Added on Wednesday 12 Jan 2011
Our big event in November was my brother John's 60th Birthday party and it was a brilliant night. A hundred or so friends and relatives came along to St Stephen's Hall in Dalmuir and John was thrilled to meet up with some of his old school friends and neighbours from his childhood.
Suzanne, Tammy, Val, Ross, Allan, Mo and Margaret were a brilliant help and John was thrilled when Dougie Wilkinson piped in his birthday cake. Ciaran Dorris hit just the right note in providing the music and all in all we had a fantastic night.
I can't believe that we are already almost half way through January. Still lots going on as our Christmas festivities have been somewhat extended due to being trapped at home by the treacherous weather conditions and my having had a nasty virus, which curtailed some activities.
I've certainly not had a lot of fresh air but knocked that on the head yesterday with a lovely jaunt up the Kilpatrick Hills with Caitlin, John and Ryan. Very slippery and slidey underfoot but we all kept upright and enjoyed our trek. We've also managed a few walks through, a very snowy, and very beautiful Botanic Gardens and John, Ryan spent one afternoon building a snowman round our back.
On Christmas Day we went along to visit my brother John, Caitlin and Ryan, who had a house full with lots of relatives including wee cousins Ellie and Brandon. There's nothing like the excitement of children on Christmas Day. In the evening Jim and I had our Christmas Dinner with the Wilsons down in Scotstoun, delicious food and very relaxing. We'll get together again this Friday when we are all off to Aberdeen for Marianne's Photography Exhibition.
We've had quite a few festive jaunts with the kids and they absolutely loved the panto Flo White at The Tron, a very imaginative Scifi style production. Maybe we'll make it along to see Zog and the Gruffalo later this month. We also went to see the latest Narnia movie down in Clydebank with Ryan and Caitlin's wee cousins and Aunt Joanne.
I've had some outings with the big folk too and have had some very enjoyable get-togethers with Les Gals; we all got together and headed up to Kilmardinny to see Eleanor perform in Blithe Spirit. Then met up again for dinner at Eleanor's and another freezing cold night we ventured up to Park to dine at Joan's.
Another rather special event in Park was Dinny and Lori's Civil Ceremony at the Registry Office. Due to the terrible weather I had to stand in as ring bearer as Dinny's sister was stranded in Aberdeen and couldn't make the journey to Glasgow so that was a bit of unanticipated excitement. After the ceremony we went along to the reception to be entertained by Dinny, Jim and Sandy Semeonoff. Great fun and nice to see other familiar faces among the guests including Dochan Macmillan and Andy Quinn.
On Hogmanay Jim and I had a drink in Criterion in Partick and enjoyed the music from David Belcher. Felonius Monk was also creating quite an atmosphere on the decks at Velvet Elvis and I also caught up with Allan Mawn in Pinxto's. Where we are planning to go for my belated birthday meal. Allan continues to pile up the awards with his latest accolade being at Criterion for Best Soup in Scotland. They've also got some great entertainment lined up. See What's On at Criterion Cafe.
We then headed up to Knightswood to see the McGreevy's, where we brought in the Bells. Jim played us some music accompanied by Rae and Alice and four year old Cal had us laughing our heads off at his hijinks. The kids thought it was great fun when their American mum introduced some American style customs into the celebrations, including banging on saucepans in the garden to celebrate the New Year. I'm not absolutely sure that Suzanne didn't invent this activity herself!
Next day I met up with my brothers and sons and then headed along for dinner with the Byrnes. Afterwards we went down to the New Year's Day Hooly at The Railway Inn and it was great to catch up with all our friends from Bowling and Old Kilpatrick. We had a great time. Johnny Russell and Sharon Campbell deserve a medal for pulling this show together, especially, as the came straight from The Drovers on Loch Lomondside where they had performed on Hogmanay.
We all had a super time down in Bowling and everyone was particularly enthralled when, larger than life, Clannan Drumma, put on a most flamboyant show.
Jim has been focussing more on recording his music so playing fewer gigs but he did manage to fit two in on the one night when he played, firstly, with Scott Macdonald at the Ifull Cae then round the corner in Elmbank Street, where he was special guest at The Hellfire Club. A most entertaining evening, followed by great excitement heading home in a blizzard.
