Gallus Glasgow O: Oran Mor

Another converted church – this time the former Kelvinside Parish Church. (One of our friends refuses to step into it, because it’s where he went to Sunday School.) Òran Mór is Gaelic for great melody of life or big song, which sums up its current role as a centre for arts and entertainment. It’s also a pub and a restaurant and, as our nearest music venue, is somewhere we visit quite a lot. Here’s Joan as Policewoman for example:

Another speciality is A Play a Pie and a Pint – a fabulous lunchtime theatre series which I visit with friends about once a month, followed by coffee and people-watching in the bar. It celebrated its tenth anniversary last year – long may it continue!

We’re still on stage tomorrow with the letter P.

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Celtic Connections 2014

Not strictly travel, but we had such a great time at Celtic Connections this year that I felt I had to document it. We were there for the opening night concert on 16th January, the very last concert (Transatlantic Sessions) on 2nd February and another five in between, of which John got good pictures of two.

Olive Grove Records Showcase

This gig was at Oran Mor, our local venue – a converted church. It has to win the prize as best value for money – a tenner for six bands over five hours. Quite sore on the old feet though. I’m particularly interested in the State Broadcasters because I used to work with two of the members, Graeme and Pete, and it’s lovely to see them up on stage.

Imelda May

This was one of three gigs we went to in the Old Fruitmarket – which is exactly what the name suggests, a former market in which you can still read the names of the old stallholders beneath the balcony. We’ve now seen Imelda three times and she never disappoints – vibrant and full of energy.

The other gigs not mentioned were Capercaillie’s 30th anniversary concert, Julie Fowlis, and Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott. There’s a lovely sense of community between the artists, many of whom appear on other people’s stages, sometimes unbilled. For example, we saw Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis four times – once at her own gig, she was part of the ensembles at the opening concert and Transatlantic Sessions, and she also appeared as a guest with Capercaillie. One busy lady!

So that’s it over for another year. Not only are we now exhausted, but our waistlines have expanded because of all the pre-theatres that were “necessary”. It’s definitely time for a quiet life and a bit of recovery.

Glasgow Orchid Fair

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This weekend sees the 15th Glasgow Orchid Fair which takes place in the Kibble Palace (above) at the Botanic Gardens. We visited this morning, and it’s on again tomorrow if you want to see it (entrance is free). Dealers from all over the country come to sell their wares but, as we don’t have a good record when it comes to green fingers, we just looked and took photographs:

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The Botanics themselves looked very colourful too with the Spring planting:

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Afterwards, we had lunch in Oran Mor, the bar / restaurant / concert venue at the top of Byres Road. The burgers (both veggie and non-veggie) are recommended. We were joined for beers (their own brew) by a friend from Edinburgh, Lynn Corrigan, who was over from Edinburgh to see the orchids too. Although Lynn is a librarian, we work in different fields and I might never have met her if not for Twitter. Never let it be said that virtual social networks get in the way of “real-life” ones. In my view they expand the potential for meeting new people. As they say on Twitter – #win!

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

There’s not much open in Glasgow on Boxing Day, so we spent a happy hour or so wandering through the Kibble Palace and hothouses at Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

Kibble Palace:

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Hothouses, including Orchid House:

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We then had a great lunch in Oran Mor, a converted church diagonally opposite the gardens which is now a pub / restaurant / venue. Three huge haddock and chips for the omnivores and a melt-in-your mouth stuffed aubergine for the veggie (me). The entrance looks very festive at the moment:

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