Glasgow Gallivanting: April 2019

April is John’s birthday month! How do you buy gifts for someone you’ve known for almost four decades without repeating yourself? It’s impossible, so I now give “experiences” rather than objects. This year, on the day itself, we enjoyed a Chinese dinner in Opium, an “oriental fusion” restaurant in the city centre. The weekend before, I surprised John with tickets for a very special Glasgow tour.

Above right is Cam of Once Upon a Whisky. Now, if a young man in Glasgow tells me his name is Cam I would normally assume it was short for Cameron, or possibly Campbell. However, meet Camilo from Bogotá: formerly Colombian Ambassador for Glenfiddich, a well-known whisky brand, he came to Glasgow to do an MBA and never left. (Well, why would anyone IMHO?) Now he runs a variety of whisky tours and events – I chose the West End Whisky tour which consists of four drams in four bars and a lot of stories along the way. Despite living in the West End, and being reasonably knowledgeable about whisky, we learned a lot and had never actually been in two of the bars before so we can now add them to our repertoire. It was also fun chatting and comparing notes with the other two couples on the tour.

I highly recommend Cam’s tours – here’s a wee video of him in action.

Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

In April, the weather took a definite turn for the better, Easter Weekend being particularly beautiful. It was great to get out for more walks, some of which might eventually end up on here as complete posts. Queen Elizabeth Forest Park is one of our favourite places to go, but I’ve written about it before so I’ll just give you a quick gallery of our Easter Monday visit.

The Abbess of Crewe

It’s been a busy month at Glasgow Women’s Library, the highlight for me being The Abbess of Crewe. Since before Christmas, the Drama Queens group, of which I am a member, has been reading Muriel Spark’s 1974 novel, adapting it into a play and rehearsing for a dramatic reading (close your eyes and it should be like a radio play). This month, we presented it to an audience and they loved it, even laughing in all the right places! The dress code was black but with fabulous shoes. Now, after a foot injury some years ago, I don’t do fabulous shoes, but Marks and Spencer came up trumps with a pair of silver brogues which I’m sure I’ll never wear again, but at least I looked the part on the night.

Dippy on tour

Dippy, the Natural History Museum’s replica Diplodocus dinosaur skeleton, has been visiting Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow. We caught him almost at the end of his trip. Can you spot the woman in the padded dinosaur costume in the third picture? I wouldn’t have liked to have her job!

We also viewed an exhibition of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and listened to part of the daily organ concert so, all in all, it was an excellent afternoon, and I haven’t even mentioned the lunch. Kelvingrove rarely disappoints.

Random Ramblings: West End Mews

There are days when I can only keep my step count up by going on a random walk around the neighbourhood or taking a large circular detour to my destination. This can get quite boring, so I’m grateful to Neil of Yeah, another blogger for his idea of setting mini-challenges, in his case Seeing Green: A Philadelphia Story. I’ve done this a few times now – here’s one where I set out to find as many mews properties as I could. Although our home is modern, it’s on the edge of an area of Victorian and Edwardian terraces and villas so there are plenty of lanes tucked away behind where the stables and carriage houses have been converted into attractive dwellings. Look out for more Random Ramblings as I warm to my theme!

Just because I like them

These don’t fit any particular theme, but here we have the Doulton Fountain on Glasgow Green, St Andrew’s in the Square, reflections on the canal, and the Suffrage Oak which is showing a pleasing amount of regrowth this Spring after the extensive storm damage it suffered two winters ago.

The last bit

You could catch something from this sandwich …

Spotted by John at a street-food stall, which I shan’t name and shame, this might make you smile. I think a heavier black marker is required to obliterate the unfortunate typo which originally appeared instead of herbs.

And finally to the Scottish word(s) of the month. One of the people we met on the whisky tour was from Portugal, and she was astonished at how little Glaswegians wore in what she considered quite cold weather. It’s true, the slightest hint of sun and the parks are covered in half-naked bodies (never mine, I hasten to add). This is known as taps aff weather (tops off) when people discard as many claes (clothes) as possible and prostrate themselves under the sun’s rays. Sometimes there are sights that you wish you could unsee …

That’s it for April’s (slightly late) roundup. Have a great May!

80 thoughts on “Glasgow Gallivanting: April 2019

  1. Dr Sock May 29, 2019 / 19:47

    We Canadians are also inclined to go taps aff at the first hint of spring sunshine.



