Tag Archive | The Blue Chair

In Memory Of Catherine Walker 

On the evening of Sunday the 23rd of July  just after 9 PM I was scrolling down my Facebook feed when I saw a message from my friend Marc Sherland. This post left me both shocked and saddened as it told me of the death of our friend and fellow poet Catherine Walker who had been found dead in her flat earlier that day by Marc and another friend from the writers community of which Catherine was an important part , Stephen Smith. Marc and Stephen had made the discovery at around 1 PM on Sunday afternoon at a time when most of us would be enjoying social time with friends and family. Catherine Walker was only 55 years old. 

This picture shows Catherine relaxing at a friend’s barbecue 


Naturally Catherine’s unexpected death has come as a shock to all her many friends in the poetry community and beyond and many poets have  paid warm and affectionate tributes to her expressing their sadness at a the loss of an excellent poet and an even better woman. Her loss pains us all and to those of a similar vintage is a sharp remainder that our light can be  extinguished at any time and makes us all to aware of our mortality. 

It was her compassion for all inhabitants of our planet which made Catherine a keen environmentalist and eventually a vegetarian, but anyone who thinks that these beliefs would make this softly spoken poet one of the tweed and twee brigade whose poems could be dismissed, as airy fairy could not be further from the truth. It is my opinion that her Christmas poem Santa’s on minimum wage is one the most biting satirical critiques I have ever heard on the impact of austerity. 

Amongst the facts  I would never have known about Catherine was that she was a skilled amateur mathematician and was once married to a driving instructor and despite passing her test never drove and was as Marc readily confirms one of the most nervous passengers he has ever driven. 

It saddens me as it will many  others  that a woman of Catherine Walker’s talent has no volume of her  work to leave as her legacy. This was at least in part due to the fact that Catherine, a shy and on occasion nervous woman lacked belief to see, what others who knew her work  would describe as her considerable abilities. 

This was due to be rectified as Marc  Sherland had been  due to publish a book of her poetry sometime this year . However  in January Catherine requested that he put it on hold as she had lost faith in her poetic voice. A modest woman with more talent than she ever knew  her loss will be deeply felt by all whose lives she touched but perhaps most keenly by Marc Shetland who she viewed as her non biological brother and whose family she adopted as her own 

For those who wish to celebrate Catherine’s life there will be a gathering at The Blue Chair Cafe 85 High Street on Wednesday the 2nd August from 7 to 10 PM 

My Thanks go to Marc R Sherland for his assistance with this task 

Till next time 

Gayle X 

This post was first published on Mumble Words on 31/07/2017 

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Causalities Of Greed 

Hey Readers 

Later this month I will be reading at the January edition of  Extra Second spoken word event at The Blue Chair on the theme of Climate Change. As a Geography and Politics graduate this topic really  appeals to me and I want to do it justice by writing some new poetry to the theme of the evening. This poem freshly written this afternoon, is one I will consider performing at the event. I have given it the title Causalities Of Greed. I hope enjoy the read. 

Causalities Of Greed 

It’s been gradual 

a slow change 

which happened over time 

an environmental crime 

 caught us unaware

as we were guilty of neglect

for our living space 

our disgrace was the fact 

we failed to realise the problem

the damage it could do 

was doing will continue to do 

If we don’t change 

some dismiss it as strange 

the product of liberal thinking 

unpatriotic 

a fantasy which gets in the way of their profit 

their right to be a money making machine 

ensure their security and wealth 

those in robust health don’t think of long term solutions 

the damage pollution causes 

interested only in short term gains 

they conveniently ignore the victims 

as they watch the world chocking 

unaware they too 

will be causalities of greed 

@ Gayle Smith 2017 

As We Take An Extra Second To Share Our Tales Of Tinsel We Provide A Trail Of Evidence Of The Proof That We Were Here

Hey Readers On Day 16 I look back on an amazing day of poetry as I attended two very different though equally enjoyable events and all in the name of culture. The first stop was the Gallery of Modern Art for Tinsil Tales which for those who don’t know is the Federation of Writers Scotland annual Christmas celebration and later on in the evening I went the First Birthday Party of Extra Second Poetry at the Blue Chair which as regular readers will know is one of my favourite places to hang out. Below you will be treated to a selection of photographs of the poets who helped make this day so enjoyable for me.

