Added on Sunday 22 Nov 2009
Thank goodness no rain this morning. Hazy gray skies are quite acceptable after day upon day of depressing downpours. It's not exactly been my brightest few weeks and the poor weather hasn't helped. I've been a bit overwhelmed as it seemed that one by one family members became ill. Thankfully two of the patients are now coming along leaps and bounds and I'm hoping that by Christmas we may see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
However, in between long discussions with doctors, nurses, physios and carers I've managed to fit in a few interesting events, catch up with some friends and I've even tried out a couple of new places in town.
I met up with The Bluesbunny down in Finnieston and I had a little chat with two Viragoes (Louise and Kevin), who were doing a bit of recording at La Chunky. Then we headed across Argyle Street to Sugar Qube - what a lovely cafe - amazing cakes and lots of people working (or playing) away on the computers. I had a lovely snack and enjoyed hearing all about what's new in Glasgow's music world not to mention Mr Bluesbunny's exciting trip to Lancaster Music Festival. I'm now on a mission to find someplace nice that sells homemade empire biscuits for our next t?te-?-t?te.
Not too far away, on Sauchiehall Street, Roy Beers introduced me to another restaurant 'Bukharah', the beautiful Indian restaurant in the reburbished Lorne Hotel. We had a delicious lunch, very reasonably priced and sumptious decor. Lot's of happy memories of the Lorne so nice to see it back in business.
Another new cafe/bistro, which has recently appeared, is Cafe Mediterraneo, on Byres Road. I was made very welcome when I popped in for a peep and Burak Soyusinmez, the young proprietor, hospitable as ever insisted that I try out some bruschetta. I can see this becoming a real favourite, great menu, lovely Bei & Nannini coffee and lovely decor. Certainly brightened up a rainy day for me.
My final outing to places new was on Michael's birthday, when we all went along to The Partners Italian Bistro, at the old Coach House Building, Great Western Road at Gartnavel. Typical Italian fare and once again very nice surroundings and attentive staff.
Also on the dining front, we've been in and out of Little Italy non-stop, taking full advantage of their carry out service. On other flying visits - I had a quick chat with Allan Mawn down at Pinxto's in Partick and I also caught up with Angela at Sonny & Vito's in Kelvinbridge, when I popped in for some of their delicious quiches.
I had a great chinwag with Dochan MacMillan in Tinderbox after we had been along to meet Michael Dale, West End Festival Director, to chat about developing the Acoustic Music Festival we organised earlier this year. We got quite carried away with lots of ambitious ideas for 2010 - fingers now crossed and we're going to talk over some plans with the folk at UNESCO City of Music tomorrow.
We met Dochan again at The Liquid Ship when Jim played there a couple of weeks back with the fantastic Bob Cheevers. Issi and Davie came along so it was great to see them and we all enjoyed the music.
We also had a lovely afternoon at Jinty's Acoustic Session and met up with lots of friends including Mary K Burke, Bill Adair and Simon Kempston. It was also good to Alex Murray and Jackie and Jim's mum and dad came along as did Val.
We had a good night out at OranMor when Jim supported The Electrics at their 21st birthday reunion gig. Their fans were delighted to see the guys back together again and the music and the atmosphere were brillant. Lots of our friends came along and great to see Margaret, Val, Mary, Frances and Issi through from Edinburgh. Issi has an important birthday this week so many happy returns.
I also had a chat with Alan Broom from Celtic Music Radio, Larry Guild, Ciaran Dorris, Stephanie, Paul, Lynn and Sammy and met the charming Jennifer of Glasgow Radio online. Happy birthday to Lynn, who also has a birthday coming soon.
I was also very happy to catch up with my cousins Lorna and Gaynor and their partners George and Donald, when Jim and I went down to Balloch to see The Moonshiners at The Maid of The Loch. They are a brilliant band and very interesting to see the new line up with Laura-beth now making it two females in the band along with Gemma Donald.
We're looking forward to seeing The Moonshiners again this coming Friday 27th when they will play at the Partick Folk Club, 8.00 p.m, St Peter's Hall. Jim will be playing a few numbers as well.
