It's been Glasgow Fair weekend, so we've been rather busy doing family stuff. Thanks to Southside Happenings' weekly what's on at the weekend guide, we actually manage not to miss half of the excitement close to us. It's as if social media & co is finally making very local sense, things are happening and it's easy for us to find out when they are happening and what's good for a family event.
So on Saturday we made our way to the Science Centre which had a fair special on - that was 2 for 1 entry (definitely useful considering the hefty entry of £10 for adults and £8 for kids) and a good few outside events as well. The Science Centre is a fab museum, with more stuff to try out for the whole family than you can manage in a day, plus an Imax and a trip to the Glasgow Tower if you feel like it. The Science Mall (and once again, we only managed one out of three floors) is so very hands on and just fun, with special shows too (which we didn't even take advantage of), and there's even a new play area of a different kind for the younger kids. Of course, the older your children the more they'll get out of the science bits, but to be fair, even a three year old will have plenty of buttons to press and Cubling loved the echo tube (it was hard getting her out of it in fact) and convex/concave mirrors ("mummy, you look funny!!!), and she's still talking about the humunculus - a sculpture that emphasises by size the parts of the human body that send the most senses to the brain (Cubling was to be found on top of it as it was the perfect climbing size). The kids were loving it - both toddlers and babies, and the big people they brought. It's not a cheap day out, so we were more than thankful for the special deal.
Outside next to the Clyde, because of the fair weekend, there were fairground rides, a bird of prey display and most interestingly, a marquee with the people behind Galgael Kindship, an organisation which I'd heard of vaguely before, without knowing exactly what they were about. I was drawn into the tent because of the woodcarving items displayed at the front - one of my ambitions is to learn how to work with wood and I'm always rather drawn to any stall that shows woodturning or woodcarving. More than that, there were traditional longboats, lobster creels, and at the back to my utter delight, a wool display. Now, when I say wool display, this is an understatement. The display included everything from strands of wool of a variety of sheep to spinning wheels, felting and weaving displays. Basically the whole range of things you can do with wool. Unsurprisingly, I was in my element, but what was even better was the opportunity of showing Cubling every step from sheep to knitting/woven rugs/felted decorations. And better even, there was another German woman explaining it all in German to her. Galgael has a Sail and Oar event planned 14-15th August on the Isle of Cumbrae, which will celebrate maritime crafts and culture from the Celtic language regions.
Of course we were intrigued to find out a bit more about Galgael. They are all about connecting tradition and present, the urban and the rural, and create employment around ships in the former shipbuilding community of Govan. It all sounds beautiful, if a bit abstract, but it appears that the organisation has managed to develop skills and services that provide employment in Govan, or at least offer a creative and social setting for traditional skills and crafts. There are plenty of events happening too and I look forward to following both the main and the woolcraft blog. In fact, Galgael also may link in with a small idea I have, which is quite exciting.
The following day we visited the Big Lunch in the Battlefield area of Glasgow. The idea of the big lunch is to simply get together with your neighbours for a lunch. It can be as small or as big as you like; and the one in Battlefield was definitely a bit on the bigger side. Local businesses donated things, local residents brought food (or if they didn't, made a donation); there was free arts and crafts for children, face painting, hand massage, henna painting, local residents with musical talent getting up on a stage powered by solar panels and wind power, all amidst the Battlefield Community Garden site. Cubling went ever so slightly mad on the bouncy castle, delighted in the henna painting (even keeping her hand up for the better half of an hour to make sure it wouldn't smudge), and sat down to listen to the music being performed, while I had far too much chocolate cake. It even stayed dry for almost all of it, which is quite an achievement considering the weather we've been having recently. A fab idea and hopefully one that will spread. The website for the Big Lunch makes it really easy to organise one near you - so if you like the idea, make a note for next year and make it happen in your street!