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Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End
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Pat

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I thought it was meant to be warmer down south - talk about freezing. We went to Olympic Stadium - that place cost a bob or two - think they are still in debt to the National Lottery. Anyway we watched the Race of Champions - Suzie Wolf and David Coulthard both got beaten so came back to our accommodation to watch Jim's friend Chris Duncan on the Mercury Prize. Hope he wins. His music is amazing.

 

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Sounds interesting, Pat.  

Wish we could have met but I have been laid low with flu for about two weeks... and yes, it's freezing.

I am planning a trip to Glasgow before Christmas, probably the first or second weekend in December.  Maybe we could arrange a swally?  Actually, I am mer a cup of tea and a scone, these days.:P

Edited by harper

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Cup of tea in glasgow sounds fine, Harper. Hope you feel better soon. We've met up with some old friends. A change for me being in east London but I love my friend karen' s fabulous cafe in Leytonstone 'all you read is love.'  Then we saw our other friend john Ellis of the vibrators and the stranglers play a gig at the Wanstead tap. 

We also want to see the dressmaker - weird movie - at the equally weird Westfield at Stratford. It's like being on another planet. 

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Glad to be home. I loved going back to Chelsea, where I lived in the 60s. Enjoyed the Saatchi Gallery and wandering along King's Road. I also liked wandering in Notting Hill Gate but If I never see Stratford again that will be fine by me. Westfield – talk about consumer overkill.  Princes Square is so classy and even the St Enoch's Mall seems sedate.

We were only in the huge shopping mall to go to see a film at The Vue, on the fourth floor.  Massive queues everywhere and lots of very edgy, crabbit folk around – Glasgow is so sedate.

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In contrast to Chelsea, Stratford is one of the poorest areas in London and the "Olympic Village" was supposed to be the big regeneration project for the area - not sure that it has worked that well.  

I have worked in Kensington and Chelsea since 1987 and seen lots of changes.  Places that used to be no go areas in Notting Hill are now home to designer shops and chic restaurants.  Portobello Road has changed beyond all recognition and the area's foundations are positively shoogiling with celebrity basement conversions.  I love Kings Road and still get thrilled watching the new generation of art students and fashionistas.  Sloane Square at Christmas and Tiffany's windows are hard to beat, too.  London is rude and brash and there are days when I love and hate it in equal measure but after over 30 years, it's hard to think of living anywhere else.

   

 

Edited by harper

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Agree with you about Chelsea. It looked fabulous and the shop windows are amazing. It will also be a place close to my heart. I lived at the World's End, at the time, in the 60s, is was more or less suitably named. No more. 

I also liked travelling along Knightsbridge on the bus – Gucci's window was fantastic but I think Westfield has got to rate up there with the most awful places I've ever been.

By the numbers of shoppers in Stratford it looks as though money is fairly swirling around and if that helps the neighbourhood then it's good but something stomach turning about the excessive commerce. 

We noticed those 'basement conversations'. 

We met a lot of really lovely, polite people, including a very helpful Big Issue Salesman but also encountered unbelievable aggression.

It was a mixed experience. Definitely Glasgow for me.

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Too big a divide in London between the haves and the have not a lots. The contrast is not so in your face in Glasgow. The differences between the two cities in terms of investment is huge. I suppose the same could be said for many English cities and London. I wouldn't want to live there. Not sure I want to visit.

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The place I like in London is Camden Lock but I think there has been some trouble there with the Council.  London does not seem to be a place to go to unless you have a lot of money. It is easier just to take a trip into town to see a show and if you really want Harvey Nicks  then you can always go to Edinburgh. David Cameron has put me off the Houses of Parliament.

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I don't think I have ever been to Harvey Nicks in all the years I have lived here.  The wealth is eye watering but there are lots of ordinary folk in London but a difficult place to get a start these days.  When I moved to London it was exciting and affordable but the enduring appeal for me is London's cultural diversity and the London Scottish, of course:D  

Edited by harper

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I really like Harvey Nicks upstairs restaurant in Edinburgh, with its great views over the city.

There are definitely a lot of ordinary folk in London, including some of those who didn't have to move a hundred miles away and lose their homes because of the bedroom tax but like you say, where would you start these days? Must be nigh impossible to buy a house and the rents are very high.   Although, apparently, unlike the rest of the country, house prices in London are falling.

