Friday, July 19, 2013

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Don't you love computers?  Computers are a wonderful piece of technology...especially when they work properly.  Unfortunately, my computer has been given me problems.  This is not good if your livelihood depends on working from your computer.  There is not an Apple Store located in Edinburgh, but there is one in Glasgow.  About 2 weeks ago, Bobby went on his own to Glasgow to take my computer to get fixed.  However, they could not recreate the problem so nothing was really done.  After continuing to have problems with connecting to my hard drive, we decided to make a family day of taking my computer to try to resolve the problem.

On Tuesday (7/16) we rode the train into Glasgow.  Surprisingly we were a little late for our appointment time at the Apple Store, but thankfully they were able to work us into their day.   I joke about us being late, but we really work at being on time.  Depending on public transportation to get everywhere can be difficult when keeping appointments.  Honestly!

Even though we had not originally planned on visiting Glasgow, we were glad we made the trip.  It is another beautiful Scottish city with a lot of history.  Like most of our days, we walked a whole bunch in order to see as much as we could reasonably see.   My background in history is not very stout.  Through walking around museums, churches, and other historically buildings I am learning a ton!  I am a hands on/visual learner, so being able to see and do has been an amazing teacher.  I am hoping that as Amelie and Liam age we will be able to continue to afford to travel and allow them to learn by doing and seeing.

Below are some fun things that I learned (with pictures included).
  • Inside Glasgow City Chambers the armorial insignia of the city could be seen in many forms: tile work on the floor, reliefs on the inside and outside walls, on many light posts, and more.  Each part of the symbol included the involvement of St. Mungo, even "Let Glasgow Flourish" was part of sermon given by St. Mungo.  My favorite story coinciding with the insignia was about the fish with the ring in it's mouth.  Here is how the story goes:   the fish with a ring in its mouth is a salmon and the ring was a present from the King to his Queen, Languoreth. The Queen gave the ring to a knight and the King, suspecting an intrigue, took it from him while he slept during a hunting party and threw it into the River Clyde. On returning home the King demanded the ring and threatened Languoreth with death if she could not produce it. The Queen appealed to the knight who, of course, could not help and then confessed to St Mungo who sent one of his monks to fish in the river, instructing him to bring back the first fish caught. This was done and St Mungo extracted the ring from its mouth.   (If you want to read the other stories about the bird, tree, and lock you can go to THIS website.)
    
Seen in the picture above is Barony Church, which is now owned by the University and is Barony Hall.   There was a sign outside that said free tours so we ducked our head inside to find an elderly gentleman (in his 80s or 90s) excited to be able to tell us the story of the church.  He actually told us the story of the fish with the ring in it's mouth.  As we finished the tour, he walked us outside down the street to the cross walk.  He was very sweet.   Many of the churches in Scotland are not open to the public like they were in Paris.  Many have been repurposed into other venues or are still existing churches.   Amelie enjoyed dancing in the wide open spaces of this church while we talked to the gentleman.
Stain glass window inside Barony Church of St. Mungo.  You can see he is holding fish.
  • The Glasgow Cathedral is the only medieval church in Scotland to have survived the Reformation.  It was built in the 12th century and it still has an active congregation.   We were able to see many levels of the church and the many wings inside.   

It is not very common to find Adam and Eve in the stain glass.  The stain glass not only had biblical themes, but also had Scottish history included.  

Another example of Liam napping. ;)
This sanctuary is still in use today.  Imagine worshipping in a setting like this!
  • Eating a snack in the only authentic dry stone Japanese Zen Garden in the UK definitely helps to replenish and refresh.  This garden is located outside the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.  Bobby was able to pursue around the museum while I waited with the kiddos in the garden.  Liam was still napping so Amelie and I were able to chill and enjoy the quietness and peacefulness of our surroundings.   We made dandelion rings after we ate our snack.  


Bobby captured her picking the flowers in the zen garden from his perch inside.  

  • The Glasgow Necropolis is a 37 acre cemetery located on a small hill near the Glasgow Cathedral.  There are 50,000 individuals buried in this cemetery.  Following the creation of P√®re Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (we visited this cemetery too!) a wave of pressure began for cemeteries in Britain. This required a change in the law to allow burial for profit. Previously the parish church held responsibility for burying the dead but there was a growing need to give an alternative solution. Glasgow was one of the first to join this campaign, having a growing population, with fewer and fewer attending church.  The Cemeteries Act was passed in 1832 and the floodgates opened. Glasgow Necropolis officially opened in April 1833.





Tolbooth Steeple built in 1626.  The Tolbooth was demolished in the 1800s and the steeple is all that remains.
McLennan Arch in Glasgow Green park.  This was originally the facade to Robert and James Adams' Assembly Rooms, erected in 1796.  It has moved locations 2 times and was moved to it's present site in 1991.  We played at the playground right next to this.  The playground had ship themes and of course the kids had a blast.  Liam kept wanting to be the captain of the ship and drive us around. ;)
This is my attempt at being artsy.  Capturing the new next to the old. In the windows of the modern office building you see the side of  St. Andrew's Cathedral.
One of the department stores had old sewing machine windows displayed in the windows.  Bobby and I counted around 1500 sewing machines.  I was very impressed with this display!  It's not the best picture because of the reflection.
Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art.   We tried to walk through this museum, but Liam likes to run around and it makes everyone nervous around the art so we did not make it through all of the galleries.    To be honest, I was a little bored myself so I didn't mind cutting it short. ;)
We did not get notified that my computer was ready to be picked up until after the store had closed for the day.  Bobby was able to go back the following day while we played at Leith Links close to home.  We had a wonderful day in Glasgow eating out, learning, and just hanging out as a family on a beautiful summer day.  I am learning that being flexible and rolling with the punches is essential.  Although traveling an hour plus by train each way was not optimal, we all enjoyed our day.

I found out today that I will have to fly back to ATL at the end of the month for work again.  Although I am not looking forward to being away from my family or paying for a plane ticket, it will be another chance for me to see the lemonade instead of focusing on the lemons.

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