Added on Sunday 23 Sep 2007
Just a day or two late with my diary update this month so a major improvement on my time management skills. I don't know about everyone else but I constantly ask myself 'where does the time go?' and that's now another summer in. However, I can't complain because we have holidays ahead of us and also I've been very busy and out and about a lot - mainly in Glasgow West End.
I've also been enjoying working on the site even more because my two compatriots, Roy Beers and Catherine Dooley, are keeping me on my toes. No more excuses for neglecting my website tasks - I am now accountable.
Roy has been extra busy checking out what's new on the Glasgow West End Dining and Drinking front and also keeping his eye on some of the more controversial plans including developments at the Botanics. Whilst Catherine has been helping me respond to the plethora of emails sent to the site and build a new section about Glasgow Weddings. So watch out for lots of developments in the very near future.
For a long time now I have been inundated with queries about where to have receptions, ceremonies, hen nights, buy the dress, have your haircut, what florist and so on. I don't always have an answer so if you have any ideas, been to, or had, a lovely Glasgow wedding, or if you want to promote a related business then please any tips.
Anyway I've been hanging out with my new buddies, making plans in Cherrybean and talking shop at Sonny & Vitos in Park Road. I also had a lovely lunch with Maggie Graham at 'Vienna', the fab cafe in Hyndland Street after popping into the Rio to hand over their certificate for Best Festival Cafe 2007 in our West End Festival Awards.
Jim and I met up with Roy and his friend Tommy McLaughlin at the launch of a new Turkish Restaurant, Alla Turca, Turkish Melody in Pitt Street. We had a great time as not only were the canapes absolutely amazing but the young restraurateur, Burak Soyusinmez, showed off his skills in a traditional Turkish dance display. We also enjoyed a chat with Colin Beattie and Simon Magnus, the affable young manager from OranMor. Everyone was in agreement that Alla Turca will be a great success and I hope to get back along there very soon.
I've been meeting up with my chums as per usual and Ann and I had a lovely stroll through Victoria Park in Scotstoun a week or so ago and then a very hearty breakfast in the Bungalow Cafe on Dumbarton Road. I also introduced her to Il Caffe in Anniesland - great service and super brunch.
David Howatt kindly treated me to lunch at Sonny and Vito's and then gave me a lift in his great vroom, vroom convertible down to Byres Road. Jim and I went back along to this great bistro an deli to meet Arto Palaysian, just arrived in Glasgow from his studies at Harvard to do his Ph.D. at Glasgow University. It was enjoyable hearing about his views of the West End as a new arrival - all positive so far.
I caught up with Ian Mitchell in Antipasti and he had a good chat about lots of stuff including the Maryhill Phenomenon that continues to flourish on the website - with people adding comments from all over the world. Ian has given me some more great tales of Glasgow to add to the site so need to crack on with that. I also went along to check out The Pond Hotel, which is looking splendid after a very expensive refurbishment. The dining room is very attractive and also smashing to pop in for a Costa coffee - they've even got free Wifi and it's within a nice short cycle from our new home in Anniesland.
Absorbing all this cafe culture gave me a little prompt and I have updated our Cafe and Bistro Section, however, it's never-ending and there is always something new around the corner. This would include The Hidden Lane Cafe-Gallery at 1103 Argyle Street, you need to wander through a pend and along a cobbled lane to find it, but lots of plans afoot for this place including open-mike sessions on a Sunday and traditional music on Saturdays. Telephone:0141 564 1363 for more information.
My real purpose for visiting the lane was to speak to Shona Fidgett, the talented young jewellery designer, who creates the most fabulous rings and other things. She's got a new page on the site so if you are looking for a special gift for Christmas get in touch soon with your commission.
Lots going on in town right now with the Merchant City Festival starting this week-end. Part of the Festival includes an exhibition of the work of Alasdair Gray in the Cafe Cossachok Gallery and Jim and I went along to that last night. It's really fantastic and good to see Alasdair in such good form - chatting and laughing with everyone.
