Added on Tuesday 2 Jan 2007
Happy New Year to everyone. I hope that 2007 will bring lots of joy and good health. Certainly at times last year was a struggle but over the past few weeks I've been having quite a rioutous time and it's all been a bit of a social whirl. Apart from the usual Christmas and New Year festivities there was even more to celebrate as I am now 60 - how did that happen?.
It's been wonderful seeing friends and family and being fussed over. I went along with Eleanor, Joan, Jackie, Linda and Rena for a special treat to the fabulous Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire. Very very swanky, delicious food and great service by Juan and the team. Chef Paul Tamburrini is producing delectable dishes and my turbot was just perfect. The food all looked and tasted gorgeous and the sweets had 'les gals' in raptures. Definitely be back for other special occasions. I received lots of lovely cards, well some of them were a bit cheeky, though Joan's was very nice, the rhyme beginning: "may your bum stay firm and pert". Bringing this physical asset to my attention for the first time !!!. To top it all I received a voucher for my favourite shop Galletly and Tubbs so I'll be looking forward to spending it.
My friend Anne also had a Christmas birthday and we met up to exchange gifts and good wishes over some hot soup in Patisserie Francoise on Byres Road. We bumped into Katrina and Jim Bowes, who were out Christmas Shopping. I recommended that they take a look in belong - that was a mistake as I caught up with them there and could not resist buying a pair of very glam black earrings. Charlotte Naturals is another lovely new shop worth checking out on this lower stretch of Byres Road, at No 106, just before Church Street. It has organic body and bath products and lots of nice smelling gifts, skin products and health supplements. Just the sort of things that I love and love buying for Christmas presents.
My Christmas shopping was fairly painless as I managed to pick up lots of things in local shops over the past month and had little sorties into Elements, Nancy Smillie's, Felix and Oscars in Cresswell Lane and also bought some gifts from the shops in Ruthven Mews, Roccoco on Great Western Road and FOPP. Much better than battling with the crowds in the City Centre and handy for dropping into the Grosvenor Cinema or treating yourself to a coffee in the Atrium or Tinderbox. After one such expedition I met up with Jim and Rolo Tomassi and JJ - two of our moderators from the discussion forum. Together with pianopete they do a marvellous job keeping the board on track - not always an easy task. So thank you mods - we appreciate you.
I also enjoyed lunch with the Rosemount Gang, Rosemary, Val and Margaret and we met in Paperino's in Sauchiehall Street to catch up on all the news and exchange gifts. Another cold and windy day so nice to be in a cosy booth with some steaming and tasty pasta on the table. My son John came to meet me afterwards and we went to his favourite shop - Crockett's, in West Nile Street. One of those intriguing places, which seems never to change and caters for Glasgow's equestrians and country lovers. He was able to choose some waterproof outdoor clothes - handy for long walks over the Old Kilpatrick Hills.
Mixing business with pleasure we were treated to lunch at Glasgow Art Club in Bath Street by David Howat and Bridget and Jason from Pattison and Sim, Estate Agents. We not only enjoyed the pleasant company, the lovely food and interesting conversation but it is such a superb old building. I should put it on my 'to do list' and put a feature on this historical establishment up on the site.
Before we knew it Christmas Eve was upon us and Jim and I went down to Knightswood to visit the McGreevy's. Rae and Alice were beside themselves with excitement when Santa actually walked up their street, I kid you not, I saw him with my own eyes. He even came into their garden and rode around on a bike. It appeared to be a 'reccy' before the big deliveries - not a reindeer in sight but pretty exciting stuff. Cal, the latest addition to the McGreevy Clan is absolutely adorable.
On Christmas Day we managed to fit quite a lot in. First of all we went to see Holly, Ryan and Anna down in Clydebank - Santa had been very kind and the kids were thrilled to pieces with all their new toys. Afterwards we went to see my brothers John and Drew and my son John in Old Kilpatrick. Drew had lots of visitors so it was good fun. In the evening Jim and I went to the Wilsons and had Christmas Dinner with them. We were made very welcome and had a great time with Issi, David, Kerry and Marianne and Davie's brother Sandy - we were all encouraging Issi to keep writing about her West End Adventures on the site and were treated to a little preview of what might be coming up in the next edition.
