an interlude

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

For those who have noticed, and to those who may not - a brief interlude at girl in the city.

Carrie Bradshaw at her laptop

2014 has not been kind health wise, and I've spent much time at the mercy of the NHS.  I have some answers, and I have many questions.  I'm tired, but also very lucky in the larger scale of things.  The year started with a brush with the big 'C' and has, so far, fallen in a much easier direction.  I'm counting all those little lucky stars out there for that.

I've found new friendships and developed existing ones - I feel very supported, and safe, and happy. My friends - and family - rock.  I told you I was lucky.

I'm in a new relationship that has over 20 years of history, and that makes me smile.  It feels good, and right - and my mum is off on her search for a hat (I hope he doesn't read that bit).

I've become godmother to a very special little girl, and seen some close friends welcome their own special little ones - I'm officially Aunty Ann and that's lovely.

I want to share my story with you. I want to share the information I have found with others who might find themselves in my same, confused and scared situation.

But I'm not ready just yet.

For those who enjoy my Glasgow ramblings you can find newer articles here.

For those who want to keep in touch you'll find me twittering away here.

And for those just passing by - hello - thank you for stopping in, do come back sometime, I promise I'll get back to talking about skincare, and gin, and boobs again soon. 

girlinthecityglasgow x


Friday, 20 December 2013

As much of a tradition as turkey leftovers Boxing Day signals an early rise (one of very few during the Christmas holidays) and a trip into town to seek out the very best bargains in the post-season sales.

This year I'll be heading straight to Glasgow's Buchanan Galleries with a list that includes a soft leather biker jacket to layer under my new GAP camel swing coat and the tiniest, most decadent little clutch box-bag for my Hogmanay essentials.

Check out my sales picks below - see you in the shops!

River Island Grey Sequin Blazer, was £60 now £25 - the perfect way to dress up skinny black denims and a slinky white vest - just add heels for an easy Saturday night ensemble.

MANGO Studded Leather Jacket, was £149.99 now £69.99 - butter-soft black leather with a rocky edge thanks to studded embellishments - layer with a double wrapped over sized snood for daytime, or a faux fur stole for an evening look.

Miss Selfridge Square Stone necklace, was £65 now £20 - an immediate pick-me-up for any of my many grey marl tees - its geometric shape is beautifully boxy and just girlie enough with this rose pink finish. 

MANGO Mirror Box Clutch, was £44.99 now £19.99 - just the right size for your touch-up kit - squeeze in your lipstick, powder and lash glue for a big night out with this adorable little bag.

Wallis Black Chelsea Boots, was £45 now £31 - I love these easy to wear little boots with their gold hardware detail - an easy throw on with coated leggings and a knit for Christmas lunch with friends.

And for those who'd rather not brave the Boxing Day sales why not get tapping those keyboards for the best cyber bargains from Christmas Eve onwards.  You'll enjoy all of your cut-price goodies delivered straight to your door by courier - and you won't even need to get out of your festive pyjamas!


Sunday, 15 December 2013

I'm risking the wrath of Scotland here, but I'm backing Sam Bailey in tonight's X Factor final.

Don't get me wrong - it's not really about the singing (although the girl certainly has a pair of lungs on her) - but this year, I've been glued to my telebox to watch stylist Frank Strachan transform the Leicester 30-something into a confident, stylish star.

He has embraced her curves with structure, clever colour blocking and some crazy good one piece action - check out the figure-flattering Wallis jumpsuit (above) customised by Strachan and his team.

Top Left to Right:  Topshop Floral Glitter Jumpsuit (£48), Topshop Mesh All In One (£38), Centre ASOS Marketplace, Warehouse Geo Lace Jumpsuit (£79)
Bottom Left to Right: Asda Embellished Neck Jumpsuit (£20), Forever Unique SUZE Black Tailored Jumpsuit (£190)

The high street is full of similar statement pieces - or why not search for an original 80s number such as this one (above centre) from ASOS marketplace for your very own X-Factor Fashion this festive season.


Sunday, 1 December 2013

This festive party season I'm embracing the LBD with aplomb.

Not the little black dress - but the little black denims.

Worn with a smart vintage wool blazer, white button down shirt and soft leather flats for work, or with over sized plaid, tan leather Chelsea boots and stacked silver for casual Sunday afternoons at the pub with friends - my little black denims are my favourite slip-on and slip-out-the-door wardrobe item on a winter morning - and can be easily dressed up at night with killer heels, silky smooth grey marl camisoles and my favourite tux jacket (white, by Kate Moss since you ask).

