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www.westendermagazine.com | 1


sep/oct 2021

2 | www.westendermagazine.com







We might be the new kids on the

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team. And with property, legal and

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Angela Douglas

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0141 342 5571

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0141 342 5577

Book your free valuation

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us at 108 Byres Road.




Main Image and Cover Image By Gregor Reid Photography

www.westendermagazine.com | 3





4 Editor’s Letter

Local Business

6 We’ve Come

Back Winning

Out & About

15 Restaurant Review:

Unalome by Graeme


Fashion & Beauty

14 WIN! At Rainbow

Room International

20 Fashion Shoot:

Live Life in Colour


16 Cover To Cover:

Book Reviews

28 Artist Interview:

Michael E. Mullen

Westender living

32 Child’s Play

39 Colourful




4 | www.westendermagazine.com



Autumn is a time of renewal. And as

the leaves start to fall and the children

skip back to school, I feel my spirits

lifting after what has been a tumultuous 18

months. It feels like time to really draw a line

under what has passed, moving forward with

hope, and caution, but mostly with positivity.

Businesses all over the world have had

the kitchen sink thrown at them and the West

End is no different. But speaking to business

owners throughout this time has revealed the

remarkable resilience that’s been needed to

survive – and even thrive. Joanna Moorhead

speaks to three such businesses to find out

more on Page 6.

New businesses have been popping

up all over too, with Unalome by Graeme

Cheevers opening to great fanfare in The

Sisters, Kelvingrove premises. On Page 15

Amy Glasgow tells us all about the tantalising

tasting menu as she marks a big celebration.

Plus we held our first fashion shoot since

this crazy situation kicked off! We are back

with full Behind The Scenes (BTS) video on

the website and across social media, so

like, share, follow - you know the drill, for full

access to what goes on. Recent trends show

us powering through this autumn in colourful

brights – what a way to liven up our lives as

the days shorten. Pop along to Page 20 for

some colourful fashion fun.

These are just some of the reasons to

pick up and read Westender Magazine.

But for yet even more content based

on our lovely West End head online to

westendermagazine.com where we

regularly post new, online only, articles to

keep you abreast of what’s happening.

Suzanne Martin




To advertise call Suzanne on 07905 897238, or email suzanne@westendermagazine.com

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.

www.westendermagazine.com | 5


Are you a hairstylist who loves what they do?

Love working in the West End / City Centre?

Love being in control of how much money you earn?

Then let’s talk.

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6 | www.westendermagazine.com

Barry Walker of Walker Wylie Estate Agents

we’ve come back winning


The collective experience of the past 18 months has pulled the

West End together as a community. But depending on the type of

business run, and therefore the restrictions that have been imposed,

the challenge faced has differed drastically. Joanna Moorhead

speaks to three local business owners who’ve ridden the storm.


Barry Walker remembers the optimism of

January 2020. Everything pointed to a stellar

year for house sales: and his estate agency,

Walker Wylie, was about to take possession

of a new office on Woodlands Road.

You know what happened since, so

let’s fast-forward to September 2021: and

the good news is, the hope Barry felt 20

www.westendermagazine.com | 7

months ago is back again – in bucketloads.

He’s bright and breezy as he chats to me

from behind his desk. Yes, moving into

the new office had to be paused for four

months; and yes, business was flat over the

same period, as only existing sales could

be concluded. But, though there have been

many bumps in the journey – and to be

fair, though there may be more bumps to

come – Barry believes the underlying story is


It’s certainly seeming that way: house

prices have more than held their own since

estate agents were allowed to trade again in

June, and Barry predicts an upward curve.

‘When we opened again in June, now in our

new office, the market went crazy,’ he says.

‘August 2020 was our busiest month on

record – we sold twice as many properties

then as we had in August 2019.’

The housing market – with low stock,

and low interest rates – was already strong

before the pandemic, says Barry, and living

through the changes Covid brought tended

to focus people’s thoughts on their living

space, and have only served to add to the

boom. ‘Today’s buyers want a front door and

a back door, and they want a garden. Firsttime

buyers who’ve been locked down with

their parents are now looking for somewhere

of their own, and they need more space than

they might have done, because they’re still

working from home, and need a bedroom

that can double as an office.’

The important thing to remember when

it comes to running a business in 2021 and

looking ahead to 2022, says Barry, is that

‘what’s just happened is a health crisis,

not a financial crisis. It’s not 2008 all over

again. That’s one of the things that’s kept us


The biggest problems for Walker Wylie

through last year, reports Barry, were

the uncertainty over how long business

was going to be paused, and juggling (for

both him and his business partner) homeschooling

their young daughters alongside

keeping the company they set up five years

ago, afloat. ‘We knew we had a fight on, but

we also knew we could do it. We’d spent a

long time working hard to set up our own

business, and we knew we could hold on

for a few months.’ All the same, he says,

it was extremely frustrating at times watching

English estate agencies being able to operate

near-normally, while in Scotland restrictions


He also worried about what the impact

would be on home viewings – would vendors

want visitors on their property; would buyers

want to go into houses? But, he says, there

haven’t been problems on these fronts.

