Added on Thursday 30 Nov 2006
I'll just start off by wishing you all a Happy Saint Andrew's Day. Next year we'll have an even better time celebrating our National Saint's Day as it will be a new public holiday. Although, there will be some decision making involved as apparently you have to swop it for another holiday. So bang goes Fair Friday or the September week-end will have to be shortened. Spoil sports. Anyway if you are still thinking about going out tonight there are a number of options, which you can find out about in our What's On. This includes the Saint Andrew's Festival in Saint Andrew's in the Square and, nearer home, The Partick Folk Festival or you can Ceilidh on Ice down in George Square. Michael Dale, Director of the West End Festival has done a great job with Glasgow on Ice, which provides fun for all the family as well as some exercise. Too precarious for me but I'm a scaredy custard, however, spectating is very enjoyable.
I've been out and about quite a bit lately and went along with Jackie to see Eleanor perform with the Kilmardinny Players in 'Barefoot in the Park'. It was a smashing show with lots of laughs and good to see the other groupies - Matthew, Basilia and Peter. Happy 21st to Matthew. The Kilmardinny Players are looking for recruits so if you fancy yourself as an actor now is your chance.
Jim and i went along to the Glasgow South business Club's 20th Anniversary Dinner, sounds a bit boring but in fact we laughed till we cried as the After Dinner Speakers included Dick Wolfson, previously 'Wag of the Year' award winner. A serious contender for Billy Connolly's crown this retired anaesthetist was just hilarious.
We had another good night just round the corner at Gilmorehill where Chris McAllister and Pearse McCusker celebrated their wedding. Good to see all the Glasgow Caledonian crowd and catch up with Brian Smith, Kevin Patterson and his partner Louise. It was a great event and congratulations to the couple.
Jim and I took a run up to Bearsden a week or so ago, on a cold, cold day, and I enjoyed a little browse around the shops and then we had a very nice lunch in Cafe Creme. Their delicious spicy lentil soup went down a treat.
I've been hanging out at our usual haunts and investigating new arrivals to the West End cafe Culture - Ann and I had coffee in Offshore after a lovely walk up from Partick through Kelvingrove. Then I met up with Dawn and Valerie of belong - the fabulous, newly launched jewellery boutique on Byres Road. We had a chat with Xana, the lovely staff member from Monte Negro, already a big fan of the shop, came to my rescue and fixed my zip. So thanks for tht Xana - it was a bit awkward stepping in and out of my coat.
There is a lovely new cafe opened on Great Western Road, Near kelvinbridge Underground Mad Hatter - so good luck to Peter Brunton, his brother Ross and sister Angela with this venture. It's got an unusual classy and cosy feel plus great coffee.
Now that Christmas is very much on our horizon there is a real buzz around the West End. Our Christmas Menus have proved more popular than ever - amazingly a search on Google for 'Christmas menus 2006" finds us around 10th out of over 22 million possible results world wide. So no doubt folks will be flying in from places far and wide to sample Glasgow's Festive Fare!!
West End restaurants are becoming ever more imaginative in what they have to offer and this week-end Stravaigin2 invites the children to Deck the Halls. Whilst at Theo's on 2nd December, the children can listen to stories and parents can buy some Fair Trade products - and, of course, you can also dine.
Yes, Glasgow West End at Christmas - can be mesmerising with so much to see and do. My plans are often bigger than my pleasure allocated time and I just don't get to do all I want to do so roll on the holidays. I have not started Christmas shopping nor have I dusted down the decorations. In fact, I saw a delightful tiny Christmas tree in Galletly and Tubbs (theyll be open till 8 p.m. every Thursday during December) and thought I might just sit that on the mantlepiece rather than order the giant pine. I think this is a sign of both age and exhaustion so I need to get into that Christmas spirit.
My mood was helped along on Sunday, when I met Ann, and we went to the Glasgow Group's Christmas Art Fair in The Primary on Woodlands Road. Afterwards we walked along to Ruthven Mews, where Hannah Frank, the 98 year old Scottish artist came along to open The Hannah Frank Experience. The shops down here are great for browsing and shopping, in out of the cold, so if you've not been along there yet then put it on your outings list.
I enjoyed catching up with Rosemary and Val and we had a really lovely meal in Paperino's, Byres Road. You should see your friends more often and I hope that we can meet up again before Christmas and perhaps persuade Margaret Brady to come along.
Lots of new stuff on the Website and I particularly love the contributions from my friend Issi Wilson, who writes about her Day out with the Americans and A Hot Stone Massage - getting down and dirty in the West End.
Congratulations to Billy McCaulay of Hyndland, and other youngsters, who partipated in One Plus's Work, Weans and Worries - Social Inclusion Conference.
Christana' Latest Film Crits include Casino Royale and Red Road.
I feel as though I have more to say but must head out - I have to do some West End shopping and then have a hospital appointment. Still trying to get to the bottom of my mystery illness - but before I go just to remind you that tickets will soon be on sale for the Ashton Lane Hogmanay Party.