Glasgow is all agog with Halloween. Seems it’s no longer just the children who love this festival. Many spooky, scary happenings everywhere you turn with even the ever popular Roots and Fruits greengrocers getting in on the act. Good luck with those best costume prizes but remember you don’t always have to dress up to enjoy the fun. See what’s on in Glasgow Halloween.
Of course, Bonfire Night is only a week away. There will be an absolutely spectacular display in Glasgow Green and many Firework Displays in and around Glasgow.
I’ve been away a lot and chasing my tail to keep abreast updating my website. I had a trip to Canada to see my sister and her family and had a marvellous time catching up. The Toronto Film Festival was on when I was there but I wasn’t organised enough or did I have time to go along to a movie but I managed to soak up some of the atmosphere.
On the other hand, I managed to spend a lot of time with Catherine, Alastair, Lauren and my Canadian friends.
Jim and I had an absolutely wonderful time when we went for a week to the Outer Hebrides to Harris and Lewis. I had been wanting to make this trip for a long time as I’d heard how beautiful it was. It was way beyond my expectations – we spent a lot of time wandering on deserted white sands, admiring the scenery and taking lots of photographs.
Jim certainly made good use of his new camera and was so inspired by the images that he has used them to create designs and has started to sell prints and home accessories at Balcony Art.
He was tickled pink when he designed a lovely wee cushion in my favourite colours.
You can see more of Jim's photography on this theme at: Jim Byrne photo diary, fine art edition
I always enjoy a trip to The Lighthouse, it's a great place to find out about the architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and was particularly busy during the Mackintosh Festival Also of interest was the exhibition focusing on another of Glasgow's amazing architects, Alexander 'Greek' Thomson. Last week went along with Frances to Queens Cross Church to hear Avril Paton talking about her life as an artist and her iconic painting Windows in the West, Part of Glasgow’s Mackintosh Festival.
Will be performing next Sunday 5 November at the wonderful Mackintosh Club in Helensburgh. A chance to enjoy some music and literature and discover this wonderful venue designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Also still on show will be 'A Threaded Story' – a one off collection of Japanese Kimonos and textiles, part of the Mackintosh Festival. Tickets on sale at eventbrite
Ten Writers will also take part in Book Week Scotland at Airdrie Library on 28 November.
Frances and I spent an enjoyable evening in the company of Avril and Dylan Paterson from Mackintosh Centre Queens Cross, at the launch of the new Terrace Cocktail Lounge at The Grosvenor Hilton Great Western Road. A perfect destination if you are a fan of afternoon tea and cocktails.
I was very keen to check out Celino’s, the new trattoria t and deli in Patrick, and have now been along a couple of times. Ryan and I had coffee and biscotti and I had great catch up over lunch with Anne and Frances. Anne spends a lot of time in Italy – she thoroughly approved of for the bruschetta – absolutely swimming in fresh basil and oceans of baby tomatoes. We'll be going back. I met up with Gillian in Eusebi, which I continue to adore
Frances and I had lunch at The Bungalow Cafe, where we discovered the most luscious baked potatoes possible and their irresistible ice cream. If you enjoy delicious food and lovely surroundings you need to try it out.
I need to get to work highlighting some of the best Christmas Menus so keep a look out over the next week or so.
Glasgow’s West End has no end of interesting locals and I’ve been intending adding to this section of my website for a while. You can now find three new features about fascinating people:
Carol Dunbar, owner of the wonderful Thistle Gallery - I often have a wee chat with Carol when I pop into the gallery but really welcomed an opportunity to sit down for a good gab in Sonny & Vito’s
Alan Tall, musician and actor – a very well known Westender, I could have listened to Alan’s tales of his fascinating career when we met up at Little Italy
Willie Miller, urban designer – currently working on the upgrading of Byres Road. Willie suggested meeting in a favourite place of mine, so we caught up in Eusebi’s. A fascinating man, we are so lucky to have such experts on our doorstep.
I previously bumped into Willie when I went along to a consultation between the planners and local businesses regarding the upgrading of Byres Road. The Hill provided a pleasant atmosphere and delicious coffee and croissants. I was happy to spot Nancy Smillie and Basia Palka and we exchanged ideas as we enjoyed our breakfast.
I was also delighted to meet up with the people who run Oxfam's fabulous Byres Road Music Shop.
Finnieston attracts a lot of praise these days and the rumours of its vibrant atmosphere are true. I hardly know where to start on writing a guide but I am working on it. I’ve always loved the Hidden Lane and Jim and I enjoyed popping into Shona Jewellery and talking to other artisans in the lane. It was a very pleasant sunny day so we had coffee and scones at Seb and Mili, one of the many inviting cafes on Argyle Street. We were very happy to discover Velvet Moon and will definitely be back there for some Christmas shopping.
Who doesn't just love Kelvinbridge? Lots of lovely independent shop to browse in, cafes and restaurants and it even has its own theatre at Websters, Great Western Road. Don't forget to try out their bar and bistro. It's gorgeous. My favourite shops include Nancy Smillie Jewellery Studio and Blair and Sheridan
Allan Richardson, Allan's Art is available to buy online and at Janet and John. You will love his iconic scenes of Glasgow. Also check out his painting of the Kibble Palace, commissioned to celebrate the bicentenary of Glasgow Botanic Gardens. You will find the beautiful painting in the tea room gallery.
Thistle Gallery - still time to catch Seven of Seven exhibition at the Thistle Gallery, Park Road. 'Unwrapped' Christmas Show will run from 4 November until 24 December.
Also worth checking out the following galleries and shops selling paintings and prints:
We had a super time at Dave’s gig. Good to talk to the man himself and listen to his music and always great to see Margaret MacDonald, Paul Kerr, Irene and Duncan McCrone and Alistair Mulhern. I won a bottle of Glengoyne whisky in the raffle. 🙂
Alasdair Gray at Creative Conversations – so great to see one of Scotland’s most talented writers at Creative Conversations in the University of Glasgow Chapel. No-one could be more entertaining.
Bernard MacLaverty – launch of his new novel Midwinter Break at Waterstones Sauchiehall Street. Treat yourself to this book. What a wonderful writer.
I went along to this brilliant conference to help Jim promote his award winning web accessibility design. Also a chance to chat to some incredible projects including Indepen-Dance
In a couple of weeks I’m going along to a meeting to discuss West End Festival 2018. I’ve often organised events at the festival including Folk, Blues and Beyond Festi al, our own project Ten Writers Telling Lies and I have an idea for this year as part of Muriel Spark Centenary Celebrations – so hoping that will work out.
Looking forward to catching up with Bob McDevitt, programme director at Aye Write. I love Glasgow’s book festival, which just gets better and better each year.
A Night of Bowling 27 February, 2018.
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Promoting Glasgow's West End Since 1999. Pat Byrne