January and February are traditionally strong

months, and for Barry it’s roll on 2022:

his optimism of two years ago is, he believes,

about to be realised.


Keeping going through the pandemic meant

being quick-footed and adaptable – and the

Square Bar, having more than managed to

be both, is now reaping the benefits. Being

forced to close, with just a few hours’ notice,

in March 2020 was an unthinkable blow:

the busy neighbourhood brasserie had a

full diary of bookings, and was stocked for

the next few days. ‘It was shocking beyond

belief to suddenly have the power to run your

business taken away from you,’ says Luke

Tracey, The Square’s owner.

But adaptability was key, as Luke

realised from the start: the weather was

good, the restaurant front could be opened

fully, and soon the Square was functioning

as a takeaway coffee/cake/sandwiches

venue. Using Uber Eats was expensive in

commission terms: to keep costs down,

and with future business in mind,

Luke offered discounts to customers who

could do self-collections. ‘It meant people

could see where we were and what we were

doing, and then come back again another

day,’ he says.

Although at times it felt as though they

were at rock bottom – ‘the hospitality

8 | www.westendermagazine.com


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www.westendermagazine.com | 9

Luke Tracey of the Square Bar & Restaurant

industry felt as though it was being attacked,’

says Luke, especially when for example

selling alcohol was banned – hope was never

extinguished. When eating and drinking

outside became a possibility, The Square

developed an outside eating area that it

expects, going forward, will continue to

be popular with diners. ‘Glasgow hasn’t

traditionally been an area associated with

continental-style dining,’ says Luke. Perhaps

eating outside will be a lasting change of the


But the biggest change came in spring

of this year with a major refurbishment of

the premises, and a menu rethink. ‘It was an

important move because it meant we were

showing confidence in our business, in the

future,’ explains Luke. But also, he wanted

customers to come back to The Square

with a sense of excitement and discovery.

‘We wanted them to find a new place, and to

have new food to try,’ he says.

As in all walks of life, the pandemic

has brought positive change as well as

difficulties. Luke chairs the Glasgow

Restaurant Association, and knows at

first hand how much the industry has

pulled together during the last 20 months.

A stronger spirit of co-operation and support

could be a legacy Covid leaves for bar and

restaurant owners in the city.


Of the many lifestyle changes prompted by

the pandemic, one of the most talked-about

has been pet acquisition; and for business

owners like Mabel Lau of pets-cetera,

that has meant that what started in shock

and shut-down has led to a boom in business

that shows no signs of slowing.

At first, remembers Mabel, as for all

businesses the situation was one of worry

and fear for the future. ‘Everything was

closing, we weren’t sure what was going on

or what would happen next, and we were

concerned for staff who were worried about

feeling unsafe,’ she remembers. Pet shops

10 | www.westendermagazine.com

Jen and Mabel of pets-cetera

were, of course, always essential businesses:

Mabel set up a table at the shop door and

sold items like pet food from there.

For a while, takings were well under half of

what would be normal – but then, gradually,

things started to change. More people were

getting pets, especially puppies – and that

meant they needed toys, dog beds, collars,

leads and harnesses. Also, pets-cetera

specialises in natural foods, so customers

came to find out about healthier diets for their

dogs. ‘Our main concern is that people keep

their new pets, and we realise they need the

best possible advice to support them to do

that,’ says Mabel.

Like Luke at The Square, she realised a

refurbishment would update her business

for the post-pandemic future. She took

the business over 15 years ago, updated it

initially, but hadn’t done much since: so it

was time for a facelift. ‘We ripped everything

out and tried to make it a lot more fun –

for example, there’s now a kennel-shaped

dog treat bar. We’ve always had a candy pink

theme here and that’s continued – we want to

feel like a wonderland for pets,’ says Mabel.

The shop is a tribute to her now deceased,

but never-forgotten, Dachshund Molly. ‘She

was a big reason why we have a pet shop in

the first place, and it’s a bit of a shrine to her.’

While it’s about a lot more than profits

for Mabel – ‘people who work with us love

animals, and we put them first’ – she feels

that, having survived some tough times,

the shop is now more than back on track.

‘We feel we’ve been through the worst –

and we’ve come back winning.’





BROOMHILL www.westendermagazine.com | 11












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www.westendermagazine.com | 13

Pivoting in a Pandemic

In the wake of the pandemic, businesses

were forced to rethink how to get goods,

services and gourmet meals to customers.

Throughout the West End bounce back loans

were invested wisely in alfresco seating,

sprucing up and making interiors safe,

and developing websites, shopping carts and

upgrading online collection, payment and

self-serve/delivery applications.

