also seeing a much younger and bustier Amber (played by Kate Upton). They tell her and together the three decide to get their own back. It’s quite an enjoyable film, but predictable. Good for a Friday night film watching stint (minus the kids). Don Johnston plays Carly’s dad and Nicki Minaj is Lydia Carly’s secretary. I’d give it a seven out of ten. Anyway, it was good going to the flicks.

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The next day, we decided to get out our cameras and go photo hunting up the Knock which is the hill behind the Hydro. We really knocked it off with the weather. It was one of those sunny, frosty, gorgeous winter mornings that you read about in novels. Added to that is the loveliness of the scenery and it literally was breathtaking.

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We had a lovely morning exploring and snapping and having a good  old laugh. We must have been out a good two hours traipsing about the hillside and returned just before lunchtime. We spent a little time in our room before venturing out. Hubby wanted to take shots of the Deil’s Cauldron, a waterfall at nearby Comrie. I didn’t go with him, but waited in the car (I was knackered from the walk earlier!!). We had a late lunch at a nice little café in Comrie before returning to the hotel.

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Chilling out time!! We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling out and taking it easy. We had a few glasses of wine before dinner and then went to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (can you tell we love going to the movies?). It was okay. It’s not my favourite type of film anyway (although I have seen the original film and tv series!). Good cast and excellent special effects. It too was predictable. It’s also quite violent. Six out of ten.

 

Anyone for golf? Don't fancy trying to hit a hole in one from here.

Anyone for golf? Don’t fancy trying to hit a hole in one from here.

Anyway, it’s top marks to Crieff Hydro for an excellent time. The room was lovely (and really big), the food was great, there was lots to do and the staff couldn’t be more helpful.

Minus 100 to the medical students who were holding their Midway Ball at the hotel and kept us up and awake a good bit of the night on Friday and Saturday night with their shouting and crying and carrying on somewhere below our third floor room (yes we were up that high and could hear them) . I don’t know where they were doing it from but we could hear every word, every expletive and every sob from them, the drunken bums. It honestly sounded like they were in the room next door to us, but they were outside. I am assuming it was them – it sounded like the group that invaded the piano bar the first night we were there. Anyway, whoever it was…I don’t appreciate being kept up til 2.30am listening to your childishness.

Phew that felt good!

Anyway, we still managed to enjoy ourselves. We feel all rested.  The kids also had a good time as my parents took them to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayr. They loved it and want to go back. We’ll take them in the summer I think. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Oh, and if you ever go there yourself, mind and pick up this book on Burns’ life…it was beautifully illustrated by my friend Mandy Sinclair.

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We picked the kids up at lunchtime today. I really missed them, but I think they had such a good time with their granny and grampa that they didn’t give us a thought!! We got lots of kisses and hugs from them though, which was lovely.

Can’t believe that’s us been and come back already. Sigh. Anyway, I must get on. Got a whole pile of washing to do (except the kids’ clothes – thanks Mum for doing that). Til next time!

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jack Vettriano and a reading challenge

January 16, 2014
Image by Polish photographer Jacek Plackiewicz.

Image by Polish photographer Jacek Plackiewicz.

Morning!! Am writing this before I drop the kids off at school. It’s not raining outside – for once – and it looks like it’s going to be a really nice day. Am meeting my parents at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow today to go and see the Jack Vettriano exhibition. I love his work, so am really looking forward to it. Will let you know how that goes in another blog.

So how have you been? This week: hubby is still unwell with some really nasty bug, poor thing has had to take time off work and has lost a fair bit of weight. Am hoping he’s now on the mend. My daughter resumed her art lessons last weekend at Glasgow School of Art. They do regular lessons for kids and we signed her up because she loves drawing. She blows hot and cold for it, so am not sure if we’ll sign her up for more after the summer…we’ll see. The boy is just the boy and doing good.

