Sunday, 3 August 2014

Kelvingrove x Festival 2014 x Commonwealth Games 2014

Moving away from Glasgow city center, Festival 2014 continues to the west end of Glasgow. This is one of my favourite area of Glasgow, beautiful landscapes and rich in historical buildings. There's a huge Kelvingrove Park and the famous Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The museum house some of the famous art, and also history of the Scottish revolution. 

Hello again, Clyde! This is the other one of Clyde which is similar to the one found in Glasgow Green, which could be seen in my previous post. Clearly the weather was amazing, which I could not just stay at home. As a side note, Scotland is famous of being wet and grey, when it's sunny, there will be a lot of people out there sunbathing! I take every opportunity to absorb some vitamin D, too!

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing my Wee Clyde, who's wearing a tiny kilt!! Although I live in Glasgow, getting it is a remembrance for myself about how fabulous the city has been during the 20th Commonwealth Games! And there he was, meeting his bigger (and older) family member in front of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. 

The atmosphere at the west end the other day was perfect! You could hear people speaking various languages, and English of various accent. People speaking to complete strangers, which were great! I always come to the conclusion that a place need not to be extremely beautiful, but with amazing people and friendliness, it's the most beautiful thing! 

As I walked across the lawn ball ground, I could see Team Malaysia playing. Too bad I do not have ticket and I was all by myself, or I would definitely stay for longer to cheer for them!!! GO Team Malaysia!!!

The last time I walked in Kelvingrove Park was a while back, and I didn't remember there's this place for skateboarding! It was much busier than it looked in the photo.
Kelvingrove Bandstand. There were free performance for all to watch, and this band, The Starry Skies was pretty uplifting! Soaking in some of the sun and music, the day could not be any perfect!
This is by far, my favourite spot in Glasgow West End, which overlook one of the oldest building of University of Glasgow. It just felt peace. 

As I am typing this blog post, I am watching the Closing Ceremony of the XX Commonwealth Games, when Glasgow 2014 handed over to Gold Coast 2018. All the performers including Kylie Minogue appeared to sing the famous farewell song, Auld Lang Syne, written by the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns. This song is famous during new year's eve, bid farewell to last year, and welcome a brand new year. Whenever I hear this song, I feel emotional for its meaning behind. When this song is sing each time, people hold hands to sing, swinging side to side. 

The Game may have ended but the the city of Glasgow remains. It will always and forever in my heart as my second home, and a friendly city to live in. As Prince Imran said in the closing speech, that Glasgow 2014 is by far the best yet in history of Commonwealth Games, and "PURE DEAD BRILLIANT"! (It's a very Glaswegian saying!)

Till then,
Anna x.o.x.o

Glasgow Green x Festival 2014

In previous post, I mentioned there were plenty of activities around Merchant City. Leading up from there to Glasgow Green, there were more family activities on the streets, free for all. Glasgow Green is the oldest park in the city, north of River Clyde. Plenty of activities held at Glasgow Green each year such as Bonfire Night fireworks, and most recently the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend Glasgow.

This year, in conjunction with Commonwealth Games, the host city, Glasgow, hosted festival live zone in Glasgow Green. There were several competition such as marathon, cycling trial and cycling road, begins and ends in the park. 

To absorb more of the festival, me and my friend decided that we need to go there and be part of it. As me and my friend walked from Merchant city to Glasgow Green, we could feel how lucky children are as there were a line up of activities for them. How I wish I could turn back time!

Free show for all! It was all a happy start prior to entering Live Zone area of Glasgow Green. People from all age group could enjoy the cheerfulness of events hosted by Glasgow city. It adds more fun with the friendliness of the people in Scotland!

We were absolutely drawn to attention by the voice of this girl. Too bad I didn't get her name but yes, this girl can sing! I think her voice and uniqueness is much better than many singers with record out there. There are a few in my list (and my opinion) who I think could not sing live as good as this girl! Way to go, girl!

Here we were, in Glasgow Green. And, that's me and Clyde, the official mascot of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games! He's huge and so I would grab all the chance to take a photo. It's historical! 
More fun for kids, wish I could have some fun, too! If only I'm a kid!! Or maybe I could sneak in, becoming a bigger looking girl! Haha!! People always underestimate my age anyway!!
Here's how it looked like when you're running towards the finish line of the Commonwealth Games outdoor competition!! I remember when I was an athlete in school, crossing the finish line was not just something of physical achievement but also a mental achievement! It definitely takes a lot of effort and determination to cross the finish line in anything we all do in life to get the best! 

And, if you wish to send some wishes Young Scot, you could do that too!
KITCHEN section of the festival area, serving food from all over Scotland. I must say that the food they offer had a lot more choices than any other festival I have been to in Scotland! Fret not, you could even get oysters there! I always try not to eat 'unconventional festival food' such as burgers, chips and pizza! By having the great choices offered, I was a happy girl!!
Cooking lessons for you if you're interested!

Big Big Sing bringing the crowd together at Glasgow Green. Smiles were on all faces!

In line with the games, you could opt to find out if you could beat the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt! Who knows, you could be the next!! My personal record on 100m competition was 13s as an ex-athlete. 

All sorts of activities in terms of sports for kids to try out, and perhaps finding out their hidden potential in any sports, and be the next superstar in sports. This could also encourage children (and adults) to take up some new sports and stay active! I, on the other hand, has started some static exercise in my room, just to tone myself! 
Oh I love this water ball, and again, if only, there's adult size!!!

Glasgow Green has pretty good memories with me, began with BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend, and I must say this festival, in conjunction with Commonwealth Games, it was an extraordinary one! I am thrilled that I am in Glasgow at this time!

