Tag Archive | Blogging

It’s Good To Have A Friendly Chat And Bloggers Do It Better 

​At this time last week I was bricking it and it had nothing to do with pre election nerves as to how my party may or may not perform. Trust me that wasn’t even on my radar  as I physched myself up to prepare for something which was in at least in my world, much more important. 

You see, last week marked my debut as a monthly host of the blogging twitter chat Bloggers Do It Better. Using the @BDIBChat twitter handle I had to think of at least five questions to ask the participants who would be arriving in the chat space at 7 pm 

Remembering that I had worked as an equality trainer I reminded myself that the secret to the success of the chat was just like the secret of a successful training session . In other words it was all about the preparation so it was time to questions sorted, fast. 

Having decided on the questions I then saved as draft tweets to be asked at roughly 10 minute intervals during the chat. Job done it  was time to get changed in to my smartest skirt ,get my lippy on and wait for my guests to arrive. 

And arrive they did, bang on 7 o’clock from Scotland the other nations of the UK Canada , and believe it or not Sweden. Yes those of you who aren’t bloggers may find this difficult to grasp but bloggers can and do chat to each other from just  about every corner of the globe and boy can we talk 

After getting everyone to introduce themselves we proceeded with the chat and had a  lively, interactive, and fast paced discussion which made my first @BDIBCHAT pass really quickly and the healthy turn out of Scottish bloggers and many of my closest blogging friends made me made me feel really supported and you know what I’m really looking forward to doing it a again on the First Monday of every month and any other time Claire may want me to cover. Well , its good to have a friendly chat  and Bloggers Do It Better 

Till next time 

Gayle X

Advertisements

My Thoughts On The Manchester Terror Attack

​ Last night the people of Manchester were the victims of a cruel and barabic attack as another misguided individual used religion to justify evil. 

I first heard of the attack as I scrolled down my Twitter feed to catch up the events of the night. On doing so I imeadiately switched my television on to the BBC news channel to catch up on the latest developments on this breaking story. As I did so , I was stunned and heartbroken to hear there had been both injuries and unfortunately fatalities. 

Now those who know me well will know I family in Manchester and though my cousins who are a fair bit older than me would be nowhere near the Ariela Grande  concert where the bomb blast took place, there is a possibility that their grandchildren could have been in the crowd. However, strange as it may seem it wasn’t my biological family who were foremost in my thoughts last night It was my blogging family and one member of that family in particular. 

Yes you did hear me correctly I do have a blogging family and that family are a very diverse crowd who come from far and wide. My blogging family is like my poetry, traditional music families,  a family which is both local and global and in that tight knit clan, I know and count as friends, many younger bloggers from the North of England who are shall we say of the age appropriate demographic to be attending the event themselves or taking a younger sibling along to see their favourite pop star. 

Now due to the interactive nature of Twitter blog chats it is possible to form friendships across the miles and I have developed a number of such friendships with a demographic young enough to have been my children had I been able or lucky enough to have any. It was due to one of these friendships that I gave a Twitter shout to one younger blogger who I know to be from the Manchester area and asked her to contact me to let me know she was safe. Naturally I was delighted and relived to receive her tweet telling me she was safe though she told me had been in the area and it was very scary. 

On hearing her news we had a short conversation and she said there was a sadness about the city today. This is I think underestandle in such horrific circumstances but from both mainstream news and my social media feed there seems to be  a determination not to let the terrorists win nor to scapegoat the local Muslim community.

That is as it should be, and I hope during these difficult days people  remember to cherish the diversity for which their city is known and stand proud of the multi cultural melting pot that is modern Manchester. It is by doing this that they can and will defeat the forces of prejudice and hate no matter where they come from or what disguise they wear.  

Till next time

Gayle X

As Women Went On Journeys Through Geography And Time We Waulked In The Footsteps Of Foremothers (A Review Of Home Words By Katharine MacFarlane)

Hey Readers

As those of you know me will know, I tend not to do much on Sundays as they usually consist of church, comfort food, and blog chats. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but they usually happen at Celtic Connections and not at the Edinburgh Fringe. This year however all that changed due to one fierce woman and a fiercely talented poet.

