Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Poor Neglected Blog
The Clutha Vaults - The only place to be seen on a Friday night in Glasgow.
I can't believe it is almost a month since I last created a post. I have been delivering four new courses into the community and the preparation and teaching time have elbowed everything else into the background.
The courses, Excel, Kitchen Gardening X 2 and Creative Writing, are all going well. I am finished with the Excel and one Kitchen Gardening this week and hope this will free up some time to push me out into my own garden and reintroduce myself to my novel.
But it hasn't all been work. Colin won a weekend for two at the Jury's Glasgow Hotel and we thought we would combine it with the Bob Dylan concert.
We came into town on Friday night and had dinner at an old style Glasgow restaurant. It was at one time the place to be seen. We had eaten there before, on Valentine's night, but like all Valentine meals, we were disappointed. This time would be different, I was sure.
But it wasn't. I was served over cooked scallops to start. They were no match for the succulent fresh beasts dished up at the Applecross Inn. There they are so fresh you pass them on the way in still sloshing about in the fisherman's bucket.
The main course of swordfish wasn't too bad, but it wasn't that great either. The most startling thing about the restaurant was the clientele. They all looked like gangsters; old guys trying to impress young straightner-straight-haired women. It was a bizarre experience.
We needed brought back to earth, so we went for a drink in The Scotia Bar, an old Glasgow institution. A live Blues band was belting out many decibels, but a couple of old guys in the corner told me The Clutha Vaults, across the road, was better. And it was. Another live band was playing, this time seventies and eighties rock. Before I knew what was happening I was up on the floor dancing with four women from Pollock. They don't make pubs like that anymore.
After that Saturday night at the SECC could have been a let down, but Sir Bob came up with a show. He played a mixture of old and new material and his band were excellent. I hate Bob Dylan's new staccato singing style, but it was an honour to see what was billed as The Poet Laureate of Rock.
Congratulations to Carol Anne Duffy on becoming the new Poet Laureate. Let's hope she will continue with the excellent work Andrew Motion began with the Poetry Archive.