West End Festival, New Shops, Literary Events, Friends and Family Outings
The sun is out and what a fantastic weekend to kick off the West End Festival. Hope this lovely weather holds as despite the fact there’s no parade this year, the programme includes many outdoor events such as: The Ideal Hut Show in the Botanics, Gibson Street Gala, on 19 June, Wilton Street Garden Fete, 11 June, Queen Margaret Drive Street Party, 5th June and Vinicombe Street Party, Sunday 5th June, 2016.
Please come along to one of the events that Jim and I have been organising with some very talented Glasgow Writers: Ten Writers Telling Lies – three dates to choose from 8th June at 7.30pm, Waterstones Byres Road 15th June 7.30pm, Siempre Bicycle Cafe, Patrick Cross and Sunday 19th June at 2.30 p.m. Tchai Ovna House of Tea, Otago Lane. Ten Writers Telling Lies: ten writers got together with the musician Jim and wrote ten songs. Come along and hear the music and the stories behind the songs.
Planning to stay in Glasgow
If you are planning to stay in Glasgow for the festival then no better place to stay than at the wonderful Kelvin Hotel – read the wonderful feature by Roy Beers.
Out and About in Glasgow
We’ve been enjoying the lovely weather and I headed down to Glasgow Green for a day out to celebrate John’s birthday. They had the requisite game of football on the green then we headed along to Parnie Street to the comic shop. I enjoyed a wee prowl in the very chic shop Instrmnt, founded by Ross Bayinham and Pete Sunderland. Definitely something out of the ordinary that you might expect to come across in Notting Hill rather than the Trongate. I loved their beautiful minimalistic watches and a beautiful bicycle they have created. We were a wee bit late to dine at our favourite Trans-European Cafe so we headed round the corner to Cafe Cossack for John’s birthday dinner – very fortuitous as Ryan’s school project this month is on Russia. It’s a beautiful place with lovely potato cakes on the menus and very pleasant East European staff.
Spoken Word and Music
I wasn’t out a great deal last month as I had a nasty lingering virus but Jim and I did make it over to Finn’s Place in Battlefield, where we enjoyed music from Linda Jackson and Graham Mackintosh and spoken work performances from the wonderful Janet Paisley and members of Linda’s writing group including two of the Venditozzis, Maria and Laura and Margaret McGrath. I hadn’t expected to see Margaret nor my sister’s friend Donna, who I hadn’t seen for years so it was a super night full of laughs and surprises.
Jim is performing at an event in the Southside on 22nd June at The Ivory Hotel, 24 Campbell Avenue, Langside, where the Booklet ‘Sometimes I Radiate – new writing from Battlefield Writers’ (edited by Linda Jackson) will be launched.
On Wednesday Night (1 June) I also ventured back to my old stomping ground Glasgow Caledonian University for Chris Dolan’s book launch, his second Maddy Prior Mystery – ‘Lies of the Land’. It was a brilliant night with entertainment provided by Chris’s band and a line up of his many friends including Elaine C. Smith, David Hayman and the immensely talented singer, Maeve Mackinnon.
Chris Dolan is one of the writers featured among my Glasgow Writers. There were many familiar faces at his book launch launch and nice to bump into Dini Power and Willy Maley. I met up with Willy a few weeks back at St Louis Cafe at Thornwood for a chat about his work so that I could add him to the site. He’s done so many interesting things I could have spoken to him all day.
I spent an afternoon with another gifted writer, Vahni Cspildeo, the award winning poet and inspirational tutor at the M.Litt Creative Writing Course at Glasgow Uni. Sadly Vahni has moved down south. I tried to persuade her to return to Glasgow over coffee in the lovely One Devonshire.
The book festival was better than ever this year. My schedule and some mix ups meant that I missed a couple of events but I loved Patrick Harvie, The Books That Shaped Me and Paul Mason and Nick Srnicek, Postcapitalism, was very thought provoking. There was also a super line up for Scotland and the Easter rising with Kirsty Lusk, Sean Bell and James Kelman.
Calum Maclean wrote reviews for some of the poetry events including Poetry and Parenthood with Hollie McNish and What I Learned from Johnny Bevan (Check out Calum’s Film Reviews)
Booked! West Dunbartonshire Book Festival
There’s no better venue in Glasgow than the University Chapel. It was the perfect location for the series of literary events held by the University Creative Writing Programme. I managed along to see Bernard MacLaverty and also enjoyed listening to the author Jenni Fagan discuss her work. It was good to see so many familiar faces including Pamela Bianchetti and Gillean McDougall that I know from the Centre for Open Studies Creative Writing Course. You’ll enjoy reading Pamela’s blog: Five Reasons Never To Leave Glasgow
Very well done to Prof Louise Welsh, Zoe Strachan and Colin Heard. I hope we see another series of events before too long.
