Mugdock Country Park
Part of me always dreaded graduating as I imagined I’d be spending it wondering how long I could get away with calling myself a ‘new graduate’ rather than ‘unemployed’. Or spending it how I’ve spent most of my summers in recent memory – waiting tables and dreaming of a 9-5 life that others complain about. I guess after what feels like a series of unfortunate events (to put it mildly) I got a break.
What I imagined would be a summer of daytime television and endless free time has been super busy. This hasn’t given me much time for writing and the pile of books I had planned to read is gathering dust.
I’ve been spending my time as an intern at the Scottish Civic Trust working from the Old Tobacco Merchant’s House in Glasgow. After years of never having a Saturday night to myself and working long and horrible shifts for terrible money, the gratitude I feel that I get to work from a desk with a cup of tea hasn’t worn off. The gratitude that I get to make use of my history degree and work in the heritage sector I feel even more so.
My official title is Project Intern for Doors Open Days which is a Scotland-wide heritage festival throughout September. It’s been great to be working behind the scenes and to watch regional programmes come together. I even had the pleasure of putting together a programme for my home town.
The launch of the Glasgow Doors Open Days programme
My weekends have been spent volunteering with the National Trust for Scotland at the Tenement House where visitors often teach me more than I do them. The house is a time capsule of an early twentieth century tenement, lived in by Miss Toward and for many it’s nostalgic of their own Grandparent’s house or even the one they grew up in. It’s much nicer than the Victorian tenements that I’ve written about here but with it’s gas lighting and furniture pointing towards the fire rather than a TV it makes you realise how good (or maybe just different) we have it.
The bedroom of the Tenement House
I managed to fit in several museum trips of my own and one well intentioned trip to the archives where I completely fell down the rabbit hole of gruesome nineteenth century medical journals.
The leaves are beginning to fall and I’m counting down the days until pumpkin spice lattes are a thing again so there’s not much of my post graduation summer left. I have a well overdue trip to the Fringe planned next weekend and a trip to Electric Fields planned for the next (I won the tickets!). After that I’ll be finishing up my internship with the Civic Trust, attending as many Doors Open Days venues as possible and getting back into student mode.
The aim of this blog was to share what I know about Glasgow’s murky past but it seems this summer this has been happening away from the screen. After a solid year of screen and book time I am thankful for the experience of working with history outside of academia. However, I’m looking forward to returning to Glasgow Uni this September (next month!?) to study a MSc and having some more subversive histories to share.