Added on Monday 21 Apr 2008
It's been a busy old month. One of the highlights was a fantastic night out at OranMor, where loads of my buddies came along to support Basia and John's Cuba Challenge Trip. My son John, my brother Liam and their friends came up from Old Kilpatrick and Issi and Davie Wilson came with Joyce and Maggs. Val, Linda and Ann also made it along. It was superb and we had great fun dancing the night away to Jim's band Loris. Good luck to Basia and John, who set off on their journey this week.>
Thankfully we are now seeing some blue skies - although still needing to wrap up against the cold. I've been out and about quite a bit and the other day we went down to Lomond Shores to see the Aquarium. Caitlin and Ryan (and the big folk) were in raptures over the baby sea horses and highly excited at seeing sharks close up. Maybe plan a trip on the Maid of the Loch, when summer arrives!
We had a shorter excursion along to Bingham's Pond to see the ducks and swans and I tried out our new tiny video camera - it's going to take some practise as part of the recording was inside my handbag.
Easter Sunday was a particularly cold day but John, Ryan and I ventured up into the Old Kilpatrick Hills and rolled the Easter Eggs amid flurries of snow. Think that's the first Easter we've had to wear our wellies. We went back up into the Hills this week-end and Caitlin came along too. We had to go very carefully as lots of wee lambs about - the children were thrilled when we saw one of the sheep giving birth. We had to stay quite a bit away so that we did not startle them but it was a great experience watching the mother lick the babies clean and nudge them onto their feet and help them take their first steps.
Afterwards we went down to the Old Kilpatrick Bowling Club for a party my friend Ann was holding for Somalian friends, who had just got married. It was brilliant - a real mix of cultures - we sang Flower of Scotland and danced to some great African beats.
I was also down in the village for the Christening of my new great-niece, Michaela Freya Margaret O'Neill, to be known as Freya. Both she, and her big sisters Eve and Sartah were looking very smart and the baby was on her very best behaviour. I saw lots of familiar faces and It was good to catch up with folk from Old Kilpatrick and Duntocher including the McDermotts and my mum's old friends Josie and Andy Gillepsie.
At last we have managed along to the Allotment and have done a bit of tidying up and some planting. Although, I am still trying to get organised regarding purchasing a garden shed so any tips gratefully accepted.
I've also been catching up with friends and visiting some interesting places in the West End; I popped in to find out what was happening at the Baby Grand at the bottom of Byres Road, and learned that it has been reincarnated as 'North of Bondi' - Glasgow's first Austalian Restaurant. Nick Biok, the Chef was happy to chat to me about his new venture - the menu looks very exotic with lots of Malaysian and Thai influences. I'm hoping to get along some day soon to try out their brunch menu. I may well pop in on my own and see if there is anyone sitting at their communal table - a new concept for Glasgow, which is apparently the custom in Australia.
I had a really wonderful meal at Two Fat Ladies, The Buttery down in Argyle Street, where we had a belated celebation for Eleanor's birthday. It was a unique experience as we had the Chef's Room just to ourselves - with a view right into the kitchen through a glass wall. Having avidly watched the Gordon Ramsay programmes, where there always seems to be some sort of stramash going on, we were amazed at the tranquillity in Two Fat Ladies' kitchen. There were eight of us altogether and most of us had the fish dishes that the restaurant excels in. I had fabulous sea bass and scallops to start - delicious. A great restaurant for a special night out - not a single compaint to be heard.
We also had a night out with Jim's family, when twelve of us went along to see Black Watch a the SECC - not our usual choice and we did not know what to expect but it was a very rivetting and hard-hitting play. Thanks to Stephen, who very generously treated the whole family.
Another event I really enjoyed was 'A Programme, A Playwright and A Pint', at OranMor, where Denise Mina was interviewed for BBC Radio Scotland by Janice Forsyth. The discussion was lively and apart from hearing a bit about Denise's ideas on writing, we had a sneak preview of Denise's "A Drunk Woman Looks at the Thistle' with Karen Dunbar performing excerpts from the work. The rapport between the three women on the stage was brilliant and the event was thoroughly entertaining. On at OranMor for a week from Monday 21st April, I think this is going to be well worth a visit to their lunchtime theatre.
