19 October 2014

I sometimes shy away from sharing pictures that don't actually have me in them or that weren't taken on my proper camera, but when I found myself on a solo wander in one of my favourite places a few Sundays ago and realised I'd never shared it on the bold blog I decided to whip my phone out and make use of what I had. 

This deliciously Hogwarts-esque building is Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. More informally known as KG. 

I've spent more time here that anyone probably should have in just one place, but something about KG makes me infinitely more peaceful. Whether it's looking like a gingerbread house covered in snow or has the sunshine slithering off its windows Kelvingrove is my go-to place for when I need to just exist. I lose myself wandering around the familiar exhibits and drink in the details of the temporary ones. It's a place I go to switch off and on at the same time - I switch off to everything that exists outside the oasis of calm that is KG and switch on to myself.

I used to want to take these guys home when I was little... part of me still does.

Although a lot of my favourite memories from KG are attached to school days - whether it's sunbathing during our lunch breaks and free periods (and maybe not so free periods!) or having a massive snowball fight the days that school closed early cause of the weather, my favourite day to visit KG has always been the same, and it's not a school day. It's a Sunday.

This is mainly because of the Organ Recital.

KG is proudly home to this breathtaking number, isn't she beautiful?

Organ recitals take place daily in KG - but they're at 1pm every day except Sundays. On Sundays they're at 3pm and that's just the perfect time as far as I'm concerned. Although if you go during the week you'll probably get the place pretty much to yourself, on Sundays it's usually buzzing with families. But I have a secret to help deal with that.

Don't grab a seat to listen to the organ, stand where i'm standing in the picture below.

Off to the left hand side and under one of the arches. Go alone and stand under the shelter of the arch. You're closed off enough from the seats in the main hall that you don't feel on show and you're not aware of the people wandering through it or standing in it to pour over their maps and decide which way to go next. Under the arch people flit past you but it's one of those magical experiences where you're shrouded in just enough that you don't even notice them. You're not aware of the main hall or any of the hustle and bustle, it's just you and the music. And it's beautiful. Trust me. The way to listen to the organ isn't on a stuffy seat next to someone who's fighting to make their child sit still and promise if they just behave they'll take them to see the giraffe once the music is done, you don't need that in your life when you're listening to something as magical as the organ being played by someone who really knows how.

Though of course, once it's done you should pay a visit to the giraffe...

There's an elephant too but I didn't get a good picture and Sir Rodger (that's the elephant's name. Officially. I didn't make it up!) can't be shown unless he's looking at his best. He does have that title to live up to!

Be warned though, if you come in from under the arch way I've told you to you need to be careful not to get attacked by this guy on the way past...

This impressive chap keeps up with the Hogwarts theme.

As does this one...

No matter how many times I visit KG I always pick up on something new. I never knew this little owl fact...

Poor Hedwig!

Anyway, you don't even need to really look at the exhibitions. KG as a building is a display in itself...

This is one floor up, and I could lose hours sitting up here peering over the people below. Of course if you don't want to be watched there are lots of windy corridors, stair cases and secret little rooms you can escape into and have all to yourself, even on a Sunday.

KG has its own cafe and if you go on a Sunday do grab a nice coffee or whatever before the recital... but there are too many good places in the vicinity of KG to limit yourself to their own cafe (sorry guys!)

Three of my picks would be...

Ox and Finch, The Butchershop & The Sisters.

Of course all of these are so deliciously good that they deserve their own blog posts. So I'll leave this one here and see you all in the next one, where I promise we'll be back to pictures of humans and taken with proper cameras.... Maybe!

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