Friends and Family and Dining Out
The Main Highlight of the Month was having my sister, Catherine, and her husband, Alastair, here from Canada. They spent most of their short trip in Peebles and I enjoyed a trip down to see them with my son John and brother Liam. It was great to see Jean and Tom, Alastair’s parents, two youngsters in their nineties. We also had a lovely lunch in the garden of The Cross Keys, where Jim played with his rock band many moons ago.
Always sad to say goodbye when family are heading back across the Atlantic but we did enjoy seeing them.
I also enjoyed catching up with Basia and her family when she invited me along to The Kelvin Pocket – a fabulous new cafe at Kelvinbridge. Down the stairs beside the Underground. It’s a lovely wee place and Sam’s home baking is awesome. Jim was delighted when I told him that Basia was wearing a Something Cruel T-shirt.
I’ve also been frequenting Eusebi quite a lot and good to report that they now have a licence for some outside seating. If you haven’t yet tried Eusebi then put it on your list. You can either sit in or pick up a delicious picnic and head down to Kelvingrove. Jim, his dad, Jimmy, and I, enjoyed lovely cake and coffee there and I usually have a drink there every week with Gillian, Calum and Samina after our Writing Classes.
Another favourite haunt of ours is the Tea Room in De Courcy’s – a great place if you fancy a scone and some fifties’ ambience. I had a great catch up with Frances and Anne dining in the sunshine at Cafe Source Too in Hyndland and it was lovely to catch up with the McIlanney’s, Patrick, Erin, Aileen and Ryan, for pizza at The Firebird.
I love checking out new shops and walked along to Partick and had a lovely browse in the fabulous shop in Merkland Street with the great labels (Life Clothing for men and women).
There’s a great new coffee shop and gift shop at Anniesland Cross, worth checking out Retro Gift and Coffee Shop
And you’ll love Lloyd Herriott’s Music Alchemist, upstairs in De Courcy’s, Cresswell Lane.
Nana Momo Makes in Ruthven Lane is a very attractive and fascinating children’s clothing shop – also runs sewing classes. www.facebook.com/NanaMomoMakes/
Byres Road & Lanes Business Improvement District – Fashion Show Hillhead Library
I had been looking forward to this event but I couldn’t make it along to the Fashion Show as I had a virus. However, I hear it was a great success and fabulous to have so many local businesses involved including our brilliant West End Vintage Shops. (More information about the Fashion Show. ) Recently I met up with David, Deborah and Elisabeth from B. I.D.at Kember and Jones in Byres Road and we had a great chat over coffee – I was delighted to hear that there are plans afoot for more exciting local events.
We thoroughly enjoyed Neil Connolly’s gig at Dram. Couldn’t believe how many familiar faces there were in the audience including Margaret, Roisin and Michael Brady, Maurice O’Brian, the filmmaker, and Glasgow musician Mick Hargan.
There are lots of fantastic exhibitions on at the moment, including:
- The Moment Keeper, The Thistle Gallery, Jackie and Jilly Henderson until 19 June. Part of the West End Festival
- David M Martin Master of Colour at By Distinction, Byres Road.
- Opulent Folk at The Lighthouse
- Gifts for the Gods Animal Mummies Revealed, Kelvingrove
- Kelvin at the Kibble – Jim, Jimmy and I enjoyed finding out all about nature on the River Kelvin at this exhibition in the Kibble until 12 June
Watch out for promotions for Father’s Day and Graduation Gifts coming up on the website. Lot’s of fabulous places for buying cards and gifts.
Including, new to the site: Spirito, cards and gifts, Broomhill.
- Nancy Smillie Shop and Nancy Smillie Jewellery Studio,
- Janet and John – promoting Scottish creativity
- Allan’s Art.
- Cassiopeia Gift Boutique,
- Shona Fidgett Designer Jewellery
- Stevenson Jewellers on Byres Road,
- Mo McQuillan’s handcrafted silver jewellery
- Blair and Sheridan for that extra special gift and
- The Hoodie Stop and
- Apple Box Gift Shop
New on the site:
- The Kelvin Hotel – the real West End by Roy Beers
- Bloody Scotland 9 – 11 September, 2016
- Where You’re Meant To Be – review by Calum Maclean
- North Hop, Glasgow. SWG3 18 June – celebration of craft beer culture
- University of Glasgow: Friendly Shelves
- Summer Family Market – The Coach House Trust, 25 June
- Al Fresco Dining Glasgow West End
Advertise with us
- Advertise your business on Glasgow West End website on our Local Business Directory – prices start at only £24.99 per annum.
- Advertise your event: £10 per listing.
- Feature adverts 25% off until end of June, 2016.
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