I went back down to Old Kilpatrick on Boxing Day and John and I took Ryan up the Glen Lusset, he just loves it there, mainly because you see so many trains passing over the bridge and he is a big fan of Thomas, Percy, James and all the other engines. We had lunch in the Ettrick Pub, where we saw some familiar faces and met my brother Liam.
We also met up with Jim's family at his sister's house in Portobello. We spent a few hours in Edinburgh beforehand and had lunch in Harvey Nicks and Jim bought me a combined Birthday and Christmas present - so if you see me around I might be strutting my stuff in my beautiful new coat.
In the week between Christmas and New Year I managed to meet up with quite a few people and had breakfast with Ann in the Rio Cafe in Partick and then introduced her to Polish Taste, where we went to buy some of their dumplings, soup and bread - perfect cold weather fare. I also met up with Maggie Graham and Douglas Ewing in Booly Mardy's; we toasted Maggie's return to good health and bumped into Basia, whose birthday was on Hogmanay, so Happy Birthday Basia and thanks for sending your latest poem.
It was a pity for all the people, who had planned an outdoors Hogmanay, as the Street Parties were cancelled because of the dreadful weather. We ventured as far as Woodlands Road, where we went to the lovely restaurant Torna Sorrento with Jim's Mum and Dad, and then on to the Gala Concert at the Royal Concert Hall, where the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, chivvied along by compere Una MacLean, put us in the right spirit to welcome in the New year.
We had a really lovely night out and in particular I enjoyed hearing Rosalind Sutherland sing as her family used to live round the corner in Oakfield Avenue and I've often heard her sisters Elaine and Ingrid talking about her. The audience lapped up the show, which rounded up with a heartfelt rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Always brings a tear to my eye but the cascading balloons at the finale put us back in a party mood. Notwithstanding the fact that we just went home and brought the New Year in switching television channels between Jools Holland and Jackie Bird. Caught Auld Lang Syne again - this version by Paisley's new star Paulo Nuttini then watched a tremendous firework display from our window before heading off to bed.
I've not bothered to make any new year resolutions - they are usually the same each year and only work in fits and starts. One tends to be to try to be more kind, more patient, a better person - it's quite difficult and almost impossible to keep up. The other is usually to lose weight - another challenging task, however, this year I have dropped lots of dress sizes. So much so that I might even buy a dress. Unfortunately, it was not by choice but because I felt so unwell for a long time. Now I am just thankful to be starting this year feeling a whole lot better - the slimmer me being the silver lining of a rough experience. So I am not making resolutions but wishing for a healthy year ahead, for me and you.
There will be lots to look forward to right away as Celtic Connections kicks off on the 17th January until 4th February, so three weeks of exciting music will be on offer with over 1000 artists performing in various venues throughout Glasgow.
Another fantastic Aye Write Festival will take place in February bringing together some of Glasgow and Scotland's most talented writers plus some accomplished international authors. I absolutely loved the first festival in 2005 and no doubt this will be a great event for book lovers and future writers. It includes a special Schools' Programme with free events.
Further enjoyment can be planned at this year's Glasgow Film Festival, commencing commencing 15th February. Films will be screened at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Rose Street, Cineworld Renfrew Street and the Grosvenor Cinema on Ashton Lane. To register for updates and optain a brochure log onto their Glasgow Film Festival Website
I am looking forward to all of the foregoing but mainly can't wait for the birth of a new great neice or nephew as my neice Danielle and husband Ciaran and Sarah, who will be a big sister, had a baby due on the 31st.
I am looking forward to the festivals though and need to get myself organised but before that my next outing must be to see the recently reopened Kibble Palace. Jim has been along and taken some photographs, which you can see in his December Photo Gallery. Also new on the site you can find:
Thanks for all your support over the past year, a million thanks to our contributors - keep logging on in 2007. Happy New Year.