JanFeb2020

SuzanneMartin

Westender Magazine Jan/Feb 2020 edition

www.westendermagazine.com | 1


2 | www.westendermagazine.com

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Contents

Regulars

4 Editor’s Letter

Fashion, beauty & health

10 Fashion Spread:

Mad About The Boy

35 WIN! At Rainbow

Room International

Business

18 Business Article:

Time, People and Money

Going out

28 West End Live

with Greg Kane

30 Top Things

Lifestyle

28 Author Interview:

Kerry Hudson

36 Cover to Cover

38 Community Pages:

University of the

Third Age

Westender living

40 Abstract Notions

45 Let There Be Light

49 Monochrome Moments


4 | www.westendermagazine.com

Editor’s

Letter

Here’s to a great 2020! It is going to be a

year of seismic change, so why not

look for the opportunities change

always presents?

It’s a new year and a fresh start finds

writer Mike Findlay chatting to three local

business owners whose business it is to help

other local businesses. If you’re considering

starting a new business, or effecting a major

change in your existing enterprise then let

Mike’s article inspire you on Page 18.

The latest fashion shoot took place in

Finnieston on a grim and dreich Glasgow

day. Top marks for authenticity, zero for

staying warm and dry. Huge thanks must

go to Lisa and her team at the Argyle

Gents Club and Akram and his lovely staff

at the Tajura Cafe for accommodating us,

warming us with coffees and chat, and in

Akram’s case feeding us too. You guys

saved us! Throughout it all our model,

Jamie McClenaghan from Colours Agency,

was an absolute trooper. Not easy to look

good in a howling gale whilst getting lashed

by horizontal rain. Luckily he’s a local so took

it all in his stride. We’re mad about Jamie, see

what you think for yourselves on Pages 10-15.

If the fashion story inspires you to never

go outside again, take inspiration for a great

read from Brian Toal on Page 36 and coorie

in. Billy Connelly’s Tall Tales and Wee Stories

is on my reading list for 2020.

Lenny Smith interviews Scottish author,

Kerry Hudson, on Page 32. Lowborn:

Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning

to Britain’s Poorest Towns, like Darren

McGarvey’s Poverty Safari, is a timely

reminder of the choices we make as a

society and as individuals on possible future

outcomes for generations yet to be born.

An uncomfortable read, maybe. Necessary?

In 2020 I’d say absolutely.

If you’re brave enough to venture

outside then Greg Kane, Page 28, and

Tracy Mukherjee, Page 30, have a wealth

of suggestions to make. The weather may

be miserable but the West End, as ever,

is glorious. Roll on spring!

Suzanne Martin


www.westendermagazine.com | 5

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Magazine Promotion

Images I Gregor Reid

Great Western Road

what’s not to Love?

Bakers, makers, tailors and flat whiters, A deep affection for this quirky, go-to part

just a small sample of the thriving, of Glasgow, and a real desire to keep driving

diverse small business community up the potential of GWR as a must-visit

plying its trade along the west end stretch of shopping and socialising area, has seen a

Glasgow’s Great Western Road.

group of local traders work tirelessly over

That commercial diversity is a key driver the last year to develop a potential Business

in a new business promotion project working Improvement District (BID) in the area.

on GWR which aims to dispel the muchvaunted

mantra that the high street is dead. and the UK, the model for collective working

With BIDs already running all over Scotland

Not only is business alive and kicking in this has delivered some real commercial success.

very special part of the city, it’s flourishing The Love Great Western Road project,

and showing real signs of revitalisation. as the local BID is called, is confident that it

It wasn’t a big surprise to locals that

can put the ‘great’ back into Great Western

Kelvinbridge was recently voted one of the Road, and consolidate the alternative high

coolest areas in the world by Time Out, street qualities of the street. Just take a walk

we already knew that!

along the one mile stretch of the LGWR BID

Where else in the city could you buy area between St. George’s Cross and the

everything from a delicious vegan lunch to a top of Byres Road, and into the side streets,

bespoke fitted kitchen, or an artisan coffee, and you’ll get a flavour of just how diverse

vintage outfit or short back and sides? and vibrant this area really is for locals,

Where else within a one mile stretch could visitors, shoppers and passers-by. That said,

you pick up an antique, a collectible book, there’s no commercial complacency at Love

a set of ladders, half a kilo of scallops or Great Western Road, everyone wants the

some stylish Scandi home furnishings? area to get better and better as a place to do

Great Western Road, that’s where.

business.


As such, the LGWR project has spent

the last 18 months consulting with local

businesses and identifying a series of

improvement priorities which will be

developed over the five year BID period.

These improvements include safety and

security, the look and feel of the street,

increased footfall and marketing of Great

Western Road as an alternative high street

where retail and other businesses thrive.

However, this is a democratic process,

so before a BID can officially come into

being, every local business will cast their

yes or no vote during a six week window

early in 2020.

The Love Great Western Road

chairman, Fraser Ritchie of Farrow & Ball,

is encouraging all local traders to put their

X in the YES box.

‘Over the last year, we’ve already seen

what can happen when businesses work

together for the greater good. Those of us

involved in the Love Great Western Road

BID have built strong business bonds

with each other, and share a commitment

to making our part of Great Western

Road an even better place to live, visit,

work or shop. We already know what a

wonderful part of the city this is, but if we

work together to make tangible, visible

improvements to the trading area it will

benefit the whole community.’

As a stylish, unique shopping street

featuring both national and internationally

known brands – Tesco and Timorous

Beasties to name but two – plus many

independently owned shops, bars,

restaurants and cafes, what’s not to love

about Great Western Road?

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EDITOR

SUZANNE MARTIN

PHOTOGRAPHER

GREGOR REID

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

MIKE FINDLAY, GREG KANE,

TRACY MUKHERJEE,

SUSAN ROBERTSON, LENNY SMITH,

BRIAN TOAL

HAIR & MUA

TERRI CRAIG

STYLIST

JACKI CLARK

WESTENDERMAGAZINE.COM

INFO@WESTENDERMAGAZINE.COM

07905 897238

WESTENDER MAGAZINE IS ON

FACEBOOK, TWITTER

& INSTAGRAM

Publisher: Westender Magazine

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial

contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions

resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause.

Westender Magazine does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form – electronic,

mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without prior permission of the publisher.


Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion| | 97

Business in ACTION

As Editor of Westender Magzine I first

met ActionCOACH Javier Peralta at the

West End Business Club in early

September 2019. Intrigued with what I heard,

after a free taster session the next week,

I signed up. It’s early days but the way I think

and conduct business is already changing –

for the better!

Javier picks up, ‘There are lots of business

in the West End with a lot of potential but

are performing at 20%-30% of their true

potential so we can help them get their

business thriving. Coaching, according to Sir

John Whitmore is about “unlocking people’s

potential to achieve maximum performance”.

‘ActionCOACH has developed a system

that has been tested for over 25 years and

used by thousands of businesses across

the world. Our clients benefit not just

from our experience of coaching 15,000

businesses every week but also from 1,000

ActionCOACHES in over 70 countries.

Step 1 Covers Mastery; that is eliminating

chaos and making the business stable with

robust foundations.

Step 2 Covers Niche; that is, making the

business cash rich and achieving predictable

cash flow rather than financial ups and downs

and feeling like being in a roller coaster.

Step 3 Covers Leverage; Systemising the

business, processes and making it efficient.

Step 4 Covers Team; getting the right

structure for growth. Your team run the

system and the system runs the business.

Step 5 Covers Synergy; this is when you

have achieved a well oiled machine and you

can put in a general manager. The business

has now become a commercial profitable

enterprise that runs without you. So you can

say that the business is now in “auto pilot”

Step 6 is Results; you can “copy and

paste” the business success you have had by

franchising it, opening offices/shops in other

cities, countries, etc.’

ActionCOACH run FREE business

seminars every month. Javier

guarantees owners will realise 2 or 3

takeaways that they will be able to

implement in their business straight

away. West End business owners are

welcome to book by calling Javier on

0141 334 5453.

