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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Time Out, Glasgow Women’s Library, St Louis Partick,July, 2017

Glasgow Women's Library

gwl image

Have been quite busy of late finishing off half completed ‘stuff’. A couple of weekends ago I took some time out - away from the computer. Saturday I attended a book launch at the Glasgow Women’s Library. Arriving in the square outside Bridgeton train station, I was surprised to see it decorated with Union Flags and red, white and blue pennants. It wasn’t until I saw people wearing orange t-shirts/scarfs and young children carrying small Union flags that the penny dropped. It was July 1st - the beginning of the ‘Marching Season’! I’ll save my comments on sectarian provocation for the forum!

The GWL is only a few minutes’ walk from the station. There’s always a friendly welcome, with tea, coffee (served in a variety of china cups and saucers) and biscuits available on a donation basis.
I was early so I looked for the shelf holding the wooden cube which the Leven Litts Writers had dedicated to the memory of their friend - the Peace campaigner, Margaret Harrison. I held it for a while, reading the dedication.

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A lady then came to say the book launch was about to start in the Community Room upstairs. More refreshments available. Eighteen people - a good turn-out for 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon - assembled to hear AC Clarke explain her inspiration behind her new book, ‘A Troublesome Woman’ which was the ‘Book of Margery Kempe’. The book, dictated c.1430s, is considered by some to be the first autobiography in English. As might be expected A C Clarke’s talk was fluent, knowledgeable and amusing whilst maintaining a relaxed rapport with the audience. The talk included poems by AC Clarke responding to specific parts of the text in the Margery Kempe book. Overall an excellent presentation - as always. Even the noise of the drumming of the Orangemen didn’t faze her!

St Louis Cafe Bar, Partick

st louis cafe bar

On leaving the GWL I took the train over to Partick, walking from the station (more orangry about!) to the Thornwood Roundabout to the St Louis Bar and Restaurant for an early evening meal. I discovered this bar a few months ago and have eaten there several times since. Would recommend giving it a try. The menu is quite extensive and reasonably priced. I have always enjoyed my tasty, well presented choices, and find the staff friendly and accommodating to people such as myself with ‘special requirements’ in respect of eating habits. I asked Ryan, one of the young barmen/waiters, what he liked best about working there. His reply was that he enjoyed being part of the community.

It’s an interesting place with a disparate collection of tables and chairs, offering a more relaxed atmosphere than the uniformity of many ‘chain’ bars and restaurants. It is obviously a popular place with an eclectic mix of clientele and many regulars including babies, toddlers and dogs - all well behaved during my visits so no complaints there. There is live music most nights and a jamming session once a month.

Hope to be more regular in my contributions but the road to hell etc
PS Some people may object to the use of scarfs as opposed to scarves as the plural of scarf. I have deliberately used the less common form to make a point to a friend of mine! She knows who she is!

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Publisher of Pat’s Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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