Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Palace of the People

Happy Easter Monday everyone! Today we went on a little trip around the town of Glasgow itself and went to the People's Palace. It's this lovely old building that houses the history of Glasgow from 1750 and it's surrounding by green rolling gardens. I don't know why I wrote that they're rolling... but they are. We went into the green house first to warm up because we didn't bring our coats as it's not too bad today! You walk along these paths about the green house looking at the various plants and the signs alongside them that say "Do not touch/climb/look at the plants". The path was built out of these thin wood slats which bent dramatically as we walked on them and I was ready to smash them to smithereens and plummet to my death. I didn't. Don't panic.

Then we went to the top floor to work our way down this fabulous museum. I was hilarious. Every information board would state how crap Glasgow really is. There was literally nothing good to be said about this town, statistically, which is a shame because I quite like it. Here you can see Julia's responses to "Glasgow still being one of the most unhealthy cities in Europe" and "Today, 30% of Glaswegians live below the official poverty line".

Another thing I learned from Julia (and The Guardian) is that the life expectancy in Iraq is 67 and minutes from the town centre of Glasgow it's 54. Yippee! Viva la Glasgow!

They had a section on crime and punishment which had a jail cell and a short video about executions. The last person they hung publicly drew a crowd of 88 000. Fun for the whole family! Literally children were dragged along to these things. The last hanging in Glasgow took place in 1965! Eep! This video showed the place where they were hanged and because the criminals' bodies belonged to the state they would be buried inside the prison grounds. I learnt that the most common type of crime in Glasgow's history and including today is theft. I also learnt that 1 in 30 criminals are women. Go us.

Right next to the crime section was the dance section. Weird. I mean I was reading about beatings and suddenly there was a pink dress in front of me and a smiling woman. Had to back track. Anyway they had these footsteps on the floor marked out which were the steps to some dance so Christine and I started jigging about and Julia acted like she didn't know us. Then there was a section on holidays and the beach so Julia and I got an appropriate picture to mark this.

Next came the war section - they REALLY need to work this place out in a more logical way. There was a story of a soldier who was shot but survived because he had a bible and a mirror in his pocket. They actually had the bible and mirror and boy they were wrecked. The mirror was made of tin or something because it's all warped where the bullet went in. Then he tripped over a land mine and died. Just kidding! We had a little rest in a bomb shelter listening to air raid sirens and a recording of a very Scottish family talking about being in the bomb shelter. There was a sign explaining the war and how it affected the Scottish public and title read "Bombed Oot". Too true. Downstairs came the modern Scotland which was the 90s. Julia and I agree that the 90s cannot be considered history because we remember it!

In one section of the museum it was talking about how women died a lot in childbirth because they had rickets and their bones were too brittle. I found it hilarious that people got rickets because they built they're houses all too close together and there's no sunlight in Glasgow. Today it was cloudy. So Julia and I got rickets. If I hadn't explained this picture it would just look like Julia and I really need to find a bathroom. That's probably what the passer-bys thought.

Just outside the palace is the Doulton Fountain which is one impressive fountain. Queen Victoria is on the top and she came to have a look and was very impressed. The fountain was all run down and rubbish until 2004 when they spent a million pounds restoring it. Before it was restored it didn't have any water in it and Julia would ride her tricycle around inside it - keeping in mind she was very young.

We then went home and watched another football match (not Celtic) over a homemade chili dinner. Julia is a really good cook and I'm not at gun point while I type this I swear. There were all these chilies in it so it was quite hot and the football was serenaded by a sniffing symphony.

Tomorrow is another day locked in the law library while Julia supposedly studies and I try to write my awful assignments. Bleh. It's funny because up until the time we have to leave we watch as many episodes of "Sex and the City" as possible. I guess we need to pluck up the courage to do some work when we are supposed to be on holidays.

Wednesday I head back to Egham and then the next day I jet off to Switzerland! Yippee! The fun never stops. Except when the library intervenes. So long!

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