It was at the fierce women event on the opening day of the fringe which I was privileged to be part of, that Katharine MacFarlane (pictured above) said she wanted a word with me at the end of our performance. Now I don’t know why but I suspected the bold Katharine may be planning something and as it turned out I was right.

You see when we did get time to chat, Katharine said that she was doing only one show at the fringe this year and she wanted me to be there to see her performance of Home Words. Naturally I was delighted to receive this invitation but it didn’t end with the invite I was also asked to blog about it. To say I was speechless albeit on a temporary basis, would not be overstating the case. To be asked to review a gifted poet such as Katharine is not something you turn down so I promised I would attend the show even though it was taking place at 1 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon a time at which on any average Sunday I would just be coming home from church.

When the day came I made sure I arrived at the venue in plenty of time and am happy to report I was first in the queue for the show. This is perhaps less surprising than it should when you consider I had left Baillieston at 10.30 in order to let Katharine down as she had been kind enough to leave me a ticket and it’s good job I was on the guest list because as you can see from the picture below I may not have got in otherwise.

Eventually the doors opened and I took my seat in the front row of what must surely be the plushest fringe venue I’ve ever been in. As I looked around the room, it was great to see our fellow fierce women Catriona Knapman, Emma Mooney, and Janet Crawford in the audience to show their support for Katharine. It should also be noted that Lesley Traynor turned up but was too late to get in and as a result missed an absolutely wonderful with beautiful poetry, and well told stories superb woven together with traditional women’s songs to produce an outstanding piece of theatre.

After welcoming us to the gathering, Katharine started a show,which would take us on journeys of geography and time as she explored some of the myths and legends Celtic Britain and the traditions of her Western Isles heritage.

The show started with Ring Of Brodgar, in which she describes the magic and majesty of one of Orkney’s most well known landmarks in that kind of lyrical language which is her trademark style.

This was followed by Maeshowe a poem of stunning quality and brilliant visual imagary which I have heard her perform before but perhaps it was of the intimite nature of the event or because there was better acoustics in the room but I got to the chance to listen to it more than you do when surrounded by background chatter. This was beneficial to both Katharine and my enjoyment of the poem

To demonstrate her versatility Katharine treated us to the traditional Gaelic song Aliean Duinn which she sang beautifully in a language which lends itself to song because of the oral tradition of it. Indeed many songs are passed down through the generations in this way from father to son, from mother to daughter. On hearing her sing I couldn’t help but wonder if she had ever competed at the Mod as she certainly has a voice you could listen to without your ears bleeding like they do when I hear certain types of musicians.

Next up was the excellent Blessing For The Bard in which Katharine again delved in to the Celtic style in which she is so comfortable. This poem evokes memories of my western isles roots which my gran always claimed made me different from those lowlanders who sold our country out for 30 pieces of silver. My gran was a woman of strong opinions Katharine is a woman of strong talents.

The show continued with Scots Pine being the next poem offered up to an audience who hung on Katharine’s every word as we savoured the delights from a performer whose natural place is to be seated at the top poetic table. Am I biased ? I don’t think so. I prefer to think that I’m just being what I always I am namely honest, plain speaking and telling it like it is. Well as regular readers who know me will know, it’s just the way I am.

This was like the cultured version of a girls afternoon but with one very definite star attraction hosting the party.
Now those of us who’ve attended these gatherings (which in this case was 99 per cent of of the audience) know that it is not uncommon for the host of the event to have a few wee surprises for her guest and Katharine was no exception to this tradition. Katharine’s surprise  however did not come in the form of favours or chocolates, but in an activity which consumed so much energy that it made my parish ninute aerobics exercise when we are forced to actions to certain hymns look like a walk in the park.

