Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Local Heroes

It is the October Holidays , or mid-term break to give it the official title ,and one of our favourite holidays . Usually , the weather is cold but bright , and the trees leaves are turning gold , red and brown making the landscape very colourful .
We are forgoing the usual trips the theme parks , and having a "staycation" instead ,with a wee trip to Dumfries in between .
Yesterday afternoon , we visited the Riverside museum , which contains Glasgows' transport collection , and berthed outside is the Tall Ship .
Its an unusual building , designed by the architect Zaha Hadid , but once the children stopped running off in every direction , or constantly asking for something to eat , we were able to enjoy the layout and design of this lovely building . The windows which make you feel you are looking at a landscape painting , the way to can view the exhibits from the floor level and then see some more of them from the first floor level . The Main street (old Glasgow street) with its old shop fronts AND interiors were great fun too .
And obviously it had its Shipbuilding section , with two wonderful Stanley Spencer paintings of the Clyde shipyard workers at work . These paintings were taken during the second world war , when Stanley Spencer was employed as a war artist at Port Glasgow and Greenock Shipyards , and show the detail of shipbuilding , the cramped conditions , the physical and often dangerous work . I also loved the detail of the clothes the men wore , one an had on a very intricate fairisle sweater .(One of my favourite Stanley Spencer paintings is of "the Glen" in Port Glasgow at the end of the war , it shows very bright and colourful children , spinning over the railings , skipping and having fun -this one is housed at the Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.)
As with most children , the attractions of the exhibits wane and the siren call of the cafe and shop take over , so after a restorative drink, and a wee look round the shop we headed home .
But mum was on a cultural roll , so today we visited the local Inverclyde museum , "The McLean" in Greenock , housed behind the (James) Watt Library . It is a really wonderful old-fashioned museum , and has stuffed animals , trays of butterflies and insects as well as some Egyptian/Japanese/Chinese/Indian exhibits . There are sections on the local industries , Shipbuilding , Shipping , Sugar-refining , Pottery , Ropes and Woolen Mills and so on . There is also some excellent paintings (a few JD Fergusons , a Cadell and Peploe for starters!) There were obviously a lot of wealthy people , and a huge amount of industry in the area that this beautiful wee museum feels a bit small too contain and display it all .
Sadly , what is missing is a comprehensive history of the area , which would celebrate the intellect and talent of the area , the beauty of the architecture that wasn't destroyed , as well as inspiring the local inhabitants . When we fail to document our history we lose it and our sense of identity . People can then dwell on the negative things about the area , instead of being inspired to reach for something better , and improve the area they live in .

The boys got bored - they do not share my passion for history , unless its about electronic games! Time for home.
Well , at least I get out to my knitting tonight - have been fighting with the little baby sweater I'm knitting , it may have been better if there had been a chart for the lace section , still it is taking shape .
Sorted out my stash and projects the other week , and am determined to make my way through the projects until I get (some of ) them finished . It would help if I stopped casting on new projects!
I think my wee (not so beautiful) stash cupboard IS struggling to contain it all.
Still socks don't count! Nor do gloves!
However I think the chunky cardi that is in the lastest Rowan book might - but not if I knit it quickly .
I am being pestered again - why do they need to eat!

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