Entrepreneurial spirit and West End

creativity were evident as masks were sold

through tenement windows on Clarence

Drive. The biggest shift was the swift move

to hybrid physical and online presences as

the ability to interact with customers during

lockdowns was severely curtailed.

Those that had already made the shift,

or taken the tentative steps to set up an

online trading presence prior to Covid,

were quick to see the change in shopping

and demand patterns and swiftly began

upgrading their online capabilities to serve

their customers. They were ahead of the

game when online demand rocketed from

existing customers, and those who found

them on the web when their usual retailer,

restaurant or supplier failed them.

Businesses new to online trading faced a

few initial hurdles, mainly due to the demand

and rush to online trading over spring and

summer last year. Those who did make the

move found that online trading proved less

daunting than envisaged and it was cost

effective especially in revenue earned per

customer visit.

Most people find online shopping

more convenient with 63% of customers

beginning their purchasing occasion online

(Thinkwithgoogle 2018). It doesn’t take a

rocket scientist to work out that this statistic

will have risen over the past 18 months.

Whether you’re running your business

online or turning a hobby into a profitable

side hustle, ecommerce has created a level

playing field allowing you to not only dream

big but act big. Your hybrid business can

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extend its reach all over the UK and beyond.

Establishing an online presence and

getting the trading and accounting systems

set up to serve your customers – new and old

– is now easier than ever. But getting it right

from the start is key. It goes beyond simply

setting up an Instagram shop or Shopify

website then sitting back waiting for the ping

of another sale notification.

Ensuring accurate accounting systems

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14 | www.westendermagazine.com


by John Parker

Autumn is here and a great time for

us to experiment with our hair to fit

in with the season. For autumn it’s

all about super shiny chocolate and mocha

toned brunettes, golden blondes and fiery

and copper reds – shades that add a warmth

to your complexion and are super flattering.

A full head tint, semi-permanent or glossing

service are the best way to achieve these

colours and will also give your hair shine.

Our RRI team are also incredibly

excited for the next events we have lined up,

including TRNSMT which our GWR team

have been asked to work at again this year!

Some of our RRI team are also up for the

Colour Technician of the Year and Scottish

Hairdresser in this year’s British Hairdressing

Awards, with the final taking place in

November, another fantastic celebration.

In the salon we also have some further

celebratory news – we are welcoming back a

new Stylist, Ayesha (above) and celebrating

the promotions of Summer and Kylie.

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 31st Oct ‘21.

Rainbow Room International

607 Great Western Road G12 8HX

0141 337 3370


www.westendermagazine.com | 15



Reviewed by Amy Glasgow


Ihonestly feel like Glasgow has, for a long

time, been missing the kind of elevated

dining experience you can find in Edinburgh

and other parts of the country. Something

that feels unique and special, somewhere

that you walk away from and want to tell

everyone you know about it. Well, I think I’ve

found it.

Located in the old home of The Sisters

in Kelvingrove, Unalome brings a truly

incredible dining experience to Glasgow,

sitting alongside the likes of Michelin-starred

Cail Bruich and Finnieston’s own The Gannet.

Created by award winning chef Graeme

Cheevers, Unalome focuses on an everchanging,

seasonal menu and an experience

that truly wows its diners from the moment

they arrive.

Before you have even had a chance to

look at the menu, you’re greeted with one of

numerous canapes, ranging from delicate

meringue with oyster emulsion, apple and

borage, to cheese and onion miniature choux

buns topped with black truffle.

Once you get to the actual menu,

the options are endless and cater to different

budgets, particularly if you visit during their

lunchtime service, where you can choose

from a £30 lunch menu, £60 a la carte,

or go all out and opt for the £70 tasting menu.

It was my birthday when I visited, so there

was nothing else for it but to go for that

tasting menu and I am so glad we did.

Each course was as beautiful and

delicious as the last. But some of the standouts

for me included a ridiculously large and

juicy Orkney scallop with peas, lavender

butter sauce and cured pork fat. A balance of

rich butter and pork fat with the freshness of

peas and that perfectly cooked scallop.

Honourable mention has to also go to

the roast fillet of roe deer with raspberry,

beetroot, endive and wild pepper sauce.

The venison was incredibly tender and the

flavour in the sauce… honestly, if they had

poured it into a wine glass and offered it to

me as a drink, I would not have hesitated.

Every course was beautifully balanced,

the service quiet and constant, and the

meal was completed by a trio of petit fours,

including a black truffle fudge, passion

fruit pate de fruit and an absolutely divine

hazelnut praline choux.

It was, by all accounts, one of the best

meals I have had in a long, long time. In fact,

I enjoyed it so much, I’ve already booked

to go back for my wedding anniversary.

I suggest you find an excuse to get booked

in too.

Unalome by Graeme Cheevers

36 Kelvingrove Street G3 7RZ

0141 501 0553


16 4 | | www.westendermagazine.com


The Elizabethans

by Andrew Marr




Andrew Marr is one of the best-known

Scottish journalists around and his Sunday

morning programme has a huge following.