I was back along at OranMor for their Charity Vintage Event, organised by DJ Heather Suttie as part of the Say No to Plastic Campaign. Frances and Nicky came along with me and we all had a good rummage and a chat to some of the celebrities manning their stalls - including the very affable Allison McKenzie, Jo (the first one) in River City, who is forging ahead with her career and about to be in a film with Dougray Scott.
Afterwards we had a lovely lunch in Heart Buchanan and enjoyed massive platters of delicious sandwiches garnished with very tasty rocket and Nicky was able to fill us in on all her exciting excursions including a wedding in Cuba.
I've been having other little jaunts around the West End and met up with Lynne McKinstray, who is bringing her enthusiam for music to our Gig Guide. We met up in The Belle on Great Western Road and had some super Bei & Nannini coffee (only 99p a cup) and tea cakes. Nice staff and surroundings.
I also had an opportunity to check out the new cafe at Trevi, on the other side of Great Westrn Road, where I went to meet Roy Beers and one of his colleagues, also Lynne,and we had a good little chinwag over some tasty bruschetta. Sorry to see the Trattoria go after all these years but hope the Cafe does well - the staff are certainly very courteous.
I bumped into Roy again when I went along with Anne to Pintxo for a little party thrown by the owner Allan Mawn. Turning out to be a mighty successful restaurant and the food at Pintxo's is nothing short of blissful. There were a few weel kent west end faces at the 'do' and I had a chat with Robin Morton about the super programme at Brel for the West End Festival. Also caught up with Nancy Smillie, whom I also bumped into when we went along to the Glasgow Art Show.
Roy is always first in the know with everything happening in the Dining and Drinking Scene in Glasgow's West End so keep your ears open for a new wine and food bar called Serge. Apparently, there will be discounts towards a meal for your next visit! To open mid-May down Byres Road way.
I've had a few trips down to Partick, popping into all my favourite places including Cherrybean and Maxine's 'Handbags and Gladrags', where I spotted a fabulous Louis Vuitton bag that I may well go back for - if it's not been snapped up. It was such a bargain I should have bought it.
I had planned to have a quick lunch somewhere on Hyndland Street at Cafe Vienna or The Rio Cafe but I nattered so long to Maxine that I decided just to pick up a few tasty snacks from Polish Taste, the brilliant Polish deli, which has expanded offering an even wider variety of produce. I am a big fan of the Keffir and their Polish dumplings.
Other shops I've had a wee browse in lately include Zico's, where Simon Weir told me that the monochrome summer dresses are leaping off the shelves. I'll be watching out for Simon playing a new role in a television soap in the very near future.
Bolshie is another shop great little shop that has fairly livened up Bank Street and their organic, recycled and eco-friendly clothes are proving to be very popular. They've now also got free Wifi so pulling in the students for a pleasant place to have a snack and catch up on their surfing. I could not pass by Scherezade, the super middle-eastern deli. I picked up a some tasty stuffed aubergine and hummous to take home and heard all Ali's news. I was out for hours that day and also spent a lot of time browsing in Retro - the great retro clothes and accessories shop in Otago Street and the antique shop next door.
Around the corner on Great Western Road Galletly and Tubbs are still adding to their fantastic new Interiors/Furniture shop. Well worth a visit if you are into beautiful stuff for your home. You won't see anything else quite like it.
When I'm along at Kelvinbridge more often than not I bump into Lynne Scobbie and for years she has been suggesting that I come to her art class so I have now taken the bull by the horns and went along to my first class. It was great fun and I met quite a few very talented and friendly people and had a great time with my first artistic attempts. Jackie and I went along to the Visitor Centre at the Botanics to the exhibition of work by the Art Class students. Who knows maybe next time I'll have a couple of wee paintings on display!
I've also been busy adding lots of new stuff to the site. Including another great article about Glasgow by Ian Mitchell - this time he takes us to Easterhouse.
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