Saturday, December 6, 2008

...because we only get seven hours of sunlight a day now.

Today was a rare, gorgeous day in Glasgow. Not just a nice day (which is any day where it's not raining), but a bonafide spectacular one. It was brilliantly clear and sunny, with temperatures in the mid-40°s. Having finished the last of my big assignments for the term last night (!), I took myself out to the Kelvingrove today. It's the museum/gallery in Glasgow, only three blocks from my flat, with free admission, and shamefully, I have not yet been. So I decided to remedy that today.

And it's... nice. A bit bizarre, because I thought it was an art gallery, but it's not. It's an Everything gallery. Yes, there is art. But there's also fossils, dinosaur skeletons, the history of tartan, neolithic relics, exhibits on sectarianism in Glasgow, taxidermy, armor, Egyptian mummies, pantomime pieces, sculpture... it's all a bit thrown together. Almost comically, as if the curators raced through some warehouse of artifacts and just grabbed whatever they could off the shelves and threw them into their shopping cart during some bizarre form of a supermarket dash for museums. Nothing really goes together, it's just like, "LOOK AT ALL THESE OLD, SIGNIFICANT THINGS!" And the art collection was nice, but small. The big piece that the Kelvingrove houses is Dali's "Christ of Saint John of the Cross." And that was nice. That's the thing. The Kelvingrove is nice. The exterior and interior architecture are gorgeous. But it is not a core-shaking, life-changing museum.

So I learned a valuable lesson today: don't go to any other art gallery in the same week that you've visited the Musee d'Orsay, because unless it's the Louvre, MoMA, National Gallery, or Hermitage, you will probably be very disappointed.

I had brought some schoolwork with me, and after I was done, I popped across the street to the Beanscene to be productive (though okay, I really just wanted a slice of ginger cake, and got one under the guise of being a studious postgrad). And then when I left to head home, and the sun had gone down (which these days, is just after 3:30pm), I found that the temperature had dropped almost 15° with it. Silly me hadn't thought ahead and brought a warm enough scarf or hat, so I froze all the way home. Three blocks seem like three miles when you're really, really cold.

Now I sit here typing this with my feet up on the radiator, trying to thaw before heading out later this evening, as it's my last Saturday night in the GLA. It's bone-chilling nights like this, in the city whose latitude is higher than Moscow's, that I miss having a car with a heater.


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