Now lovely as it is, Helensburgh is a place we most commonly visit to protest about the presence of nuclear weapons at Faslane, rather than socialise. However Tommy had been asked to deliver the Immortal Memory to Burns at the Victoria Halls.
In truth it is a long way to travel after a day partying but the cause is so worthy and the organiser, Graham Hill, was so delightful that it made it so worthwhile.
Also in attendance was Johann Lamont, the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, and local Labour MSP Jackie Baillie. I have known Johann and Jackie for years and was looking forward to Johann delivering the Reply to the Toast to the Lassies and true to form she didn't miss and hit the wall. Her husband Archie Graham, Depute Leader of the Glesga Cooncil, was well and truly slaughtered by Johann's razor sharp words. All in jest of course. The whole night was full of fun and quality entertainment. The only thing I would say after a few major Burns nights is I'm now a wee bit Burnsed oot!
In Honour Of Women
On Thursday night, I'll be getting all spruced up to sit and feel totally inadequate for several hours. I will be attending the annual Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year Dinner in the beautiful Glasgow City Chambers. I have had the pleasure of attending this worthy event several times in the past and I always sit in awe at the incredible contributions to communities and amazing work carried out by the woman nominees. Every single one of them are inspirational and leave me filled with admiration. There are no winners and losers just incredible women receiving deserved recognition and praise. I have been blessed with strong female role models throughout my life. From my mother to sister-in-laws and workmates. When the going gets tough, women tend to get going and organised. From the Glasgow rent strikes during the First World War and the miners' strike 30 years ago, to the poll tax campaign and most recently the anti-bedroom tax campaign. Strong women have emerged to organise and often lead these campaigns within communities. We may be cast as the 'weaker sex' but the truth is we can be as tough and capable as any man, and our spirit and will is often greater. On Thursday night, it will be a pleasure once again to be in the presence of and honouring heroines of our communities.
Sherries And Sharing Teenage Memories
Last Wednesday, I met up with David and Joe, two old school pals of mine. We hadn't been together for over 25 years. This reunion took place because the 4th member of our wee group died just before Christmas. Although it came about through tragic circumstances, we decided to enjoy ourselves reminiscing our teenage years, sharing old photos and of course downing a few wee sherries! Glasgow's Babbity Bowsers had to consider throwing us oot. Not one story was ever finished and the time just sped by. So we're arranging another catch up night to catch up with the first.