ActionCOACH Glasgow

2 Merkland Street G11 6DB

0141 334 5453

actioncoach.co.uk/coaches/glasgow


10 | www.westendermagazine.com

photography gregor reid

stylist jacki clark

mua terri craig

mad

about

the boy


www.westendermagazine.com | 11


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Trousers, coat, topman. Belt, fat face. hat, CCW

opposite page - belt, shirt, fatface. jeans, h&M. jacket, topman. boots, ccw

previous page - jacket & Jeans, topman. Jumper, ccw


www.westendermagazine.com | 13


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shirt, trousers, ted baker

photography gregor reid, gregorreidphotography.com

stylist jacki clark, jackiclark-stylist.co.uk

model Jamie mcclenaghan @coloursagency

MUA terri craig, terricraig.co.uk

many thanks to the Argyle street barbers and

tajura cafe in finnieston for use of their

premises for this shoot


shirt & boots, ccw. top, topman.

trousers, fatface.

www.westendermagazine.com | 15


16 | Westender www.westendermagazine.com

Magazine Promotion

Images I Gregor Reid

Meet The Neighbours

After extensive refurbishment at

243-247 Crow Road, Broomhill

– McCarthy Law and Blue Sky

Independent Wealth Management are

delighted to introduce themselves to the

neighbourhood.

Finding the right lawyer is not always

easy. Most people only need to see a lawyer

once or twice in their life time. McCarthy

Law’s objective is to try to make the process

straightforward and to deliver sensible advice

as cost effectively as possible.

McCarthy Law was established in the

West End by Kathleen McCarthy in 2013.

With over 25 years of experience in the

legal sector she concentrates on family law,

powers of attorney, guardianship orders,

McCarthy Law’s Maria Murdoch and Kathleen McCarthy

wills, executries and personal injury claims.

A full range of services and testimonials

can be found at the company website

@ mccarthylaw.co.uk.

McCarthy Law provides a friendly, local

and professional service catering to you and

your family’s needs. Good sensible analysis

at the beginning of any piece of work really

does improve outcomes and McCarthy Law

welcomes any enquires for which they may

be of help or service.

McCarthy Law works closely with Blue

Sky Independent Wealth Management in

delivering rounded solutions to your legal and

financial needs. We look forward to serving

the community.

Whilst Kathleen looks after all aspects

of the legal work, Chartered Financial

Planners, Kevin Gribben and Chris Friel,

aim to protect, grow and preserve client

monies at BlueSky Wealth. ‘Kevin is my

financial advisor,’ explains Kathleen. ‘I would

have difficulty recommending professionals

who I have no first hand knowledge of.

We are often asked to recommend financial

advisors and there are benefits to our clients

in having someone next door that we trust’.


www.westendermagazine.com | 17

BlueSky Wealth Director, Kevin Gribben,

picks up, ‘it was clear when we met

Kathleen a few years back, that she shared

our BlueSky vision of providing a truly

personalised and outstanding service with a

strong focus on keeping our overheads low –

meaning that our clients get the full benefit of

highly qualified, professional advice at a fair

and transparent price.’

‘Both our professions share many

synergies and our clients benefit hugely from

a joined up approach to our partnership with

McCarthy Law and Chartered Accountants

Smith and Wallace at our Kilmarnock offices.

We can address a broad range of client

needs; from those looking for a complete

financial plan of action to providing advice

on a specific area such as pensions,

investments or tax and estate planning.

We have spent many years working for

large corporate firms based in plush city

centre offices. We believe passionately in

delivering a more personalised service in a

relaxed environment and therefore feel more

comfortable and at ease in the West End’.

Both Chris and Kevin are highly qualified

Chartered Financial Planners and offer

an Independent, whole of market service,

focused on providing the best possible

financial outcomes for clients. BlueSky

Wealth want to set clients on the path to

achieving their financial goals. Goals that

include creating a clear strategy and financial

plan of action for managing their wealth, both

whilst accumulating during your working life

and also in retirement when your spending is

in full swing.

Chris said, ‘it’s a privilege to manage a

client’s wealth and a great responsibility.

We want clients to know we understand this

and all of our efforts are focused on ensuring

we meet our client’s objectives’. Kevin has

the last word, ‘get in touch with us or pop into

our office for a chat’.

243-247 Crow Road G11 7BE

McCarthy Law 0141 337 6678

mccarthylaw.co.uk

BlueSky Wealth 0141 483 1554

wealthatbluesky.com


18 | www.westendermagazine.com

Time, people and

money – the essential

ingredients to running

a successful business

Running your own profitable business can be taxing. From

identifying your USP (unique selling point), recruiting the

right team, establishing your loyal customers, through

to financial planning. Is it any wonder that many local

businesses struggle to find their feet?

WORDS Mike Findlay

But fear not, help is at hand. Three

leading lights in business share their top

tips which will guarantee your business

will not just survive but flourish.

Javier Peralta is Managing Director of

ActionCOACH, a coaching firm that supports

thousands of businesses globally. Javier,

who is originally from Spain, has always been

fascinated by businesses, how they run and

grow. He has worked in several industries

giving him a breadth of experience in small,

medium and large businesses alike. He runs

the Glasgow branch of ActionCOACH from

his office in Partick.

‘We help focus business owners on

growth. My vision is to help one thousand

Glasgow businesses in the next ten years,’

explains Javier. ‘It breaks my heart when

we arrive too late to prevent a business

from closure. Too often we hear about

business owners who get side-tracked with

the operations side of the business, rather

than taking the time to be strategic. Many

businesses don’t have goals. Even fewer of

them achieve them.

‘The first thing we offer businesses

is a free health check where we ask

for a questionnaire to be completed.

We will then arrange a thirty-minute

conversation to discuss the findings,

and then a longer business coaching session,

where we analyse the business and make

recommendations. Questions we ask include:

What are your business goals? And, how

does your business allow you to have the

lifestyle that you want?

‘We want all business owners to achieve

the magic number five, which is the number

of hours that they should be working in the

business – the operational side – as opposed

to working on the business, which involves

being much more strategic and looking at

business planning and growth.’

As well as health checks and 121

coaching, ActionCOACH is offering Glasgow

businesses the chance of group coaching

and mentoring, and access to a free business

seminar which runs every six weeks giving

practical tips on how you can turn your

business around.


www.westendermagazine.com | 19

Javier explains, ‘Our group coaching

takes place every two weeks. Many of our

clients stay on the programme for around

12-months. We develop detailed business

plans for the coming year and set detailed

goals.’

Javier suggests that there are three key

things you need to focus on to get ahead of

the game, ‘Time, people and money. Getting

better control of time is essential. I have

worked with a client working 50-hours a week

who wanted to reduce it to 35-hours within

one year, which any business owner can

achieve with planning. You should also train

to retain your team, and put their attitude

towards the business ahead of the skills

that they currently have. Money is clearly

essential in business planning and will enable

you to grow your business through increased

sales and profitability.’

Simon Murrison is Director at Murrison

& Wilson, a chartered accountancy firm in

Glasgow specialising in business strategy

and tax planning for businesses and

individuals. The firm offers a comprehensive

suite of support all under one roof, which

saves small business owners time and

money.

Simon explains, ‘You need to wear many

hats and juggle so many different tasks

daily before you can even begin to develop

a long-term business strategy. Speaking to

a dedicated advisor for tax, book-keeping,

payroll and business advice not only saves

time but guarantees your advisor knows your

business inside out and will give you the

right advice when you need it to drive your

business forward.

‘We’d recommend you work on the

aspects of the business you enjoy and are

good at. For everything else you find difficult,

takes up time and adds stress to your day

outsource those aspects of the business to a

specialist.


20 | www.westendermagazine.com


www.westendermagazine.com | 21

‘Don’t ignore that small niggle in the back

of your mind or promise yourself you will

deal with it later. The reality is if you choose

to bury your head in the sand that’s when

problems arise such as an unexpected tax

bill. Our advice is ‘eat the frog’ and stop

procrastinating or that small molehill will

turn into a mountain that may cost you your

business.

‘Networking is critical. We’d urge you to

take advantage of living in the friendliest

city. There is a fantastic network of people in

Glasgow’s business community who willingly

share ideas, advice and are not afraid to give

you honest feedback to help develop your

business. You are likely to find a business

relationship that is mutually beneficial.