He is also a very successful writer, with ten

non-fiction and two fiction titles under his

belt already.

I really enjoyed ‘A History of

Modern Britain’, and one could be

forgiven for assuming that there

was a fair amount of overlap

in ‘The Elizabethans’, but this is

far from the case. His approach

is interesting as each chapter

highlights an individual or group

of individuals who have influenced

Britain since 1952. In some cases,

this impact is small and subtle, in

others, colossal. Just as the range

of personalities covered in this

book is diverse, so too is the range

of topics: class, race, education,

sexuality, relations between the

sexes and moral disagreements.

He comments on the stark

differences in the physical

appearance of the British since

the coronation, from a thin, white,

drably dressed, behatted nation

to a multicoloured, fatter, sloppier

one. But far harder to capture is

the change in how we think about

who we are, in terms of identity,

gender and class.

Nevertheless, with his

highlighting of key figures who

forced us to consider aspects of

our Britishness, Marr captures

these changes extremely well.

An example of the book’s clever structure is when Marr considers

the differences between patriotism and nationalism. To illustrate

this concept, he devotes a chapter to Tony Benn and Enoch

Powell, both fierce opponents of the European Community, both

patriotically British, but diametrically opposed in their approaches

and in their political stances. This is not a book dominated by

politics, by any means, despite Marr’s day job. Music, the arts,

culture, the environment and conservation are all given their

place, seen through the game changers in these sectors such as

Freddie Mercury, David Attenborough and Gerard Durrell.

We haven’t only radically changed what we listen to and

watch, but also how we treat our animals and how we think about

food. Can you imagine a time before pizza, Chinese and Indian

restaurants, or burgers? Of course, this would not have happened

on the same scale had Britain not claimed vast international

territories as an imperial power. And had it not been for the

withdrawal of this empire and subsequent economic failure,

the ruling classes would not have been so badly shaken and the

rebellions against this old order may not have been as successful.

As Marr concludes, ‘A decent future means taking the best of the

best, ditching the mistakes and starting again.’ Indeed.

www.westendermagazine.com | | 17 5

Shuggie Bain

by Douglas Stuart


‘Shuggie Bain’ is one of the

most brutal books I have ever

read. Compelling, but brutal.

From beginning to end there is

a litany of disasters, tragedies

and heartbreaks, most of

which are self-induced. Agnes

Bain is an alcoholic mother of

three living with her parents

in a high-rise in Sighthill.

She has left her husband to

pursue a taxi driver called Shug

Bain, a nasty character who

treats women like dirt and then

disposes of them.

Before long, Agnes finds

herself alone with three kids

and no partner. One by one

the kids are either pushed

away or escape, leaving

Shuggie, the youngest, to look

after his mother.

One of the most fascinating

aspects of the novel is indeed

the fact that throughout the

novel, all three children are

looking after their mother,

getting the benefits books,

hiding money for shopping,

pouring away drink and

hiding from the authorities.

School happens on occasion

in a haphazard fashion.

The children never know where

the next meal will come from

or if it will come at all. There

are fights with neighbours,

taxi drivers, rival women,

authorities and generally

anybody Agnes comes across

when she’s drunk, which is

any time from mid-morning


The scourge of poverty

and alcohol dependency

are both laid bare in this

uncompromising but incredible

debut novel. It makes parts of

‘Trainspotting’ seem like ‘Mary

Poppins’, but don’t let that put

you off. It’s a future classic.

Richard Osman has long

held a fascination for classic

crime novels and this,

his debut novel, caused a

bidding war with several

publishers as they knew it

would be a hit, and they

were right. Set in an exclusive

retirement village called

Cooper’s Chase, the club

comprises several individuals

who have an interest in solving

cold cases, all of them with

skills from their previous lives in

the big bad world which they

bring to bear in these cases.

However, inevitably, there

is a murder in the community,

causing them to whirr into

action and get to work solving

the mystery. Through a series

of contacts, manipulations of

the somewhat amenable local

police and sheer nosiness,

combined with ingenuity

and dogged determination,

the club undertakes what is

their biggest case so far.

One murder becomes

two, and then three, and the

big reveals at the end are

satisfying whilst not being

entirely predictable.

Osman certainly knows

his market as there is sure

to be a reasonable overlap

between the viewers of his

game show and the readers

of this debut crime novel.

The very short chapters and

fairly large print allow for quick

page turns and cater for those

who need reading glasses in

the afternoon, the reviewer

included. I consumed this over

a weekend, and it was highly

enjoyable. I’m sure this is the

beginning of a very successful

franchise and reminded me of

the gentleness of Alexander

McCall-Smith’s very successful

‘No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’.

Gentle murderous

pensioner fun.