News from me: finished the first draft of the first chapter of my sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. Have also started planning a new children’s book that I’ve had mulling about my head for the last few years. I’ve been cutting out sugar and wheat over the last few weeks in an attempt to lose some weight, but it’s had the added effect of making me feel more energetic. Am trying to channel this into doing more writing…so it’s all good. Haven’t really missed sugar that much, but I have had the odd craving for a wee bit of bread or some pasta. It’s a two week thing which finished yesterday and I’ve lost four pounds, which is great. However, am determined to lose more so am going to try and stick to that way of eating…I will have the odd bit of sugar or wheat, but I won’t go back to eating chocolate bars as a snack or as much bread as I used to. Been making my own muesli for breakfast in the morning instead of having toast and am really enjoying it.

Signed up to do a reading challenge at work. I have to read six books in this year, which won’t be a challenge at all to me so the librarian suggested I try to read something I normally wouldn’t read. I draw the line at reading about sports, but a friend recommended a book called Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Classes and I have Long Walk to Freedom to read too, so that’s a start. The friend was also talking about poetry, so am maybe going to see if I can read a poetry book too. Will keep you posted as to how I do. Am currently reading Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon having ditched Terry Prachett (for a teensy while) in its favour. And yes it’s the next part of the Outlander series.

Oh is that the time? I need to go. Got to get the offspring (and my neighbour’s daughter who we give a lift to) to school. Then it’s Jack Vettriano time!!!

Til next time!
Dawn xxx

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A Christmas Concert at Kelvingrove

December 22, 2013

We went to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Galleries today to get all ‘Christmassy-ed’ up. Dumbarton Concert Band were playing Christmas songs and the museum was full of sounds and people enjoying those sounds. It was good. Unfortunately, our kids are not good at standing listening to the band, so we spent about five minutes watching and the rest of the time touring around the art gallery and museum looking at displays. Afterwards, we went to Partick, well it was actually probably Broomhill, where we had lunch at the New York Café. Excellent food. Hubby and I had the chilli bowl with cheesy fries and it was excellent. It’s not often I say that. Would definitely go back there again. The kids had a kids’ portion of burger and fries and hotdog and fries respectively…and both looked nice. It’s nearly 5pm and I am still pretty full from lunch.

Here are a few images from the day…

Dumbarton Concert Band in full swing!

Dumbarton Concert Band in full swing!

Me - pic taken by the boy....hence the odd 'from below' shot. He's still only little.

Me – pic taken by the boy….hence the odd ‘from below’ shot. He’s still only little.

The Spitfire...one of my favourite displays and aircraft.

The Spitfire…one of my favourite displays and aircraft.

An 18th century pelisse...beautiful.

An 18th century pelisse…beautiful.

Kelvingrove's Craft Café members made loads of lovely papier mache teacups and saucers plus this giant teapot.

Kelvingrove’s Craft Café members made loads of lovely papier mache teacups and saucers plus this giant teapot.

Beautiful China on display in the Rennie Mackintosh room.

Beautiful China on display in the Rennie Mackintosh room.

I just loved these...also from the Rennie Mackintosh room.

I just loved these…also from the Rennie Mackintosh room.

Breathtakingly beautiful and all hand stitched!

Breathtakingly beautiful and all hand stitched!

Details of the dress.

Details of the dress.

I loved this one too.

I loved this one too.

Gorgeous embroidery.

Gorgeous embroidery.

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Have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year!!

Dawn xxx

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Steam trains, marbles and ice-cream…must be a visit to the Riverside Museum.

July 19, 2013

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We went to the Riverside Museum in Glasgow today and had fun looking at all the lovely old cars, bicycles, motorbikes, boats and other forms of transport. I love the museum and all its things, but the displays I like the most are the old trams and the steam trains.

I’ve called the museum the Riverside Museum cos that’s its official name, but in my heart of hearts it’s still the old Transport Museum to me (that’s what it was called before it moved into its shiny new building down by the Clyde last year or the year before). I’m probably not alone amongst the folk who live in and around Glasgow!!

It was just me and the kids – poor hubby was at work – and I was quite glad to get the kids indoors for an hour (never thought I’d say that!!) cos it was so hot outside. We went there, rushed around the exhibits (cos my kids rush everywhere), had lunch, bought marbles (they conned me out of it!) and then left to buy ice-cream at the van outside the museum (it had to be a 99 for me!). We got home mid afternoon and I was exhausted…I think the heat must have drained me!

Anyway, it was a good day and we all enjoyed the exhibits. My fave bit…eating ice-cream outside! Yummy.

Dawn xxxx

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