Spring has surely sprung and as we say cheerio to March, I think is fair to say that we can look forward to our three to four days of impending summer and we all know what happens in summer - festivals.

Yes I know there are lots of musical festivals happening all over Scotland but allow me please to draw your attention to one little festival with a difference happening in Shawlands this May. It may just blow your mind.

Yes people there’s a Macaroni cheese festival hitting Glasgow and the best part is that you get to choose a winner.

It’s official name is Pastaval and it’s part of the Southside Fringe programme and with food fans signing up to taste various different macaronis in all of the participating restaurants around the area to score them based on yummy taste and presentation you can see why there will be a queue of willing volunteers.

Organised by Food Blogger and all round lovely lady Emma Mykytyn, of Foodie Explorers, the Pastaval has been running for several years as part of the Southside fringe and each year it just gets bigger and better.

Cheese lovers can literally try every mac and cheese in the competition with the winner taking home the cheesy trophy of glory.

Past winners have included the fabulous Butterfly and Pig and The Waverley Tea Rooms.

There are so many wonderful pubs and restaurants in Shawlands and I just love that we have a Southside Fringe to celebrate the great and good of our beautiful community.

The other festival that had caught my eye this week was the Harry Potter festival due to take place in Bearsden in June.

This year marks the 20th anniversary since J.


Rowling’s ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’ was first published and organisers wanted to create a spellbinding festival for fans to enjoy with Butterbeer, Potter burgers, a great Forbidden Forest BBQ, and a special Room of Requirement for all to enjoy.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m what you’d call a Harry Potter nutcase and proud of it.

I’ve read all the books at least 10 times over the past decade and I even duped a small child into thinking the dementors were coming to get everyone just so I could jump the queue in Harry Potter world, Florida to get a shot of casting a patronus charm before the park closed.

Shameful I know but I’d spent £80 on a wand that only worked in the park itself so you see I had no choice.

So you can imagine my utter joy when I heard the Bearsden festival announcement which quickly turned to sorrow when after a few days of it being advertised the plug was pulled so to speak. The response had been so overwhelming organisers had to go back to the drawing board to re think safety, parking, capacity, and licensing implications due to its overwhelming popularity.

Wands crossed the Harry Potter Festival might happen at a later date and that the money I spent on a Professor Trelawney fancy dress costume might still come in handy at some point.

For more information on both festivals you can check out their Facebook pages for more information or for Pastaval log onto http://www.foodieexplorers.co.uk

Once again it was nothing short of a honour for me to host the Evening Times.

Community Champions awards last night.

It was the North East of the city who kicked proceedings off in style with local girl Lucy Moore entertaining us so beautifully before our awards ceremony commenced.

It never ceases to amaze me just how many incredible and selfless people we have working away in the city every single day, helping others and looking for absolutely nothing in return.

Unsung heroes until the Community Champion Awards step in and give them the recognition and thanks they so very much deserve.

Well done to all of our nominees because you are all winners and we can’t thank you enough for the difference you make to the people and city of Glasgow.