In Picture (1) Colin Will performs his poems at the Gallery of Modern Art. It was lovely to see Colin as he has been and I am sure will continue to be a great source of encouragement to me and more influential than he thinks in my development as a poet.

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Picture (2) Shows another great friend in former Maker Anne Connolly who like Colin been a huge influence on me over the years and whose quiet unassuming nature disguises a poet who is universally admired by poets of all ages, and styles.

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Picture (3) Shows outgoing makar Elizabeth Rimmer looking on after handing the shield to her successor a highly delighted Andy Jackson.

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By time I had taken Picture (4) I had changed venues in the poetic game of two halves and arrived at the Blue Chair for the Extra Second first birthday party. This picture shows one of the night’s most  regular suporters and  all round good guy Sam Small on the mic giving a wonderful performance worthy of such an occasion 

Picture (5) Has one of the faces that no Extra Second would be complete without. Paul Wardrope has attended every session of the magical monthly culture fest and his raps have become an important part of what gives this night its uniquely enjoyable flavour. 

Picture (6) No Extra Second party would be complete without a picture of the man who started this excellent night the one and only Johnny Cypher. 

Picture (7) Shows the lovely Shannon McGregor making sure she is sitting comfortably to get the best possible view of the evening’s entertainment. 

Picture (8) Is my last photograph in this post and sees a force of nature so powerful her words can blow you away. I refer of course to the majestic Molly McLachlan who came down from Aberdeen to be part of this occasion. That however is what poetry does it makes friends of strangers who make sense of our world as we take a common journey on the same creative train. So in galleries and cafes and wherever else we gather to share our tales of tinsel and our musings through the years we will take an extra second and remember as we do so that our musings are our legacy as they leave a trail of evidence as proof that we were here.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

Dolled Up On The Doorstep (The Story Of My Christmas Nails 

Hey Readers. 

Like any girl I love being pampered and on day 15 of Blogmas I decided to treat myself by going to my local beautician and getting my nails polished before heading out to the Gallery of Modern Art and then The Blue Chair for a busy day of spoken word poetry. Well there are times when a woman has to spoil herself and this festive Thursday was definately one of those days

 On arriving at the salon I was in the seating area, for no more than five minutes before being taken in to the nail bar by Joan who as the boutique’s nail technican would be undertaking the task of adding that festive glamour in to my life. 

Picture (1) Was taken just after my nails were done in the CK 1 Salon in Baillieston Main Street. 

As you can see, Joan did a brilliant job in giving me the full treatment and my nails were given  a quick file buff, and clear polish before she applied the first coat of this lovely Apple Red nail polish which I think you’ll agree is the perfect choice for the party season 

As I posed for this photograph of my newly polished nails a young fashion conscious teenager who was in the salon getting her hair styled for the coming festivities commented on how pretty my nails looked.(see picture below) Now to get any kind of compliment from a teenager is very warmly welcomed but was perhaps even more so when you consider I was heading to two spoken word events in one day. 

Picture (2) My Apple Red Nails. (This picture was taken just in case the first one didn’t work 

As I said CK1 is a local business but perhaps I didn’t say quite how local as it’s less than five minutes from my home. This is really handy as it cuts out all the stress of having to go in town. Well given the choice of going in to the city centre to get pampered or supporting a local business who do just as good a job if not better.I know what choice I would make and I’d make it every time because if I’m honest  I would much prefer to  get dolled up on my doorstep. 

Love And Best Wishes

Gayle X  

I Had To Say Yes To A Truly National Party And A Night With My Family Of Friends.

Hey Readers

On a cold Tuesday night in late November when most sane people would be sitting warm in front of the fire watching comfort telly I and many friends and comrades gathered in a ciry centre bar to celebrate a very important and historic birthday which some people said would never happen. 