This activity known as waulking was as a process by which cloth was dyed and was hard physical labour.  It  was a tradition known to the women of the Highlands and Islands and was strictly a job for women only. Indeed men were strictly forbidden from entering any walking area and any who did so did it at their own risk.

Before the waulking started there were tables laid with food for women to feast on and believe me I think it’s safe to say that they would earn every bite as this was seriously hungry work. I know this because as you can probably guess this part of the show was interactive and Katharine had us kneeling on the floor doing a bit of waulking to get an authentic feel as to what life was like for our ancestors.

As our host explained with waulking being such a demanding job singing was an important part of a waulker woman’s day and no topic was off limits. Trust me some of those waulking songs could I suspect get pretty bawdy and maybe one of the reasons men were forbidden from coming in to the waulking areas would be to spare their blushes as well as the shall I say potent smells in a room in which vinegar would need to be used during the process.

It is I think fair to say I enjoyed singing the waulking song and trying my hand at an activity which may have been how Katharine’s and my own foremother’s earned their living. Though quite how any woman could undertake this intensive Labour for eight hours is something I would find very hard to contemplate. I do however know one inescapable fact anyone who worked as a waulker would never need to visit a gym or consider going on a diet.

At the end of this personal training session we returned to our seats exhausted but in good spirits as the show changed location and we travelled from the Western Isles to North Wales where we heard the story of Branwen who was the sister of Bran the king of that territory. Seeking to make a political marriage and thereby extend his influence he sought the hand of one of the kings of Ireland for his sister.

This was a story packed with power, passion, feuding, but most of all one of woman’s faith and how through that faith she managed to overcome even the darkest of days and how in a hostile country with no friends or support network once her own husband took the side of his courtiers rather than his wife she was still able to hold on to hope despite all the odds and obstacles stacked against her.

Whilst there is no doubt this is a story it is a story liberally sprinkled with poetry to assist in the telling of it. The poems Listen, Journey To St Kilda , The Wishing Tree , Branwen and The Starling are all excellent stand alone poems but it is when interwoven to the fabric of this story you see their raw power and passion and in The Starling which is the last poem of the sequence you see the beauty of hope in all its gentle fragility as Branwen puts her faith in that small bird and ties a message to its wing in the hope it will eventually secure her safe return home to the land she loves which of course it does. The show ended with a reprieve of the poem Listen which is a gentle but potent reminder of the forces of nature in all its majestic power which I have to say is similar to power of women As a trans woman I claim that power as mine and I claim the right to own it.

On this occasion however the power belonged to one woman. One glorious woman who by her poems, stories, and songs enthralled all in her company and left us spellbound in wonderment as to how we could learn so much in the space of an hour.
This was an hour in which women went on journeys (there was only one exception) of geography and time and we waulked in the footsteps of our foremothers.

Love And Best Wishes 

Gayle X

Advice To New Bloggers On Avoiding The Mistakes I Made

Hey Readers

This afternoon I found myself in the unusual position of giving advice to a new blogger. As I did so I reflected on the fact that I wished someone had been able to give me advice when I started on my blogging journey.

Unfortunately, I had nobody to help me in those early days so it really was a case of trial and error and I believe that it’s been the same for many of us if we’re being completely honest with ourselves.
Thinking back I must admit there were a few basic mistakes which with the benefit of hindsight I would never made. Well as I’m sure we are all aware everyone with hindsight has 20/20/vision.

My first mistake is one I’m sure we’ve all made which was to post half hearted content on topics in which I have little or no interest. This is a mistake which is often made by new bloggers who feel pressured in to posting for the sake of it. This is never a good idea and I’m pretty sure readers can tell very quickly if your heart isn’t in a post . The nightmare with this scenario is that new bloggers decide it’s that day they visit your blog and instead of seeing you at your best which they would have done the day before or the day after, they see what they think is an amateur blogger and decide never to come back.

