World Clock

Monday, 9 February 2009


The day before I left Edinburgh, a Friday, I received an email from a London agency I had been in contact with since July. They wanted me to come in for an interview the following Wednesday for a job in an enormous private chateau south of Paris, owned by an Arabian prince and his family. Why would I pass up that opportunity? The quandary before me was that I had just booked tickets to see friends in Glasgow and Aberdeen over the ensuing week: Job interview and wasting my tickets, or visiting friends I might not get the chance to see again and wasting a fantastic opportunity to work in France? Tough one. I considered my options carefully over the next few days.
That last day I also checked out a nice little raw food cafĂ© in the city's north called Red Sugar. Yep, everything raw, nothing cooked over 47.7°C (that's apparently when enzymes in the food start breaking down.) There appears to be a whole subculture of people enjoying this lifestyle - I had admittedly never heard of it before - and although I like the idea, I don't know if I could be a faithful follower (it would be virtually impossible whilst travelling anyway.)
I shot off early, well what felt early due to the sun not having shown itself yet but what was actually 8:30am, for the bus station. About 2 hours later I was standing in the bus terminal of Glasgow admiring the bronze sculpture of a heartwarming reunion between two lovers. I was there to visit Brian, my Scottish mate who I worked with at the Open Polytech in NZ, but first I wanted to see what the city was all about.
This metropolis of old and new is the largest city in Scotland and offers a huge array of activities including museums, art galleries and an unrivalled nightlife. They also love their clocks... After wandering around the city's main shopping areas, and having my hat blown off my head about 10 times due to the strong winds, my first stop was the place that held the most interest for me, the St. Mungo's Museum of Religious Life & Art. This is a fantastic museum showcasing, without bias, the main world religions and other minor faiths/belief systems through descriptions, artifacts, photos, paintings and personal accounts of peoples' own experiences. I think if a wider audience went to that museum it would certainly bring a greater tolerance and understanding of the differences between peoples. I gave a donation.
I walked briefly out into the heavy rain towards the beautiful cathedral around which the city was built. The Cathedral Church of St. Mungo is a masterfully constructed building from the 12th century (the date of the first stone building that replaced the early wooden church) dedicated to the patron saint of Glasgow (whose real name was actually St. Kentigern). If the name St. Mungo rings a bell, it is because the charity I worked for in London was named for this fellow by the Glaswegian who founded it several decades ago. Mungo's bones are actually buried underneath this church and it was nice seeing where he was laid to rest.
Out into the rain again I went as I walked back towards the city centre. The rain didn't subside when I reached it and so I decided to duck into the Gallery of Modern Art for my weekly art fix. I met Brian that evening and we went out with one of his mates to a pub situated next to a classy club known as Nice 'N Sleazy.
It bucketed down for the entire next day which was a write off. This was the day that I made my decision to forfeit my already-bought tickets and instead purchase a ticket back down to London. I had wanted the job in France since I first heard about it 6 months before and I knew I would regret it if I missed this chance.
I went to see the People's Palace and gardens on the day before my 13 hour trip back down south, while Brian was at work. The gardens house the world's largest terracotta fountain dedicated to the four British colonies, Canada, South Africa, India and Australia, each with their own statues of people in distinctive local dress and the queen sitting prominently atop the central column.


in the Glasgow bus terminal

St. Mungo's Cathedral


the site of a plastics factory explosion in 2004 where 7 died, near Brian's house

the largest terracotta fountain in the world (the Aussie side)

ah the Scottish

who needs it?

the Tardis: i never quite understood what a police box is...

Pasta Hut

a very common sight in Scotland - kilt shop

i was tired... Brian and I


Julie's back home.... but had a fantastic time... said...

so now do you know what a police box is? .. basically a phone box with a direct line to the police (and a miniature police station inside apparently!!) .. although I'm fairly sure they're not all as big inside as the Tardis on Doctor Who lol..

Julie's back home.... but had a fantastic time... said...

oh.. and whenever I think of Brian all I can remember is a long long night back when you were in New Zealand - you know the night I mean :P He was a bit of a saviour that night .. for you and me :)