Before continuing with this post, I should perhaps explain that this birthday wasn’t that of a friend, relative, or neighbour. It was actually the birthday of a newspaper, a newspaper its opponents had written off before the first edition had even hit the printing press. I refer of course to The National which is the only paper which supports the cause of Scottish independence.

The fact that the paper which opponents claimed wouldn’t survived its week long trial run has now become an established part of our media shows beyond question that there is a core support for a newspaper with supports an independent Scotland and it’s my belief that developments since Brexit have the need for such a news outlet more essential than ever.

As I arrived at Yes Bar it was good to see many familiar faces from the last referendum campaign who like me realise the value of the National and acknowledge the fact it has played and will continue to play a vital role in counter acting the unionist message that Scotland is miraculously the only country in the world which is incapable of governing ourselves and prioritising the needs of our people above a  remote Westminster elite who are so far removed from reality their last known address was somewhere west of Pluto.

As I made my way through the crowd it wasn’t long before I got chatting to those around me. First up to chat was Common Space editor and Sunday Herald colomumist Angela Haggarty who told me she had really enjoyed the article I had submitted to Common Space for World Transgender Remembrance Day. To say I was delighted with her feedback would be an understatement. So I think you could say I was a very happy lady.

As I mixed and mingled on a night which was made for celebration it was good to enjoy catch up’s with fellow Blue Chair regulars Aileen MacKay (see Picture 1) and National and Common Space journalist Michael Gray (see Picture (2) with his lovely and talented college Shona Craven) as I hadn’t seen either of them since before the Edinburgh Fringe. During our chat Michael informed me he had recently moved to Edinburgh, so knowing that he likes a bit of spoken word poetry I informed him that when it comes to the fringe then the Banshee Laberinyth is the place to be during the fringe and there are plenty of great nights taking place in our capital throughout the year of which my friend and fellow poet Jenny Lindsay will be only too happy to tell him about. Like Angela, Michael who also works for common space as well as The National told he had read my post for World Transgender Day and thought it was an enjoyable and thought provoking read.

Picture (1) Aileen MacKay at Yes Bar for The National Birthday Celebration)

Picture (2) Two rising stars of Scottish journalism and very much national treasures Shona Craven and Michael Gray

To get this kind of feedback on what was I have to say a very personal post meant a lot to me as I am a serious blogger with serious opinions and a real desire to see a fairer more equal society in Scotland and elsewhere. This is something I have fought for all my life and will continue to fight for until it is achieved, so have my voice valued in this way has lifted my sprits and given me renewed determination to step up the fight. for the Scotland I believe in .

This kind of encouragement is in my opinion typical of what both the National and the yes campaign from which it was born were actually about. It is not an accident when yes voters even now talk of the yes family in a way which the no campaign can never and will never be able to do. You see when we talk of the yes family then that is exactly what we mean and that family spirit was evident for all to see in the Yes bar in this cold winter’s evening.

This was a night when everyone mixed together and chatted like we had known each other all our lives. If you’ve never been to a yes gathering you may not understand but if you have you’ll get where I’m coming from and you’ll wish you’d been among us

As I said earlier in this post this was a night to chat and to congratulate those responsible for producing Scotland’s best quality daily newspaper and I passed on my birthday wishes to the original editor and founding father of the paper Richard Walker and his successor and current editor Callum Baird. In my chat with our current editor I said that I really enjoyed the sports coverage and in particular our coverage of shinty rugby union, and women’s football as these sports are often neglected by established titles in favour of more commercial sports like men’s football, golf , and racing. Our editor’s response was that the team at the National know they can’t compete in terms of resources with the so-called_bigger titles so the decision was taken to give the best possible coverage to sports which are marginalised and may otherwise go unreported

It is this style of honest journalism without the sensationalism of other titles in addition to its support for independence which  has carved The National a very distinct place in the hearts of the Scottish public

In the two years since the first edition (the birthday edition was on Thursday ) this innovative paper has had columns from some of the most powerful voices from the yes movement such as Green Party co-convenor Patrick Harvie former Hue and Cry star and long term independence supporter Pat Kane, the best political bloggers in Scotland Kate Higgins (Burdz Eye View) and Paul Kavanagh (wee ginger dug) and one of the funniest voices ever to inhabit Twitter the one and only Angry Salmond.

