This week: why Scottish lassies are best, the greatness of Gandolfi and which Glasgow beauty salon nails it for me...
Sometimes an event comes along that blows the socks off other events. It might be because of the celebs - like the party where I chatted to Sylvester Stallone - or the entertainment, or perhaps just because it's so humbling it makes you want to try and be a better person.
They don't come around very often, but last night was an event just like that, The Scotswoman of the Year Awards. The awards celebrate the achievements of Scottish women from all walks of life: politicians to pioneers, charity workers to community champions. However, they all have one thing in common, they're ordinary women doing extraordinary things. The Scotswoman of the Year awards are now in their 51st year. Over the decades SWOTY has been there to say to the amazing Scottish women making their mark on society 'hey you, you're brilliant - thank you'. Last night's worthy winner, Ann Moulds, (pictured) suffered at the hands of a relentless stalker, causing her to lose her business and move away from her home, family and friends. But she fought back. Now, thanks to Ann the laws regarding stalking have been changed. Not just in Scotland, though, och no - she is a determined and incredible lady - she has been instrumental in making changes right across the UK and is now fighting for Europe. Judy Murray (Andy's Mum) was there too and won an award for her services to women's sport and Madalena Brown won the Editors Award. There was such an amazing feeling of sisterhood, it's not often us womenfolk get together and high-five one another. It made me feel proud to be a Scottish lass and I think Burns was right when he said, "Mother nature…her prentice hand she tried on man and then, she made the lassies…"!
This week I had my wisdom teeth out. Suffice to say, I've not been feeling very clever. So, I decided that a wee bit of pampering - like getting my nails done say - would definitely make my teeth feel better!
Ah goodbye wisdom teeth, goodbye common sense. Anyway. There are almost as many beauty salons in Glasgow as curry hot spots. However, not all chapatis are created equal. A favourite of mine, though, is a wee place on Byres Road called Revival Retreat. The therapists and treatments there are some of the best I have encountered, anywhere, let alone in Glasgow. Despite the high level of professionalism the staff always make you feel like you're at home, there's a definite 'girls night-in' vibe at the nail and pedicure bars, which is incredibly relaxing. They also seem to be very accommodating with crazy ideas. Now, I could blame my lack of wisdom.. but I think my multi-coloured nails look ace!
Like a bottle of bucky, Café Gandolfi is a Glasgow institution. Albeit a classier and significantly more tasty one. It opened back in 1979 when there were no other restaurants in the Merchant City. So unique was Gandolfi, it even had the city's very first cappuccino machine. Ooh very fancy! This week, I popped in with some pals for a mid-week celebration. It's good value, but at the posher end of my arsenal of Glasgow eateries, so I tend to keep it for special occasions. The food is always top notch, fresh and seasonal with a generous raiding of Scotland's larder - black pudding and smokies, salmon. The amazing breakfasts are also a cure for all ills, having lived round the corner when I first moved to town, and discovered the other Glasgow institution! It's one of my favourite places to go. It's solid and dependable with just the right level of quirk, much like the Tim Stead heavy wood furniture that envelopes you when you sit down to dine. Gandolfi is like a Glesga hug. And we could all do with one of those every once in a while.
Wee Bird Recommends
If you're not too chocolated out from today (what, you didn't get the box I sent you?!) Wee Bird's sweet beak recommends heading down to the Lighthouse tomorrow for the Glasgow Chocolate Festival. It's on all all day and some of the UK's best chocolatiers will be there. Sweet.