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


SALE SEASON - IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

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.

THE MORNING AFTER - AND THE NIGHT BEFORE

Thursday, 19 December 2013

St Enoch Centre recently played St Nicholas, delivering the prettiest, sparkliest Christmas parcel to my workplace - and there were ooohs and aaahs in abundance as I unwrapped each of the glittery gifts to discover individual little girlie must-haves sourced from the shopping mall to get ready for the Christmas Party and to ease the pain of the morning after.

Mossy is my hero so the stand out goody for me was Kate Moss' new Rimmel London Lasting Lipstick (£5.49, Boots) - the black diamond formula (that girl is seriously rock and roll, huh?) reflects light for the perfect pout, and a slick of red lippie is the easiest way to go from day to party glam.

The morning after box made me smile - full of soothing pieces to ease the pain away - including my absolute go-to relaxation range - The Body Shop's Peppermint Foot Rescue (£9) - equally as blissful following an afternoon of Christmas shopping stomping, as it is post-party dancing.

Party Ready (top right): Heart of Gold nail varnish (£6, Topshop), Scholl Party Feet Invisible Heel Shield (£3.99, Boots), Glam Lashes (£5, Claire's Accessories, Kate Moss' Rimmel London Lasting Lipstick (£5.49, Boots) and Gold chain bracelet (£8, Dorothy Perkins)
The Morning After (bottom left): Eye Mask (£4.50, Claire's Accessories), Alternative Mince Pie (£1.95, Hotel Chocolat), All in One Blusher (£7, The Body Shop) and Peppermint Foot Rescue (£9, The Body Shop)

Find all of the goodies above and more at Glasgow's St Enoch Centre - the perfect one stop shopping destination for all your must-haves this party season - and don't forget to check out the city's Christmas Market, situated directly outside the centre for respite from the festive mayhem, with mulled cider and the season's best Bratwurst.

GET THE X FACTOR LOOK THIS FESTIVE SEASON WITH SAM BAILEY

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.

THE ALTERNATIVE LBD

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: coolspotters.com

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 www.brelbar.com for full food and drink menus - as well as details of their 'Breliant Christmas' deals.

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 www.glasgowloveschristmas.com for more information