New Year, New Start.
I’ve been trying to give myself a bit of a shake and write my blog but it’s been a very dismal month. Christina Byrne, my mother-in-law, died on 17th December, so it was a very sad Christmas. She had been ill for a while with a heart condition and had been waiting for treatment. Sadly, when she eventually had an operation she did not recover. It was a terrible shock and she will be missed very much. Christina had many accomplishments, enjoyed an interesting social life and was a keen writer. Over the years she contributed a lot to the website and in her memory I’ve created a new page where you can read Christina’s reviews, film crits and poetry. Her funeral took place on Christmas Eve in Our Holy Redeemers Church in Clydebank. It was a beautiful service with the church filled to capacity. Friends have been very kind and we can’t thank them enough for their support at this difficult time.
On Christmas Day we went to see Jim’s brothers Steven and Peter and his Dad, Jimmy, and then I spent time with John, Michael, Gail and the children in Old Kilpatrick. Ryan and Caitlin, were in seventh heaven with all their gifts. This year Angry Birds seem to be the hot contenders, although, Glasgow Monopoly was also a big hit. I also went to see my brothers Liam and Drew. Later Jim and I had Christmas Dinner with the Wilsons – a veritable vegetarian feast followed by a lovely leisurely evening. On Boxing Day I was back in Old Kilpatrick again to get together with my brother Danny and his family.It was great to see my nieces and six grandnieces, aged from one to sixteen. A very busy house but the kids were good as gold. We usually go to the McGreevy’s on Christmas Eve but didn’t make it this year, however, we had a lovely visit last week-end. The horror chamber Ryan and Cal created was a bit scary. 🙂 Earlier in December John, Ryan and I had some pleasant days out and enjoyed going to George Square to try out the rides and watch the skaters. We also had a lovely time at the panto, Weans in the Woods, at Cottiers and Ryan was thrilled to have his friend, Lewis, come along.
Frances and I had a great time at Milngavie Folk Club, when Jim supported Benny Gallagher and good to see so many familiar faces among the audience. Benny suggested to Jim that he support him once again at Blackheath Halls this Spring but Jim is busy with a number of musical projects and has no time to gig at present. He’s written some great songs, which are being recorded by the Creeping Charlies – sounding fantastic – and yesterday was recording with The Linties at Newbattle Abbey. We’ve been down to Clydebank a lot to spend time with Jimmy, Jim’s dad and we’ve also been on a couple of excursions. On Jim’s birthday we went to Las Ramblas in Bearsden for Tapas. Somehow we’d never managed to the restaurant before although, it has been recommended. Including by Martin Gray. Coincidentally Martin was also at Las Ramblas and joined us for much talk of the West End, photography and websites. Both Jim and I really liked the restaurant and we’ll definitely go again. The food was delicious – tasty and fresh – and they have a terrific deal on Mondays and Tuesdays.
I also went along to join Jim and his fellow cafe workers at his new venture Cafepreneur. Where self-starters who work in cafes got together to exchange of ideas. Very stimulating and enjoyable. Worth checking out if you’re an entrepreneur taking advantage of Wifi.
Restaurants and Coffee Shops
I’ve also had some pleasant outings to West End restaurants and coffee shops. It’s always a treat meeting the Rosemount gang and I had a lovely birthday dinner with Val, Rosemary and Margaret at Tony Macaroni’s. Rosemary has two new grandchildren, Allegra and Mya, and will now be in Sydney meeting Mya, the younger cousin. Hope you are having a wonderful time, Rosemary. I was introduced to another Italian eaterie, when I went along with Roy Beers, to Cafe di Sorrento, 470 Crow Road. Roy has been sining the praises of this little bistro for quite some time and he’s right –it’s fantastic. Tonino Erminione, the owner, has created a real treasure with a friendly atmosphere, lovely food and great coffee. I caught up with Roy once again earlier this week. We had planned to meet in Little Italy but it was ‘stowed’, as they say in Glesga, so we trotted along to Nardini’s one block up on Byres Road. It was also busy but we managed to bag a cosy corner out of the cold and enjoyed some scones and coffee. You can read all the lowdown on what’s happening in the West End dining and drinking scene in Roy’s latest update. I’m particularly keen to try out Euphoriam Cafe, a new Greek bistro at the bottom of Byres Road. I was delighted to hear Maggie Graham’s news when we met for coffee at the Two Figs. Another gran who has a big trip ahead of her and off soon to meet her wee grand-daughter, Maisie, in Australia. Very exciting. I also enjoyed hearing about Helen Rose’s hillwalking exploits when we had a cuppa at the Fraser Building, Glasgow University. She really puts me to shame as despite having broken her leg, she is determined to go out walking. I caught up with other students when James, Gillian and I shared a pizza at Brel as we exchanged comments on our Editing and Publishing Assignments for Uni. We were back in Brel again this week after class and enjoyed a very lively conversation with some creepy ghost stories thrown into the fascinating mix.
I was back at Uni on Friday to discuss my idea for my Editing and Publishing Project. I’m planning to create a section of the site dedicated to Glasgow Writers. There’s a lot already on there but it needs a good tidy up and updating and I also want to add more information. So loads of work to be done. With this task in mind I went along to OranMor to meet Dave Anderson and David Maclennan. It’s amazing what these two have achieved, when I think back to the producions they put on with Wildcat and prior to that 7.84. And now A Play, A Pie and A Pint, has gone from success to success. What they have achieved is really remarkable and I thoroughly enjoyed our chat. Now I need to get started on writing things up and making some new contacts. I’m also determined to get along to some of the plays on the new Spring/Summer Programme 2013.
It’s a great time of the year in Glasgow for Festivals. Currently running is Celtic Connections, shortly to be followed by Glasgow Film Festival. I’m particularly looking forward to the Gala Launch at Glasgow Film Theatre on 14th February. Then Glasgow International Comedy Festival, then Aye Write 2013. I’m not one bit organised and Celtic Connections is going to pass me by if I’m not careful.
Jim and I went for a lovely run up to The Trossachs. It was one of those days when dusk crept in at three o’clock but we enjoyed what scenery we saw, particularly the snow clad mountains. We had a pleasant stroll around Callander looking at the Christmassy shop windows and all the lights in the town square. I also enjoyed a trip down to Cardross to see Ann and Eddie in their lovely new home. The homemade ham and lentil soup certainly hit the spot. It was a cold, cold day. We’re planning a picnic on the beach with the children in a few weeks so with a bit of luck we’ll have a bright February and lots of good times in the New Year. My sister Catherine has come up with a plan for four of us to get together for a trip to Paris – I’m up for that so maybe in the Springtime. Jim and I didn’t have a holiday last year as I wasn’t well enough in the summer then somehow the year just ran away with us. I think it’s time for us to check the bank balance and see what’s going down on tripadvisor or check out Dougie Baird, The Travel Guy, who always puts me in the mood for a jaunt. However, at the moment I’m suffering some spectacular pain as I have shingles. Hope it clears up soon as I’ve got a busy agenda. I’m also looking forward to launching our new website design – coming soon to a browser near you. 🙂 In the meantime there’s lots of new stuff on the site and also check out our What’s On and keep your eye on What’s New Follow on Twitter @glasgowswestend Like my Facebook Page
- Jim’s Photo Gallery
- Spring/Summer Programme 2013
- Celtic Connections Photo Gallery
- Dougie Baird – The Travel Guy
- Glasgow Film Festival 2013
- LGBT In Our Own Words
- Aye Write 2013
- Glasgow International Comedy Festival
Hope everyone will have great times in 2013.
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