We also had a brilliant night when Jim headlined at Martin's Mish Mash in Gallus in Partick. Super line up with Pookah (Chris Barratt and Craig Ralston), Jamie and Andy Flett (The Flaming Jets) and Daniel Hertzov. Jim McAteer also put in a surprise performance, which added to the musical feast.
I didn't make it along to Jim's Christmas gig, again with Scott Macdonald, at The Liquid Ship, as I was in the throes of my virus but looking forward to another trip through to Edinburgh Folk Club this month, when he supports Blueflint.
We bravely challenged the elements to go along to 'Nice 'n' Sleazy' in Sauchiehall Street for the launch of The Dirt's CD 'Bury Me Tomorrow'. Great to see so many Glasgow musos out to support the event, which was excellent.
I spent a very interesting evening along at OranMor when I was invited to be a judge at The Patsy Factor. Lots of talented 'would be' Patsy Cline's including Dinny, who was one of the winners. Laura Keenan was a most humorous and engaging host and I enjoyed chatting to Bobby Bluebell, also a judge, and I was reassured that our choice of winners at the competition matched. Also great, as is usual, to have a natter with Colin Beattie.
I had another great night at OranMor when I went along with Val to see Morag Fullarton's 'Patsy Cline and a Bottle of Wine'. The show was a sell out and couldn't fail with a Glasgow audience, who sang along with every number. They were singing in the toilets, on the stairs on the way out and crossing Great Western Road on the way home you could hear 'Crazy' being belted out on one side and 'I Fall to Pieces' on the other. The cast, Gail Watson, Dave Anderson and the students from RSAMD did a grand job.
I managed to do most of my Christmas shopping in the West End, particularly in Nancy Smillie's lovely shop in Cresswell Lane. I'm glad some of my friends had the same idea because I also received some gifts bought from the shop. Another West End shop, which has an excellent choice of gifts and cards is La Coco in Partick and I enjoyed a very successful browse there.
I also made a trip along to Queen Margaret Drive to K1 Yarns to buy some wool as I took a notion to crochet some wee cloche hats and fancy hairbands for our ever growing legion of small female relatives. This turned out to be a great plan as my craftwork kept me occupied when I caught a rotten virus, which kept me at home, and then I was housebound, like everyone else, when the weather was so atrocious before Christmas.
We also went along to some great Christmas Fairs, including one in ?Make it Glasgow?, Ashley Holdsworth's fascinating sewing, craft shop and cafe down in Osborne Street at Glasgow Cross. I bought lots of designer cards from Sam and some great Squinty Jewellery.
There was also a very fancy fair at Hotel du Vin with a fantastic range of products on display including beautiful soaps and toiletries, handbags and jewellery. Although, the highlight for John and Ryan was definitely the rolls on sausage fresh from the outdoor barbecue.
My dining out this month has mainly been in other folks' houses rather than in restaurants and I've also had quite a few visitors. My second cousin, Margaret Swartz, was visiting Glasgow from her home in Vienna and came to visit with Ann Anderson. Great fun reminiscing about our school days.
I also had the gang from Rosemount round and great to catch up with Rosemary, Val, Margaret Brady and Margaret Carpenter, who were very complimentary about my cooking. I had to admit I had quite a bit of help from M & S and Aldi's, now sitting very conveniently side by side just along Great Western Road.
However, I did manage to catch up with Roy Beers over lunch in Il Caffe at 808 Crow Road. Roy filled me in on all the exciting activity in our pubs and restaurants in Glasgow's West End and also very nice to have a chat with Sandra and David Ianucci.
Celtic Connections kicks off this week so lots of music in our city. I'll be meeting up with Doghouse Roses to have a chat about their gig with Raul Malo on 30th January and hoping to catch some other events.
On 22nd January we'll be heading up to Drymen to see Dave Arcari, Lee Paterson and Duncan McCrone.
I'm also planning to get back into my swimming so checking out some new Swimming Classes in Glasgow