Out of the house bright and early for a day out with my wife. We were originally going to go to Edinburgh but the sun was out as we sat in McDonald’s for breakfast (yes, foodie friends, I am partial to the occasional Maccie D’s breakfast – please restrain your horror) and we decided to stay in Glasgow.
(Photo above is of the Antonine Court People’s Banner – produced by a disabled group in Drumchapel – on display in the St Mungo Museum)
With no real plan we decided to jump on the first bus that arrived, which turned out to be a No.90. Up through Springfield and Tollcross we trundled, passing Coia’s Cafe as we went (if it hadn’t been scarcely 30 mins past breakfast we would have stopped off here!). We got off just as it turned off Duke Street, which is right at the Cathedral district. The Necropolis looks really good in the sun (it has an atmospheric look in dark and gloomy weather too but that is less fun to stand and take pictures in).
My wife has never visited the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art before, and I haven’t been for years, so we decided to pop in and have a look around. After a coffee/tea (this was a recurring theme of the day) and a very tasty bit of apple pie (honestly, it was like a shortcake sandwich with apple jam in between – superb) we went up to the top floor and worked our way down.
For those who haven’t been, I really recommend it. The top floor has a gallery devoted to the many and varied religious beliefs in Scotland, with a focus on Glasgow. It includes this declaration, signed shortly after 9/11, committing faith communities to work together for “mutual understanding and the good of the City of Glasgow”. For a city which has been ravaged by sectarianism, we really do get it right sometimes. People do make Glasgow (to paraphrase the city’s current slogan) and that is why I am a proud Glaswegian.
The top floor also has this great view of the Cathedral district.
After a suitably thorough wander round the museum, it was time to move on. As before, we went to the bus stop intent on taking the first bus that came. Turned out it was a 19A heading into the city centre. This turned our thoughts to lunch and we went to the ever-reliable Smoke BBQ.
After lunch we hit the shops, finishing up in Lush. Got talking to one of the staff members who exuded passion about the company, it’s brand and their ethical approach. You cannot buy authenticity like that – if your customer facing staff can convey this it is worth its weight in gold. I told her, with my typically blunt honesty, that she and people like her are the real asset of Lush, which left her blushing.
After another stop for drinks, we took a walk along the Clydeside in the early evening dusk. The Glasgow Suspension Bridge has been a magnet for Pokémon hunters and has also attracted the considerable talents of Glasgow graffiti artist Fuse.
Our walk took us past the Glasgow Central Mosque and the Glasgow college Riverside branch, with its submarine-shaped marine training centre. We then turned up into Saltmarket, with its rundown off-licences and “exotic” video shop, but also the Glasgow HQ of the Big Issue and the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation.
All part of Glasgow’s rich diversity!