Glasgow Gallivanting: June 2022

GWL Volunteer Social
Photo credit: Gabrielle Macbeth

I’m happy to say that June has been another busy month, so much so that I hardly know how to include everything. So here’s an overview, and some of these items might get their own posts later.

Week 1 (Wed 1st – Sun 5th)

After a lapse of two years, my involvement with Glasgow Women’s Library is increasing again. I had a lovely time at their Volunteers’ Week Social on the first of the month (see header), and the following day I was out tour-guiding (Necropolis). John and I had days out to Overtoun and Newark Castle, and we went to a concert on Sunday evening (singer / songwriter Horse).

Overtoun House and Estate
Newark Castle

Week 2 (Monday 6th – Sunday 12th)

Blackness Castle

A weird week combining meetings with friends and routine medical check-ups. I was due to visit the Dentist, Practice Nurse, and Optician so thought I might as well get them all over with at once. Fortunately, each had a good outcome. I guided on a West End Women’s Heritage Walk, at which point I had led four walks in under three weeks, so I’m having a rest now for a while. We visited another castle – Blackness, shown above – and went to another concert. Lesley, a friend I have made through GWL, is in three bands, and this concert featured two of them: The Carlton Three and Kittlin. For the first time, Kittlin was accompanied by an acrobat, Lauren Jamieson, on a couple of its songs. What that woman could do with her body made me wince!

Carlton Three and Kittlin


Week 3 (Monday 13th – Sunday 19th)

Cardwell Bay, Gourock

Another week packed full of friendship, but also some sadness. I had my monthly meet-up with my Aunt Annabel (Mum’s younger sister) and cousin Tracy, this time in Gourock on the Clyde coast. At lunch, Tracy thought she was too full for a cake and would just have “a wee meringue” which turned out to be the biggest meringue ever!

A weekend with friends

At the weekend, my oldest friend, Valerie, whom I have known since I was 11, and her husband Kenn came to stay with us. I hadn’t seen them for three years, so it was wonderful. We visited the Burrell Collection, Benmore Botanic Gardens near Dunoon on the Cowal Peninsula, and the Falkirk Wheel and Kelpies. Just a taster of each below …

Elspeth McKay 18/03/1933- 18/06/2022
Elspeth, Christmas 2020

The sadness is that I lost an aunt. Elspeth McKay was the middle of my father’s three younger sisters. She and my Aunt Annabel (Mum’s sister) were at school together, so were friends long before my parents ever met, and Mum and Elspeth always said that they felt like real sisters, not just sisters-in-law. It was Elspeth who came to stay to look after Dad and me when my mother was in hospital having my sister (a two week stay in those days), and she was godmother to both my sister and my cousin Tracy. I think staying overnight with Elspeth and her husband Ian was possibly my first experience of going away without my parents. Elspeth and Ian taught me to swim, and they even seemed to forgive me a visit when I was a surly teenager dressed all in black who would hardly speak to them. So despite Elspeth and her husband Ian (who died in 2017) having lived in Brisbane most of my life, with physical meetings being few after the 1970s, the emotional bonds were tight, especially in recent years when I took over as chief correspondent because email became too much for Mum. Here are a few snapshots from Elspeth’s life, including two from our trip to Australia in 2004 when we spent a long weekend with her and Ian. The baby with the very rosy cheeks is me; the other baby is my sister at her christening. The photographs from the surly teenage years are CENSORED.

Week 4 (Monday 20th – Sunday 26th)

I spent a lot of time this week looking out and scanning old photos, including some of those in the gallery above, to send to Australia for Elspeth’s memorial. I also made a tribute video which almost had me tearing my hair out in frustration, but it got done and transferred successfully. Another concert (Capercaillie), another dinner with friends, but nothing terribly photogenic apart from the exhibition below.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

This is the current exhibition at Glasgow Women’s Library (on till 6th August) of recently acquired screen-prints by the expressive abstract artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912-2004). I’m no art critic, so I shall just say that I find these absolutely joyous.

Week 5 (Monday 27th – Thursday 30th)

I collected some new street art in Partick this week. The two images below show the same building, the mural on the left having recently been replaced by that on the right. The current artist is Molly Hankinson.

Nearby, in Merkland Street, three more new murals have replaced gable end depictions of sportsmen and women which had been there since the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Left to right, they are by Voyder, Mark Worst and Voyder, and Mark Worst. A true collaboration! The black and white image is Lobey Dosser, a Glasgow cartoon character.

A colourful end to the month, which is nice to look back on as I schedule this while the rain lashes the window. I hope your June was good. We’ve had the longest day and I leave you with this view taken from the steps of Glasgow’s Concert Hall at 10:04pm on the 23rd. From now on, the nights are “fair drawing in” as my grandfather used to say.

Happy July!


  1. Wow, Anabel, as per usual, you have packed this post with super-interesting people and places. I’m so very sorry about your aunt, but what a lovely tribute to her you have created. And, I’d like to raise my voice against censorship and request the surly teenaged pics! And as always, you’ve left me wanting to visit every single place you’ve shared, and to have tea with you after to talk about it. Hugs.


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