To conclude our day out at Glasgow Green, we walked back to Merchant City, looking for something to eat, and we found our favourite strawberries and brownie in melted milk chocolate! Yum!!!!

Till then!
Anna x.o.x.o

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Merchant City Festival x Festival 2014

Each year, there's Merchant City Festival in Glasgow, which hosts a variety of events around the most elite area of Glasgow. Merchant City is a district and also one of the wealthiest area in town, with high-end shops, cafes and restaurants. It's deemed to mirror Covent Garden of London.

This year, with the Commonwealth Games, Merchant City Festival is even much more colourful, with more events for people to enjoy! 

As I walked from George Square (see more from here), I stumbled upon happy looking people and also with shops decorated with colourful banners, saying 'Welcome to Glasgow' 

This store caught my attention with 'Selamat Datang ke Glasgow', meaning 'Welcome to Glasgow' in Malay! They put up other languages of the commonwealth nation participating in the games. Love this!

No car access in this area, just for the festival.
Tea lady on tour!
And some random people dressed up in the most random thing you'd not have thought of! It's just like any other festival!

And, there were a couple of stages with performances, free for all to enjoy. I must say some of the band were pretty good! At least I had fun myself!

Irn Bru, a famous and Scottish pride soft drink, had a pop-up store in Merchant City. Not just selling Irn Bru but also other merchandise such as keyrings, posters, t-shirts and also onesies! 

Some pretty cool wall art on the streets.

There's all sorts of food on the street that has to offer! Whatever you like!

Loving all these vintage settings around Merchant City. I was feeling so cheerful to just walk around, with people smiling to strangers, and I must say, the Host City volunteers are all very helpful!

And I continue towards some vintage 'oldie-but-goodie' indoor at Merchant Square!

Would love to try living in your favourite vintage era, try a makeover! It all looked so much fun but too bad I didn't try it out myself!

Look how busy the Vintage Salon was! 

Apart from makeover, vintage display, markets, there were outdoor performances, such as this dance by H2H acro-dance from Joli Vyann, a bitter-sweet love story portrayed through their dance. It was a mixture of ballet and modern dance. I enjoyed it!

Modified trucks turned into food stalls, which I loved!

I went to the festival area three days in a row. The second day was totally unintentional as I was walking around town aimlessly but my foot brought me there. Merchant City Festival is a place that brings a lot of smile on my face, that turning into every corner of that district is a surprise! If only festival could be running every weekend, but if it really does, its no longer a festival, right?

Till then!

Anna xoxo

Monday, 28 July 2014

Glasgow 2014, XX Commonwealth Games.

Back in 2007, when I first came to Glasgow, the city was in bid for hosting Commonwealth Games in 2014. Fast forward, and here I am, back in Glasgow, where the city is welcoming people from Commonwealth countries, ready for the game!

As many people may not know, commonwealth of nations is an organisation of intergovernmental nations, made up of countries which were formerly British Empire. As a Malaysian, we used to be under the British colony until we are independent in 1957 as Malaysia (1963 for Sarawak). This Commonwealth Games, is deemed to be a much friendlier game compared to Olympics, but there were, of course many world class athletes involved, such as the Usain Bolt.

Just like the Olympic, people knows there's torch relay, for Commonwealth Games it's known as Queen's Baton Relay. I was lucky enough to be in Glasgow, and the Baton traveled with a stopover in my university.

I got a chance to take picture with the Baton bearer, who's very down to earth, and I held the Baton for photos. If you notice, there's a white note tied with red ribbon, was written by HRH Queen Elizabeth II for all the Commonwealth Nation, revealed at the Opening Ceremony, at Celtic Park, Glasgow. 

The Baton was handed over to the next bearer, touring Glasgow for 3 days before reaching the opening ceremony in Celtic Park. For your information, the green mascot, is Clyde, and he represents the national flower, thistle. 

As soon as I submitted my dissertation, I know I need to walk around town, to join the buzzing city filled with people! And I love how Glasgow is prepared for it will all the friendliness. I was walking around and I could see smiles on people's face, so am 1!

'People Make Glasgow' is the slogan for Glasgow, and me, as someone who lives in Glasgow as a foreigner, I could feel how it truly means. Glaswegian (or Scottish) really makes the city exceptionally great! A place I called my second home.

The Glasgow City Chambers.

The Big G. Love the mixture of colours, and how bright it is standing on the most famous area in Glasgow, George Square. 


The city is now hanging with colourful buntings, brighten up the usual cloudy, wet, and chilly Glasgow. It was great that when I went out that day, sun was shining bright on the city. Love the vibrant city!

And, the seagull was caught sitting on the head of a status. Remember my words, the seagulls have pretty white feather, but they can be quite evil to snatch your sandwich away!

These are just part of what the city has prepared for the game, not just for the athletes, tourists, but also for whoever living in Scotland to enjoy the vibe! There are festivals and free events around the city, which is worth exploring. I'll dictate another another blogpost for it. 

Although I didn't get any tickets for any of the sports event, but spiritually, I am supporting Team Malaysia! I am still longing to meet Malaysians or Malaysian athletes on the streets, giving them my support! I'd love to fly Malaysian flag with me, too! I'm feeling very patriotic here. 

Just watched the Opening Ceremony in the comfort of my room, I teared when I saw #TeamMalaysia appeared with half-mass flag, mourning and remembering what happened to MH17. Malaysian athletes had a black band on their upper arm, including a few athletes wearing Malaysian Airlines' cabin crews' uniform. It was just emotional. On the other hand, I'm proud of Nicol David to be the flag bearer of the Commonwealth flag, alongside with other notable athletes such as Ian Thorpe. 

So, friends, stay-tuned for much more exciting event happening in Glasgow during the Game!

Till then!

Anna x.o.x.o