Cat's Eyes on Glasgow: Christmas, mac 'n' cheese and why I'm no longer Krankie about pantos

This week: why I’m no longer as Krankie about the panto, dipping my spoon into SMAC and wrapping up Christmas for Maggie’s.

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The Pantomime - Dick McWhittington

I haven’t been to the panto in donkeys. Christmas donkeys. The last time I saw a panto... I was in the panto - ‘Oh no you weren’t’.... ‘Oh yes I was’ - and I was about 15-years-old. Jazz hands weren’t ideal for my teenage street cred, which could explain my love-hate relationship with the Grand Dame of the theatre. Awwwwww.

So, I was intrigued (more than excited) to have been invited along to the Krankies’ newest festive show, Dick McWhittington. As we walked into the Clyde Auditorium, my pal confessed she didn’t really know the story of Dick. Neither did I. Something about cats? However, in true pantomime style, the story is really nothing but a sideshow.

The real delight is the Krankies. You’re not quite sure how much is scripted, how much is nicked from the previous year and how much they’re just winging it. But they dance a perfectly choreographed line between naughty and nicely filthy. There were crackerjacks of lines, such as, ‘What did I tell you last night?’... ‘We couldnae do it because John Barrowman was next door’. Well, I guess it’s no longer the swinging sixties!

The show itself has ‘3D’ effects which, like watching the Krankies themselves, does feel a bit like you’ve stepped back in time. These are the Atari of 3D effects. However, judging by the whoops and screams of delight (by myself and the kids around me), it doesn’t really matter. 

There’s something cosy about the panto - even if it’s naughtier than you remember - and if the Krankies only whip it out once a year, you’ll always be glad you came!

The Event - SMAC

Glasgow is one of the top 10 sporting cities in the world. It’s also home to the only Scottish Macaroni Appreciation Club: SMAC. Sticking these two facts together - like only cheese sauce can - is the new competitive streak the club is dishing up, Man versus Mac.

For those who haven’t dipped their spoon into SMAC. It’s a monthly meet at Sloans where Mac members (it’s easy to become one; get a ticket, get a card and pledge allegiance to the almighty macaroni) go to sample four unusual takes on the traditional comfort food, like Stornaway Black Pudding Mac and for this week’s festive SMAC, Bacon, Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Mac.

I went along on Wednesday night (and although I’m in training for the festive foodathon) I past-a up the Man Versus Mac challenge. Not just because I’m a girl. The idea is for two competitors to go spoon to spoon in a mountainous mac eating challenge - scoffing 3kg of the good stuff. Holy Macaroni Batman.

It’s a superb event and if you’ve got the guts to try and be the next MacDaddy or you’d just like a wee bit more cheese in your life, pop along to the next SMAC on January 29.

The Charity - Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres

For the last few years, I’ve helped out Maggie’s Glasgow by Christmas wrapping in the St Enoch centre. Thankfully (although, there was a wee bit of confusion when I was first asked to get involved), it is wrapping and not rapping. I’m no Eminem.

Maggie’s is an important cancer charity. Their centre at Gartnavel feels like a big hug as soon as you walk through the door (and there’s plenty of the real ones to go around too). There’s practical help, support, friendship and classes. They’re also free and so rely on help from fundraising.

If you don’t fancy having a fight with the sticky tape this year or wrapping your presents in plastic bags (yes boys, I mean you) come and find us in St Enoch, opposite Costa coffee and we’ll wrap all your gifts beautifully for a donation to Maggie’s.

*Maggie’s Christmas wrapping is in the St Enoch centre everyday until December 23 (11am till 8pm), except Saturday.



Wee Bird likes a mystery and one has just popped up in Finneston. In one of the empty shops a fabulous temporary bar has been propped up, serving delicious cocktails and tapas until the wee small hours. A question mark marks the spot... can you find it?

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