‘Our clients use digital tools that

streamline the business processes, automate

tasks and improve efficiency such as online

banking and low-cost accountancy systems

that talk directly with ours saving businesses

hours of work every week. By creating a

website and using social media platforms

not only do small businesses reach local

audiences, but it makes their ambitions

to tap into a global market a reality not a

pipedream.’

The West End Business Club is the

brainchild of local businessman William

Flynn, who is owner and director of locally run

City Cars taxi firm. He built his business from

scratch starting in 1996. Having previously

owned and run a trade taxi magazine,

he decided to practice what he preached.

He is also the owner of Clyde Auto Repairs

and Marchmont Property Solutions.

William says, ‘West End businesses

have got to start fighting against bigger

businesses to survive. As a taxi business,

it’s the impact of big companies like Uber

that I need to watch. It is also very important

as local business people that we support one

another.

‘There’s a perception that the high street

is dying. Every time you open a newspaper


22 | www.westendermagazine.com

it seems another shop is closing. I thought

it would be useful if businesses like mine

got the benefits of putting a business club

together. What we are trying to achieve is

bringing businesses together to learn from

one another and ultimately create more work

within Glasgow.

‘All local businesses are welcome to get

involved and there is real diversity within

the group including people working in

printing, the legal profession, entertainment

and photography. It is really simple to get

involved, you contact us and register for our

meetings on the first Tuesday of every month.

The meetings take place at The Square Bar &

Restaurant at Broomhill Shopping Centre on

Norby Road.

‘Although the network has only been

running for the last four months, we can

already see the potential in what we are

doing. It’s partly about telling each other

about our own businesses. You would be

amazed about the number of businesses

that don’t know about each other and by

networking new business opportunities arise.

‘I think bringing people together in this

way, and inviting businesses to tell us how

they’ve succeeded, is really worthwhile.

Some of our newer members are just starting

up their own business and what better way

for them to learn and grow.’

Whether you are a florist, a café owner

or a freelance consultant, it is reassuring

that there are a number of ways that you

can reach out to others in the business

community to troubleshoot, devise business

plans and work together to make Glasgow a

thriving hub for small businesses.

Learn more about ActionCOACH here:

actioncoach.co.uk/coaches/glasgow

Learn more about Murrison & Wilson here:

mucwa.co.uk

Book space at the next West End Business

Club here: events@onrank.co.uk


Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion | 23

Image I Gregor Reid

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Anthony Glancey of Evalee

Keeping

Insurance Local

Evalee Independent Insurance Brokers

are a family-run West End business

with a passion for helping other local

West End businesses.

‘We are a small, independently owned

commercial insurance broker, specialising

in SME businesses,’ explains Anthony.

‘Our clients run bars, shops, offices,

restaurants, and more, in the local area.

We have a combined 70 years’ experience in

this industry and guide our clients every step

of the way, should the worst happen and they

need to make a claim.

‘Evalee offers a face-to-face meeting first

to find out more about our client’s business

and their current insurance arrangements.

Following this we conduct a thorough review

of the insurance market to make sure the

client is obtaining the best cover for the most

competitive price.

‘We love helping independently owned

small-medium sized businesses who would

like to have a relationship with their insurance

broker. We are available at the end of a phone

but prefer to meet face-to-face to really get

to know our clients and their business – it all

helps us to get them the right deal.

‘There are a vast array of small businesses

in this area, with some offering a unique

product. The West End is where we are

based and we know the area incredibly well.

Why not phone in for an informal chat in the

first instance?’

Evalee Independent Insurance Brokers

0141 370 3414

info@eva-lee.co.uk

eva-lee.co.uk


24 | Westender www.westendermagazine.com

Magazine Promotion

Image I Gregor Reid

Accountancy

Matters

by Bruce Wilson & Simon Murrison

How to turn your big idea

into a 2020 business success

So you have a great new business idea.

How do you turn that ‘great’ idea into a

real business success story? To be

brutally honest there is no easy path to

business success. Running any business

requires a huge amount of commitment,

time and effort. You also need confidence

there is a real market for your idea.

Even the best business idea requires a

solid structure to build business success.

A robust business plan is a fundamental part

of achieving success.

Share the plan with business experts,

like Murrison and Wilson, and talk to people

you meet at Glasgow networking events.

Ask for honest feedback.

Don’t be disheartened if the feedback

challenges your initial idea. Listen to their

views, draw on others business experience

and learn from their mistakes. You may

discover flaws in your plan but also spot

opportunities you didn’t know existed.

Now revise your business plan and put

better strategies in place. Be confident

you are giving your business idea the best

possible chance of success.

Next step is to validate your business

idea. Validation helps assess market risks

and identify if there is a market for your

product or services. Be bold and test your

idea to destruction. This will save you time

and money in the future.

Proactively speak to local community

groups and business networks and run

surveys on social media.

You may be surprised by the answers you

get. However, you may identify new offerings

to attract customers and build a business

success story. Good luck in 2020.

Murrison & Wilson, CA is a full service

accountancy firm specialising in

business and tax planning. Get in

touch for a free consultation plus

fixed and competitive fees.

Murrison & Wilson Chartered Accountants

10 Newton Terrace G3 7PJ

0141 290 0262

info@muwca.co.uk

muwca.co.uk


Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion | 25

Legal Matters

SO YOU WANT TO BE A TENANT

OF A SHOP OR OFFICE?

If you are thinking of leasing a shop or office

for your business, you need to be aware

of the must-haves. Paying the rent is just

the start of what can be a very expensive

exercise.

You will need the right to terminate the

lease if you are not trading well, or if you

outgrow the property and need to move

elsewhere to grow business. Accordingly

a ‘break option’ should be included in the

lease, allowing you to end the lease at certain

times by giving notice.

The tenant should also have the right to

transfer the lease or to sub-let the property–

the landlord will want to restrict this right so

that his consent is needed, but is not to be

‘unreasonably withheld’ – this means that

if the tenant finds someone to take over the

lease, and that person has enough financial

strength to pay the rent and other sums and

to carry out the tenant’s obligations, then it is

difficult for the landlord to refuse.

The lease is likely to impose on you,

as tenant, the obligation to put and keep

the property in good repair and condition,

and maintain the property, and where

necessary to rebuild it.

This is the case, even if the property is

not in good repair at the start of the lease.

Very few properties are in perfect condition

at the start of a lease, so it is essential that

the tenant negotiate to have a ‘Schedule

of Condition’, which is usually a series

of photographs showing the state of the

property inside and outside. The Schedule of

Condition should be attached to the Lease,

and the purpose of having the Schedule

of Condition is for the lease to contain a

statement that the tenant is not required to

make good any want of repair shown in the

photos. This valuable concession needs to

be reflected in other relevant clauses in the

lease, such as obligation to comply with

statutes and title conditions.

The lease should say that at termination,

if the tenant has not complied with his

repairing obligation in the lease, the landlord

can carry out the repairs and recover the cost

from the tenant – there should not be a right

in favour of the landlord to receive payment

for works that he does not actually carry out.

If the property is part of a larger building,

(which may or may not be owned by the

landlord) the tenant will usually have to pay

a service charge, which includes costs of

repair, maintenance etc of the structure of

the building – the tenant should try to have

his liability for a service charge limited to a

maximum amount, and for any increases to

be no higher than inflation.

A tenant should always obtain legal advice

before entering into any lease or occupancy

arrangement, so that they can understand the

full extent of their obligations, and negotiate

the best position achievable.

Ken Gerber is accredited by

the Law Society of Scotland

as a specialist in commercial

leasing law. If Ken can help

you please call him on

0141 552 3422, or email

ksg@mitchells-roberton.co.uk

Mitchells Roberton Solicitors

& Estate Agents

George House

36 North Hanover Street G1 2AD

0141 552 3422

www.mitchells-roberton.co.uk


26 | www.westendermagazine.com

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We spend much time looking after our bodies,

often ignoring our mind when it is

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Our most precious commodity is our health;

which means taking care of both mind

and body. A healthy mind helps maintain

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Roz Gray

Counsellor / Psychotherapist (BASW, MSc, Diploma in

Counselling, Diploma in Mindfulness)

Book an appointment

07763 589536 or roz@graystherapeutics.co.uk


Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion | 27

Image I Gregor Reid

Disco Disco inferno!

