Mary Irvine’s blog: literary goings on Dumbarton and Glasgow West End, July 2016

elephant book cover.jpg

Feeling a wee bit guilty that I haven’t been writing of late, not just for this site but generally. I have been subject to a period of lethargy. The ideas are all there. It’s the physical effort that seems to be lacking. However, I have decided not to justify this state as ‘part of the aging process’ and will share some events worthy of praise. After all we only get one shot at life – at least in the form in which each individual exists at any one time! Think that’s enough erudition for the moment.

Anne and Mary’s Local Tales

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I’ve spoken to myself and made a promise I’ll catch up before the end of July. It’s do-able, just needs discipline. Have already made a start today. I may have mentioned I’m collaborating with a Dumbarton artist and book illustrator on a series of ten booklets aimed at encouraging local people to get interested in their heritage and culture, starting with Dumbarton and then moving outwards – geographically. The first book was all ready for the printer but I had to change the docs to pdf and that process had fallen foul of the lethargy.  The printer now has the pdfs he required. Job done and something less to worry about – till the proofs arrive. A word on the front cover shown. All the illustrations are black and white.

And here’s something else I started which fell by the wayside as lethargy struck!

Ten Writes Telling Lies… (cont) at the West End festival

Ten Writers Telling Lies at Waterstones – only a month ago!

calum tchai ovna

NO! You haven’t already read this so DO read on…

‘It was better the second time I read it.’ ‘I enjoyed it better the second time I read it.’ (Please observe subtle nuances of the wording)

Most of us have made one or t’other of these statements in relation to a book, short story, even an article! It’s not that the words have changed. It could be mood, ambience, surroundings, time or a combination of any or all of a number of happenstances. There is a relevance to all this pre-amble so please bear with me.

However, if you’ve read my previous review of this event at the recent West End Festival you may not be surprised that I chose to make the journey up to Glasgow to enjoy it again. In truth I was combining it with the Gibson Street Gala so two birds etc – not that I would kill any bird!

When I arrived at the Gala it was mobbed – great for the organisers. There were loads of stalls to meet a wide variety of interests, live music, open air eateries and drinkeries. But then the heavens decided there was too much fun going on. Can’t have that, thought some divine will. Of an age not to appreciate intense rain, mud, sleeping in Byres (oops, a memory better not shared) I repaired to the Tchai-Ovna earlier than planned, just in time to see Pat and Jim unloading musical equipment. (Offering to carry in a piece of same evoked another memory of getting into a gig free by carrying a piece of equipment and that’s all I’m prepared to share).

Managed to get a good seat in Tchai-Ovna where I would be able to see the performance but not too near the loud-speakers. (Made that mistake when I went to see Jackson Brown on one occasion.) As there was some time to the event I decided to have lunch and a pot of tea.

As usual it took me ages to select which tea to have but eventually settled on a Tchai Nanna – Arabic Mint Tea £3.40 mint infusion, delicious and most refreshing. The food didn’t take quite as long but as I’m a boring gluten-freer I settled for the Chipotle Chilli (v) chilli and salad.  A huge portion but I ate it very slowly. delicious And the whole deal only cost a tenner. Excellent value.

Now for the event itself.

Fantastic. Everything went off so smoothly and professionally, very polished.. It all seemed to fall into place. The interplay amongst all concerned, authors, singers, musicians was spot on. They conveyed their obvious enjoyment making this performance enjoyable for the appreciative audience. Although the performance certainly deserves a much wider audience the smaller, more intimate venues work well. I am reminded of the late Richie Havens who, in his later years, performed in such venues with obvious enjoyment. Although I love the gigs I go to where I am only one of thousands there is something special when you feel a connection has been made.

A lot of work has obviously gone into this work and there is still much to come with the recording of the music and writing and an accompanying book so respect to the co-ordinator. Now, who was it again? Ah, yes. Well done, Pat!  

Good. I’ve made a start on the catch-up and now feel all virtuous. Hope it’s not a road to hell promise…

The Muse at St Louis, Brian Whittingham Wednesday 10 August, 2016
Kimberley Chambers and Anna Smith – crime writers in conversation Waterstones

This section: Books, Talks, Poetry and Creative Writing Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

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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.

One response to “Mary Irvine’s blog: literary goings on Dumbarton and Glasgow West End, July 2016”

  1. Pat Byrne says:

    Mary, I’m delighted you enjoyed the Ten Writers Telling Lies events and it was lovely to see you return for a second helping. Thanks very much for your praise but I can’t really take all the credit for the smooth running and high quality of the event. Heads were very much put together. 🙂

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