Added on Thursday 8 Sep 2011
It's been a very busy month or so but we've been having a great time, particularly with the kids being on holiday from school. We've had lots of interesting days out - travelling the length and breadth of the country from the Borders to the Highlands, Loch Lomond and Portobello to name a few of our destinations. We've enjoyed some big hikes including to Loch Humphrey, at the top of the Kilpatricks. Quite some time since I've been up there but well worth the effort for the amazing views.
We've managed to see a lot of friends, entertaining and being entertained. It was especially enjoyable having Sabine visit Glasgow from her home in Cologne and we managed to spend a bit of time with her. We went a lovely run up to Glencoe, a place you just cannot tire of, even on a rainy day.
We also had a shorter trip to the beautiful Trossachs and then took her for a drive round at the huts at Carbeth. Afterwards we drove over to Lennoxtown to sample the lovely fare on offer at The Swan Inn, highly recommended, then finished the day off back in the West End at Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire.
I also met Sabine one sunny day for a coffee; we sat outside Heart Buchanan and then she accompanied me to the allotment. Our spuds, corn, shallots, spinach, runner beans and berries have been flourishing but no luck with the lettuce this year.
Just as well I have Gordon Manning, one of our champion plotters right next door - keeping me supplied with salad stuff, beautiful cornflowers and sweet peas.
Apart from Sabine, I've had a few other visitors to the allotment. Ann came along with Scarlett and Ewan, who were delighted to dig up some potatoes and take them home for dinner along with bunches of marigolds for their mum. They were a great help!
Mind you, not just as hardworking as Maggie Graham, who is a dervish once she gets a trowel in her hand. It was lovely to catch up with her as we invariably combine putting the world to rights with a good giggle.
John and Ryan came along one day and we had a finger lickin' barbecue then Caitlin and Ryan had fun making a slug and snail house. We've had a lot of outings during the school holidays including a super day out when we were guests of Lucillia Weir on the Maid of the Loch. It was a glorious afternoon and we felt very privileged to be the sole diners at a wee table she had all set out on the deck. A picnic to remember. Afterwards we drove round to Balloch Park and not contented with having a paddle in the loch, John, Ryan and Caitlin just decided to have a dook with their clothes on!!!
We've been to countless gala days and fairs. There was quite a wee gang of us at Hillview with my brother John, including my other brother Danny, my John and Ryan. I caused a bit of a stoochie when I lost my mobile phone. I had left it down on a stall and someone bought it for £1.50. Fortunately, the stall keeper remembered the customer and after a wee scurry about we tracked them down.
We also had a lot of fun when we went along to see the Zumba display that Gail organised at Wilkinson's in Clydebank. I've never seen this before and was astonished at the energy of Eilidh Jones. The kids also joined in with some gusto.
The Gala in Old Kilpatrick was fun as well, although, not really much of an it was a great opportunity to see friends and relatives from the Village. It was particularly good to meet Joanne, Ellie and Brandon and we had a great time watching five year old Brandon run rings round the teenagers on the football pitch.
There were also plenty of familiar faces at Ann Morgan's housewarming party down in Finnieston. Sharon and Johnny were in great form as was Willie and it turned into quite a musical extravaganza. I'm sure Ann will enjoy living in Finnieston, which has reinvented itself as a place with a bit of a buzz about it with all its quirky little shops and restaurants.
There's been quite a variation in the world of music lately. We had a super time at the Merchant City Festival, where Jim and Graham played on one of the outdoor stages. Louise is her dad's number one fan and Sabine caught us both in deep concentration - just the way your audience should be.
After the gig we enjoyed a wee bit of culture watching Hamlet being performed in the Ramshorn Cemetery and the street markets were also very attractive and enticing.
We had an enjoyable outing to the East when Jim played with Tim Drysdale (another member of The Blackwoods) at The Phoenix Bar as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We went through a bit early to catch some of the atmosphere and enjoyed a bite to eat at the Olive Branch Bistro before the gig.
We headed back in that direction again when Jim played with his brother Peter and his nephews at 'Busking on The Beach' at Portobello. It was the most beautiful day so great fun playing on the beach and catching up with all the Byrnes.
John, Ryan and I have enjoyed some sunny days in the Botanics and Dowanhill Park. We've had lovely pizzas in Little Italy and we went to a marvellous party at the McGreevys. Or as Val calls them the McGroovys.
I met Stephanie for coffee and a catch up in Jellyhill in Hyndland and had a delicious dinner when I visited Jackie with 'Les Gals', Eleanor and Joan, along in Hillhead.
Roy Beers and I had a particularly delicious meal at The Butchershop Bar and Grill. We both opted for the crab as a starter and agreed that it was absolutely delightful. Roy had a pasta dish for his main, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and I had a baby burger, with a definite homemade taste. Very, very nice restaurant.
On the way home I popped into Handbags and Gladrags and had a blether with Michael. He had also been to this restaurant recently and pronounced it one of his 'favourite places'.
I had a wander through Partick and picked up a couple of small gifts and some lovely cards in La Coco in Merkland Street then walked home through Hyndland. Stopping off for a wee browse in Jasmine. A particularly attractive shop.
Another day I had a jaunt along to Kelvinbridge and had a chat with Arthur in The Coachouse Trust Shop and Gallery. I popped a photograph of my brother and father into Wiltons for framing and then walked along to check out what was new in Nancy Smiillie's Jewellery Studio. Their selection is just stunning and they have recently added a lovely line in children's jewellery.
Whilst in the neighbourhood I took the opportunity of visiting The Hunterian Gallery and very much enjoyed their exhibition on emblems. Anything that includes Johnny Depp is all right with me. :)
I enjoyed a jaunt up to Milngavie to see Jim Byrne and The Blackwoods play at Parkin's Place on Saturday, good to see Dinny and nice of Frances, the Donald's and other fans to come along. It was a super night so thanks to Joe Murray and his gang of talented musicians.
We're now looking forward to a very busy week-end with Jim playing at Folk on the Boat, Live@Troon and the Linlithgow Folk Festival. I've been laid up for the past couple of days with a chest infection so hope it lifts as I don't want to miss all the fun.
Feather and Black, Quality Beds and Bedroom Furniture - with New Autumn Range and Season's Discounts.
Ian Mitchell's 'Glasgow Square Mile of Science
Play, Pie and Pint, Autumn Season
Helen Rose's Hillwalking Diary: The Baltic
Exhibition by Alison Cowan at Christo's
The Swan Inn - review
Nancy Smillie's New Stock
Glasgow Doors Open Day, 2011