Now for something a little different. Meet for all fitness levels – massive results are

Georgina, Inferno Gigi when she’s gained. We also have guest teaching spots:

training, who wants your body on a mat Defence, Yoga and Wellbeing.’

in her heated boutique fitness studio in 2020! Georgina’s enthusiasm is infectious and

Georgina says, ‘Moving back from New her passion for what her studio can achieve

York a few years ago, my goal was to set up is clear. Plans are already underway for an

a studio with a NY style training vibe. There INFERNO HOT PILATES L2 class and an

was no other place than the West End for INFERNO Run Like Hell running club this new

that…it’s eclectic, quirky, diverse, and a year. As well as improving health and fitness

real dream come true to find a spot in

Georgina delights in the difference clients see

Ruthven Lane.

in their shape, and pretty quickly too.

‘The studio combines INFERNO HOT

And while the over-arching focus is

PILATES, which is a challenging, full

on these benefits, Georgina keeps the

body, low impact, HIIIT training session atmosphere fun (loving the glitter ball!) and

strengthening muscles and burning fat, the music pumping. With theme weeks

and INFERNO STRENGTH increasing the spread throughout the year Georgina brings

intensity using TRX Straps, maximising core her pretty darn hot personality to everything

stability, flexibility, balance and strength. she does.

‘My format focusses on modality –

Find Georgina at the studio, or at Paesano

body positioning, alignment and regulated on Vino Fridays – pizza and prosecco!

breathing are vital as we re-activate the As Georgina says, ‘Balance is everything!’

glutes, re-engage our pelvic floor and

strengthen our lower back. When we get Inferno Boutique Fitness Studio

this right we maximise the fun factor to 37-39 Ruthven Lane G12 9BG

big beats music. Classes are low impact, infernogigi.com

so it’s not harmful on joints, and are designed @infernogigi


28 | www.westendermagazine.com

LIVE

January

GRAVELLE

Tuesday 7th January 7pm

Hug and Pint, thehugandpint.com

GRAVELLE (comprised of Kyle

MacNaughton and Monique Maurel)

are a two-piece tour-de-force of

synths, guitars and noise formed

two years ago in Livingston. They

combine abrasive aggressive guitars

with pounding electronic drums over

swirling synthesised grooves with

dual vocals of infectious pop hooks.

GRAVELLE released their debut EP,

Liquid Skin, in October 2018. The EP

went on to have the techno infused

freak-out 'Touch Me' track feature in

The Herald’s Top 100 Scottish songs of

2018. GRAVELLE have opened for acts

such as The Van T’s, The Ninth Wave,

and GIRLI and have played to sold-out

crowds at their own gigs throughout

Scotland.

Choice Tracks: GRAVELLE 'Touch Me'

Georgie Cécile

Saturday 25th January 7pm

Òran Mór, oran-mor.co.uk

Georgia Cécile is a 20-something

Scottish female jazz singer who

was recently crowned Best Vocalist

at the prestigious Scottish Jazz

Awards 2019. The gong was welldeserved.

Powerfully voiced, feisty,

pulchritudinous female singers

seem to fit easily into the (often

male dominated) world of jazz. In my

experience, I think the blokes enjoy

the threat!

She unapologetically regards herself

as a jazz singer too 'A lot of people

ask me what got me into this genre, but

I was brought up in it. My grandfather

was a jazz pianist and my aunts were

jazz singers, so it was instilled in me

as a child.' She hasn’t made it easy for

herself as a life as a jazz musician

is a life of frustration and relative

poverty, but the ones I know wouldn’t

have it any other way. They wear it

like a badge of honour and that’s to

be admired. But the popularity of the

likes of Gregory Porter, Diana Krall,

Jamie Cullum and Cassandra Wilson

prove that there is a route to success

via jazz.

Choice tracks: Georgia Cécile

‘Come Summertime'

The Teskey Brothers

Monday 27th January 7pm

SWG3 Galvanisers Yard, swg3.tv

The Teskey Brothers are steeped in

classic soul. The four members of this

unusual outfit hail from the Yarra

Valley just outside of Melbourne and

their shared passion for 60s American

soul music informs every note and

nuance of their sound.

The raw simplicity of the Teskey’s

approach to music-making represents

a genuine throwback to the passionate

urgency of the iconic Muscle Shoals

sound of half a century ago.

Lead singer Josh Teskey’s voice has

a sharply defined emotional pull,

demonstrating a love for Otis Redding

and Wilson Pickett whilst retaining

it’s own originality, which is rare.

Their second album Run Home Slow is

out now and you’d better like your 6/8

soul ballads, Josh Tesky’s voice really

does deserve the space that these kind

of grooves afford.

Choice track: The Teskey Brothers

‘Pain and Misery'


www.westendermagazine.com | 29

by Greg Kane

February

Field Music

Saturday 1st February 7pm

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum,

glasgowlife.org.uk

Field Music are one of my

brother’s favourite bands,

he’s been championing them for

years now. They have a sound that

is unmistakably theirs. Jerky, postpunk

rhythms happily coexist with

baroque orchestrations, jazz chord

progressions, arena drum sounds,

gear-changing time signatures and

the pastoral gentility of early 1970s

folk. Field Music are an English rock

band from Sunderland that formed

in 2004. The band's core consists

of brothers David and Peter Brewis,

with their line-up at times featuring

members of both The Futureheads and

Maximo Park.

Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival

often throws up unique and compelling

venue/band combinations and Field

Music at The Art Galleries must be

one of the best yet. That was one of my

brother’s Xmas presents sorted then.

Choice track: Field Music

'Let’s Write A Book'

Nasty Cherry

Thursday 27th February 7pm

SWG3, swg3.tv

I grew up with The Monkees TV Show

from the late 60s. Ah those guys

and their crazy antics, but oh what

brilliant songs they sang! It all now

seems so lame compared to 'I’m With

the Band: Nasty Cherry (Netflix)'.

This TV show is a fairly standard

X Factor setup – a mentor (Charli XCX)

develops a flung together fledgling

act drawing on her own industry

experience. The six-part TV show

follows the progress of 'alt-pop' group

Nasty Cherry from when they move into

a house together to when they play

their first gig four months later.

The aesthetic is a riotous clash of

Drag Race meets Big Brother meets

Spice World, though transparently

stagey (as was The Monkees TV Show).

The weans swear a lot… but there’s

loads of good tunes too.

Choice Track: Nasty Cherry

'Music With Your Dad'

Charlotte de Witte

Friday 28th February 10pm

SWG3, swg3.tv

Uncompromising Techno! There’s

no blurring of boundaries here,

no mashups of genres in order to

grow an audience, this is just Techno.

And it is great to hear this music in

its purest form after over 30 years of

folk messing with it. Techno’s Detroit

roots are still strong here. Despite

being relatively fresh on the scene,

Belgian DJ and producer Charlotte de

Witte has amply proven her skill in

the studio and behind the decks.

On stage de Witte charms techno

heads with her composure and natural

ease making it look easy to play the

biggest stages in the world.

Her CV of credentials is impressive

too: An Essential Mix debut on BBC

Radio 1, a passage at Boiler Room,

the cover of DJ MAG and continuous

support by Resident Advisor, MixMag

and XLR8R. The future looks bright for

Charlotte de Witte.

Choice track: Charlotte de Witte

'Pressure'


30 | www.westendermagazine.com

Top Things To Do

in the West End

by Tracy Mukherjee

Happy New Year to one and all! 2020 lies before

us with some fantastic events opening the

proceedings this January and February.

Top For Burns Night

Oran Mor seems to be the spot for some brilliant

Bard celebrations. And rightly so. Oran’s owner,

Colin Beattie, not only commissioned the awe

inspiring Tam o’Shanter series of pictures by

acclaimed artist Nichol Wheatley but the Byres

Road venue is also home to these true works

of art in the grand Auditorium. As well as their

own annual Burns celebration on the 25th,

Oran Mor brings back Burns for Bairns. With

their continuing commitment to 'arts for all, all

year round', this free event brings poetry, music

and of course haggis, neeps and tatties to our

younger audience members. As the event is in

the auditorium it will give young and old alike a

chance to view the Wheatley series of paintings.