My next mistake was one which is so basic I can’t believe I ever made it. However the fact it is in this post proves I did make it. My error was to post quite a lot of my early posts including some of my best work as pages rather than posts.
This is a mistake because posting an article or in my case a poem in this way means that your content does not show up as a post and therefore has no links at the bottom of the page as to what you have posted before. This means that readers may not revisit your blog due the fact they can’t find links to previous posts. 

My next mistake was to have no photographs in any post until the autumn/winter of 2015. This was three and half years after my first blog post and I have to say this was at least to some extent a confidence issue which was only put right by a patient young blogger with a can do attitude that blogger is Jessica Lauren Hatcher. Looking back I realise I should never have waited so long and there are posts into which I could add pictures retrospectively but I would seek Jessica’s advice before walking that road. 

Another area where I’ve learned over time is how to make the best use of  tagging and categorising. This is where you mention people or topics relevant to the post to make it easier for people to find it and increase the number of post views.  This is, like photography an area of my blog I neglected in the early days of tartan tights. However it is something I’ve put right and I believe it has played a significant part in increasing the my blog traffic over time.  

My last mistake or at least the last one I’m prepared to open up to in this post is over ambition and believe me I was over ambitious in early days of my blog. My worst example of this came in the early part of 2013 when I tried to tackle two posts every Sunday for a couple of months and in a fit of pretentiousness usually reserved for Gordon Brown when making pronouncements on Scotland I called it the Sunday supplement. This to put it mildly wasn’t my brightest moment though I did enjoy the challenge of writing my thoughts on two articles from the Sunday papers each week.

Looking back on it what I should have done was write two separate  posts posting one of them on the Sunday evening and scheduling the other for later in the week.  That it in my opinion would have been a far smarter move and would have given me more post views during this period. 

That said however, everyone makes mistakes especially at the start of a journey. The important thing is to learn from them and move on to be the best you can be and that’s exactly what I’ve done and why I enjoy my blog more than I’ve ever done.

I hope some new bloggers may find this post helpful and avoid making the same mistakes I did.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

Since Life Began At 50 I Haven’t Had Time To Get Bored.

Hey Readers

Five years ago today I lost my job. I was made redundant I was told after almost 9 years of work that my services were no longer required.  Of course I was told that it was just the luck of the draw and it was due to the economic recession. Whether I believed that or for that matter ever will believe it is another matter entirely.  

So why am I the mood to celebrate rather than mourn? Why do I smile on this day rather than weep tears of anger, or at very least sorrow ? Well I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, and in this case my redundancy was no different. In a way I believe it needed to happen to allow me to move on to the next stage of my life.

Looking back on what was my final day, I arrived early and  I was given time to make phone calls to colleagues from partner organisations with whom I had built up a close working relationship. Trust me some of those phone calls were not easy to make and some got quite emotional especially with those colleagues I had known for a number of years.

After the phone calls were made I got on with the mundanities of what had been my daily grind such as data input and analysis and preparing packs for training courses I wouldn’t be delivering. This later activity, was especially difficult as delivering training courses had been my bread and butter and what put food on my table for the greater part of my time in the job I was now preparing to leave.

At lunchtime my bosses made the usual presentation you do when people move on and the gifts of gifts of a watches, handbags and jewellery were gratefully received. My manager gave me the opportunity to leave as soon as the presentation was over but I think he was glad when I stayed for the rest of the afternoon and finish what jobs I needed to complete before making my final exit at the end of the day.

So how do I look back my 9 years in what was an enjoyable but also stressful job? Well like any job it had it’s share of up’s and downs but I would like to think I was a good team player who did what needed done to assist my colleagues whenever I could.

Of course like all workplaces there were the odd clashes of personality over the years however I always managed to resolve any differences in a professional manner. Like everyone else it is safe to say I got on better with some people than I did with others, and it is only natural to say that there were colleagues I liked and others I couldn’t stand. Though to be fair, the vast majority of those I worked with were decent people I would always help if I was in the  position to do so.