The Thursday Murder Club

by Richard Osman


18 | www.westendermagazine.com


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Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion | 19


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202 | | www.westendermagazine.com






photography GREGOR REID

stylist gemma meek

mua terri craig

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pink blazer & pink jeans, river island. Earrings, Cassiopeia

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26 | www.westendermagazine.com


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Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion | 27

Legal Matters

Having charitable thoughts?

There are over 24,000 charities in Scotland

registered with the Office of the Scottish

Charity Regulator (OSCR). Charities play

a vital role in Scotland, whether by providing

direct help, giving information, or raising


Charities can benefit from tax reliefs,

obtain specific grant funding and the public

recognition and trust of a registered charity

‘brand’ can assist in fundraising. OSCR

have a duty under The Charities and Trustee

Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (the 2005 Act)

to encourage and assist charities in meeting

the requirements of charity law.

However, OSCR must also ensure that

public money is used responsibly and

charities are not simply set up for private

benefit or for criminal activity. OSCR has

‘teeth’ in the form of powers granted under

the 2005 Act to supervise, make inquiries and

obtain information on alleged misconduct

and can also remove a non-compliant charity

from the OSCR register. Protection of charity

assets and public confidence is the aim.

OSCR have produced a formal risk

framework with a list of key areas of concern.

Last revised in 2018, the top risks they

are working to mitigate and address are:

(i) deliberate mismanagement; (ii) criminal

activity; (iii) trustee lack of knowledge;

(iv) attempts to gain charitable status for

private benefit; (v) lack of clarity of the charity

brand, and (vi) charities that don’t provide

public benefit.

In order to gain charitable status an

organisation must satisfy OSCR that it

(i) has only charitable purposes and (ii)

provides public benefit in achieving those

purposes. This is known as the ‘Charity

Test’. You will also need to decide whether

to be unincorporated e.g. a voluntary or

trust organisation without separate legal

personality, meaning that the charity trustees

must enter into (and may be liable for)

contracts in their own names; or incorporated

e.g. a company limited by guarantee

or a Scottish Charitable Incorporated

Organisation (SCIO). The type of legal

structure you choose will depend on the

scale of the operation and the risks involved

e.g. will you employ staff or lease premises?

If so, who will be the Employer/Tenant?

Many potential Trustees are unaware of this

potential liability. See risk (iii) above.

Voluntary or Unincorporated Associations

are the simplest form of legal structure,

with low set up costs. However, these

organisations do not have legal personality

separate from their trustees, meaning

the trustees must put their own names to

contracts and may be personally liable for

their charity’s debts, such as pension fund

deficits and redundancy payments.

A charity could become a Company

Limited by Guarantee; a legal entity separate

from the people behind it but it must then

comply with UK Company Law. Or it could

become a SCIO. The SCIO was introduced by

the 2005 Act, provides a separate legal entity

from its trustees and is quite simply, purpose

built for the charity sector in Scotland.

The OSCR website oscr.org.uk has

guidance on every step of the charitable

journey so, do your homework, but consider

taking legal advice on any areas

of concern to protect both you

and your charity.

If Mitchells Roberton

Partner Joyce Moss can

help you please call her on

0141 548 1703, or email


Mitchells Roberton Solicitors

George House, 36 North Hanover Street

0141 552 3422


28 | www.westendermagazine.com

Cherry Blossom, Knightswood Cross

© Michael E. Mullen

Michael E. Mullen

an interview


www.westendermagazine.com | 29

There may be more than

a few scenes

recognisable to many

Glaswegians when looking

at the paintings of artist,

Michael E. Mullen. From the

flourishing of Spring and the

cherry blossoms lining the

streets towards Knightswood

Cross, to that wonderful

quality of stillness found in

the magical light after the

sun sets, ‘the gloaming’ as

us Scots call it, in the heart

of Queens Park.

Both these pictures,

‘Cherry Blossom,

Knightswood Cross’ and

‘Spring Gloaming, Queens

Park,’ are part of a rich

bounty of painted works,

expressing a great love of

the outdoors not just here

in Scotland but in lands

beyond our shores – and an

appreciation of the natural,

visible changes of time that

the eye often overlooks at a

fleeting glance.

There is a rather nostalgic

air to the paintings, a poetic,

dreamlike quality. I can also

imagine that if I might see

these works in front of me

on the gallery wall, it would

echo what I am compelled to

do when looking at artwork

by my favourite Impressionist

painter, Camille Pissarro

(1830-1903). Stand close

to the surface of the work,

‘The Rance at Dinan,’ and

the painting would look busy,

with sharp thick flecks of

paint applied with apparent

vigour – stand back and as

the scene unfolds, the eye

oscillates between both the

light reflecting on the leaves

and the still water of this

French river, and the rich

colours of green that call of


I chatted with Michael

about his journey towards

a career in the arts,

his enchantment with

the wonders of nature

and just how much that

contemplation can draw

inspiration and influence his


You currently live and work

in Glasgow – did you grow

up in the city and what

brought you to painting?

