A Difficult Few Days On The Emotional Rollercoaster, But Stephanie’s Change Of Address Is A Symbol Of Hope For The Future

Hey everyone. The last ten days have for a number of reasons been amongst the most difficult I’ve had for a long time and I say that for a variety of reasons. There were a few highlights but there were a lot more nightmares or at least that’s how it felt as the old emotional rollercoaster got busier than it’s been for a long time.

It was 11 o’clock on a cold November evening when the skies above the Clyde witnessed the horrors which befell the Clutha Vaults. This was devastating to not only because I am a Glasgow girl, but also because this is a pub in which I used to be a regular and have also performed at spoken word nights.

On a weekend in which Scotland was supposed to celebrating the day of her patron saint the nation quite rightly went on hold and many celebrations were cancelled due to the tragedy in which nine Glaswegians lost their lives.

Just as I was attempting to recover from this horrific event I was hit by another hammer blow. This time it was more even local as my friends Katie Walker and Kirsty Hughes were the victims of a robbery and thieves made off with photographic equipment from their studio and in doing so tried to destroy a business these incredibly talented young women have taken so much time and talent to build.

To say my temper was hotter than the fiercest fires of hell would I think be an understatement I was actually in tears when I read about this wanton act of vandalism. Well it’s no surprise to say that Katie is amongst my closest friends so for some petty criminal to do this to her made me so angry I couldn’t find words to express my feelings of disgust.

However it is at times like this you find out the character of someone and I can tell you now that these young women are made from true Glaswegian Gold both they and their business KK Snaps will be back stronger than ever.

The storms of late wednesday night/early Thursday morning were another concern to me as I’m never too good on my balance in gale force winds so this kind of weather does nothing for my moods and fearing the worst Linda and I made a decision to cancel Tollcross Writers this week. Though I suppose I could have went ahead with it, I thought it was too big a risk and whilst I’m all for the idea of having the chance to take risks, there are some times you have to take a snap decision and hope it turns out for the best which on this occasion I’m glad to say it did. Thankfully there were some bits of good news during what I can only describe as a challenging few days.
Amongst the highlights were an excellent night at Words and Music as Sammy’s finished up the year in style. There will be more on this later as I write my traditional post Sammy’s blog, there was also a chance to spend quality time with one of my best friends Leanne Mackay as we enjoyed a lovely catch up and got the chance to share latest news from our busy not to mention action packed lives. Another high came on Saturday night as there was some well deserved recognition for friends and favourite musicians at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards in Aberdeen last night. I was particularly pleased that the excellent Siobhan Miller won the Best Scottish Singer award as this is never an easy category to win
So there was all that and the official confirmation that Stephanie Smith(no she is not my niece it just feels like it sometimes, well I couldn’t be that lucky) is finally moving in with her boyfriend. These were the good news stories which cheered me up during a period which hasn’t been the easiest bit of 2013.

However the last few days have dominated by tragedy, both locally at the Clutha and on a more global scale as the political giant of our time Nelson Mandela completed his long walk to freedom and died on Thursday at the age of 95. To those us who like myself are involved in the political village be it through campaigning, activism, or membership of political parties this was a time to reflect on Mandela his life and times and what he meant to us. Was he terrorist or freedom fighter? Man of war or Man of the People. Personally I would favour the freedom fighter and man of the people options and within 12 hours I had not only tweeted my views on how he had shaped my personal politics but also written my own tribute poem on what I believe will be his legacy. It is titled a great man walked among us and is if I say so myself well worth a read.

Honestly I was so engulfed by events I wondered what could happen next and I didn’t have long to wait as my flatmate had an episode of depression the consequences of which meant I missed my usual monthly visit to Bards in the Park. However at times like this, Janette’s health and well being must and will come first.

So I think you could say I’ve not had the easiest time recently and I would claim it’s been a difficult few days for not only for me but for some of those closest to my heart. However as I prayed yesterday at Church I was reminded that God will sometimes take you to difficult places before revealing the good stuff he has planned for you. For Glasgow Scotland myself and my friends that has never been more true than it is now. So I wonder if the decision of a young woman moving in to share her life with her boyfriend is just the sign we need to believe in a better future for humanity. You know if he were here tonight I think Mr Mandela may just believe that it is exactly that.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

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