I am also really excited about tonight as Jim and I are off to the launch of Glasgay at the Kylie Exhibition in Kelvingrove. I expect to slink into the background and enjoy just observing at such an exotic event. I will always accept any excuse to go along to Kelvingrove but recently I slipped up when I was running so late for the launch of the new Riverside Museum that I missed the whole thing. Actually, I had hoped to catch the last 20 mins or so but everyone had left by the time I got there. However, things turned out not so bad as I enjoyed a little wander around the Merchant City and even managed a chat with a few people. I called into speak to Eileen McCusker and Neil at Orro - what a fantastic shop! I also checked out the Scottish Music Centre, a very interesting place with oceans of information, when I left ran into Bernie, one of my old buddies from Rosemount days and we had smashing natter.
Jim and I were back down in Candleriggs at the City Halls for the Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham concert and it was a great show. The two have lost none of their magic after 20 years together and the music was fantastic - we also had a good laugh at their patter. The City Halls, has had a magnificient face lift and looks just superb.
I've been enjoying some daytime adventures as well and took Ryan and Holly to the Gala Day at Lansdowne Crescent in Hyndland. It was a day and a half as I picked them up in Clydebank and then before going to the Gala we went on the train to Queen Street to see the Scottish Steam Engine in George Square. The children were very impressed by the huge locomotive, brought all the way from South Africa to Glasgow to help with the fundraising campaign for the new Riverside Transport Museum. Afterwards I took them on the Underground and Ryan was thrilled at seeing yellow, blue and green tunnels. We got off at Partick and then jumped in a taxi to Hyndland so, much to Ryan's delight, there were lots of different vehicles involved in our outing.
The Gala was brilliant - very well organised and lots for the children to do and nice tea, coffee and cakes for the big folk. Afterwards we walked up to meet Jim and bumped into Greg Hemphill, who looks like a great Daddy, out with his two children, dog and pram, looking very happily in charge whilst his wife was in London. We hooked up with Jim, picked up some pizzas and pastas in Little Italy and then spent the rest of the day with the McGreevy family in Knightswood - which was nice especially as the sun came out.
Although the weather has been poor I took advantage of another sunny day last week to pop along to catch up with my old chums along in Kelvinbridge. I was lucky enough to encounter Mark Galletly, who gave me a sneak preview of Galletly and Tubbs new furniture shop, which used to be Back Street Pine. Big refurbishing job underway but it sounds set to be fantastic and should open in October. Mark assures me that they are 'busy sourcing some superb furniture'.
I also popped into a lovely new shop 'Flounce' on Great Western Road near Bank Street and it is just beautiful. So if you are needing new curtains you've just got to check it out because the fabrics are gorgeous. I could not head home without seeing Arthur at The Coachouse Shop and he was affable as ever - but now has some competition from Tim next door in 10 Design. I can just see these two enjoying many a conversation on the shop doorways. Back to work, boys.
Jim and I went back along to Kelvinbridge for Open Door Day as I wanted to check out what's happening in the Lansdowne Church, where there is an ambitious project to carry out essential repairs, repair the lovely stained glass windows and extend the use of the church for community art related activities. We had a chat with Kenneth Burns, a local artist, who was one of the people responsible for the lovely art work on display.
We also called into St Mary's Episcopalean Cathedral, just along Great Western Road. This is a wonderful building with lots of lively churchworkers and a very young Provost, Kelvin Holdsworth, who has his own blog on the Net - What's in Kelvin's Head
I've had a nice visit from my Rosemount buddies Margaret Brady, Margaret Carpenter and Rosemary Venditozzi and I've also been going along to the Scotstoun Leisure Centre with Val. Marion came up to see me and Ann Morgan came round for dinner with us. I've been out and about with my son John and we took the children fishing to the Glen Burn in Old Kilpatrick - just branches, line and worms - we only caught an old umbrella but we had fun. We've been back to the allotment but I think our tottie harvest has finished this season. That hasn't stopped Jim's fun though as he's enjoying taking lots of photographs there with his brand new camera.
I need to go and get my glad rags on and off to the Kylie Exhibition and then tomorrow we will go to the Merchant City to catch some of the Festival