As my boss said on my first day in post, working as a trainer is a thankless task as many people who attend courses particularly if those are mandatory do not want to be there  and it’s your job to deal with that hostility. Overall I was reasonably successful in this and had a 96-98 percent approval rate when my feedback forms were evaluated. So it’s safe to say this was my favourite part of the job. Well as a spoken word poet who has occasionally dabbled in stand up I have always had good communication skills and made good connections with many participants on the courses I delivered.  Indeed  there were more than a few over the years who have gone on to become valued friends on a personal level and three of them attend or have attended the same church as me.

Of course training wasn’t without its challenges and I had to do a lot of reading to keep up to speed with the latest developments on all forms of equalities. I also faced more than the occasional challenge to my authority in the training room usually from egocentric males who had far too high an opinion of themselves. Believe me this tested my diplomatic skills to the limit but gradually as I learned the job I would find techniques I could use to isolate them from the rest of the group.  Also as I got better known in the field participants who enjoyed the day would often warn me if someone from their work had any previous for trying to annoy or undermine the trainer. Believe me I had more informal informers than her majesty’s secret service and there was always someone in every training room who was ready to cover my back as and when required. 

It was during my time as a trainer that I started gender transition. It has to be said that transitioning at  work was a rewarding if challenging experience and I believe, though they would try to claim otherwise, some of my colleagues just didn’t get it and there were a few who complained about my dress sense even though I was smart and professional at all times.

This made me angry beyond all measure especially when you consider the fact that they received training on the issues around transition from the Scottish Transgender Alliance. However what disappointed me more than anything was that on receiving feedback from the trainer who delivered the sessions some of those who should have got it in terms of the equality agenda were actually amongst the least cooperative and least enthusiastic members of their groups.  Like I said I have my spies. 

That said however annoying as it was, this wasn’t the most annoying issue I had to deal with during my time with this employer that was but a minor detail when compared to the relentless quest for perfection. Being good at your job was never good enough for an organisation where everything had to be excellent.

This to me was madness especially for an organisation whose profile is nowhere near as high as they seem to think. It was this constant striving for perfection which caused me more stress than any member of the awkward squad ever did. I believe it was unrealistic to place such targets on the staff and I know I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Don’t get me wrong , there is nothing wrong with ambition but you have to set that ambition in context. No matter what your mammy might say to sooth your ego you’ll never play for Barcelona if you can’t get a game for Berwick Rangers, and you’ll never be part of the new Spice Girls if the only place you ever sing is with your pals in front of the bedroom mirror with hairbrushes for mics.

It is this attitude of having to be best and be on top form every day which makes me glad I am no longer working in this environment. There is nothing wrong with being good at your job in fact for most people that would be more than enough but the idea of striving for relentless excellence is enough to put people under so much pressure it could have a serious detrimental impact on the person’s mental well being. It is for this reason I’m glad to be out of my former place of employment.

It is ironic that my redundancy came just 15 days after my 50th birthday and hard as it was to take at the time I bear no malice to my former colleagues or the excellent organisation I was lucky enough to work for.

Of course being made redundant meant a few financial issues and at least until I got used to living with more cuts than your average Tory budget. Now I’m not going to lie and say I don’t miss the money of course I do but believe me I don’t miss the stress and when you get to your mid fifties it’s good to be a lady of leisure. Well being able to have woman time has meant I have been able to become more involved in my local community. It means I have been able to devote more time to my poetry and to my political activities be they in the SNP, Women For Independence, or the many other campaigns and causes with which I’m involved. Most of all of course being a lady of leisure has enabled me to start this blog. Yes it’s true being made redundant from my job as a trainer meant I had to look for new ways to occupy my time and that was how 9 months on from redundancy tartantights was born and believe me I’m glad it was.

Indeed it’s true to say there have been times particularly during the independence referendum when having this blog saved my sanity. Well you see I’m a gabby wee madam with opinions on everything and none of my opinions were being represented in the print or visual versions of the mainstream media and me being me I thought to myself if they won’t represent me then I’ll damn well represent myself so that is exactly what I decided to do and I have done ever since.

