Sean’s Scottish Trip Summer 2015

balcony seanA Visit to Glasgow

I was very happy to have my sister’s boy, Sean, in town for a short holiday from Canada. Currently he’s studying in Nova Scotia so the flight to Scotland is a couple of hours less than traveling from Toronto.  So a mere four and a half hours and he had arrived at Glasgow Airport.

He spent his first week in Peebles with his father, Alastair, also home for a trip to his parents.  Coincidentally, Bob Law, the fabulous writer and photographer, who blogs on my site, had just added a feature and gallery about Walking in the Borders.  It’s a beautiful place, whose attractions are quite different from our Dear Green Place.

Sean and Alastair met up with the whole gang in Old Kilpatrick for a big family get together at the Twisted Thistle.  For the first time Sean met Danielle and Aileen’s wee ones – four wee girls, Eve, Freya, Sian, Erin  and Patrick, the latest member of our family. 

He spent that night with us before going to the accommodation he had organised for himself through Air BnB at Kelvinbridge.  A great spot for sampling the joys of Glasgow West End.  

west princes stOn his first day in town Sean and I had lunch together at nearby Sonny and Vito’s in Park Road. Then I left him to do a bit of exploring on his own.  To give him his bearings I drew a wee map of the West End, showing: Great Western Road, Byres Road, University Avenue, The Botanics, Kelvingrove Park  and the iCafe – also Offshore Cafe, just in case he felt like a chat, and where Jim is often to be found.

music guitar

He enjoyed exploring the area, ran into my John on Great Western Road then they both came back to us for dinner. I was well organised with Sean’s favourite – and Jim’s – fish.  Something else they share is an interest in music so they had a great chin wag on the topic, Sean tried out one of Jim’s guitars and Jim entertained us with a few he his songs.

It’s fun introducing people to our City, and although Sean has been in Scotland often as a child, this was really his first time spending any time here as an adult.  We had some excellent  days out and enjoyed his company very much.

replica libraryThe Highlights

Glasgow School of Art, The Theatre Royal, Glasgow Film Theatre and the Shish Mahal

Jim, Sean and I went along to the Phoenix Exhibition at Glasgow School of Art – an absolutely fantastic exhibition by the students whose work was destroyed in the terrible fire in the iconic Rennie Mackintosh building. We took in all five floors of the Reid building –  eventually hooking up with my brother Liam and his friend Brendan on the third floor.   

Afterwards we treated ourselves to tea and scones at Vanilla Black tea room, off the foyer at the Theatre Royal, before taking the lift up to the roof terrace to see the great views over the city.

rooftopWe then introduced Sean to the delights of Glasgow Film Theatre when we went to see The Legend of Barney Thomson; Robert Carlisle’s directorial debut filmed in the city.  It’s a super film – a black comedy with a great cast.  Jim, Sean and I all enjoyed it. After the film Jim took us  for a run around the East End so that we could point out some of the locations from the movie, including, The Barrowland, The Saracen Head Pub and The Clutha Bar.  Good to see The Clutha has reopened after the tragic  helicopter accident.

sean profs sq

To round off our day we met up with some of the family and our wee party headed to The Shish Mahal – trip to Glasgow would be complete without the curry experience.

Glasgow University

Ryan, my friend Gillian and I met up with Sean another day and had some lunch at  Glasgow University.  Unfortunately, it was a Monday so The Hunterian Art Gallery and the Museum were both closed and we couldn’t have a look at the Bute Hall because there were exams on.  However, we wandered through the Cloisters, took in the view over Kelvingrove and walked round into Professor Square to the University Chapel.

Sean and Gillian managed to have a wee chat about their mutual interest in Psychology, while Ryan and I looked for all the surnames we recognised among the war dead listed on the walls. 

sean ryan waitroseAfterwards we meandered along University Gardens and down into Ashton Lane, which looked familiar to Sean, as he had already experienced some of the nightlife there with his cousin Danielle.

Before we went home for dinner, I parked Sean and Ryan in Waitrose while I did some shopping. Two patient boys happy to sit quietly and read their books.

The Merchant City

sean and jimmy, gallery

One of the things Sean loved most about Glasgow was the architecture and the history.  He did a fair bit of walking including in the Necropolis,  around High Street, the Cathedral and down into Trongate.  We went to The Merchant City, with Jim, Jimmy and Ryan, to take a look in The Gallery of Modern Art  before experiencing the atmosphere of The Merchant City Festival.  Ryan was particularly interested in the craft stalls and intent in buying Sean a present –  a wee leather bracelet.  After we had moseyed around a bit watching street performers we headed across Argyle Street and down into Parnie Street to the Trans-European Cafe for lunch.

Other trips

black and whiteSean managed to see some more of Scotland when he went on a trip to St Andrews and around the North East with his father. Liam, my youngest brother, also took him a run to The Trossachs and down to sample the pleasures of the Old Kilpatrick pubs.

Sean and John went to Celtic Park to watch the UEFA Champions League game against Qarabag and he also spent two days in Edinburgh.

goodbye seanHe managed to cram quite a lot in and spent his last couple of days in Old Kilpatrick.  Jim and I were sad to wave goodbye to him at the airport and we hope it won’t be too long before he returns.

It would have been great if he had been able to be here for the launch of Something Cruel – Bearpit Brothers E.P. Launch at The Glad Cafe Saturday 22 August, 2015  –  still, he was the first to see and hear the finished product as he was with us the day it arrived – and he loved it.

Haste ye back, Sean and have a fabulous 30th birthday.

Auntie Pat, August 2015.

Bearpit Brothers, E.P. Launch: Something Cruel, Sat 22 August, The Glad Cafe
Young Talent Exhibition, ProjectAbility 4 Sept – 24 Oct, 2015

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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.

2 responses to “Sean’s Scottish Trip Summer 2015”

  1. Ann Galloway(McGlinn) says:

    I am from Old Kilpatrick left Home 50years ago Hard to believe
    I live in New Brunswick Canada ,this week I have been in Nova Scotia
    Visiting one of our Sons who lives in Halifax .
    I read your. Name & also Catherine Aitken I think she was my
    Mum’s Neighbour on Dumbarton Road .
    Small World after all
    So sorry to hear about Saint Patrick’s burning down
    Ann Galloway

  2. Pat Byrne says:

    HI Ann, I remember that name, McGlinn. There are a lot of people from Old Kilpatrick in Canada. My sister lives in Oakville, Ontario.
    Yes, that was a shame about the chapel. The Church of Scotland have kindly offered use of their premises until the damage is repaired.

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