For a Burns night celebration to remember,

why not consider the Burns Night Supper in aid

of Erskine. Hosted by Scottish TV and radio

personality David Farrell, this event couldn’t be

fundraising for a better cause. Erskine provide

essential support to veterans in Scotland

through their four care homes and veteran

village. The charity cares for around 1,000

veterans every year. And with numbers like that

they need a good deal of support. The Burns

Supper will have a three course meal with ceilidh

band Stravaig ready to get the dancing started

after the meal. With raffles and auctions too,

it’s sure to be a roaring Burns night!

Burns for Bairns, 26th Jan, 11am - 2pm

Oran Mor Auditorium, Byres Road

w:oranmor.com/events

The Erskine Burns Supper and Ceilidh

Friday 7th February 6.30pm

w:erskine.org.uk/event/burns-supper

Top for Entertaining the Kids

Let’s be honest it’s highly unlikely that there

will be many blissful days for getting the kids

outside in the next few months. Thankfully

there are some fantastic theatre options to keep

the little munchkins, and their parents, wholly

entertained.

Interestingly, scheduling has meant that two

of David Walliam’s most popular books for

children have been brought to Glasgow stages

within weeks of each other. Billionaire Boy

at the Kings Theatre is brought to you by the

producers of the hit London musicals Gangsta

Granny and Horrible Histories. In Billionaire

Boy, Joe is the richest 12-year-old in the UK.

Well with £100,000 pocket money each week

who wouldn’t be? But is all that money worth it if

you don’t have any friends? Joe sets out to find

a bestie at the local comprehensive to hilarious

ends. This fabulous musical comedy has at its

core a lovely heart warming message and is a

must to chase away the January blues.

Along at the SSE Hydro Grandpas’s Great Escape

comes in for landing in January. It’s the story of

Jack’s Granpa who long ago was a spitfire pilot

in WW2. Now a resident of the gloomy Twilight

Towers Care Home, it’s time for Granpa and Jack

to make an escape plan. But monstrous Matron

Swine might put paid to their efforts. With the

fantastic Nigel Planer as Granpa, this arena tour

of the show really is a New Year spectacular

for all.

Billionaire Boy, Wed 15th – Sun

19th Jan Kings Theatre, Bath St

w:atgtickets.com and follow the link to the

show.

Granpa’s Great Escape Friday 3rd Jan

SSE Hydro, Exhibition Way

w:ssehydro.com/events and follow the link

to the show


www.westendermagazine.com | 31

Top Things To Do

in the West End

Top for Film Buffs

Can you believe we are at that time of year again

where the Glasgow Film Festival switches on

the projectors? Having the audience central

to the design of the programme has always

been paramount to the organiser’s ethos. From

local to international movies, art house to rip

roaring blockbusters, there is rarely a genre

that isn’t showcased each year. As well as

the films, again this year there will be panel

discussions, appearances by the filmmakers

themselves and interactive workshops.

The Retrospective this year is a real cracker.

'Are we there yet?' Is a look back at some

classics from futuristic and dystopian genres

with the likes of Planet of The Apes and

Westworld being shown. Then there are the

special events which are always extremely

popular. Across at the Glasgow Science Centre

and Planetarium, The Man Who Fell to Earth

sees David Bowie come a-tumbling down. With

so many subsections of the festival returning

such as Sound and Vision and Country Focus the

12 days of the event are well and truly packed.

Glasgow Film Festival 2020

Wed 26th Feb - Sun 8th March

w:Glasgow film.org

Top for Dance

Concluding a truly monumental 50th anniversary

year is the Scottish Ballet’s performance of

The Snow Queen. The world premiere of the

production is being held here in Glasgow.

This well loved tale by Hans Christian

Andersen is beautifully accompanied by

the music of Rimsky-Korsakov. Journey to

the Snow Queen’s palace, meeting an array

of enchanting characters along the way.

This magical tale is brought to life by the

Scottish Ballet stars, delivering on the story’s

message of love and friendship. Additional

events for the production are really exciting too.

Stage Secrets allows you a behind the scenes

peak into the production – meeting a dancer and

learning about the characters and costumes

prior to the performance. Talk Ballet is a chance

to chat to the artistic team about dance before

seeing the performance. The special events only

run on certain days, so get your tickets booked.

Scottish Ballet, The Snow Queen,

Fri 3rd - Sat 18th January, Theatre Royal

w:scottishballet.co.uk

Top for Eastern Celebrations

Chinese New Year brings in the Year of the Rat

in 2020. Why not go along to Kelvinhall and

celebrate with Ricefield Arts, the Chinese arts

and culture group? Last year’s family day was

a great success with traditional indoor and

outdoor games, colourful Chinese dragons and

fantastic opportunities to learn about Chinese

culture and tradition. This year’s day promises

to be even better and who can say no to two New

Year celebrations in just over a month?

The Japanese Matsuri for Glasgow returns

to the Kibble Palace this February. This

beautiful Japanese Festival is organised by

the Japanese Matsuri for Glasgow (JMG)

voluntary association in order to promote

and celebrate different cultures. This event

really does advance education into Japanese

culture and heritage. This year includes origami

folding, Japanese fairytale colouring and

trying your hand at the infamously difficult

Japanese writing. In the afternoon there will be

performances of Taiko Japanese drumming and

songs. It’s a lovely celebration in the Botanics.

Chinese New Year

Sat 8th Feb 12 - 4pm, Kelvin Hall

w:glasgowlife.org.uk and follow the link

Japanese Matsuri for Glasgow,

Sat 29th Feb 1 – 3.30pm

Kibble Palace, Botanic Gardens

w:Japanese-matsuri-Glasgow.org.uk


32 | www.westendermagazine.com

Writer’s Reveal

meets Kerry Hudson

There aren’t many taboo conversation

topics left as we head into a new decade.

We’re as comfortable sharing our

opinions on political parties, Brexit and

Trump as we would be declaring where we

stand on the love/ hate Marmite debate.

We’ve also become a more compassionate

society, with many now feeling they can

safely share their personal experiences with

mental health to help others.

Poverty – and the shame it brings – is still

not one of these topics. No-one is shouting

about their experience of that from their

social media accounts. Or nobody was until

Kerry Hudson wrote the brilliantly brave, and

much-needed Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting

Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest

Towns.

Having travelled the world, and written two

award-winning novels, Hudson still couldn’t

reconcile her ‘infinitely cushier’ life with her

childhood experience of living in poverty,

WORDS LENNY SMITH

which included two periods in foster homes

and fourteen schools. ‘I am proudly working

class… but I was never proudly poor. True

poverty is all-encompassing, grinding, brutal

and, often, dehumanising,’ Hudson, who was

born in Aberdeen, writes in Lowborn, as she

decides to confront the past to bring a wider

understanding of what poverty really means.

What made you decide to write Lowborn?

I felt compelled to. If you’re poor and a

woman you are often told to be quiet, either

in the domestic setting or more generally

in society so I felt compelled to have a

platform in which to tell this story, which

felt like a real privilege. And the other

reason is that Britain’s kind of falling apart

at the moment. There’s incredibly divisive

discourse, particularly around poor people

and why they’re poor and how they’ve ended

up that way and I felt like this thing that I

could possibly offer was my own personal


experience and insight to try and inject some

more compassion around what it is really

like to be poor and how far that is out of your

control from the minute you are born.

You spot an advert on a bus stop shelter

by a council estate in Aberdeen ‘of a

woman in white jeans sipping an espresso

outside a pavement cafe in Paris’ for

American Express, which makes you

angry. Towards the end of your memoir,

you write ‘if we could all chip away, person

by person doing what we can, with enough

of us, I believe it is possible to change

the future’. In this particular example,

do you think this change starts with the

marketing director and ad agency being

more socially responsible and simply not

targeting credit at people in poverty?

I definitely think there should be better

guidelines for that. You have so few options

in that situation. My family had so few

avenues where we could go for extra money

and benefits are calculated to be the very

least you can possibly live on so they don’t

account for accidents, mistakes or something

you just really need. So you’re really forced

to go with whatever you can get, if you don’t

have family to borrow from. I think my mum

once had a credit card that was something

like 28% interest; it couldn’t have been more

like stealing than if they’d come through the

door with a little mask on their face. Don’t try

and target your most vulnerable community

with things that are going to be harmful for

them.