As a fairly recent development in the print media The National hasn’t been slow in embracing new ideas as I illustrated by the fact they’ve given bloggers and digital media commentators a platform to air their views but more than that it have made a positive contribution to challenging the gender imbalance within journalism and more than any other paper it has given voices to talented female journalists. Prominent amongst this talented team of excellent women writers are Cat Boyd who was one of stars of the yes campaign in 2014 the SNP MP for Clackmannanshire and Dumblane,Tasmina Ahmed-Sheilk, her party colleague and Scottish Social Security minister Jeane Freeman MSP, former Scottish Socialist MSP Carolyn Leckie features Editor Janice Burns and one of Scottish journalism’s brightest stars Shona Craven.

In what an enjoyable and entertaining I had the pleasure of enjoying detailed and interesting chats with Janice and Shona and found them both to be brilliant company During my chat with Shona, she asked if I had ever written to the paper. When I confessed that I hadn’t she told me to get busy and write to the letters page as we need to see more women writing to the papers and expressing their opinions. Well, as she says men don’t hold back in their opinions so we shouldn’t hold back in saying what we think. As those of you who know me will know, this is something I’ve never done and I’ve no intention of starting now. It is however gratifying to receive this kind of encouragement from the likes of Shona and other journalists as it is heartening to know my opinions are respected and it gives me a wee bit more motivation to take my blog to the next level wherever that may be.

Aside for the serious business of mixing with the journalists it was also good to spend time with friends I haven’t seen for longer than I care to remember. One man who could definitely come in to this category is former Scottish Socialist firebrand Alan McCoombes who had travelled down from Dunkeld to be part of the celebration and is pictured below with his daughter Katie.As we chatted Alan told me how much he was enjoying life in the heart of rural Perthshire.I have to say he’s looking well on it I think the country air must be suiting him, it’s certainly a long way from Govan where we fitst met more than 20 years ago. It is however safe to say that though there may have been a change in our personal geographies since we first met there has been no change in our shared vision of a fairer more inclusive Scotland and the belief that independence is the best way to bring that vision to reality. 

Picture (3) Alan and Katie McCoombes both say to being part of yes family.

As I left the party to make my way back to the village I reflected on a lovely night which proved beyond doubt the spirit of the yes campaign is despite what our opponents would say very much alive. You see try as they might to divide us there is a core support who actually have become like an extended family and when push comes to shove will support each other in whatever way we can and take real pleasure in hearing of other’s successes. This unbreakable bond is what made yes campaign the most unique in Scottish political history and led to formation of the National to articulate the values, views , and visions for which we are proud to stand.

Like any family we will have our occasional disagreements but that’s allowed and indeed cherished as we all have slightly different ways of doing things and our particular talents to bring to the table. I mean me and Shona had a difference of opinion over Donny Osmond but we never fell out about it. Well, just because she doesn’t think he’s the most gorgeous man ever born doesn’t mean I don’t value her opinion. In our yes family, debate is encouraged not stifled as nobody imposes their will from on high and tells you what to think

As you can probably tell, I am very proud to be part of this dynamic collection who have been a fantastic advert for Scotland and the fact we have our own newspaper to give voice our to concerns in a way that the unionist press never will is a very heartening development as it is something which only four or five years ago would have been dismissed as unrealistic and written off as an impossible dream.

We should I think be very proud of how far we’ve come in what is a very short time. We have I believe changed the political landscape of our print media and cannot be dismissed as a passing phase no matter how much some of our more vitriolic opponents may want to do so. No matter what the unionists think the National is here and here to stay and that is why when I received an invite to attend this celebration I had to say yes to a truly national party and had a lovely night with friends because I did.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

The Girl The World Never Knew Has Become The Woman It Does. (My Thoughts On Transgender Remembrance And Why It’s A Matter Of Honour)

Hey Readers

Yesterday being the first Saturday of the month I made my way to T-Time. For those of you who don’t what T-Time is, I should explain that it’s a monthly social group for trans people which meets in the west end of the city to provide peer support and the chance to meet other people who are going on similar journeys to myself in terms of their gender identity.