It's certainly very multicultural and on every tube ride you can listen to people speaking different languages all around you.  It's also got a very young population compared to Glasgow – a proportion of whom will no doubt be tourists.

I think the big draws in Glasgow are the music venues and the art. Think these were deciding factors in National Geographic naming Glasgow as one of 20 of the world's must visit places. Then invariably named as second to London as a shopping destination in the UK. 

Of all my friends that I lived with in London only two of us came home – although, I know most of the others have often thought of returning.



 

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Glasgow is a fabulous city and I still think of it as home.  I enjoy my visits back and I have a "person of particular interest" living there:p - thank goodness for fast trains: ) 

I can't abide shopping and I can't think of any city that I would feel drawn to for retail therapy... unless it's food!  Hmm, thinks Venetian spaghetti vongole. 

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When we were in Portobello Road. I kept thinking about the bargains you can pick up at The Barras and it's not what it used to be.  The last thing I want to do when I go on holiday is shop – unless I'm looking to pick up a few gifts. 

I wouldn't have minded a wee trip down to Brixton. I always loved Brixton market.  And definitely nothing of the equivalent in Glasgow.  We've no Canary Wharf either. lol

Hope you manage up for a trip soon, harper.  The joys of Glasgow await you. You'll need to check out Eusebi, corner of Park Road and Woodlands. Absolutely fabulous for lunch or a coffee.

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My office is in Portobello Road, just beside the vintage clothes market tent they have on a Friday:)

Never been to Brixton or Brick Lane Markets*  Love Spitalfield's and Columbia Road Flower Market.  Camden Lock was uber trendy during the height of the punk era but seems to have lost it's edge.  I don't think you can beat Paris for markets -  even the tat looks trez chic ...

* Never been to The Tower of London or Madam Tussaud's either ...  and no intention to, either.

Edited by harper

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We must have walked past your office, harper, as we walked the entire length of Portobello Road. The vintage shops in Glasgow are fantastic so I wasn't really tempted.  I saw a pair of jet earrings that I liked but they were priced at £40. You could pick them up for a tenner here.

I've been to Brick Lane once but dozens of times to Brixton. Nothing else like it in the UK – or probably anywhere.  I love the street names in Brixton – Electric Avenue and Cold Harbour Lane.  I went to the huge market in Paris at Clignancourt some years back and really loved it.

I've never been to the Tower of London but used to walk past Tussaud's when I worked in Baker Street at Abbey National for a brief spell.  Never made it inside. I think if I was in London with Ryan I might take him. 

The fabulous costume exhibition is still on at Kelvingrove.  I was slightly tempted to see the Shoe Exhibition at the V % A but we'd seen a documentary about it with Lana Del Rey.

I also like the heaths in London and was told that Epping Forest that starts almost at Leytonstone is a great place for walking. But not last week – it was freezing.

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Oh, you are temping me to take a trip to Brixton Market.

I love parks and  bridges and Paris takes some beating on that score.  I have real soft spots for Waterloo and Westminster bridges but was surprised the first time I saw Big Ben and how totey it was.  I really back the new London garden bridge,  I think it will be smashing:)  Nothing beats the Botanic Gardens for me.  A friend was telling me about the history of Kibble Palace last night and how it was brought up the Clyde on  a barge!  

Sorry meandering .... :P

 

Edited by harper

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Yes, all the way from Cove to the West End.  The Kibble is still lovely but not quite the same since it was refurbished.

I love Luxembourg Gardens.  Jim has some cracking photos of The Kibble I'll see if I can find some later.

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Good heavens. We stayed at Leytonstone and were in and out of the underground that we're now seeing on television re: the stabbings.

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The 29 year old man who carried out the attacks and who has been branded a terrorist is today in court.  His brother on Channel 4 News tonight revealing, as confirmed by police, that only three weeks ago the family attempted to have the young man sectioned. He was deemed not to be a risk to himself or others.  Should he be in court today? Hardly.

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Absolutely on the button, tig. I haven't noticed the media, ITV or BBC reporting this. I haven't noticed David Cameron apologising. Scaremongers and appalling behaviour towards a very vulnerable individual, whose family sought help and didn't get it.

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I see the French Government now want to keep some of the 'special emergency measures' as the norm.  Let us hope the people of France give them short shrift

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