Something I have also spoken about a

lot on social media is the Armed Forces

targeting our poorest communities. When

I was living in Dalston, you had an army

recruitment officer that was offering

smoothies and video games. The idea that

you’re going to achieve so little or you’ll be so

desperate for credit that you end up taking

whatever is being given to you without any

complaint is very dangerous. And the bad

thing is that it creates more anger, it creates a

cycle of dysfunction, and social problems.

There can be a focus on selling short term

gain, I think.

Absolutely. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation

at LSE did some interesting research on

this, testing people with more of a middle

class income. What they realised during the

psychological testing was that if these people

www.westendermagazine.com | 33

had found themselves in the same position as

poorer communities, they’d make exactly the

same decisions.

That’s so interesting.

Yes! It was. Because, there’s the idea that

poor people are feckless and can’t be trusted

and that‘s why they’ve ended up poor but

when they did this very comprehensive

psychological testing they found that,

put in the same situation, middle class people

would behave the same way; they’d get five

credit cards at 24% APR and, yes, they’d

spend it all on a big TV because basically

what else are you going to do with your

evenings?

Are there any specific demographics this

memoir has had a real impact on?

In the early weeks of the book being out,

I had many messages from women from

backgrounds like my own. We read because

we want to seek our own experience reflected

back and I think that was quite powerful for

women from a working class background.

The other demographic – which was

really pleasing – has been people working in

public services. There were teachers, social

workers and people working in grassroots

organisations and I’ve had a lot of people

come to events and say they’re passing the

book on to colleagues or they’re putting

it on a social module they’re teaching

because they want people to have a deeper

understanding or because it helps to explain

some of the things they see in their jobs.

That’s been wonderful because I think

teachers and social workers are absolute

heroes so that has been gratifying.

When you are living in a sparse B&B, aged

five, you imagine that everything is the

opposite: ‘a four poster bed draped with

satin’ with an ‘overflowing toy box.’ It

feels clear that you were always going to

be a writer. Did you write when you were

younger?

I wrote little stories, and I was pretty good at

English. It never occurred to me before that

even though I read all the time, and libraries

were an integral part of my childhood, I had

no idea where books came from. I knew

someone had written them but I couldn’t

picture who they were (laughs), where

they were; I had no idea that there was a

publishing industry. I remember in my teens

thinking I might write a story about a female


34 | www.westendermagazine.com

mechanic called Cat who all the boys fancied

which I now think is hilarious but I didn’t start

writing until later when, on a whim, I entered

a short story writing competition where there

were hundreds of entries and I won it. I won

£1000.

I was like, well, if I managed to do that,

with this little story that I just kind of fired off,

then maybe there is actually something here.

And by that time, in my late twenties, I was

living in London, had a stable partner, I had

a different view of myself and the world, I’d

already worked my way up the charity sector,

so that’s when I started thinking that actually

writing was something that maybe I could do.

Do you think there’s enough working class

writers being published?

No. For three reasons. One is all the practical

barriers: making any money from writing

is extremely hard. The Society of Authors

said that in 2017/18, the average wage for

a professional writer was £10,700 and that

takes into account everyone from bestsellers

to people who publish one book for a modest

advance but that’s obviously not enough to

live on. It’s also a time consuming job so it’s

not as possible as it used to be to have a full

time job and then write in the evenings.

There’s also psychological barriers.

You can’t be it if you can’t see it so if you

don’t have any role models, if you haven’t

read books that reflect your world or if, like

me, you didn’t understand where books

came from for a long time…

The third one is that for years,

the publishing industry has been based

on people riding up the ranks by doing,

not one but often many unpaid internships

and obviously it’s London based so

the people who can afford to do those

internships either have to have three jobs

which means that often they just get too tired

and can’t do it anymore or they have wealthy

parents. I will say, except for the money thing,

things are slightly changing; there are more

working class writers than there have been

previously and the publishing industry has

realised that it needs to make changes.

What advice would you offer to someone

who is creative but struggles to see how

they might channel it?

I’d say persist. I meet so many writers who

say they can’t afford to do an MA and I

always say you don’t need those things.

What you need for writing is actually very

simple: it’s yourself and something to write

with. At the early stage of writing don’t think

about whether you’ll get published or what

the reviews might be like because that’s so

far down the line and actually, the actual

process of the writing is the nicest thing you

can give yourself. Afterwards you can worry

about those things.

Is there a book you’ve read later as an

adult that you would recommend to your

younger self?

Janice Galloway’s This is Not About Me.

I hadn’t read Janice Galloway before I wrote

my first book. But I often think if I had,

I wouldn’t have bothered, you know? (laughs)

It’s so important as a young person to see

your experience of life reflected back at you

because it makes you feel real and helps you

understand why things are the way they are.

What does the word ‘home’ mean to you?

I guess I associate home with Peter. We are

moving in the New Year to Leipzig. That will

be our third move in two years. Partly to

escape Brexit and also because we want to

have more time and creativity in our lives and

that’s hard in London because you’re always

working so hard for your money. So I guess

for me it’s about contentment and peace.

As long as I can write somewhere, and

Peter is there then that is home. One of the

benefits of having this super chaotic nomadic

childhood is that it made me adaptable. I can

put a rucksack down somewhere and in five

hours I think this feels like home.

Lowborn

£3

OFF

*

RRP £14.99

*Exclusive offer for WESTENDER readers

at Waterstones 351-355 Byres Road

branch only, by 28th February 2020.


www.westendermagazine.com | 35

TRUE LOVE

AT

RRI

T

by John Parker

he team at GWR are excited for the

year ahead, we have a new stylist,

Roxy, who has come through our

academy system and is waiting to start a new

stage in her career. Kenny is representing us

in the British Fellowship as part of Project

Man and Summer has started her teaching

qualification in our Academy – so all go on

the education front.

After all the festivities now is the perfect

time to come into the salon for a hair colour

freshen up and haircut to ensure your hair

looks and feels in its best condition.

We also have many hair treatments

available to provide your hair with the

nourishment it needs after the harsh winter

weather. The Pantone Colour of the Year is

Classic Blue and as a hair shade this is not

for the faint hearted but can be incorporated

into your hair all over, in a balayage or

through colour slashes to give your hair

a quirky update that’s on trend for 2020.

Remember – New Year, New Hair!

317-319 CROW ROAD G11 7BU

0141 337 3307

SPIRITOGIFTS.COM

WIN! Rainbow Room International

are offering one lucky reader a hair

makeover in their Great Western Rd

salon. For your chance to win go to

westendermagazine.com and click

on competitions by the 28th Feb ‘20.

Rainbow Room International

607 Great Western Road G12 8HX

0141 337 3370

rainbowroominternational.com


36 | www.westendermagazine.com

1

Tall Tales and

wee stories

by Billy Connolly

BY BRIAN TOAL

WESTENDER’s

COVER TO COVER

Billy Connolly needs no introduction, but some

context would be helpful. He has recently been

diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – formerly known

as the shaking palsy – so he’s glad that Parkinson

came along.

Recently we’ve had the pleasure

of some great documentaries

featuring Billy in America on a

road trip, a format which suits his

patter. In the most recent BBC

documentary where he revealed

his diagnosis, we saw a certain

summarising of his life, both

private and public, as well as a

chance to hear once again his

most famous jokes and where they

came from. This book serves as a

legacy in a way, a summarising of

many jokes and anecdotes with

which most of us will be familiar if

we’ve followed his career over the

years.

So why buy the book? I didn’t

come across much that I hadn’t

already heard but seeing the

stories written down helps to give

us a sense of the craftsmanship

that goes into the telling of these

stories. His routines were always

spontaneous, and he very rarely

wrote anything down apart

from a title here and there to

remind him of the running order.

So, it’s interesting to see them

written down and get a little more

context.

The quote on the dust jacket

opines that, coming from Glasgow,

he doesn’t really tell jokes.

He tells wee stories. And some of

them don’t even have punchlines,

but you’ll get used to it. As a child,

I grew up listening to his songs on

an eight track. As a teenager, I loved the uninhibited swearing

and the observations on the sheer ridiculousness of life. As a more

mature reader, I’ve enjoyed the more reflective sections discussing

fame, family, his early life and his current situation. There is a

section devoted to ‘real characters’, which is hilarious. I also

enjoyed the section on ‘Scotland and Beyond’, where he recounts

strange tales from the Highlands, as well as from Australia,

New Zealand and America.

