Rabbie Burns, Writers and Music in Glasgow’s West End
I’ve been busy lately celebrating Burns day but before that it was Christmas. It was great fun, particularly as we saw so much of the youngsters in our family. Ryan, my grandson, was beside himself on Christmas Day, and in particular loved his guitar and Barcelona football strip. He’s become very passionate about the beautiful game and is practically wearing his shin guards to bed. Caitlin, his big sister, got a swanky new phone and like just about every other teenager she was thrilled with some stylish additions to her wardrobe.
We loved the panto at Cottiers, The Pure Amazing Wizard of Oz at Cottiers. Very colourful and great fun for kids and parents alike. The cast managed to raise loads of laughs without resorting to all the usual tedious smutty stuff .
On Boxing Day I took a trip down to Old Kilpatrick where I met up with most of the ladies in our family including my two nieces and six great nieces. The following day we met up with Jim’s family in Edinburgh.
This year e dined with the Wilsons on Christmas Day at Marianne’s flat at Kelvingrove. Jim and I very much enjoyed her great hospitality, chat and lovely food. I thought I would have a go at making the amazing Mary Berry’s Very Berry Baked Cheesecake we had for dessert but it was just a bit too complicated.
For my birthday, Jim and I went along to The Grosvenor and then to Zizzi’s in Cresswell Lane for dinner. I can’t remember which film we saw as we’ve been to the cinema a lot recently. I loved American Hustle and Muscle Shoals and also August Osage County, which I saw with Maggie Graham and her friend Cath.
I also went along to the cinema with my wee grandnieces, when they came over from Dunoon. Ryan and I met up with them and their dad in Clydebank and we went to see Frozen and then had a McDonalds. The kids were looking great and they were all on their very best behaviour. It was a real treat seeing them.
We also had great fun when we went to visit the McGreevy Clan – we just don’t see often enough. It’s a scandal as we’re only ten minutes away.
A more sombre event was the Christmas service at Glasgow University Chapel in memory of all those who had died in the previous year. I went along with my brother Liam and it was very sad but beautiful. Particularly poignant were the ten candles burning for the victims of The Clutha Disaster.
West End Outings
Before Christmas I caught up with lots of people including Richard Fearn, my old boss at Glasgow Caledonian. I met him in Avenue G and the time just ran away with us as we had loads of catching up to do. We had a rare auld natter.
I also met Jacqueline Smith in the same cafe. Jacqueline also did the M.Litt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. She’s well known among Glasgow’s writers as Jacqueline has been very active with the Scottish Writers Centre. Her book Information from the Common Wealth of Writers to Boost Creativity is available to purchase online..
Gillian and I also got together for a catch up, after a bit of a prowl we found a table at Nick’s at Hyndland, although our destination had been Jellyhill.
I met up with some more Glasgow Writers when I went along again to St Louis Literary Festival. It was another super night hosted with considerable flamboyance by Linda Jackson (you can also catch Linda at St Louis singing the blues) I don’t know whether it was a good thing or not but Linda asked me to do a reading. This was a first and I read my story The Office Party. One of the Christmas Tales and Winter Stories sent to me by Glasgow poets and writers. I’m now gearing up for a new theme: Love is in the Air, Love Stories and Stories of Spring . I’ve already started receiving submissions and have promises of more from some very talented writers so watch out for more.
However, back to St Louis, where Jim and I had a great night along with Issi, Davy, Gillian, Steph and Lynn. There were some marvellous performances, including by Rab Wilson from Cumnock, who read his own stories and paid tribute to Rabbie Burns. He also read a poem by John McGarrigle, Humanitarian Bombing, which is just fantastic. John, tragically lost his life along with other victims of The Clutha Disaster. I am delighted to add his name to my list of Glasgow Writers.
Glasgow Gigs and Burns Day Celebrations
I had big plans for going along to Celtic Connections but didn’t make it because I was sick for much of January, however, on the site you can see Pauline Keightley’s Celtic Connections reviews and amazing photographs. has However, apart from the event at St Louis, I made it along to the Roxy 171, to see Jim playing a Burns Night Special with Martin Stephenson, Scott MacDonald and The Optimystics – what a gig. It was fantastic.
I’ve been out and about in some of the shops in the West End including Nancy Smillie Jewellery Studio, Handbags and Gladrags and Janet and John. I enjoyed a chat with Basia in Nancy Smillie and also had a laugh over lunch with Helen Rose and Frances, when we went along to Booly Mardy’s.
The shops are looking fantastic and there’s loads happening as we head towards Valentine’s Day – so watch out for updates on Things to do in Glasgow on Valentine’s Day – still lots more to add. There are also some great deals in the restaurants – in particular BYOB and no corkage charge at The Wee Curry Shop
I am now gearing up for a short trip to Donegal to visit my Irish relatives. I’ve been working flat out to clear my feet before heading off and you’ll find masses of new stuff on: What’s New.
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