Church Carols And Cultural Celebrations Left Me With A Very Festive Feeling

Hey Readers For most people Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest when you don’t do very much apart from possibly going to church and watching comfort telly with those who matter most to you. Most people however do not have my social diary and last Sunday was and I have to say it action packed from beginning to end. 

As a regular attender at church the fact I went to morning service will surprise nobody. It may though shock you ever so slightly when I say that I went not to one service but to two at the church pictured below.


The second service was an evening Carol service at the kirk on the corner. It’s the time of year you know,  so when I heard that we were having an evening Carol service neither wild horses nor loud poets could keep  me away from it. 

At the end of the service I joined the rest of the congregation for mince pies with tea or coffee to keep the cold out and I  particularly welcomed my hot coffee on such a cold winter night and would like to thank our hosts at Lodge Robert Burns for their generous hospitality.

On leaving one gathering I made my way to another. This one was being held at The Blue Chair Cafe and hosted by the very talented young poet Kevin P Gilday  (pictured below)


You see Kevin being not only a quality poet but also a top bloke, had organised a poetry party for those of us who host events throughout the year. There was however one rule for those of us in attendance there was to be no poetry performed on the night. Yes when Kevin says we’re having a night off then believe me we’re having a night off. When I congratulated him on this innovative idea, Kevin who hosts Rhyming Optional said we work our buns off to host quality spoken word nights and give others the chance to perform so I thought it would be nice if we could just have one night off to  enjoy a bit of social time as reward for the hard work we put in month after month. This in my opinion, was a very noble idea from a very honorable man.

Amongst those in attendance were Sam Small who hosts Inn Deep,  Kevin MacLean from Loud Poets,  Adam V  Cheshire,  Anna Crow, Ross McFarlane,  Mark Mc Ghee from Fail Better, and of course the lovely Kirsty Nicolson ( see picture) who is one of the driving forces behind The Blue Chair Cabaret.


During a relaxed and enjoyable evening it was good to be able to catch up with Jim Ferguson a man who has done much for Scottish poetry in the almost 23 years I’ve known him. As I enjoyed music from formidable talents of Declan Welch and Mark McGhee not to mention some of the best cake I’ve ever tasted I was given the title of most talkative poet in Kevin’s mock awards ceremony. I regard this not so much as an award more a statement of fact and I’m sure if you asked the members of St Andrew’s church in Baillieston I’m sure you wouldn’t  find many who would disagree with  that sentiment.

On what was primarily a social night with only the occasional musical interlude I  have to say I particularly enjoyed the music of Declan Welch and I heard a version of Jingle Bells which was so funny I doubt I’ll ever be able to listen to this festive classic in same way ever again. 

On a personal level,  my highlight of the evening thanks to the kind words of another of poetry’s rising stars Liam McCormick who thanked me for giving him his first chance to perform his work. On hearing this I must admit I got a real buzz as to me at least that is one of the reasons I find hosting Words and Music such an honour.  To me there is nothing to beat giving a new performer the chance to find their voice and get their work out there in front of an audience.  As I said to Liam I was only doing for him what others such as Jim and Cathy Craig, Hughie Healy, and Pamela Duncan had done for me. You see, it was they who brought me up in the oral tradition and gave they the support and encouragement I needed as a younger poet and they expect and indeed demand that now I am in the position to do so that I provide that support to others.

At the end of a fantastic celebration of that is good about spoken word I made my way back to the village During my journey I reflected on a busy but enjoyable day in which rest was not an option and concluded that a mix of church, carols, and cultural celebrations had left me with a very festive feeling.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X


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