Now to those of you who may not be aware, I have to inform you that blogging is a very time consuming activity. At least it is if you want to do it to the standard I do and believe me I will never give it anything less than my best. It is therefore safe to say that had I still been working as a trainer this blog which has now become my passion would never have seen the light of day.

Believe me when I say that this has been a difficult post to write, However I would say that for me at least losing my job as a trainer opened other doors in the most unexpected of ways. I discovered that life began at 50 and as I started on the next stage of my journey I realised the real difference between men and women and it’s this. It has been said that a man who loses his job loses part of his identity and given the chance he will complain to the world that he hasn’t much to do.
This is in complete contrast to what happens when a woman who loses her employment you see no woman I know has ever been redundant we have far too much to do for that to happen.

Don’t get me wrong losing our job may impact on a woman in the economic sense and it will impose some financial limitations on her until she adjusts her budget but if there is one thing she will never be or allow herself to be it is bored. Even a lady of leisure will say she hasn’t the time to get bored in fact she may be busier than ever and complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything that needs doing done to her satisfaction. Being a trans woman I can speak with authority on this as I’m more active now than I was when I was working and a lot more active than I was before transitioning and you know I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

Tartan Tights 2015 My Year On The Blog

Hey Readers Happy New Year to one and all and I hope 2016 brings you all happiness, health, and success in the measure you need it.

For those of you who know me, it may not be a surprise to learn that my first post of this new year is a review of my last year on this virtual space I call home Well since the WordPress.com stats helpers prepared a 2015 annual report for tartantights I thought I should post on what they found.

This is an extract quoted directly from the report
‘The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2015.’ The exact total as of 11.55 Pm was I believe 14, 926. The statisticians tell me that If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. This is I have to say a pretty impressive statistic but I suppose if I want to give myself a reality check I should remind myself that my progress has been solid rather than spectacular and these figures represent an increase of only in the region of 1,500 views

Whilst happy that my views have increased, it was I think to be expected the number of comments to the blog would be down and there was around a 25 per cent drop in this particular area. This was at least in my opinion to be expected especially since we no longer had the independence referendum to engage a significant section of my readership. So overall I’m still looking at this in a very positive way. The fact that I set new viewing records for my top posts as early as January and then had my most successful ever day in September when 524 viewers visited the site shows that I am heading in the right direction.

2015 was a busy year for me as I created 259 new posts which means that the total number of posts on this blog as of hogmanay 2015 stood at 814. This means that all going according to plan I should reach my 1,000th post sometime this year probably around mid summer. I also learned that Friday was the was on which I posted most frequently with 43 posts being posted on that day. I don’t know of any of you will have theories as to why that I might be but I favour the one last rant before the weekend school of thought. Well, remember this is me I’m talking about.

Another area of success was that I managed to more than treble the amount of consecutive posts I put up from 10 to 33. This mega run started on the 31st March and concluded on the 2nd of May. So as I think you can see I was particularly chatty at this time. Why would this be I hear you ask. Well, I think I decided to take up the NaPoWriMo poetry challenge may have had something to do with it. I mean having to write a poem a day for the whole 30 days of April is I think the poetic equivalent of attempting to climb Mount Everest with only limited supplies.

Still on the subject of posts, of my top five posts, four were political in content whilst the other was my personal tribute in memory of Scotland’s oldest trans woman. They were Topics covered included The BBC, Death, Racism, and the 2015 General Election. The titles of the top five are listed below

(1) Joshing, Jolly Japes And Jibes On Jockistanis. The BBC Has Shown The World Why It Is Strictly Irrelevant 707 Views. This was the post which was responsible for setting my new viewing record both for daily views and as yet the highest total of any post in the history of tartan tights when I accused The BBC justifiably of Anti Scottish Racism.

