Added on Saturday 29 Dec 2007
It seems as though it was mid-November just yesterday and Christmas is already over. Lovely mild weather and no rain so no white Christmas this year but hopefully the weather will continue to be clement for next week's first footers. We've been enjoying a great many Christmas outings including the a trip to see Pinocchio, the pantomime performed by the Pantheon Theatre Co. There was high excitment and Sarah, Holly and Ryan fairly got into the spirit. Jim and I also took Ryan along to sample some of the delights of Winterfest in George Square, where we had a ride on the Hobby Horses and the Giant Shoot and was mesmerised by the ice skaters - some surprisingly accomplished and others taking lots of tumbles.
I had a lovely night out at the ballet when I went to see Sleeping Beauty at the Theatre Royal with Anne and Nicky; we were treated to an excellent performance by Scottish Ballet. A further theatrical outing took me up to Bearsden with Jackie, Rena and her mum to see Eleanor perform in 'Spanish Lies'. The Kilmardinnay Players did a great job and the play was really good fun.
We had another cultural outing when Jim and I met up with some of our buddies from the Glasgow Group at their Christmas Exhibition in The Primary, where people had the opportunity to buy original artwork. Congratulations to Graham Govan, who won their artist's award for 2007. Also nice to meet up with Ken Palmer and Alina Kisina, whose images of Berlin are really brilliant.
We took Ryan to visit Santa and then had an added bonus when he visited us - or to be precise the home of our friends - the McGreevy Family in Knightswood. Santa turned up in their street on Christmas Eve - complete with a sack full of gifts for the children. Such excitement!
We had a lovely Christmas Dinner with the Wilsons, down in Scotstoun, after having visited various members of our family and then we spent Boxing Day in Dumbarton with Aileen and big Ryan - the young couple's first venture at large scale family entertainment was a huge success. We managed to fit in a 40th Birthday Party with the Venditozzis and had a great time out in Bishopbriggs. Happy Birthday Rosemary!
We are off to Paisley to celebrate Hogmanay with Basia and John then on New Year's Day we will have dinner with Jim's family. So it is still non-stop.
The Palkas are in a particularly festive mood as Basia and John are preparing to head out to the Sundance Film Festival, as Marianna has won an award for her film 'Good Dick' - well done, Marianna - have a great time on that red carpet.
Nonetheless, as usual I have been out and about in the West End, and beyond. I got a sneak preview of Galletly and Tubb's amazing new interiors shop at 439 Great Western Road (Next to Kelvinbridge underground). Surely the most impressive shop to open in the West End in a very long time with three floors of wonderful furniture and home accessories.
The shops have been looking amazing with a special festive sparkle and I highlighted some of them in our Christmas Shopping Page so if you have not managed along you should make a point of visiting Boxwood, where they have a fantastic new range of childrens' clothes. Circa has made a very successful return to Ruthven Lane and if you've still to buy your Hogmanay party outfit then you could find something very different among their fabulous retro and vintage stock.
Judith Kenny Jewellery has a great new Winter Collection and she is also available to design specially customised jewellery. She made me an exquisite pair silver earrings in the shape of small butterflies for a special Christmas present and they proved to be a big hit. Also very popular were the little lights in the shape of small animals, which I bought along with an assortment of unusual gifts in Nancy Smillie's, Cresswell Lane. I also popped into see Liz McElvey in the Studio in de'Courcy's and must make a point of getting down to her new shop located in The Antique Warehouse in South Street.
Now it's time to forage for some bargains in the sales - Strawberry Fields have some of their fabulous children's designer wear on sale including 'Glitter' from Italy and their beautiful Sonia Rykiel stripes. I hear that Zico in Ruthven Lane will re-open on 7th January when they will have some great bargains on offer.
I have not ventured into the city centre much as the crowds and queues can make life difficult but I met up with Frances and Elizabeth Gilroy for lunch in the Doocot at The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Architecture and Design. We had a lovely lunch so I must go back. Maybe plan to go along with Jim and also have a look at the Exhibitions.
I've also been checking out some of the shops nearer our new home and particularly like Spirito on Crow Road, which has an amazing selection of gifts and jewellery, including the popular Pilgrim range. I walked all the way down to Partick and popped into Crow Road Barbers, 189 Crow Road, which I must investigate further as not only can you get your hair cut here but you can enjoy their Sports Museum! The shop was mobbed so looks like you had better book - (0783 44 66 875) .
In the run up to Christmas I caught up with a number of old friends and went to visit Pat and Veronica Higgins, both up in Glasgow from London, where I lived with them in the 60's. So lots of reminiscent went on. I met up with the gang again when we went lunch to Anne G's and we had such a laugh looking at the old hitch hiking snaps - Glasgow chic on the Cote d'Azure!
It was also good to catch up with friends in Old Kilpatrick, especially Ann Morgan, who made a great job of organising a remembrance celebration for Hamish Murdoch, a very popular member of the community who died recently. He was the first Punk I ever knew and a tremendously popular fellow. Jim's band Loris played at the event in The Ettrick and there was a great crowd there along with Hamish's family, enjoying themselves whilst paying their respects just as he would have liked.
We were back in The Ettrick for another wee celebration when our family met up for my brother John's birthday and we agreed that we should do this more often as we had such a good time.
I joined the team from Glasgow Caledonian for their Christmas Meal at The Dhabba in the Merchant City and enjoyed catching up with everyone. Then on my birthday I went to a wee party at Eleanor's and was also treated by the Rosemount gang - Rosemary, Val and Margaret, who took me to the Red Onion in West Campbell Street where we had a lovely meal and a great blether. Jim and I had a night out at the pictures and some lovely tapas in Cafe Andaluz but we plan to have our usual day out in Edinburgh some day soon. We've been to the cinema a lot lately and I am now a big fan of Casey Affleck, who was in the movie 'The Assination of Jesse James by the Coard William Ford' but I slept through most of the film about Bob Dylan, 'I'm Not There' - very boring.
More interesting was my conversation with Ian Mitchell, whom I met up with in Offshore in Gibson Street. Off on a trip to America and very involved with the restoration of Maryhill Burgh Halls - we had plenty to chat about.
Whilst in the area I had a wee peep in at the new Italian bistro Amici, which looks very nice and then popped into Sonny and Vitos in Park Road, this cafe/deli is irresistible. I also ventured into Doll - a fabulous new clothes boutique, also on Park Road - don't miss it. It's worth a visit - great party outfits and have a look at their sumptuous changing rooms. It's next door to Studio Sixty - the great gallery. Then JKJ jewellery is just across the road. Turning into a very interesting little area and Gallety and Tubbs just around the corner. Excellent spot for an afternoon out - just hop on the underground to Kelvinbridge and everything within an easy walk.
I have an excursion in mind today and want to go out and check out some of the furniture shops as I am looking for a glass table. However, I really need to get down to some work on the site. There is masses of new stuff for you to look at but I have to carry on adding information and developing our Wedding Section as there is so much information to go up there. I am delighted to be working in partnership with Debenhams, who will give everyone who registers their wedding list through the site a £50 gift voucher.
Hope everyone has a very happy Hogmanay and all the best for 2008.