I grew up in Giffnock and

was educated in Glasgow.

When I left school, I started

studying an engineering

degree at Glasgow University

but fairly quickly came to

the conclusion that it wasn’t

what I wanted to do and

decided to return to my first

love, which was Art.

The reasons behind

moving to London were

varied: I was of an age

where I wanted to explore

the world a bit, I had got

accepted onto a foundation

course, in Art and Design

at Wimbledon School of

Art, and I had a perhaps

rather naïve conviction that

London was the place to

be, if you wanted to work

in the Arts. After finishing

my foundation course,

I started a degree course

at Goldsmiths, which I had

chosen because they didn’t

demand that you follow

one particular discipline,

like painting or sculpture,

or printmaking. I liked to

work in all three disciplines

and going to Goldsmiths

allowed me to do that.

In the end I didn’t particularly

enjoy my time there, even

though it was, and I suppose

still is considered a very

prestigious art school. There

was a dominant, conceptual

art culture that was quite

alien to my way of thinking

and working.

Your pictures are in the

main exterior scenes,

some such as ‘Glen

Quiach’ where the expanse

of the hills are offered as a

subject and others placed

in a city or a suburban

setting. Do you work

directly outdoors when


I do sometimes work

outdoors, although this

very much depends on

the weather and I rarely

complete a work outdoors,

although it was the kind

of thing I did when I was

younger. Most of my finished

pieces are entirely created

in the studio. I work from

a variety of sources, often

using my camera and

sketchpad as a way of

recording images I think

might work for me. Over the

years these sketches and

photographs have grown into

a reservoir of images that

I can dip into, sometimes

long after making the original

sketch, or taking a set of

photographs. I also combine

aspects of different images

in order to convey the effect

I want – sometimes that

happens quite quickly and

easily, other times ideas

hang around for years, going

through numerous, sketched

iterations, whilst I vacillate

about whether to commit to

turning them into a finished


What inspires you to paint

a particular view?

There is a complex calculus

that leads me to pick

one image over another:

a combination of formal,

technical challenge, a

kind of personal symbolic

significance and the latitude

it allows me to express

emotion or convey a

30 | www.westendermagazine.com

particular kind of mood. In practice, once I’ve

decided which image feels right, everything

else begins to fall into place during the

painting. Personally, I think that there is a

partially unconscious process that governs

the process of composing an image, as the

same themes and motifs suggest themselves


You work on linen which, through its

highly textured surface almost becomes

an integral part of the work itself – is there

a reason why you paint on linen, over

board or canvas?

I think it’s the best surface for oil painting –

it’s very durable, has an element of elasticity

that is useful and has a texture that is

pleasant to work on. I have worked on both

canvas and board in the past, but I feel linen

suits my style best and will probably last


The offerings of the seasons permeate

through your work – what draws you to

paint these changes in nature?

One of the things that drives my work, is my

reaction to my day-to-day environment: I find

it easy to derive pleasure from my experience

of nature and my work reflects a desire to

celebrate nature and how the environment

and changes in light, weather and flora

affects us more generally. The effects of

seasonal change on the environment,

therefore, fascinates me, I would go so far

as to say that the seasons influence the

behaviour of people and society, in quite

profound ways, beyond the traditional

divisions of the agricultural year.

Can you share the best way for people to

view and purchase your pictures?

I usually have work on display at the Seagull

Gallery in Gourock, most of my new work

gets exhibited there first. Probably the best

way to keep up with developments regarding

exhibitions would be to follow my Facebook

page, Michael E Mullen Fine Art. I post any

news about exhibitions on there and I post

pictures of my work, as it’s completed. I also

have a page on creativecoverage.co.uk and

work for sale at saatchiart.com.

The Rance at Dinan © Michael E. Mullen

www.westendermagazine.com | 31

32 | www.westendermagazine.com

Homes & Interiors

All Images show stock from I I Am Nomad

by Tracy


Child's Play

We often think flamboyant primary colours are resigned

to nursery schools, playgrounds and children’s rooms;

primary colours are indeed a much-maligned choice

for our home interiors. But done correctly, these colour

choices can pack a sophisticated punch. So why should

the kids have all the fun?

www.westendermagazine.com | 33

There are a few different ways of using

this palette. To get a professional view

on the topic, Westender asked the

opinions of two experts in the field

of home interiors: Claire Johnston

of I am Nomad and Kevin Baird of

Riverside Decor.

Subtle Yet Sassy

Blue, red and yellow, the building blocks off all

other colours. It takes a brave soul to consider

these as the main choices in our home. But it

needn’t be top to toe block colours.

Firstly, consider what you want to

achieve. You like the colours, the drama and

boldness of them, but are you brave enough to go

all out with them?

The good news is you don’t need to.

