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PAT'S WEST END BLOG: A Start to Spring in Glasgow West End: Literary Events, Dining Out, Blogs and a New Podcast

bshopIt’s been a great start to Spring. I had a super time in Donegal catching up with all my friends and relatives. I was really lucky with the weather, some blue skies and hardly a drop of rain the whole time I was there. It was too short.

However, I can’t complain as I’ve had lots of lovely days out since I came home, including a run up to The Trossachs with Jim. The scenery was spectacular with snow still lying on the hills. We had a few stop offs, a nice wee wander around Callander, coffee and cake in the quaint Deli Ecosse and a wee browse in King’s Bookshop. I didn’t buy a book but I took home a couple of wee pots of their snowdrops.

Literary Events

St Louis

I’ve also been along to some very enjoyable literary events. We had another great night out at St Louis, Thornwood, where we went along to hear Lesley Riddoch talk about her new book Blossom: what Scotland needs. She certainly is a remarkable speaker. Jim and Lesley have worked together in the past so he was pleased to catch up with her. He also had a spot on the night and provided the Musical Interlude. It was a particularly good performance so he lapped up the praise afterwards and sold some of his cd’s.

louise blLiterary Lunchtimes

For ages I’ve been trying to get along to Literary Lunchtimes at Café Gandolfi; the brainchild of Chris Agee, University of Strathclyde. so Gillian and I went along to hear Bernard MacLaverty read and he was brilliant. Afterwards we had a bowl of soup in the Café, where I bumped into Jim and Michael Bowes, and Judith Kenny the Jeweller. More recently I was back at Gandolfi when I went for lunch with Katrina. It was great to catch up and hear all her news about the Tapestry Partnership I had another enjoyable lunchtime with Gillian, when we went along to A Play, A Pie and A Pint at OranMor to see Liz Lochhead’s Play. Between the Thinks Bubble and the Speech Balloon – I wrote a review.

Albany Readings

I’m continuing to enjoy Alan McMunnigall’s creative writing classes at the Centre for Open Studies, University of Glasgow and had a super night out at the Albany Centre, when some of the students read their work. There will be a http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/albany-ra series of fiction readings Woodlands, over the next few weeks.

Louise Welsh, Book Launch

emeli bookI went along with Gillian to Waterstone’s to the launch of Louise’s new book A Lovely Way to Burn. It was a nice wee night out as we also went along to the party afterwards and caught up with Nicola Fitzhenry, Lala Manning and Laura Marney, as well as Louise and Zoe Strachan. ‘A Lovely Way To Burn’ is the first book in the Plague Trilogy; I’m sure it will do well. I’ve finished it already and it was very good – as James Kidd says in his review in The Independent ‘Welsh fits the disaster novel like a glove.’ Nicola had asked me if I would write a short story with The Commonwealth as a theme and I submitted it . I’m pleased to hear that it will be read on Subcity Radio – probably by me.

Congratulation to John Dingwall on his new book EMELI SANDÉ READ ALL ABOUT IT. It’s always a pleasure chatting to John and it was particularly interesting hearing about his latest venture, when we had a coffee together in Tinderbox. I’m also very pleased to have added him to my list of Glasgow Writers  

Out and about in Glasgow’s West End

It was lovely to catch up with Basia over coffee in Delizique in Hyndland Street. Although I often see Basia in Nancy Smillie’s but we haven’t had a chance for a good old gab for ages.

sweater dressDe Courcy’s for Mother’s Day Gifts

I met up with Stephanie in Hyndland for a coffee and a wander in the posh shops and enjoyed lunch with Frances R and Frances G in Booly Mardy’s. We had a wander in De Courcy’s and I bought some lovely cads and handcrafted earrings in Janet and John and treated myself to a fabulous bag in The Hoodie Stop. Check them out for Mother’s Day Gifts – you’ll be surprised. The Hoodie Stop is flourishing in its new, larger location at the front of De Courcy’s and is quickly becoming one of Glasgow’s coolest shops. In big demand is their sweater dress, which is flying out the door.

Dining Out in Glasgow’s West End

The Finnieston

I enjoyed a fabulous meal when I went along with Maggie Graham to sample the Tasting Menu at The Finnieston /. It really was fantastic so if you like seafood and fancy a real treat you should make this your destination.

enjoy girlsEnjoy

It was lovely to meet up with some of the Rosemount Gang at Enjoy, Great Western Road, Kelvinbridge. Their small plates are perfect for sharing and the food is absolutely delicious. It was great to see Soghra, Margaret and Rosemary and relax in such a pleasant setting. Afterwards we had a browse in Nancy Smillie Jewellery Studio. Their new range of scarves is fabulous and, of course, the range of jewellery is wonderful. Also worth checking out isBlair and Sheridan for a very special Mother’s Day gift. I also paid a visit to COOK, 498 Great Western Road Glasgow G12 8EW, the amazing new posh freezer shop. A very different experience, perfect if you’re entertaining or just want to spoil yourself.

Tinto Tapas, Hyndland Street, Partick

The lamb paella at Tinto Tapas in Hyndland Street is delicious. I had a very tasty lunch in this lovely new wee restaurant, sister of Tinto Tapas in the South Side and a very welcome addition to the west end. I will be going back for sure. An extra treat was bumping into Charlie McInally, an old friend from University – out doing his bit for the YES campaign.

my home bakeryHyndland Street

Still one of my favourite streets in the West End – it has just about everything. Apart from the new Tapas Restaurant, the fantastic Rio’s Café, which has just celebrated its 8th birthday, there is the Polish Deli and My Home Bakery, where I bought some lovely cake and a delicious pot plant loaf from Patrick. I also popped into Owen Bissett’s great gift shop and bought a bangle in their sale.

I couldn’t be in Partick and not pay a visit to Handbags and Gladrags . I wonder who the lucky person was who bought the fabulous Gianfranco Ferre leather coat. It was amazing.

Kelvingrove

Jim and I managed to catch the very successful, and absolutely mobbed, Jack Vettriano Exhibition.

mirren ryan parkI was back in Kelvingrove once more, when I went along with Karen, Mirren and Ryan. The kids had great fun learning all about the Vikings and their armour and afterwards they had fun playing in the park.

Ryan and I also had a visit to the Transport Museum with Jim’s sister Anne and her son Andrew. The wee street is fascinating but the boys were actually more interested in playing football in the rain. Roll on some better weather.

I’ve also had some very important visitors come to see me and met the latest addition to our family when Clare and Cathie came along with baby Christopher, who is now 12 weeks. He is a gorgeous boy and I was completely uplifted to be on the receiving end of so many big smiles.

My niece, Aileen, and great niece, Erin, also paid me a visit and Erin was in seventh heaven when we took a walk round to Mothercare.

It was also lovely seeing Maureen Maille, home from Nimes, and Margaret Grant over from Donegal. We had a lot of catching up to do.

Another recent highlight was a trip over to the South Side, when Jim and I went to see the film ‘Good Vibrations’ at The Glad Café. It’s a fantastic film – not to be missed.

I’m now very much looking forward to: The Aye Write Festival 2014 and also Ryan’s 10th Birthday. Happy Birthday to my one and only grandson. ☺

Ryan and John and I said a sad farewell to Dino’s in Sauchiehall Street, where we often enjoyed a pizza or pasta when in the City Centre. Sad to see it closing after 42 years.

New Stuff on the Website

I am particularly happy to have the new Rotten English Podcast with Allan Wilson and Peter McNally discussing writing and writers. Podcast#1 Tom Leonard and Allan Wilson is also on my Glasgow Writers.Also new blogs from:

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