Whilst every T-Time has its own unique flavour the November one is always a bit more poignant as it’s the month of remembrance not only for the fallen of world wars and other conflicts but also for the trans community as this the month when we remember all our trans brothers and sisters who have been killed or have taken their lives because of societal pressure to conform to their biological gender.

This year saw a reasonably large turnout at our venue in the West End of the city with trans women outnumbering trans men as we always seem to do on these occasions. After our social time we watched a documentary entitled Trashing Transphobia in which a researcher from the University of Sheffield interviewed a wide range of my trans people of both genders and various social backgrounds in an attempt to tackle some of the myths and stereotypes which are commonly held about trans people.

One of the first things she tacked was the idea that being trans was a new phenomenon when in fact it goes back to the earliest times in human history. It I think important that this history is documented for future generations of trans people so that they know they are not alone or the first to face their struggle.This would also be a very useful weapon in the war against transphobia which sadly still exists in every country in the world even the socially liberal nations such Scotland, the UK , and United States and the picture below shows the truth with shocking statistics. 

Picture (1) Every picture tells a story and this tells the story of a prejudice that some in society seem to believe is acceptable.

Picture (2) This picture tells us what we are commemorating and the candles remind us why this commemoration is necessary as we remember those no longer with us who were denied the right to be themselves.

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I must admit I enjoyed the documentary and it raised many interesting points which highlighted the fact that when you bury all the myths and prejudices which tend to be based on fear , ignorance and lies from the tabloid press we are just the same as anyone else with the same hopes, fears , dreams, and ambitions as our family, friends, and neighbours yet we face the kind of open discrimination that if it happened to a disabled person or a member of a minority ethnic group it would quite rightly be called a hate crime but most trans hate crimes go largely unrecorded.

This is something we need to put right after all trans people whether the bigots know it or not are covered by the 2010 Equalities Act. Though wheather or not many businesses and organisations know this I’m not sure. As for my own personal experience of my trans journey I have to say it has improved over time and I now get very few stares or catty comments especially in my local area. I think part of the reason for this success is the fact I am not only a political activist for the SNP but also a regular attender at my local church so I am a well known face and have built up some strong friendships with people of all ages which gives me the chance make inroads into all demographic groups from pensioners to teenagers. So you could say that that I’m having a reasonably easy transition, unfortunately however, not all trans people have quite as smoothly as I have and believe me geography matters almost as much as hormones when it comes to transitioning.

As regular readers of this blog will know blogging is not my only form of expression I am also a poet and have performed my work at venues throughout Scotland so I am unlike many trans people confident to present myself in public though it wasn’t always like this and I am the first to admit the fact. 

What I will say however is that living part time gets you nowhere and far from helping your confidence I believe it may actually hold trans people back as we spend far too much time worrying about what others might think.  This was   certainly my experience of it and speaking  from a personal perspective I believe it may have delayed my development and been responsibile for years of claustrophobic misery as I attempted to stay in a closet which was too small for my talent, intelligence, and personality. I know that for some people this will not be as easy as it has been for me shaped as they are by personal circumstances but I truly hope they can and will at their own pace be able to reach a place where they can finally be themselves. 

As for me I reached the point of no return in December 2008 and have never once regretted my decision. As  a celebration of my journey, I have decided to post a selection of photographs which show me at different stages of my transition so you can see the changes from the early days till now.  

Picture (3) This is me at the Gallery of Modern Art performing some of my poems at a Valentine’s themed reading in February 2011  As you can probably tell by my outfit I had arrived from my then place of work to participate at this event. 

Picture (4) Shows me with my good friend and adopted poetic niece Sophia Blackwell at the Banshee Laberinyth during the 2013  Edinburgh Fringe. 

In Picture (5) We move forward to September 2014 and  the final Saturday of the independence referendum campaign where I proudly pose for a photo opportunity with one of the brightest stars of the Yes campaign the lovely Saffron Dickson as we enjoyed a short break from leafleting duties on a very busy day. 

