Mum and Dad had a suitably impressive introduction to Glasgow with Doors Open Day being held just after they arrived. We arranged a leisurely wander into town popping into series of ever more impressive historic buildings and churches culminating in the absolutely phenomenal City Chambers. If find it difficult to believe that hadn’t discovered this totally over the top edifice before – especially as we work just around the corner. It is full of stone and marble lining and the grand ballroom has the dimensions of an aircraft hanger with vast murals and gilt everywhere. It is a truly impressive building and gives an insight into the astounding wealth that Glasgow once possessed.
Mum & Dad came to visit through September. After a couple of weeks with my aunt & uncle in Lyon we met them in Paris, where gorgeous weather let us explore all the highlights, Eiffel Tower, Louvre (outside at least) Notre Dame, Monmartre and the Sacre Coure.
Catching the eurostar we moved on to London for a couple of days where some decidedly British weather kept us a little housebound (luckily we were staying in a spacious modernist gem of an apartment in Bloomsbury so all was not lost).
M&D provided an excuse to do all the tourist things we would never dream of in our usual east-end hipster type jaunts to the capital. Dad and Tim went up the London eye, we saw the crown jewels at the Tower of London and said g’day to Liz at Buckingham Palace. We also managed to catch up with Touch and meet Annalise her new super-cute baby and have a birthday dinner for me to catch up with all the Glasgow expatriates of the credit crunch!
Having squeezed all of that in we were suitably exhausted by the time we collapsed onto the East Coast mainline for the scenic ride back to Glasgow.
We managed to squeeze in quite a few trips to Edinburgh to catch the festival action this year. A lot of our interest centred on the visual arts, including a visit to the newly opened though somewhat underwhelming Jupiter Artland.
The highlight was a performance by the Royal Ballet of Flanders of Return of Ulysses which was mesmerizing, powerful yet stark. Scottish enfant terrible Michael Clark’s New Work – was suitably mad yet lack coherence and felt forced and overly stylised.
As per usual most fringe acts didn’t seem worth the entry price although Kristen Schaal of Flight of the Conchords fame was quite entertaining!
Late in summer we had a taste of Yorkshire sporting action (and an introduction to real ale) with a weekend down in England. On teh Saturday we watched our friend James’ team Sheffield Wednesday succumb to Barnsley in the Championship before seeing Australia wrap up the Headingly test in Leeds on the Sunday while Chhay toured the modernist edifices of post-industrial Sheffield.
Interspersed was an intense game of backyard cricket at James’ parents place in Derbyshire where the wildly swinging gaffer taped tennis ball was introduce to much acclaim!