(2) A Fighter Earns His Rest 487 Views This post was my tribute to friend and fellow member of the Shettleston SNP who died last January and this was written immediately I heard the news if you read I think you will feel the red raw pain of loss.

(3) Goodnight Auntie Gladrags 362 Views A post remembering one of one greatest characters I’ve ever known was my 3rd most popular post in 2015. Gladys Paterson was not only the oldest trans woman in Scotland she was also type of woman that once you met her she would make a lasting impact on your life. Gladys was one of those people who called a spade a dirty shovel rather than a gardening implement and the world was a better place because she did.

(4) The Bhoy From Bhangra And Bagpipes Traditions Plays Fair To Beat The Bigots 342 Views. This post was written in defence of Humza Yousaf MSP who some less than enlightened members of society had accused of supporting ISIS in the wake of the Paris bombings and was my passionate but I hope reasoned reaction to the attempted slur on the character of a decent and honourable man.

(5) On The Night We Changed The Colour Of Scotland’s Political Map I Gained Some Honourable Friends 185 Views This post was written in celebration of the SNP success at the 2015 General Election landslide and in particular their stunning victories in Glasgow a city so long dominated by The Labour Party. This was fantastic result for the Glasgow SNP activists who worked so hard to bring these seats in to our hands, and the fact that I know all of our city’s candidates and some of them are actually friends of mine was I hope reflected in a post which was written very much from the heart.

Naturally like all bloggers I am fascinated as to where my viewers come from and how they found me. In 2015 I was visited by readers from 81 countries most traffic not surprisingly came from The United Kingdom with the USA Canada, Australia, Spain, and Ireland also well represented.
As usual its the English speaking countries which dominate my list though the inclusion of Spain i who squeezed in to my top five at the expense of Ireland may have more to do with the Catalan independence referendum than any great long term trend.

As for where viewers found me, Facebook and Twitter were as expected the two main ways they connected with me. Other sites used to find tartantights include political scrapbook, Feedly and WordPress.com.Reader The top commentators on my posts were Bampots United, Last Year’s Girl, But I’m Beautiful, Margaret MacMillan, and Political Tourist. My thanks to them for their contributions to tartantights which are more valued than they know. I would also like to other regular commentators both on here and in both Facebook and Twitter, such as Annabel Marsh, Bob Leslie, Elaine Livingstone, Lesley MacKay , Maureen Fairgrieve, Monica Pitman Patrise Arts, Steve Allan, and Stephen Watt.

As for changes in the way I do things it seems this middle aged mother hen is getting more techno wise as the years go by. This time last year, I had never heard of Bloglovin let alone used it to promote my blog. Now, I not only use it I have followers on it. I have also set up Tumblr, and Instagram accounts though I think it may take a couple of years to reap the harvest of the seeds I’ve sown.

Another recent change is the fact I now use photographs in some of my blogs. In fact I believe I have uploaded 61 to my blog in the last twelve months. This is not too bad when you consider I hadn’t even put one in a post before November. The idea of importing photographs in to tartantights is something I would never have been brave enough to try 12 months but a girl who was then a teenager she turned 20 the day after my birthday, changed all that and Jessica Lauren Hatcher who writes her blog under the title Colorful Stuff has since become one of my very favourite people changed all that and I now enjoy blogging more than ever because of what she taught me. That life lesson from a girl young enough to be my daughter, was to take risks and become a better blogger because of it. This is something I hope I have already started to do and will with your help make progress towards achieving throughout 2016 and beyond.

So having said all I can on the events of the last year, let me start this one by saying that I hope the coming twelve months will be as good as you want or need them to be and that you keep on reading tartantights. After all it is for you that I endeavour to make my content as entertaining, informative, and enjoyable as possible.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

Twelve Pictures Show You The Story Of A Most Glaswegian Christmas

Hey Readers  As I am sure you will know I am very proud to be Scottish what many of you may not know however,  (though Becky Bedbug does) is that I am also very proud to be Glaswegian. I mention Becky purely because during one of our early chats she inspired a poem entitled the Unseen Picture.

