31 January 2012

oop norf

I was in Scotland. This was entirely Neil's fault. He foolishly suggested his whisky collection needed a clean-up, and I had leave to use up. Foolish. These focussed things need a name, and to reflect death of bottles, and referencing another less well known whisky event, this was called 'Whisky Undead'.

I spent a few days in Edinburgh before heading over to Glasgow and the whisky cleanup. Again, very little snow up that way, so a bit chilly but nice. Wandered around the revamped Museum of Scotland, which can get a bit confusing being spread over many buildings and levels. But interesting. I learnt more about the early globalisation by Vikings than I expected to.
And lots of early record players. Mmmm shellac. Can't wait until Steve Wilson releases on it...

Unconsciously I'd ended up in Scotland on Burns night. So after some beer and food, and wandering around, I ended up at the SMWS rooms. Reasonably quiet in there, but was nice to have a couple of drams. Ended up chatting to the pipers who were filling in time before the haggis malarky in one of the dining rooms. They regarded Burns night as a great way to earn far too much money for doing nothing, can't say I blame them for that. Oh and the old one was called 'Old Jock'.

Spent the morning at the Modern art gallery which was cool - not quite so taken with the sculpture stuff, but the exhibition of  Cadell was great. I'd never heard of him either, but his use of strong colours, and in particular black, worked for me. Not as taken with his paintings of Iona, but the rest of them made up for the landscapes. He seemed an interesting mix of impressionist and yet quite influenced by the linear nature of Art Deco. Worked for me.
And all this for 7 quid. I know. Ridiculous.

Wandered around the old town a bit, and came across the surgeons museum. It seems to be in a state of flux with a number of displays of the diarama / context kinda stuff you see in modern museums, and a large number of old school cabinets. All containing lots of pieces of dead people. Many of these focussed on how guns/warfare caused people to have had better days. Great stuff.
Interesting look at how mustard gas (?) caused general badness to lungs. Oh and the expected collection of cancers, polydactyly, and general mutants. Gotta love those Victorians.
Oddly, no gift shop. I'm guessing that'll turn up in a year or so as it moves to a more modern version of a museum.
I enjoyed this, or rather I enjoyed the curiosity cabinet approach. the newer displays didn't do anything for me.

Oh, obviously visits to Artisan Roast occurred too. Or as I prefer to call it, the Deluxe of the North. The good news is that they are opening their own online shop, so the ordering problems through Pekoetea should be alleviated. Pekoetea don't appear very good at keeping the webpage reflecting actual stock levels.

Friday involved meeting Neil to view some Turner's. The Vaughan bequest to the National Gallery, which is only brought out in January. I know, it's like everythign came together. It's almost freeky how the mass of colour gradually reveals more and more detail - in his later paintings. The earlier stuff is far more classically defined. Oh go on, have a guess which ones I like...
WE had wandered through a not very good exhibition before this, but didn't do much for me.

Then we found beer. Something I could grow to like. May have ended up at the other SMWS rooms (in Leith) for dinner and, oddly, whisky.

Saturday meant a gentle wander to Glasgow, and then a trip up to Glengoyne, a distillery we've been known to appreciate. Tried some whisky. Tried one only available from the distillery, although it's now online, and found that it was good. Reviews shall follow.

Whisky Undead went ahead, and involved whisky, food, great company, and the killing of 4 bottles. Ideally we'd have killed more, but many bottles were more full than expected, and it wasn't a heavy session of boozing. Honest.

Nice brekkie on Sunday, and a long train journey. Damn stupid Sunday trains.

Huzzah for Scotland!!

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