I recently counted no less than 9 different pairs in my wardrobe - classic skinny fit, vintage cord flares, coated, ripped and the holy-grail-killer-jeans-that-only-fit-when-you're-at-your-slimmest - to name but a few.  You might say I have an obsession - and you'd probably be right.

Mary Kate Olsen in her AG Black Denim Leggings, photo:

This winter I'm coveting a pair of Stilt Jetsetter blue-blacks from AG Jeans - slim, cigarette style and favoured by some of favourite girl-crushes including Mary Kate Olsen and Rosie Huntington-Whitely - and heck, these girls know style.

Find AG Jetsetters exclusively at Trilogy Stores alongside my ultimate wish list LBDs - J Brand 801 Real leather skinnies.  Be still my denim-clad-heart.

A Winter warming feast at Brel

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Glasgow's Ashton Lane is a quirky, cobbled street hidden behind the bustle of the city's Byres Road.

The lane, with its bumpy thoroughfare may be somewhat perilous for those tottering out West in their high heels, but a visit is worth the stumble for this street packed with quirky little crooked buildings - each steeped in history, and housing some of the city's coolest bars and restaurants.

Artisan like its namesake (1960s Belgian Chanson master Jacques Brel) Brel nestles at the very end of Ashton Lane.  Cosy and comfortable, it has recently undergone something of a makeover - but that shouldn't put fans of this favourite haunt off - things are just a little slicker, there's some new (fabulous) food on the menu - and there's a little more space thanks to a new conservatory which overlooks beautifully-lit, sparkling trees in a beer garden which will no doubt come into its own in the summer.

However it was a dank, dreary Weegie weekend that took myself and my current man in the city to Brel - for a crackling warm by the open fire, and a cracking feast in the new conservatory. 

Brel's new menu is generous to say the least.  Start with the 'small things' section and you might be pleasantly overwhelmed by the generous portions.  We shared a half pot of Moules Mariniere - a huge crock pot of mussels packed with flavour in a thick, creamy onion sauce which we soaked up with just-like-your-gran-made soda bread.  Moules also sit in a special section of their own on the menu - with a choice of sauces that includes an aromatically pleasing lemongrass, chili, coriander and coconut variety.

If you like your starters a little more on the hot and gooey side then The Whole Baked Cheese section of the menu will send you in a spin.  'The Big Cheese' (as I nicknamed it on the night) came with a board of dippin' goodies - crunchy celery and carrot sticks, soft warm rustic bread, and pear and apply chutney and quince jelly to smear on top.  We chose a fragrant Camembert, but also on the menu is Brie and the rather fancy sounding Thyme infused Pont L'Eveque. 

Mains were mmmmmeaty.  For him the venison casserole - all melt-in-the-mouth good served with hearty root vegetables, red currants and a mountain of creamy mash.  For me - the slow cooked brisket of beef, seared skirt steak, pancheta and dauphinois.  Phew.  The beef was cooked to perfection, soft, juicy, tender.  The seared skirt was teasingly pink - but a step too far for this now full-to-the-brim girl in the city, and I confess most of it went onto my date's plate (he didn't complain).  The dauphinois was incredibly moreish, thickly cut and tangy.

Perfectly content, sated with a dark berry house red and full bellies we couldn't manage desserts - but did note the retro chocolate fondue served with strawberries, bananas, praline and mini marshmallows for next time... and perhaps the time after that.

Find Brel Bar & Restaurant at Ashton Lane, Glasgow. Visit for full food and drink menus.

working in a winter wonderland

Sunday, 10 November 2013

So I'll say it.  Christmas really is just around the corner.  

With only 6 weeks or so to go the high street has got its sparkle on, and the make-you-sob-and-run-out-and-buy-presents-for-everyone-you-truly-love Christmas adverts are already on the telly (John Lewis, I'm looking at you).

While for many the time to start thinking about all things festive might only be just beginning, working in theatre means that my Christmas planning starts much earlier. 

Even though I spend my summer organising title launches and writing about wistful winter treats - the Christmas campaign is still my favourite to work on and I find myself bouncing and squealing at ever little last reveal of a sparkly tutu or glistening wonderland at the ballet.

