Cool Days in Glasgow
Despite the rainy weather we managed to have plenty of fun last month. Best of all was Sean’s visit to Glasgow.My sister Catherine’s son hadn’t previously spent much time here as an adult so we enjoyed showing him around and he also had fun investigating the city by himself. It also meant that we had some lovely family get-togethers and great days out. I particularly enjoyed spending time at the Merchant Festival and going along to exhibitions, including the Phoenix Degree Exhibition at Glasgow School of Art.
We had a super time at GOMA, when Jim and I went to the gallery with Sean, Jimmy and Ryan. Afterwards we treated ourselves to afternoon tea at the brilliant TransEuropean Cafe at Trongate.
Last week Jim, Jimmy and I went back to Glasgow School of Art for the Masters Degree Show. We met our friend Issi Wilson, whose daughter Marianne’s AlgoRhythms was on display.
The exhibition was fantastic. The students are always very happy to chat about their work, which makes it particularly interesting and it’s fascinating to hear what lies behind their work. We particularly enjoyed meeting Manali Sutaria, whose design innovation project Through The Alleyways aims to change the concept and use of alleyways making them safer, creative and more inclusive. Also very impressive was the work of Ines Seixas, whose Adventure Neighbourhood project highlights the opportunities for utilising vacant ground to create exciting places for children to play. The idea being to keep them partially unbuilt and wild – creating freedom for the children. Her idea reminded me of the North Kelvin Meadow/Children’s Wood, which unfortunately has had a fight on its hands as Glasgow City Council would love to turn this fabulous space into a posh housing development.
I really loved the displays by Tommy Zhong, whose M.A. Collection gained him many plaudits. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he has major impact on the world of fashion.
There’s no shortage of talent and imagination at our fabulous Art School and I hope our nephew Sean Robertson, just enrolled as a new graduate, will love every minute there.
Jim and I also spent a day in Edinburgh during the festival. He was keen to see the Jean Etienne Liotard Exhibition, which was amazing and we also enjoyed David Bailey’s Stardust Exhibition, with its many sixties blasts from the past. Afterwards we walked up from the National Gallery and down into the Grassmarket, where we hung out for ages, eating al fresco and watching the street theatre. It was a good day out.
Now looking forward to:
Launch of Something Cruel – Bearpit Brothers
The other big highlight of our summer was the launch of the Bearpit Brothers CD – Something Cruel – which Jim recorded, produced and performed along with Robert Ruthven, Lawrence Alexander and Angus Ruthven.
It’s a brilliant album and has taken two years to get the songs written and then polished to Jim’s exacting standards. The night was a big success and also performing were the fantastic poet, Stephen Watt, and young singer/songwriter from East Lothian, Ryan Morcambe.
Loads of friends and fans came along to The Glad Cafe. It was great to see them and they made it a very special night. I was particularly pleased to see the McGroovy Gang (Susanne and Andy McGreevy and Val and Neil), Basia and John, my brother Liam and his musician friends, Peter, Margaret and Frances, to name a few. I was delighted to have Winston and Gillian chum me along early and help set up stage, creating the 50s/60s atmosphere in line with the musical style.
You can Buy Something Cruel online
Sweeneys in The Park
We had another trip over to the Southside when Jim played a gig at Sweeney’s in The Park. He’s always happy to perform and sell his CDs and it was a bonus catching up with the ever effervescent Crawford Smith.
We had another very enjoyable musical evening when we went to Tom Fairnie’s 65th birthday party in Musselburgh.
I’ve got to thank both Jennifer Cocozza of Vintage Guru and Anna Graham, Starry Starry Night, who gave me both ideas and access to their fabulous retro clothes and accessories for the Something Cruel CD Launch. It was very strange having a mannequin dressed in a 50s shirt waister and can can underskirt sitting in our living room in the days prior to the event but Debbie, as I christened her, looked great up on the stage.
If you are into Vintage and Retro you should check out the shops – amazing bargains and you can be certain you won’t bump into anyone with the same outfit.
Jim, Jimmy and I went along to the Barras, Glasgow’s week-end market, on one of our Sunday excursions. The banter and bargains are still very much to the fore and we enjoyed strolling and browsing the amazing array of tat, retro and bric a brac. Jimmy was delighted with some bargain tools and I bought some amazing jewellery, a lovely wee jug and a beautiful Carltonware dish for next to nothing.
We met up with Anna in The Square Yard, where I used to have my own stall many years ago. The collection of vintage and retro she has there is truly amazing.
Back in the West End there is more vintage and retro to be found in De Courcy’s at the newly opened Vintage Harbours.
West End Shops
My sister Catherine loves all things Scottish so I was delighted to pick her up some lovely wee stag design earring in Janet and John I bought some very stylish 60s style clip on earrings for myself in The Nancy Smillie Shop and I picked up really cute hair grips for my great-nieces in The Hoodie Stop.
I had a great browse in Stevenson Jewellers on Byres Road – the place to go if you are into Sheila Fleet Jewellery. Or if you are looking to commission something unique then head down to Shona Fidgett The Hidden Lane or Blair and Sheridan at Kelvinbridge.
More great jewellery at Best in the West: Handcrafted Silver Jewellery by Mo McQuillan
If you are on the lookout for some stylish new eyewear it would be a good idea to check out Best in the West: QMEye Opticians
Book Shops Glasgow West End
New Waterstones Byres Road
Hard to believe but people in the West End still talk about how they miss the John Smith Bookshop, which closed in 2000. How happy they are to see the opening of a new bookshop – Waterstones at the top of Byres Road. Great staff, a very nice wee cafe and, of course, the books.