His section on ‘Accidents and Adventures’ is full of ridiculous

tales of physical embarrassments, often involving sex or misfiring

bodily functions. ‘Sex, Drugs and Folk Music’ is full of tales from

The Clutha Bar and other venues he has played in.

The book is illustrated with his original drawings and the

introduction makes clear the purpose of the book and what

makes him tick. It’s good to have on your shelf as a reminder of his

genius. If you’ve got a stray book token lying around, get yourself

down to a bookshop and snap it up. It’s £20 full price, but many

shops are selling it for half price. A bargain!


www.westendermagazine.com | 37

The Testaments

by Margaret Atwood

2

Thirty years after the setting

of The Handmaid’s Tale,

Gilead is beginning to crumble.

There is dissent amongst the

ruling elite, more people are

eloping to Canada, Handmaids

are increasingly turning to

the Aunts to escape the

clutches of their betrothed

Commanders and even the

Aunts are warring amongst

themselves. The Testaments

comprises testaments from

two escapees and one senior

Aunt – Aunt Lydia – who are

giving their account of the

events which led to the fall

of Gilead, that pernicious

theocracy formed from the

United States of America and

constantly at war with its more

liberal neighbours.

Atwood’s sequel to

the incredibly popular

The Handmaid’s Tale – made

even more popular by the

Netflix series – does not

disappoint. Many unanswered

questions from the first novel

are answered, although I’m

being careful what I say here.

The origins of Gilead are

dealt with in more detail in the

sequel, although the Netflix

series helped to fill in many

of the (deliberate) blanks.

We learn about the formation

of the Aunts: who they were

and how they were selected.

We learn about the fates

of other women living in the

erstwhile United States.

We learn about the Sons of

Jacob and how they ruthlessly

seized power and maintained

it through a reign of fear, terror

and obedience.

The Handmaid’s Tale was

released at a time when the

religious right in America was

very powerful. The Testaments

is released at the height of

Trump’s power. Perfect timing.

Holly Bourne is a writer of teen

fiction who is widely read by

girls. Her novels deal with a

range of issues affecting most

teens, such as relationships,

self-worth, risk taking and

consent. This, her latest novel,

is certainly aimed more at the

older teenager who has grown

up with her novels, as the

language, content and issues

dealt with are difficult at times.

Nevertheless, many

teenage girls will get a lot out

of this book as the central

character, Amelie, comes out

the other side and finds a

positive way forward.

Amelie moves from Sheffield

to a town down south and

enrols in a sixth form college

where she knows no-one.

She leaves behind the love of

her life, Alfie. Miserable and

heartbroken, she quickly falls

for Reese, a charismatic singer

in a band. However, while

this looks like love and feels

like love, this relationship is

anything but a love story.

Reese preys on vulnerable

girls and his controlling

behaviour, in the forms of both

mental and sexual abuse,

leads to Amelie falling apart

entirely. Reese is an expert in

‘gaslighting’, and his clever,

controlling behaviour is so

subtle that Amelie struggles

to notice it or accept it.

Only with the help of good

friends, teachers and a

counsellor does she get back

to a healthier state of mind.

If you know a teenage girl,

buy her this book. It will be

a Christmas book token well

spent.

The Places I’ve

Cried In Public

by Holly Bourne

3


38 | www.westendermagazine.com

When I get older, losing

my hair, I will join the U3A

Mike Findlay explores the West End’s

alternative university

When you hear the word ‘university’

what image do you conjure up?

The cloisters at Gilmore Hill

campus? A gaggle of young students leaving

the Queen Margaret Union after a night-out?

Or conscientious bunnies with their heads

down in the Reading Room? Any one of these

descriptions could be accurate enough.

But there is a group of over 60s in Glasgow

who have challenged this stereotype and set

up a university, of sorts, on their own.

The University of the Third Age, or ‘U3A’

as the group prefers to be called, meet once

a month in Novar Community Hall on Novar

Drive on the ‘third’ – get it? – Thursday of

the month. And why? Because they want

to meet, make new friends, and, most

importantly, learn something new.

U3A exists as a nationwide network of

learning groups aimed at encouraging older

people to share their knowledge, skills and

interests in a friendly environment. It is for

people in their ‘third age’ and therefore

consists mostly of retired or semi-retired

people, hence the age range of the group.

However, there is no lower age membership.

So how did they establish themselves in

Glasgow’s West End?

Katriona Lloyd, Vice-Chair of U3A

Glasgow West End, explains, ‘It all started

about three years ago when there was a

conference at the SEC on the theme of life

after 60. The U3A had a stall at this and

although it is well established throughout

Scotland, at the time there was no

Glasgow branch. After this, a friend of mine

encouraged me to attend an open meeting

for the U3A at Partick Borough Hall where

they were looking for volunteers to help them

set up.

‘I’d always been interested in U3A

because I have cousins who live in England

who are members of their local U3A and they

would phone and tell me all the wonderful

things they were doing and I was thinking,

why don’t we have one in Glasgow?

So, I attended this meeting and eventually I

was appointed as Vice-Chair.’

There are about 30 branches of the U3A in

Scotland, with the Glasgow West End branch


www.westendermagazine.com | 39

boasting about 240 members. There are also

groups in Paisley, Bearsden and Milngavie

(which has been running for five years) and

soon one to open on the south side.

But what do they actually do?

The monthly meetings are open to all

members, and consist of tea, coffee and a

chat. Given the group is committed to lifelong

learning, they also invite outside speakers

in to give talks to the group. Recent talks

have including a discussion around the

preservation of the Merchant City, and the

renovation of the Burrell Collection.

And that’s not all. There are roughly

25 interest groups that exist beyond the

main group who meet up separately and

at different times. These groups consist of

smaller groups of people who want to do a

particular thing together: book groups; art

appreciation; walking; gardening; quilting;

local history; photography; poetry; and wine,

to name a few. There really is something for

everyone and U3A are always looking for

ideas for new groups, should you become a

member. You could literally be out every day

with U3A!

Last year the group ran a Burns Supper

in Novar Community Hall which was a

huge success. U3A members got involved

in performing Burns’ poetry and toasting

a haggis and there was some singing and

speeches.

Membership of the group costs £20 a

year, which is a bargain, when you take into

account all that is on offer plus compare this

to the hefty costs associated with doing a

lifelong learning course at a more traditional

university.

Soon after setting up in Glasgow, U3A

realised that they needed certain equipment

– a sound system, a projector for slides and a

laptop – and for the last two years they have

been successfully supported by Glasgow

City Council through their local area grants.

Clearly the group are doing some good work

in the community, not only in encouraging

people’s interests and learning but also in

tackling loneliness.

‘What fascinates me about the group

is that it’s a really good way to broaden

your circle of acquaintance,’ Katriona Lloyd

remarks.

‘People can get quite isolated especially

if you are no longer in full-time employment,

when you are in the third age. I worked in a

school for many years where we had 30 staff

and I saw people all day and that stopped

overnight when I retired. I like to talk so being

part of the U3A is a good way of getting to

know people.’

U3A are always on the lookout for local

people to deliver interesting talks to their

Thursday group. Although membership

numbers are strong, they are always

welcoming new members, they are keen on

more diversity within the group particularly

from people with different backgrounds,

both men and women.

When I grow older, I’ve got no doubt in my

mind, I will become a U3A member.

U3A Glasgow West End meet at Novar

Community Hall, Novar Drive G12,

on the third Thursday of each month.

Teas/coffees available from 10am,

meetings starts at 10.30am.


40 | www.westendermagazine.com

Homes & Interiors

Abstract

Notions

by Susan

Robertson

The year 2020 naturally resonates with the idea of

2020 vision, marking the beginning of a new decade,

this is a great time to start reimagining our homes and

looking at our surroundings with fresh eyes.


www.westendermagazine.com | 41

We can create a whole new atmosphere in our

homes so easily and this can resonate through

every area of our lives. Building an inspiring

environment to live and share with family and

friends helps to motivate us to bring order and

colour to our lives and bring a new perspective

to the year ahead.