We went a bit further afield a couple of weeks back when Jim was playing at the Perthshire Amber Music Festival in Pitlochry Theatre. It was a lovely break and a beatiful bright day when we drove up to the festival. Jim just played a couple of songs on the Open Mic but we got chatting to lots of people and it was a very fruitful journey with invitations issued for other gigs.
Down nearer our neck of the woods I met Ann for breakfast at Rio's Cafe in Hyndland Street. We had one of our marathon blethers as we had not seen each other for ages. Then I had a day in town with Frances for her birthday. Another wet day so we hung out in the Malls and for lunch we shared a lovely Celtic Platter in Fifi and Ally's in Princes Square.
I've also been working away on the site and in the morning I went along to meet Muriel Barclay, the artist, who is my current candidate to join our local characters. I met Muriel a couple of months back at Glasgow Art Club, where one of her paintings had pride of place in their exhibition. It was a real treat getting to see more of her work and learn about her life. Now I need to get down to the task of writing it all up so that she can join our characters, including recent addition Rossano McCulloch.
I recently put a new feature up about La Coco Gift Boutique in Partick, and have been back there quite a few times to buy some Christmas Gifts. You really need to check out this lovely shop. It's a breath of fresh air, chic jewellery, cards and unusual gifts and staff with lovely smiles.
Another interesting shop, which has opened in the West End is Peace and Jam, lovely designer clothes shop for children at the corner of Great Western Road and Park Road.
In the same block, on Great Western Road, Nancy Smillie's Jewellery Boutique is looking amazing and I am still fascinated by Vintage Guru on Byres Road.
The main shopping event of the month in Glasgow's West End was, without doubt, the opening of the new Waitrose Supermarket. Like all other dutiful shoppers I had to go along for a look - very nice! Also enjoyed bumping into Alan Horn and his lovely wee son, Charlie.
Apart from dining and shopping I have managed a few cultural and educational outings. Don't know if I can quite count a trip to Glasgow's fabulous Science Centre with Ryan and Caitlin - which was great fun and followed by a Hallowe'en Party when we got home. However, Jim and I fairly enjoyed Alasdair Gray's book launch at Glasgow Film Theatre. Rupert Thomson, the young organiser of the event from The Skinny, was an absolute charmer and Alasdair was in fine fettle as he discussed A Gray Play Book and performed one of the plays with the asistance of Rupert. Glasgow is so lucky to have such a gifted, refreshing and entertaining character as Alasdair. The Question and Answer Session was very humourous but quite a few pertinent points were made about Theatre in Glasgow. Alasdair fairly flew the flag for the West End's fantastic Play, Pie and a Pint sessions at OranMor.
I went along to Glasgow University for another book launch, "The Edinburgh Companions to Scottish Literature". The Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies have launched this new series, which includes The Edinburgh Companian to Robert Burns edited by Gerry Carruthers. The academics were in fine form and could not hide their sheer delight in adding to this series and promises of more to come.
Ryan and I have been a bit restricted to indoor pursuits, however, he would be happy to visit the Transport Museum every day and that's where we went yesterday. We had fun on the tram with one of the workers singing 'Wheels on the tram go round and round' and then he added to his Hot Wheels collection from the shop. When we left we walked through Partick and had a peep into Eunice Whyte, exquisite knitwear if you are searching for very special Christmas gifts. Then we went to see Maxine in Handbags and Gladrags, where you are sure to find your perfect party outfit - for next to nothing. After that we had a cup of tea and scone with John in Cullis's. Got to be the cheapest cafe in Glasgow.
In the evening we went along to The Hidden Lane Cafe, one of my favourites places, and Jim sang his songs at a wee private function upstairs and I hung out with Linda and Gill in the cafe.
Also out and about in Glasgow's West End we went along to The Grosvenor Cinema to see 'An Education' - great film and I'm hoping to catch some of the French Film Festival at the GFT.
Here's hoping for some blue skies and frosty mornings