Glasgow: here comes Spring!

calum macleo

film festivalIt’s a damp dreich day outside but it’s still a very good day to be in Glasgow.

Glasgow Film Festival

We’ve got the Glasgow Film Festival going on.  Yesterday I went along to the  CCA to see Weepah Way For Now then I met my son John for a coffee. He scooted off to see The Reverant and Jim and I went to the Glasgow Film Theatre to see Truth, it was excellent. 

The festival’s been great – I loved The Grief of Others and was thrilled to catch the director, Patrick Wang, for a brief chat.  For me another big hit was Sing Street, a very humorous and feelgood, coming of age movie.

Hail Caesar, was another triumph, and a super film to kick off the festival.  You’ll be able to it at GFT from the 4 – 17 March. And this week-end you’ll be able to catch Fright Fest Glasgow Film Festival 2016

noir-at-the-barAye Write! 10 – 20 March  

 Aye Write! Glasgow’w Book Festival is just around the corner.  I’m very excited to be going along to see one of my favourite journalists, George Monbiot,  How Did We Get Into This Mess and also expecting a very good night at Noir at the Bar with Denise Mina.

However, firstly we’ll have Wee Write! Glasgow’s Book Festival for Children and Young People
 Tomorrow, I’m going to check out with Ryan, my grandson, what he fancies.  The Wee Write Families Day on 5th March has events for all ages. Download the brochure (PDF)

Other Glasgow Festivals

Other festivals coming up in Glasgow include Glasgow’s International Comedy Festival, Glasgow Jazz Festival and in April we have a brand new festival. Glasgow Restaurant Festival.

I’ve been along to some really fantastic events this month: 

the opera girls. jpgThe Devil Inside

Jim and I loved our first time at an Opera when we went along to The Devil Inside by Louise Welsh, the librettist, and Stuart MacRae, composer.  Apart from the show itself, we enjoyed chatting to Louise, her partner, Zoe Strachan and Jim’s cousin Marian Colquhoun, who is head of props at Scottish Opera.

I ran into Louise again when I went along to see Bernard MacLaverty at Creative Conversations at the University of Glasgow – Monday lunchtimes in the University Chapel. On 29 February special guest will be Aonghas MacNeacail   (I saw Aonghas a while back at Literary Lunchtimes at Cafe´Gandolfi and he wa amazing.)

I hope to make it along. It was great to see a lot of familiar faces there and I enjoyed a catch up with Mick Norton, Ciara MacLavery and Gillean McDougall.

Night at the Museum

Another splendid event at the University was Night at the Museum

Where Burns Day was celebrated in the wonderful Hunterian Museum. The atmosphere was incredible and it was absolutely mobbed. Jim and I were delighted to run into Duncan McCrone, his wife Irene    and band member Cy Jack.  We usually meet up at gigs, where you don’t get a chance to chat so we had a good catch up.

kelvinhall404The Hunterian at The Kelvin Hall – New Museum District for Glasgow

There are very exciting plans afoot at the Hunterian, which is at the centre of developments for a New Glasgow Museum District, including the transformation of the iconic Kelvin Hall with a multi-million pound revamp.  The former sports facility, opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, is being turned into a museum, research centre and store by the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Life and the National Library of Scotland.  This will be open to the public in September, 2016

All the university’s  gallery spaces – museum, art gallery and the Mackintosh collection plus the Mackintosh House will move to Kelvin Hall by 2020.

Glasgow Art and Exhibitions

There’s an awful lot of interesting things going on with regard to art and exhibitions in town and I’ve managed along to some great events.

University of Glasgow Plans for a World Changing Campus

jimmy pat masterplan model2Fantastic developments will also be going ahead in the West End with the University of Glasgow’s acquisition of the Western Infirmary there are some major new changes taking place at the University of Glasgow. Not only a massive expansion but a new 21st century way of doing things. Very exciting.

The plans are on display at the Wolfson Medical Centre, University Avenue G12  until 4 March.

Jim and I went along to see the exhibition with his dad, Jimmy.  The masterplan is very ambitious and the whole bottom end of Byres Road is going to be transformed.