It’s perfectly achievable to have décor which

features reds, blues and yellows without

overdoing it. Let’s face it, most of us would feel

more comfortable with neutral walls as our base

canvas. The rule of thumb is to use only two

of the three colours in their true tone. Claire

suggests trying neutral walls with bright colours

in smaller areas: windows, architrave, picture

rail, doors.

Walls needn’t be startling white; warm whites

and neutrals work well too. This allows you to

work with pops of colour with specific areas

catching the eye. By sticking with neutral walls,

you can tie in the accent primary colours in

your soft furnishings e.g. lamps, cushions, to

bring the look together; a statement vase in a

vibrant true blue is a great way to bring colour

into an existing neutral space. To continue

with this toned-down version of the primary

colour palette, Claire also agrees that combining

natural textures e.g. natural woods, jute rugs,

can also look great with splashes of primary

colours around a room; bringing a neutral camel

candle against a lively blue one continues to

blend the palette subtly but with detail around

the room.

Kevin from Riverside Decor agrees. If clients

are afraid to use the bolder colours in paint

décor around their home, he recommends

introducing these colours through the soft

furnishings. Small splashes of primaries within

artwork, rugs or carpets so long as it’s tied in

throughout the room, is every bit as stylish.

The Bolder Look

A wall doesn’t always have to be neutral, white or

muted, however and Riverside Decor has seen a

change in the trend towards the 'statement' wall.

Kevin notes that people can be quite daring

using darker blues on full areas, unlike before

where it may have been only on one wall. Kevin

advises clients to be bold if they have the vision

to do so. The trend that he sees is still for off

whites on ceilings, picture rails and woodwork

with a bold colour on the main walls.

Even going for a bolder look, don’t use all three

colours in their true tones. Using a combination

of two but adding a more muted tone of the

third, ensures you don’t end up with your home

looking like an Andy Warhol painting. Try

teaming a wall in one colour such as blue with

furnishings in another, say a red sofa, whilst

keeping floor and woodwork neutral.

By carrying small flashes of the bolder wall

colour in small, selective pieces, lamps, vases,

candles, the colour scheme is tied in throughout

the room. When adding a third colour, the shade

can be slightly muted to soften the overall colour

palette. So, in a room with two main colours

of a blue wall with a red sofa, subtle tones of

mustard, lemon candles or vases can be a good

way to avoid that modern art/geometric vibe.

Homes & Interiors

34 | www.westendermagazine.com

Finer Details

In considering using primary colours in interior

decor, Claire feels it’s a progression for people.

Primaries can be a bit overwhelming, and

people do have aversions to different colours.

In I am Nomad the interiors boutique

specifically sets colours together that at first

customers might not have considered e.g. pinks

and lemons. Softer tones really can feature in

the primary palette home. Using terracotta and

pink tones of red, powder blue and navy tones

of blue, and lemon and mustard tones of yellow

can help moderate the look. Using toned down

turquoises and oranges can also bring warmth

as third colours.

Kevin has noted the trend towards using

yellows and blues has grown in popularity

and adds that these can often be towards the

muted darker shades of mustard and dark blues.

Yellow tones can be uplifting and fresh in a

room and we certainly all needed uplifting this

past year! Used in dining rooms, even hallways,

yellows have brightened our homes over this

ever so dark year in a time where our homes

have been our whole world. When it comes

to paint finishes, the chalk finish on walls is

still the trend. However, Kevin does advise

woodwork be done in a more durable finish. If

you want a painted piece or area to stand out,

a glossier texture will pull the eye to it. Why

not try painting an unloved wooden chair in a

glossy red to catch the eye? This is a lovely idea

in a dining space against natural floors and

white walls. A classic primary blue door against

white walls is incredibly eye catching and gives

a Mediterranean feel to a room. Kevin uses the

analogy of a letter box; would a letter box stand

out if it had a flat red finish?

The bonus of the primary colour palette is

that it really doesn’t need to be a renovation job.

It allows you to keep a room neutral with pops of

highlighted colour. Claire notes it’s a great way

to give a room a facelift quickly and affordably.

A few clever choices of colour, be it a blue

painted door and coordinating rug, carried

through to red lamps and cushions with a flash

of mustard candles sprinkled throughout the

room and voila, your living room's transformed.

Helpful Hints:

√ Consider using two principal

colours on larger pieces, a wall,

woodwork, sofas, storage. Carry

these colours into specific pieces

throughout the room

√ Combine this with a neutral

natural palette e.g., the other

walls, floors, rug

√ Bring the 3rd primary colour

in using a toned up or toned-down

version e.g., for red, an orange or

a pink. Use this colour for specific

smaller accessories around the


√ If brave enough go big on the

walls with a toned-down primary,

carrying true tones on selected

pieces of furnishings and soft




www.westendermagazine.com | 35

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36 | www.westendermagazine.com

Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion | 37

Your best friend on a

bad day – Joe @ Aspray

Stuff happens. If the past 18 months

has taught us anything it’s that really

weird, sometimes bad, stuff happens.