  2. Lisa Dorenfest May 12, 2019 / 11:05

    No wonder John is smiling so widely. The whiskey tour is a perfect gift for the man who has everything! When I was single and trying to think of a good way to meet the man of my dreams, I convinced three single gals in the office to invest in attending a whiskey tasting (they can be expensive affairs). There were 40 people at the tasting, me, my three girlfriends, and thirty-six men. Jackpot! My friend Amy got lucky. I did not. But I found a new appreciation for whiskey.

    That photo of Loch Drunkie is magnificent.

    And how cool are you to be the Abbess of Crewe. Would have loved to have been in that audience

    I love good Random Rambling and yours does not disappoint. I may have to join this challenge in the future.

    Your images from Glasgow on a sunny day with blue skies remained me of my visit there and why I am likely to return. Glad to see you are finally having some taps aff weather

    I roared at that menu and can promise I won’t be eating there


    • Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter May 12, 2019 / 12:37

      36 men to 4 women! I think the gender balance is changing as events I have been at probably have more men but not in such a large ratio. I hope Amy’s relationship survived the whisky haze 😉.

      Loch Drunkie is very pretty, and the name is quite appropriate given what we have just been talking about. The Abbess was a great event – Donna, the Drama Queen leader, is planning another one with a new book to adapt so we’ll see if that comes off. As for the typo, I can’t believe they put the menu board up without disguising it better! Can’t be good for business!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lisa Dorenfest May 12, 2019 / 17:25

        They were delightful odds back in the day. It was a tumultuous romance and thankfully, Amy eventually went on to better things. Would be great if the next book adaptation could be filmed (even if just for a moment). Would love to watch you in action


  3. hilarymb May 11, 2019 / 18:48

    Hi Anabel – seems like an excellent idea … and that whisky tour looks fun … Cam is obviously good at what he does and so interesting he stayed on. Congratulations to John … and here’s to many more. Beautiful photos … the Abbess and her silver brogues – pretty pretty! Looking forward to more random ramblings – cheers Hilary


  4. restlessjo May 9, 2019 / 18:48

    What a lovely month! 🙂 🙂 Good to see you gallivanting!


  5. Jonno May 8, 2019 / 17:38

    What a busy month you had? It’s great to get out and see so many different things isn’t it? Lots more plans for the summer hopefully.


  6. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) May 8, 2019 / 13:44

    I think your brogues are fabulous! I don’t really do heels either, but I do like a good pair of colourful brogues. And I’m dying laughing at the green herpes falafel. I always read the menus for crappy takeaways that get pushed through our letterbox because they often have hilarious misspellings. One time I found one that was advertising “fetal” cheese on its salads.


    • Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter May 8, 2019 / 15:45

      I can’t wear heels and I can’t wear anything without laces or straps to support my dodgy foot, so these were just about perfect for the occasion. I’m not sure where else I can wear silver though, i’ll obviously have to cultivate a more eccentric style. Fetal cheese is definitely a typo of similar quality!


  7. Joanne Sisco May 8, 2019 / 11:45

    There is always so much to comment on in one of your posts – this time from your fabulous silver shoes, to the unfortunate typo (!!), whisky tasting, and the Mews. That’s my new word for the day ‘mews’. I’ve never known exactly what a mew was and after looking it up, now I know!!


    • Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter May 8, 2019 / 15:43

      Yes, this mew is nothing to do with cats! The shoes are rather fabulous, but not quite my usual style – i’ll just have to fine somewhere to wear them that requires a bit of bling.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Liesbet @ Roaming About May 8, 2019 / 02:12

    Speaking of whisky, Mark and I recently stumbled across a discounted 1.75 liter bottle of Jim Bean (I’m sure well below your standards) in a Mexican grocery store here in New Mexico. We usually don’t drinks whisky, but if the price is right, who can resist a perfectly fine bottle of alcohol? And, the price was right: US$3.99. Yeah… we will be drinking that bottle for months. Hot toddies so far have been the best use for it. Your Easter weather makes me jealous.

    Happy belated birthday to John. Nice round-up and a good way to throw in some random photos.


  9. Ann Coleman May 7, 2019 / 23:12

    Happy Birthday to your husband! What a nice gift! And personally, I really enjoy the photos of your random ramblings. They give me glimpse of a whole different country, and include the parts the tourists don’t necessarily see.


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