Paul SmithThe Paul Smith Exhibition

We loved the Hello My Name Is Paul Smith Exhibition at The Lighthouse.  The exhibitions are of his clothes and work places. Very interesting. Anyone interested in the world of fashion will love it – it includes videos of international fashion shows.  Paul Smith is a great example of how your passion for something can result in great things – even if you left school when you were only fifteen.  His first shop, which is replicated in the exhibition,  was the size of a cupboard.
Jim took some great photos at the exhibition

david maclennan portUnveiling of a Portrait of David MacLennan at OranMor

Last week Jim and I went along to a very enjoyable but sad event at OranMor. David MacLennan, not only made a fantastic contribution to the world of theatre in Scotland but as producer/artistic director of A Play, A Pie and A Pint, he brought the much loved lunchtime theatre to Glasgow West End.
 The beautiful auditorium at OranMor was crowded with people out to pay their respects to this wonderful man. Juliet Cadzow, David’s widow was, unsurprisingly, emotional as she unveiled the portrait. She thanked people for their support and the money raised for the Motor Neurone Society.
 David’s close friend and colleague Dave Anderson  provided the entertainment, along with Elaine C. Smith and the writer, Alan Bissett, plus there was music from the DM Collective.  We were pleased to run into Anita Manning, Michael and Freddie Dale, Tom Shields and Colin Beattie.
 David’s portrait will be on display in OranMor.

The Thistle Gallery

thistle galleryThe Thistle Gallery in the West End has a new exhibition starting on 27th February. It will run until 13 March.  It looks fantastic. I really like this gallery and have been taking my friends along to see it. Last month I popped in with Frances and Jackie – they both loved it. Outer Shapes, Inner Pictures 27 February until 13 March.

Out and about with family and friends

 Jim and I thoroughly enjoyed going along to the Tron for the launch of Stephen Watt’s  poetry pamphlet Optograms.  Always a pleasure to see Stephen peform and it’s a very moving collection.

Lovely Plaees to Dine in Glasgow West End – Perfect for Mother’s Day


 I like this restaurant/deli in Woodlands more and more every time I go there.  It is so attractive, the staff are both pleasant and efficient and the food is a delight.  Lately I’ve been popping in with some of my Creative Writing classmates, Samina, Gillian and Calum.  The best of company.

mother india logoMother India’s Cafe 

 I enjoyed a leisurely lunch and great catch up with Gillian and Gillean when we met up at Mother India’s Cafe´.  We had a super natter, a lot of laughs and the food was scrumptious.

 Cup, Byres Road

 Cup, has become the tea room of choice for Anne, Frances and I.  It’s a lovely wee place and the scones are brilliant. I think we are due another visit.

Raffaelle’s in Milngavie

I came across this beautiful Italian restaurant by chance when I had a coffee there with my friend Richard when we were waiting on a nearby shop to open.  It is absolutely lovely.  The coffee was great and I’d love to try their lunch special  – I’m a bit of a pushover for half pizza/half pasta.

mugdock snowMugdock

 We’ve had our usual Sunday outings with Jimmy and enjoyed a lovely run out by Strathblane one sunny day when the snow was still lying. Very picturesque. We had our capuccinnos at Caulders and a wee browse in the Garden Centre. I bought some beautiful baby iris and dwarf narcissi.  Roll on Spring.

I love visits from the wee ones

It’s always a treat when my young relatives come to visit and I was happy that Aileen, Erin and Patrick came for lunch.  It was also lovely to have another visit from Gail and Tai.

to a special mumGlasgow West End Shops

 It was sad to see Alison’s Attic Vintage Shop leave De Courcy’s but wishing them all the best in their new location in Ayr. 

The other shops are gearing themselves up for Mother’s Day:

Lot’s of great choices at the Nancy Smillie Shop and Nancy Smillie Jewellery Studio, p Janet and John – promoting Scottish creativity,

Cassiopeia Gift Boutique

Stevenson Jewellers on Byres Road

Mo McQuillan’s handcrafted silver jewellery 

Blair and Sheridan for that extra special gift.

Lots of mums would also love a painting of an iconic Glasgow scene from Allan’s Art.
The Hoodie Stop and Apple Box Gift Shop

 Love Stories and Poems

 Last month I was kept busy promoting Valentine’s Day. I thought it would be appropriate to have some love stories and poems up on the website and I was overwhelmed by the response – all sorts of different takes on love from very talented writers.  You’ll love them: Love Stories and Poems by Glasgow Writers.

New On The Site 

calum macleoNew On The Site

 I am particularly happy to welcome Calum Maclean, poet, wrtter and reviewer –now blogging on the site.  

Keep watching my What’s On for regularly updated information on new events and also check out What’s New

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Some recent additions to What’s New include:


Happy Mothers’ Day all of you mums.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland ranked sixth best in the world
The Hunterian at the Kelvin Hall, New Museum District for Glasgow

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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