Added on Wednesday 12 Jul 2006
Festival Season continues in our city with Glasgow People's Festival at Glasgow Green last week-end and the River Festival coming up
on 15th and 16th.
The West End Festival was a resounding success and the Mardi Gras Parade was the highlight for many people, with 75,000 thronging Byres Road and the Botanics. A fine time was had by all as the parade met up with the Mela in Kelvingrove Park.
We spent most of the day relaxing outside Beanscene in Cresswell Lane, where Holly and Ryan made great friends with Paul McGuire, who has this as a regular spot for his fiddle playing. You can see some of the photographs of the event in Jim's Photo Diary
Colin Beattie was delighted with OranMor's input to the festival with the venue playing host to 22 concerts in 15 days. Among the most popular were Eddi Reader and David Allinson was another Scottish Artist, who proved to be a big hit. Lynne Scobbie and Arthur McGurk both agreed that the Coachhouse Trust Open Day was simply wonderful and Elspeth Gibson of Theo's loved the Holyrood Garden Party.
I've popped round to Theo's a couple of times recently as we have a new feature on this great, family friendly restaurant on the site. However, it's much, more than just a place for mums and toddlers with great soup, sandwiches, delightful coffee and now also open evenings. I caught up with Eleanor, Joan and Jackie for some lunch and a chat and also went along with Anna and Ryan so that he could play happily while we had a natter.
The highlight of this month is bound to be the re-opening of Kelvingrove and Jim and I went along to the Opening Concert and Preview. It was a lovely evening with the Bearsen Choir in fine voice. The Art Gallery and Museum re-opens on 11th July and is set to have a very busy summer. You won't miss the Spitfire and new baby elephant and the wonderful restaurant looking up to Glasgow University - my own favourites are the new Mackintosh section and The Scottish Artists. The painting look amazing in their new siting and the light is wonderful. Also really good to see the sculpture of Lord MacFarlane of Bearsden, who worked so hard to bring in the bucks for the refurbishment.
The sculpture of Lord MacFarlane is by Paisley artist Sandy Stoddart - who recently was given an honourary degree by Glasgow University. Graduation season has been well and truly upon us and it is great seeing all the students scrubbed up and accompanied by proud friends and relatives. Unfortunately, I was off sick and did not see Billy Connolly pick up his degree courtesy of RSAMD.
There's been lots of activity in the West End Shopping Scene: David O'Neill's Phiten Scotland has moved from Ruthven Lane to 1st Floor of Debenhams in the City Centre. However, another interesting establishment has opened up in the Lane; Andre and Ossie's Gallery has interesting artwork and fantastic handcrafted furniture. You can also pop into Darling Cafe, where Deborah McCallum invites you to buy tea, coffee and chill out. You can bring your own snacks to eat and even a DVD. You might never have to leave as they sell clothes and also have a hairdressers. 10 Design is a very popular hair salon in Ruthven Lane - you will come out looking and feeling a million dollars as the team are not only talented but also have the feel good factor.
New shops in Byres Road include Fat Face - just the place to pick up your holiday wardrobe, and Demijohn - The Liquid Deli, where you can try and buy a wide range of vinegars, oils and spirits. Gerry of Lupe Pinto's Deli has moved on to thresholds new and Christo's has got lots of new exciting stock - including some fabulous 'bow' bags. Watch out for another Miso Funky Market in Hillhead Library on Saturday 15th.
I've not been going too far afield just popping out for brief sorties around the West End enjoying a little chat with Sylvia Rossi at Galletly and Tubbs, browsing around Roots and Fruits for some healthy eating options and checking out Napier's for herbal remedies. So hopefully I will be on the mend again soon. We didn't plan a holiday this year as my sister and her family are visiting from Canada so I'm hoping to be in better form for their imminent arrival. However, a week or so ago Jim and I went down to Glasgow Clydeside Antiques, in Lancefield Street, just beside the new bridge across the Clyde. It's a brilliant place, run by Julie and Joe Gallagher, friends from Old Kilpatrick. Very worth checking out, if you are down at the riverside for the festival you should also check out this huge warehouse with over 30 dealers offering a huge selection of antiques and artefacts.
The Riverside and Finnieston seem to be very 'up and coming' - wouldn't mind a nice flat looking over the waterside; would have to be within walking distance of Byres Road though. Lots happening down in that area and I plan to take a trip down to mosey around further.
There's lots of new stuff on the site including a new deal on our Restaurant Reservations where the Buttery has a new pre-theatre menu. Jim and I had some tapas in Cafe Andaluz and met Madeleine and Bernard McLaverty enjoying a coffee further along the lane. We had a chat with this interesting couple and heard about the positive reviews of 'Matters of Life and Death", Bernards' latest book. I also met my friend Rosemary for a blether in Anti Pasti so hope she is having a great time in Barra. I need to see some more of these islands and beautiful places in Scotland. Put very much to shame by Helen Rose, who has recently been hillwalking, at Fisherfields and the remote hills, Carn an Fhidhlei and An Sgarsoch.
Also new on the site is Roisin Brady's refreshing view of students in the hood - some changes have been introduced to the Discussion Forum, courtesy of our moderators, with Nostalgia is proving to be a favourite topic.
Also new on the site are Christina's latest film crits, Roy Beer's Eating and Drinking Update - including an obituary for Angelo Domenico Giovanazzi, the well known restaurateur, who sadly died recently. Another much missed West End Character, Ali Abbasi, has been remembered by his sister Mussie in a book 'Ali Abbasi Our Memories', still some available for purchase.
Jim's new book '60 Hot to Touch Accessble Web Design Tips', the tips no web developer can live without. will also soon be available for purchase.
Congratulations to Italy on winning the World Cup - I hear that things were looking lively on Sunday evening down Byres Road in Little Italy. Remo, Paulo and the gang will be grinning from ear to ear.