Saturday, 30 January 2010

Being kitch

We decided to go into the West End today and just have a lazy stroll in the Botanic Gardens and the surroundings.
Of course a bit of retail therapy would not go amiss either. Glasgow University is surrounded by a number of retro, kitchy and independent shops,however don't hold your breath to visit them when you come, there is a high turnaround of shops in this area, which is a great shame. However, if you are interested, here's a very good link and most of these shops are still there.
I had forgotten that on my Birthday or Christmas wish list years ago was red chilli lights for the kitchen. These were displayed away from my eye level, but D being just over 6 foot spotted them and pointed them out. Well I just had to get them, and this...
I know, but I'm not 12 years old or even a student anymore, but I couldn't resist. When I was growing up, I would never see dolls of colour. I never had a Barbie doll, but saying that, even as a small child I did not want a Barbie doll as it didn't represent me or who I wanted to become. Nowadays, of course things have changed. Take this pen, so I had to treat myself for all those years of going without. Ah the little girl in me is still there.
We stopped at our favourite independent second hand bookstore: Voltaire & Rousseau. I've mentioned it in a previous post.
Its not the most organised of bookstores, but it sure has character. It was featured in the second series of one of my favourite TV shows The Book Group which was set in Glasgow.
While we were in the West End, I wanted to visit a place I had been to once when I used to work in the environment sector. A community project called the Coach House Trust which is tucked away in one of the side streets of Great Western Road. Over the years it has gained some recognition as an innovative community organization in the field of mental health and environmental and social justice. The project provides people from disadvantaged backgrounds with a variety of disabilities including mental health problems, learning disabilities, alcohol and drug rehabilitation with educational and employment opportunities and support the individual discover their talents through a wide range of workshops and activities, such as woodcarving, gardening, ceramics, recycling and art. Unfortunately noone was about so we couldn't get access or pictures to the vegetable garden, instead here are a few pieces of the works of the participants.
I like the way this tree trunk has been turned into a seat. Its a bit weather worn now,
The seat shaped almost like the palm of a hand. The first picture above of ceramic mosaics is one of from the project too, made from recycled tiles.
A rough stone given some structure and stars to brighten the day.
Nice to see a bit of colour this time of the year.


  1. Loved lazily strolling along with you via these great photos!

  2. Thank you Grapefruit.
    I would have added some more pictures of the streets and the gardens, but i've been to the West End many times, that I thought a different perspective of it would be a nice change.

  3. I like your photos, especially the old bookstore. It is a great name. Also, the rehabilitation is so very important in the mental health field, involving the arts. It's an access to the gentler soul, and so many times get overlooked.

  4. What an amazing bookshop - how does one find anything? With my librarian's eye, I am finding it hard not to be a little shocked! I don't know Glasgow at all, but this all looks very interesting.

  5. What a lovely day...thanks for sharing...a pleasure to see the photos, artwork, and amazing stacks of books! Peace, Stephanie

  6. What a cool pen! I must admit, I'm still a sucker for unique writing tools

  7. See below*

    Thank you Purple Flowers.
    I agree the bookshop has a great name*. Its comforting to know that such places like the Coach House Trust exist to support individuals who often get overlooked.

    It really is an amazing bookshop. You ask how does anyone find anything, taking their time. You know what is funny, the book you often want to look at is either too high or under a pile of others, you go to pick it out and a number of other books come tumbling down. Don't be embarassed by it, its part of the experience*.

    Thank you so much Stephanie.

    Thanks Ribbit. I am liking it too. My niece has just asked me to get her one.

    *Weebirdy visited Glasgow and she paid a visit to the bookshop. If you think the picture I have shown you is amusing, please take a look at this link and scroll down. It will make your eyes WIDEN :) It really does look like that. Honest.

  8. I love bookshops like these. Unfortunately, too many of them are now disappearing from our streets.

  9. I agree Jo. Its unfortunate, but it is true.

  10. I love bookstore like these and any store thats a bit scrambled but unfortunately having my kids with me when shopping doesn't allow me the time to really delve into the getting lost in the that sort of shopping experience.

    Hopefully all these type of stores won't disappear by the time I have that kind of time again.

    Its nice to see some colour in the streets ie the plant life. Everything looks so dreary down my way.

  11. Oooh! forgot to say I love that mosaic art.

  12. I know what you mean Kella. That time will come and I am sure these kinds of shops will still exist.

    I live on the edge of an industrial estate and it too is grey and dreary, the council doesn't brighten up where I live, just places like the west end where tourist tend to tread. I guess its something, it still uplifts my spirit, just wish it was on my front door.

  13. What a lovely post! I really enjoyed it, great photos too!


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