Happy New Year!

December flew past and the month of January is almost at the end too. Looks like this blog will become a two monthly one. December started well with an ‘OpenBook’ group at the GWL. Writing a few poems and getting feedback is rather good. We also attended a golden wedding anniversary of friends at the Merchants House, a building on the corner of George Square. I’ve been living in Glasgow for fifty years , been to George Square hundreds of times but never noticed this magnificent building or knew of its history.

December 12th and voting day loomed large. It was also our Bearsden Writers meeting. So I voted first then got to the writers meeting. Waitrose could not accommodate us but Milngavie Library was kind enough to give us a large space in the library and coffee, and offered us tea and biscuits too. That was a lovely surprise. I can never thank my local Milngavie library enough for being supportive in all my endeavours whether it is a book launch, events for Milngavie Week, putting up displays during World Book day or stepping in when we needed a place for our writers group. A special thanks to Brenda Paterson at the library.

Christmas is a wonderful family time. More so this year as we also included a short visit to London to see the Nutcracker Ballet by the English National at the Coliseum, one of the oldest theatres in London and a visit to the William Blake exhibition at the Tate. These cultural events aside we were were also enriched by a visit to a friend of nearly half a century, to reminisce with them when they lived in Glasgow. That was a treat. Staying at the 5 star hotel in Canary Wharf made it all the more memorable.

The New Year, and it was back to routine with a EDAC meeting on January the 6th. Meeting with friends and catching up on their Xmas break was good. Bearsden Writers group’s meeting on the 16th was very well attended. We were fortunate to have many non-fiction pieces that were read out. I read a few books during the break, that were intriguing. ‘Nina X’ by Ewan Morrison which had won the Saltire Debut novel award, discussed ‘what is freedom?’ Salman Rushdie’s ‘Quichotte’ a funny, bizarre book made one think of our present times when fake news abounds. I am a fan of Rushdie’s work so this book did not disappoint. Donal Ryan ‘s ‘A Quiet and Low Sea’ blew me away with its prose. It’s a beautifully written novel. Poetry of course , too many to mention as I read some every day. The film 1917 was my recent foray into the film world. Sam Mendes deserves all the awards he will surely amass for this film but I leave these films on war with a deep sigh. When will man learn not to kill each other or cause immense human misery? When will we learn to live in peace? A visit to my local Lillie Art Gallery was another eye opener as ex teacher Ian Cook had an exhibition that traced all his travels to Mexico and Africa with giant colourful canvases that were striking. Finally I have a poem in Sea Horse Publication’s anthology – ‘Glasgow: Historical City.’ The book launch of the anthology is on next Wednesday 29th January. A lovely way to start the New Year and end the month of January.

I hope you all had a great break.

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