Joe McGuigan at Aspray Insurance is the

right bloke to have on quick dial should

the bad thing happen to your home or

commercial premises. Flood, fire, or storm –

Joe is your fourth emergency service. Think

of him as part of your resilience toolkit!

‘Anything to do with buildings insurance

after a burst pipe from the flat above, or an

electrical fire in the kitchen – we take care

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client can simply carry on with their life.

The team and I put everything back together

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assessing damage, building a scope of

works, dealing with loss adjuster negotiations

and then carrying out the reinstatement of

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Joe works alongside West End based

letting agents, building factors and insurance

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And with climate change wreaking its

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What Joe and his team at Aspray

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call Joe and his team on 07875 765708.

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38 | www.westendermagazine.com


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www.westendermagazine.com | 39

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Westender www.westendermagazine.com Magazine Promotion | 41



with Walker Wylie

Estate Agents

Prices in Glasgow’s West End are

exceeding levels seen before the

housing crash due to a lack of properties

available for purchase. It is a trend played

out across the nation. Indeed, a recent

survey found that 21% more surveyors said

there was an increase in house prices over

the last few months – and the West End had

appeared as a tension area, with few newbuild

plans within our heavily desired locale.

The West End of Glasgow is invariably

regarded as busy, energetic, lively, and

dynamic in normal times, and all these words

might similarly be applied to the local housing

market as we transition out of the Covid

situation. There is no denying that there is a

high level of confidence.

The relaxation of restrictions, the return

to school, and the fast roll out of the UK’s

vaccination scheme have removed any

reluctance, hesitation, or worry from the

previous year. Although there have been a

few persistent times of hectic activity since

March, as well as some dark moments of

despair, demand is now extraordinary and

agents are indicating a fiercely fought and

exceedingly competitive market.



Are house prices going

to drop anytime soon?

Buyers will most certainly show interest

in a home if it is the appropriate size – which

is becoming ever more essential – and also

checks all the necessary requirements

in terms of quality and location. It’s not

uncommon for a desirable property to have

countless viewings scheduled. Due to a

continued scarcity of availability, not only are

there a lot of people looking at the houses,

but there are also a lot of offers, with prices

substantially over home report values and

speedy closing dates. In fact, it’s uncommon

to encounter sales that don’t easily exceed


Overall, the market is remarkably strong

and is likely to stay that way for a long

time, assuming no unexpected external

developments occur. Regardless of what

could happen in the future though, it’s certain

that the West End will never lose its charm or


Walker Wylie Estate Agents

148 Woodlands Road G3 6LF

0141 404 1333 / 07855 952298


42 | Westender www.westendermagazine.com

Magazine Promotion

Making Renting Better

with Western Lettings

The future of the private rental sector

Landlords in Scotland have been buffeted

with many changes in recent years,

including the introduction of mandatory

registration, tenant deposit protection

and, in 2017, a comprehensive overhaul of

the tenancy regime. While some of these

changes are welcome, they all increase the

administrative burden on private landlords.

Along with the creeping regulatory changes,

the sector has been rendered less viable by

an increasingly unfriendly tax regime and

tightening availability of finance.

One could be forgiven for expecting a

period of stabilization. However, bigger

changes are coming. It’s likely, for example,

that rent controls will be in place within the

next few years. To alleviate the housing crisis,

the Scottish government is considering

restrictions on second home ownership in

tourist areas.

By April 2023, landlords earning over

£10,000 per year in rent will be required to

sign up to Making Tax Digital for Landlords.

Under the scheme, income and expenditure

must be reported quarterly using an

approved software package.

There is growing evidence that small

private landlords are abandoning the private

rented sector by this increasingly regulated

environment. They are being replaced

by financial institutions and corporates.

Recently, John Lewis and Lloyds Bank

have announced plans to enter the sector.

Institutions are channeling funds into the built

to rent sector (BTR) in search of yield.

BTR developments are popping up

throughout the UK, with several already

operating in Glasgow and many more

planned. These developments resemble

grand hotels rather than traditional apartment

blocks, with cafes, bars, gyms, concierges,

and communal areas.

BTR is likely to continue growing fast while

interest rates remain low and housing in short

supply. It serves the needs of ‘generation

rent’, young people priced out of the housing

market and accustomed to renting long term.

In the next few articles, I’ll be exploring

each of the above areas in more detail. In

the meantime, please feel free to contact our

office directly if you would like to discuss how

we can help.

If you have a property to let, please

give us a call. We don’t do pushy sales,

so you can expect to speak to a friendly

and understanding adviser. Alternatively

have a trial of our free rental valuation

tool by scanning the QR code below.

Western Lettings

Craighall Business Park G4 9XA

0141 357 0436



www.westendermagazine.com | 43

44 | www.westendermagazine.com








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