They say that life imitates art, and interior

trends and artistic expression are intrinsically

linked, so allow your home to be your canvas

and pick up on your favourite themes for a

refresh or a revamp this year. Looking forward

into 2020, the key interior trends for the year are

reflective of societal shifts so there’s a clear move

towards more consciously sourced products and

authentic materials collected in simple, fuss-free

manners. Provenance is key and there’s a move

away from mass-produced interiors towards

using more thoughtful artisan crafted products

and unique designs.

International influences always come through

in interior design trends and this year we move

away from bright pastel tropical themes and

vibrant Moroccan touches, to more minimal,

warm neutrals and tranquil palettes. Perhaps

when you consider the chaos and uncertainty

we see across the media every day, combined

with political upheaval and wild weather – it’s

not surprising that there’s a clamour for calm.

Serene spaces and comfortable fabrics are all

part of helping us escape and unwind. So, this

year picks up on ever-popular Scandinavian

influences, but also there are tastes of Japan

coming through too. As we embrace the cuisine,

so too some of the style and simplicity of a

beautiful country and this year we will see style

touches from Japan and Scandinavia being

fused successfully for a soothing look.

Another key theme touches on art itself

– pulling together influences from various

sources of abstract art. The beginning of the

20th Century brought this movement away

from direct depiction to more representational

art. Famous pioneers in this modern move

were Kandinsky with his elaborate, colourful

compositions; I immediately think of Piet

Mondrian, with his grids and blocks of solid

colour framed in solid black and white; and one

of the clearest influences represented through

this interiors style alludes to the style of Robert

Delauney, with his dynamic circles and blocks in

mustards, russets and grey-blues.

This is a really bold and exciting style of art

that you can have great fun exploring and I

would recommend immersing yourself in some

of the history of the style before finding the

elements and palettes that inspire you the most

and then deciding how best to integrate these

into our homes. One of the joys of this form of

art is its licence to surprise and to challenge,

and this essence can be really inspiring when

thinking of a room refresh, and it’s entirely up

to you how far you push the boundaries of your

own ideas.


Homes & Interiors

42 | www.westendermagazine.com

Think initially of some central loose abstract

themes – large chunky geometric shapes

immediately come to mind. This year we’ll

see some great furnishings and accessories to

support a really fresh abstract vision. You can

start with this in one item, either a large, bold

rug or similar statement piece, and simply

construct a cohesive palette around this for

the rest of the room. This allows you to dip the

toe in the water of the theme and bring just a

touch of the bits you like best. Or you can use

it as an excuse to push the boat out a bit and

experiment a bit more wildly.

The palette trend for this look in 2020 hangs

around warm rusty peaches, blue greys, deep

browns with touches of teal or mustard. Take

one of these colours across a full wall for the

wow factor and pair that with black and white

geometric shapes for a really bold look. Or take

inspiration from all the overarching trends and

focus on creating a simple, warm, honest effect

with an abstract touch, think deep mochas,

whites and fawns with statement accessories

in abstract bold shapes and throw the odd

curveball splash of bright orange or vivid ochre

to add interest and bring it alive.

The abstract shapes can be layered minimally

but be careful not to overdo it. Let their boldness

and uniqueness speak for themselves and less is

definitely more for this look. It works well using

abstract designs on relatively flat accessories

such as rugs, wallpapers, duvet covers and

cushions. This means that you can regulate the

impact by adding as just a touch here or there,

or by making it the core central statement and

building a room around it.

You can even take the shapes to the wall if

you’re thoughtful about it. Bold blocks of colour

on different walls can work well, and use

picture frames or mirrors in geometric shapes

to build up an abstract shape of its own on the

wall itself. A few chunky square vases and lamp

bases help to continue the flow of the theme, or

soften it with pale curvy sculptures and leafy

plants.

Images used are of products available from

Hoos Glasgow.


www.westendermagazine.com | 43

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44 | www.westendermagazine.com


Homes & Interiors

www.westendermagazine.com | 45

Let There Be Light

In the darker winter evenings, we need a bit more light in our life, and

if we can add a touch of elegance or fun in the process, then that’s even

better. From a flickering scented candle to a flexible fanning book,

here are some great examples from our West End retailers. Not only

are they practical, but there are some quirky conversation pieces too.

Raspberry & White Ginger Candle,

£10, Spirito

USB Lantern,

£79, Hoos

Book Light (2 sizes),

£32.50 & £64.95, Nancy Smillie

Glass Dome Table Lamp,

£159, The Store Interiors

A6 Cinema Lightbox,

£14, Papyrus

Hoos, 715 Great Western Road, 07788 480421, hoosglasgow.co.uk

Nancy Smillie, 53 Cresswell Lane, 0141 334 4240, nancysmillieshop.com.com

Papyrus, 374 Byres Road, 0141 334 6514, papyrusgifts.co.uk

Spirito, 317-319 Crow Road, 0141 337 3307, spiritogifts.com

The Store Interiors, 26 Munro Place, 0141 950 1333, thestoreinteriors.co.uk


46 | www.westendermagazine.com

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48 | www.westendermagazine.com

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www.westendermagazine.com | 49

Homes & Interiors

by Susan

Robertson

monochrome

moments

Sometimes the winter months can be a bit

overwhelming, the lengthy build-up and

aftermath of the festive season can leave us tired

in the new year, but this natural transition into

the next decade also naturally makes way for a

fresh start and resolutions for the year ahead.

Sometimes this is when we really crave a calm

space and we may need it to decompress after a

busy period. No matter how your previous year has

panned out, this is a great time to close the door

on the past, take a deep breath, and put some time

aside to look forward afresh.


50 | www.westendermagazine.com

Minimising can be a great conscious choice to

take at this time of year, especially after the influx

of gifts and new things that often find their way into

our homes over Christmas. A clearing out is always a

therapeutic way to prepare yourself and your home

for the new year and this year, for the new decade

upon us. Be ruthless in your selection of items to sell,

save or donate. Think of simple storage solutions to

hide away your bits and bobs so that even the things

you need to keep, don’t have to be on view in the way

that they were last year. An eBay or gumtree shop

can be a great way to kill two birds with one stone in

creating space for a refresh, while also generating

extra cash for some new accessories or fresh paint for

your home.

We’re more aware than ever of the importance of

prioritising our own wellbeing and finding some

great ways to create a soothing sanctuary in your

home. Even if you can’t do a wholesale change, why

not think about refreshing a guest bedroom or a

home office. Somewhere you can slip off to when you

feel like it, just to read or think or daydream.

As well as minimising the stuff in your home,

a breath of fresh air can also be achieved with

simply minimising the colour palette of any space.

This works so well when creating a simple sanctuary

and embracing the natural calm of the remnants

of the cold winter season. Think Scandinavian

minimalism with natural colour schemes of pale

greys, warm milky creams and just allow your eyes

to rest on the quietness of the subdued palette.

Natural wooden or concrete floors work well with

soft linens and woollen blankets and accessories.

Simple, clean lines work well and you can enhance

the calm look through adding patterns, without the

need for much new colour. Texture is important as

ever and add layers to the look with natural fibres

and fabrics, touches of white faux fur to soften the

lines and block artwork in muted hues looks great on

fabric throws or wall coverings.

Think in black and white, and shades of grey, and

use simple, small repeating patterns to add interest

and effect without unnecessary fuss or colour.

Monochrome and greyscale stripes, herringbone and

spots look great too. Little polka dots can help make

a minimal look more friendly and quirky patterns

create an inviting touch. Add these as soft notes to

break up the hard angles and lines. Pick striking

shapes in solid black and white accessories such as

lamps, vases and candlesticks – moving towards soft

curves and interesting angles to add further depth

to the look.

Imagine a black and white sketch and build up

the look with this in mind, using the soft greys

against the deep blacks and whites to create layers

and interest. Imagine the accessories as the pencil

strokes and the cross-hatching of your drawing of

calmness, and use the idea of the little dots and

rubber smudges of the pencil to develop your own

unique sanctuary of calm. A place of beauty to

unwind, take stock and sketch out your new dreams

and goals.

Main Image Hoos Glasgow, Vase from Nancy Smillie,

Clock from The Store Interiors


www.westendermagazine.com | 51

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52 | www.westendermagazine.com

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