Watch out for events on my What’s On in Glasgow Books and Talks
Oxfam Bookshop Byres Road
Just across the road from Waterstones – Oxfam bookshop has had a refurbishment and relaunch and I very much enjoyed the reopening event with Denise Mina, Bernard MacLaverty Bernard MacLaverty, Karen Campbell and Alison Irvine. It was a very lively event, the shop is looking great and a bonus running into Stephanie Greir – afterwards we took a stroll along to Hyndland to Epicures for a coffee and a natter.
Cafes, Restaurants and Eating Out
It’s been a great month for catching up with friends and I very much enjoyed meeting James Carson in The Chip and Graeme Macrae Burnet in Booly Mardy’s – both extremely talented and interesting men – I’m delighted to have added them both to my Glasgow Writers Section on the website.
I always enjoy a visit to Rio and it was particularly nice meeting up with Jackie, Rena and Dot. The sharing platter with different humous, flatbread and olives was delicious and we enjoyed a leisurely blethery afternoon. Invariably I spot some familiar faces in the cafe – good to see singer/songwriter, Michael Clarke, and local artist Jo Linley.
Mother India’s Cafe
The food at Mother India is unsurpassable and when I went along to meet the owner, Monir Mohammed, at Mother India’s Cafe I had a delicious lunch – a lamb and ginger dish with chapati and mango laski to drink. It was very interesting to hear about the wide range of events Monir has on the go – including Let’s Eat Glasgow – Scotland’s first restaurant festival, which I went along to with Jim. It included, of course, Mother India and some of Glasgow’s other fine dining restaurants: Ox and Finch, Stravaigin, The Ubiquitous Chip and Crabshack.
The Street Food phenomenon seems to have taken off in Glasgow – watch out for STReat Street Food Festival in The Briggait September week-end – 26 and 27 September.
Sunny Days in Glasgow
We’ve not had too many sunny days this summer but North Kelvin Meadow looked radiant when Jim, Jimmy and I went along to their fete. Afterwards we enjoyed a stroll in the Botanics – brimming over with folk enjoying the sunshine while it lasted.
We had another lovely day out when we went to Helensburgh, had a walk along the front, some ice creams and the boys had a game of football. I was back in Helensburgh again this week – on a special mission to take my shoes for mending to Eddie Reid, now in charge of Timpson’s shoe shop just round from the station on Sinclair Street. It will be a miracle if he can mend my Cole Haan patent moccasins but if anyone can do it – it’s Eddie.
The weather wasn’t so bright when I took Ryan along to George Square for the vigil day for the Refugees but it was good to see a great turn out and always pleasant to run into Margaret and Roisin Brady.
I’ve also had a couple of trips up to Milngavie, where I like to have a wee wander around the town centre, a coffee from Colpi’s or a scone in the Tea Cosy. I bought a super gallus animal print shopping trolley in Reids of Milngavie.
I hadn’t really planned on going back the next day but I left my purse in Reid’s – I kind of knew it would be safe but was happy when the bank phoned next day to say it had been handed in. Thanks to the Reid family for that. 🙂
Jim and I also had an excursion over to Johnstone with Ryan to watch him play Paisley – very exciting as they won 7/4 – our boy did a great job in defence.
I’ve also taken the opportunity, when possible, to potter on the balcony. The flowers are looking lovely.
Glasgow Doors Open
Another fantastic programme of events this year at: Glasgow Open Doors Day – on until 20 September.
Tomorrow we’re planning on checking out Greyfriars Garden, part of their Open Spaces event.
Busy Week Ahead
I’ll hardly have time to catch my breath this coming week and have a very full diary.
On Monday I’m going along to the preview of Jersey Boys at OranMor. I really want to see this show and hoping to go with Anne to see this when it comes to Glasgow this December.
On Tuesday Jim and I are going to see Steve Forbett at St Andrew’s in The Square
And on Wednesday I’m looking forward to Prof Louise Welsh’s Inaugural Lecture as new head of Creative Studies at Glasgow University.
I’m meeting friends on Thursday for lunch and on Friday going with Gail, Ryan and Caitlin to Disney on Ice at Braehead Arena.
- What’s on in Glasgow for Students
- Nancy Smillie Shop- Bargain Beds Unclaimed Oak and Pine
- Urban Market, Drygate, Sunday 20 September
- Fiona Alderman Blogging from Rural France
- Bob Law walking in the Scottish Borders
- Would you have saved m? A poem in memory of Aylan Kurdi and family by Karrieanne McCafferty
- Southside Street Food Showdown The Glad Cafe 25 and 26 September
- The Language of Silence 12 – 18 September, The Virginia Gallery
- Jesus Christ Superstar Kings Theatre 6 – 18 October
- The Book of Blaise – Book launch, 9 October, Waterstones Byres Rd
- What’s on in Glasgow Cinema
- Starchild Charity: Art for Auction
- Billy Connolly’s Art, until 18 February
- Autumn/Winter Season 2015, A Play A Pie and A Pint
- Auction for Aid, Jewellers raising funds for refugee crisis
- Open Mic Nights Glasgow
- WINGS OF DESIRE AT PAISLEY ABBEY 1st Nov
- The Flatt River Band, Lambhill Stables, Friday 6 November
- Yorkhill Art Exhibition, The L1ghthouse 16 – 18 October, 2015
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