The reason  I wrote the poem was because I didn’t want her or not any  other of my English or non Scots friends to get the wrong impression of either my city or my country especially since we had in rather large numbers voted SNP at the UK General Election an act which sent the UK press and media in to anti Scottish hysteria as they filled both the printed press and visual media with as many negative stereotypical attitudes as they could find. Fortunately Becky and the  other friends I have made through my blogging chats have enough intelligence not to fall for this spin regarding Scotland. Glasgow however is usually the prime target for the negative stereotypes from the BBC, MSM , and their other  associated friends. So it’s with this in mind I have taken twelve photographic snapshots of my city in the run up to Christmas  so that when I talk of a certain area or event  my new friends will get more of a feel for where I’m chatting about.  I’ve titled the post Twelve pictures show you the story of a most Glaswegian Christmas. I hope by the end of the post you feel you know  me just a wee bit better than you did at beginning of this photographic  journey.

Picture 1 St Andrew’s Church, Baillieston. This is where I go to pray for you lot on Sunday morning’s. Not that you need it of course

image

Picture 2 A rather festive  Suzanne Egerton at The Tinsel Tales event at The Gallery Of Modern Art.

image

Picture 3   Me at The Tinsel Tales event reading my  Christmas poetry. Amongst the poems I read on the day were Stocking Thrillers about an attempted present gone wrong, and Christmas Lies  (Just What I’ve Always Wanted). The later poem is dedicated to everyone who has ever had to pretend they loved a Christmas present when they actually thought or no not again another disappointment. (Both poems mentioned are posted as pages on this blog).

image

Picture 4  George Square all lit up and a fully decorated for Christmas. (If you see any political posts I sometimes refer to it as Freedom Square to wind up certain no voters) but I mainly call it George Square or even just the Square if any of you said to me Ur Ye Gaun Tae The Square (translation Are you going to the Square that’s where I’d be heading to meet you.

image

Picture 5 Mark McGhee at The Christmas Fail Better. When it comes to spoken word I just can’t  get enough especially when it comes to ranting rebellious rockers like the man pictured here.

image

Picture 6 The Tree at The Baillieston Lights This is literally five minutes from my home and is a prominent local landmark which always looks amazing at this time of year.

image

Picture 7 Back to St Andrew’s to show off Our lovely Christmas Tree

image

Picture 8 Still at Church this snap shows a picture of what no woman can ever find on a night out at the dancing. Three Wise Men.

image

Picture 9 The Staircase Of The Royal Concert Hall. This venue plays a very significant part in my Christmas celebrations as it always during Christmas shopping that I make my annual pilgrimage to collect my Celtic Connections brochure for the greatest winter festival on the planet.  OK so I might be biased because of my cultural heritage but trust me this place will be seeing rather a lot of me in January, and I can’t wait to see those friends who are and will always be part of my January family.

image

Picture 10  This picture was taken at the festive Rally And Broad on the last Sunday before Christmas and featured the band Teen Canteen
definitely gained a new fan that day. It was the first time I’d heard them and believe me I’ll make sure it won’t be the last. Yes they really were that good and the lead vocalist Carla has a dream like quality to her voice I could listen to for hours on end.

image

Picture 11  No post on a  Glasgow Christmas would be complete without this picture of The Pavilion Theatre which to me at least is the traditional home of the Glasgow Pantomime

image

And Finally: Picture 12 The one that sums up both of the spirit of both Christmas and Glasgow. Taken in the foyer of Buchanan Street Bus Station, this seasonally decorated sign spells what this time of year is or at least should be about with one seven letter word and that word is welcome and for those of you who’ve never been to Glasgow or are a wee bit apprehensive about visiting I hope this post will help you change your mind. Yes we have our problems what city of our size doesn’t but we also have a people filled with warmth, humanity, and humour, so  to paraphrase the words of Mae West maybe you should come up and see us sometime.

image

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X