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[personal profile] mirrorshard
I'm in Edinburgh, having fun about half the time, and let's see what I can do by way of highlights for my first week or so in Scotland.

The flight up from Luton to Glasgow was quite thoroughly attended by misfortune - an evacuation at St Pancras just before I got there (and, admittedly, some of my own mis-timing) meant I was one of the last people to check-in for the flight. Which would've been OK if they'd not been misinformed about the size of the plane. 156 seats, 149 seats... you can see how they'd get confused, I suppose. Except that I was one of the last 7, and consequently got offered a choice of waiting for the next-but-one Glasgow flight (late), or diverting to Edinburgh and taking the train. I decided the latter'd be quicker, despite the extra step, and I'd far rather wait while travelling than wait sitting around the departure lounge for hours on end. Turned out that I still had to do a fair bit of waiting around, because the flight I'd been diverted to was delayed three-quarters of an hour.

For some reason, I always set off airport metal detectors; I suspect it's my belt buckles that do it. The patting-down is really quite incompetent, too. Speaking of incompetence, Easyjet assured me that my baggage (which I'd already checked in) had just made its merry way to Glasgow, so I heaved a mental sigh, thanked my luckyish stars I'd packed overnight things in my shoulder bag, and decided to pick it up in the morning. (Of course, it hadn't arrived at Glasgow. Hadn't arrived anywhere, as far as they could tell. Sorry, mate, and if it's still missing in 35 days' time you can make a claim on it.)

It arrived on Thursday morning, in the end, about ten minutes before we were due to leave, so at least [livejournal.com profile] icedsilk got the (slightly battered, but probably still edible) Green & Black's chocolate I'd packed for her eventually.

I spent Wednesday afternoon wandering around the Kelvingrove Gallery. I've taken some pictures of things I particularly liked, and will edit in links once I've uploaded them, but most are sculptures of people. There's also a couple I took because I want to work from them design-wise, like the Glasgow Boys' perennial motif of a woman surrounded by very stylised
rose blossoms, though the Talwin Morris carving I photographed turned out too dark to see properly. I've some issues - or, properly, Issues - with the gallery's labelling policies, but they have a really gorgeous collection. Even if there are far too many dead things there for my taste. It may not have been me that shot and mounted them, but forgive me if I still don't have much confidence in their ability to tell the difference between a bleeding-heart art connoisseur and a bewhiskered Victorian natural scientist. After all, not only are they dead, but they have shiny marbles for eyes as well.

It's quite clearly designed as an art newbie museum, which I'll be the last to say is a bad thing, but it does make it a bit frustrating for those of us who already know a lot of random and irrelevant detail about a particular school or artist (no, they didn't have any Vigee le Brun, sadly), but want more than the basics somewhere else. They had some lovely Monets, which is something I always look for in a gallery, and one 15th century altar-piece, which is pretty much ordinary as 15th century altar-pieces go, except for this one little angel, a blonde kid of Dickensian mien. You can almost hear him, as he gazes upon the infant Saviour - cor, look at 'im, ain't 'e quite sumthin'! Probably contemplating 'eavin' 'arf a brick at the Holy Ma of God for larks and running away.

That one, at least, was properly labelled, but then there's not much you can say about a 15th century altar-piece beyond the artist's name and an idea of where it came from. One little painting in the next room, however, a mid-17th century portrait of a tramp cradling a stringed instrument and its bow, was confidently labelled as a violinist. It's probably overly pedantic of me to argue that that was almost certainly a viola and not a violin, but I'm still going to do just that.
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