A fun city-centre photo call with one of Scottish Ballet's ballerinas from earlier this week to launch the annual Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign.  I got to meet Santa early this year!
This year will be my 13th Christmas season - Scottish Ballet's Hansel & Gretel.  I've spent the last few weeks working on promotional opportunities with the senior makeup team at MAC, making decadent event plans with Blythswood Square and organising a very sweet treat for opening night guests.  

It all sounds very glamorous, and it is lots of fun - but it's a million miles away from my first Christmas campaign all those years ago, and one I'll never forget.

My PR career started at Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre.  One of the last-standing Variety Houses in the city where ghosts of Scottish greats mixed with big-name comics, touring boy bands and at Christmas - the pantomime.

Treasure Island featured a cast of Scottish stalwarts, the Mrs Brown's boys ensemble - with the Irish mammy herself playing the pantomime dame and a very special celebrity guest.

Now I've booked Limousine services in London for all sorts of important clients, but my first Glasgow encounter?  A gleaming, glamorous stretch limousine to take this special star to an important city-centre press photo-call.  A very special star who had to be pushed bottom-first into the limo, lay flat out in the back seat, and stuck his head out the window to wave to stunned passers by throughout the city centre route.  None other than… Mr Blobby.

And we blobby-blobby-blobbied all the way to the city's George Square - the centre of Glasgow's Christmas activities, with its sparkling lights, and traditional victorian outdoors ice-rink, where with one hefty push on his pink, padded behind I deposited our loud, hyper pantomime star from his luxurious limousine with one loud Blobbbbbby!

I'll never forget the mixed looks of utter glee and sheer panic on people's faces as he rolled over onto his bottom, pulled himself up and ran at speed straight onto the glistening ice rink, waving his arms wildly, screaming Blobby! and falling flat on his googly eyed face.  The best Christmas present ever.

The Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign launches this week, on Thursday 14 November with the big-switch on of the Christmas lights at George Square.  Glasgow on Ice returns to George Square from 23 November until 5 January.  George Square will also play host to colourful funfair rides and free entertainment in the Christmas Marquee.  

Visit for more information

Click and Date

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

So I'm a 30 something PR girl, with a penchant for Jane Austen, some experience of disastrous dinner parties and singing along loudly to power ballads when I'm home alone.

Heck throw in a pair of big pants (don't Spanx sound way sexier than they are?) and an ongoing quest to lose that last half stone and yes, Bridget Jones and I could be the one and same.

And while there have been short skirts and bad boys in both our lives, for Bridget at least true-love won over bad Madonna montages and Jones finally got her Mr Darcy. 

I on the other hand am still looking.

I'm a girlinthecity and I am Internet dating. Gulp.

But it's okay - it seems most of us  singletons are.  One in five relationships are now started online, and in the UK around 16 million people have taken part in online dating. 16 million - now that's a big fish pond.  

I've dabbled in shared online dating sessions with my best friend; searched the soul mate sections of national newspaper websites and even tried a couple of the market leaders too.  I found the freebie sites a little less 'policed' and the paid for sites more reliable - the in-depth survey on eHarmony UK meant that my matches were a little more credible (even if it did lack the 'looks like Ewan McGregor' tick box that the dating site of my dreams would carry).

I'm still waiting to click *add to basket* on my own Darcy, but the process - initiated by that first big breath of feeling brave enough to date after the end of a long, serious relationship - has been fun.  

No matter what your type, taking to the internet (try to let your bestie share all those good points you might not think to yourself - "dances like Beyonce, can recreate all the Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake histories of rap" ahem, etc) - to find a fellow Glaswegian to date is a good option.

I've learnt things about me, I've learnt things about men and I've seen my city in a whole new light too - it may have a hard man reputation but my experience of dating in Glasgow been varied. While one date spent his Saturday mornings getting down and dirty (playing rugby!) he preferred his Sunday afternoons catching culture around the city - whether that be getting all Streetcar Named Desire at the Riverside Museum of Transport or discovering Dali at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.  

Cosying up on the couch took on a whole new level in Ashton Lane's boutique cinema, The Grosvenor, where sitting in the back row became a luxurious experience on the plush, velvet sofas for two - a great date location, even if it is hard to look sexy in comedy over sized 3D glasses.

And that sparkle in his eye?  Perhaps it came from the overhead fairy lights that glisten over the entirety of the city's Royal Exchange Square, or maybe it was from one glass of prosecco too many at any of the outdoor eateries in the area. 

Meanwhile the position for a full-time maninthecity remains vacant… all online applications considered.