Archive for the ‘museum’ Category

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Lego, Goldman and a Deep Deep Trench

August 31, 2017

Forgive me readers for I have been bad. I have not written this blog for some time and the only two excuses I can give are: The Gilmore Girls and work beginning in my garden. The former because I recently bought Netflix and have been glued to the Gilmore Girls, all seven series of it and the winter special. Finally finished it last night after around two-and-a-half weeks of watching it in between mum and housework stuff. There were loads of episodes so I blame the tv company that produced it for a) making so many episodes and b) making it so compelling that I quickly became addicted. Am now feeling bereft because not only is Gilmore Girls watched all the way through, but Game of Thrones has finished for this year. Sigh. My tv watching has suddenly gotten very dull. The second excuse is because we’re getting an extension and I’ve been moving things around in the garden. I removed the old metal swingset, laid a new patio in its place (hark me laying a patio and it actually turned out) and then, with my lovely friends (you know who you are, thank you so much for your help, it was much appreciated) moved the potting shed over so that when the extension is up it doesn’t shade out the potting shed. It was a lot of heavy work, but I am so pleased I managed to do it. Been taking on a lot more things this year, things my beloved hubby would have normally done, including cutting our hedge which is a heavy, tiring job. Feeling that I can do most DIY things now (God help us!) and  quite proud of myself. Watch this space for more makes.

Talking of Game of Thrones. Oh. My. God. Was that not the best series EVER or what? If you don’t watch it, you are so missing out on one of the most fabulous telly experiences ever. Do you remember when it first began and no-one (except me, it felt) watched it and I was bemoaning the fact that I had no one to talk to about? Then it was repeated and  loads more folk started watching it and it grew from there. Can’t wait til next year and the final series.

Right, so apart from shunting things around the garden, I’ve also been doing the odd wee escapade with the kids over the summer holidays. Apart from visiting the Riverside Museum in Glasgow (which we Glaswegians will still call the Transport Museum until we die cos that’s what the old museum used to be called), we also popped into Clydebank Town Hall to see the Lego exhibition. It cost me £13 to get the three of us in and, although it was quite cheap, I still don’t think it was worth the money. Don’t get me wrong, the models were great, but there wasn’t that many of them, I expected a bit more. Anyway, here are some of the models…

There was also a massive castle which for some reason I never took a picture of which is a pity because it was really good.

Anyway, I have also been reading a lot over the summer and most recently finished William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood. I love reading about writing and am currently going through a screenwriters’ books phase. Goldman is famous for a number of film scripts and books including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Marathon Man, the Princess Bride and Which Lie Did I Tell?  The book is well written and full of great anecdotes and musings on how Hollywood works (or worked when he wrote the book…it was published in 1982). If you’re looking for an up-to-date book on Hollywood this isn’t the book for you. Instead it talks about the golden age and how things used to work comparing it to when things changed as tv became more prominent and how studio management changed in the 70s (ie how they were managed). Goldman is bluntly honest and self deprecating throughout. He takes a very measured look at Hollywood and is often funny. He’s the type of guy I think would be a great raconteur at a dinner party. Yup, liked this book. Looking forward to reading Which Lie Did I Tell?

What else have I been doing? You won’t want to hear about the boring stuff, the futile attempts I’ve been making to keep the mud out of my house brought in on the little clippy cloppy paws of the dogs. Our pug, Bonya, had to undergo an operation last week to remove a tumour from her leg. The vet doesn’t think it’s cancerous, but we’re going to keep a wee eye on her. She’s made a great recovery and is, as I write, lying at my feet snoring at the same level of decibels as a full grown man. Delicate pugs ain’t.

Obligatory cute pic of Bonya making herself at home on my bed.

 

You leave your phone down and before you know it one of the kids has decorated a pic.

I have a confession. I have not been writing. Again because of the aforementioned reasons, but also cos I’m a bit stuck about how to end the book I am currently writing. I’ve also been writing up ideas for two more books which I will start writing once I have the other book’s story down. I’ve printed off the 65,000 words I have written so far to re-read in the hope that inspiration will smack me in the face and get me back to the laptop. I do have a strong hope that this will happen. I mean, look at me…I’m actually writing my blog again so that’s a good sign! Right?

Okay, I am going to end this blog here. I have three wee dogs to take out for another walk. Because the back garden is off limits and now open to the street,  I cannot let them run about the way I used to. Apart from the fact one of them will definitely make a break for the street (Millie), I fear one or all three of them will end up the trench that was dug for the foundations. This has already happened. It was my fault, I stupidly drank some wine and then late at night fancied surveying the back garden from the kitchen door. I opened it and before I could stop her Millie (our white Jack Chi cross) ran past me and sailed into fresh air. Luckily she didn’t hurt herself and my daughter managed to coax her into jumping (that dog has springs in her heels). The girl caught her and dragged her out much to my relief as I didn’t fancy climbing into the trench. Apart from the fact it was dark and muddy, I didn’t fancy my chances of getting back out having consumed some wine. I had visions of me getting stuck and having to suffer the humiliation of having the fire service come out to rescue me. Luckily that did not happen. The back door is now kept firmly shut and I haven’t touched a drop since! Damn you wine! Millie lost her lovely pristine appearance that night and it was a brown, mud caked dog that I put into the bath that night to shower down. Thankfully she was not injured and was quickly back to her bossy ways. 🙂

Millie – none the worse for her impromptu flight.

Anyway, on that note, I’ll say adieu. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

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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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