Picture (6) Takes me back to the Edinburgh fringe in August 2015 and in this shot I stand with the best comedy double act in Britain the wonderful Norris And Parker 

Picture (7) is taken earlier this year as I rock the mic at the first birthday party of the Blue Chair open mic. 

Picture (8) Sees me pictured with the real first lady and has nothing to do with politics as I  smile for the camera with the real driving force behind so many events in the West of Scotland cultural calendar the lovely  Pamela Duncan. This picture was as we celebrated an excellent first night at Pollok Ex-servicemen’s club which is the new home of the night that will forever be Southside Words and Music. 

Picture (9) Was taken at the Paisley Women For Independence spoken word event and I think shows me looking  at my most powerful and determined with a look that says I’m a woman and I’m an independent woman with a mind of my own.  As you can see that look  has gradually changed over time as my shape has begun to evolve. 

As you can see from the selection of photographs chosen for this post  poetry features prominently in my life so it was no surprise to me that I was asked to perform a couple of my trans related at the commemoration. The first of the  poems I selected were The Lemon Dress which relates the story of a very girlie pre teen who had no sisters whose hand me downs would have been heaven sent and so had to rely on her mother’s fashion choices. This was hardly cool for a 11 or 12 year old even in the 1970’s and I hope this poem illustrates the challenges faced by trans girls before the term had even entered the public domain. 

I followed this up by performing A Story To Tell which I think is one of the most open and possibly even brutal accounts of my trans journey. This like Does My Lipstick Scare You which I read at this day last year shows my confidence and belief in myself but also takes the listener to some dark and uncomfortable places the kind of places trans people know only too well. 

Over the past few years I have read a number of my trans related poems at a range of spoken word events, indeed when I read Two Hours at the Boomerang Club in August I was  told by one of the event hosts that it actually moved him to tears. Whilst I was slightly taken aback  by the reaction to this poem which relates the story of the geography of isolation which is faced by young trans people in rural Scotland, I was delighted my poem was perceived to have expressed the  sentiments concerned in such a powerful and thought provoking way.  

If trans day of remembrance has taught me anything over the years I’ve attended this event it is that it isn’t for others to judge me despite what some may think. Being trans is not a choice you make out of boredom it is part of who you are and should be respected as such without defining you. I knew long before high school I was one of the girls and on this commemiration day I give thanks that the girl the world never knew has become the woman  it does. 

Love And Best Wishes 

Gayle X 

We Lived To The Mex When The World Came To Glasgow  And  I Said Yes To A Night With The Girls And Memories Made By Music 

Hey Readers

It’s now almost a third of the way through September so why I am just getting ready to post my photographic journey through July? Well this can be explained by one simple fact which is that as from the 1st day of August all roads lead to Edinburgh and the fringe takes over my life. For anyone who doubts this I would ask you to talk to my flatmate and she will gladly confirm the truth of that comment.

This is only my second post of this nature, my first being on my journey through June. At first I thought this would be a one off but it proved far more popular than I thought so I’ve decided to make it a regular monthly feature.

Like most months though there will be the odd exception my July started at the Words and Music event I host at the Pollok Ex-Servicemen’s Club which is known to us as the Tin Hut and the first picture shows our featured writer for July in full performance mode.

Picture (1) Anna Crow has the audience hanging on every word during a magnificent set as featured writer.

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Picture (2) Shows featured musician Steve Clark as he makes a welcome return to the Words and Music stage. This was Steve’s first appearance at our event for far too long and he reminded us what we’d be missing with an excellent which concluded with his unofficial anthem Jock Tamson’s Bairns getting everyone singing along.

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Picture (3) Is another from the Tin Hut. This one shows Alex Cuthbert looking serious as he focuses on the stage. In this picture Alex is joined by A C Clarke seated closest to the table with Robin Cairns looking on from the back

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Picture 4 Was taken on my first visit to the Homeless World Cup which was held in Glasgow between the 10th and 16th July and shows Brazil and Bulgaria showcasing their skills in the George Square sun and though Bulgaria had their moments the game was won comfortably by the samba boys as Brazil won 7-2 

Picture (5) Was taken at another high scoring game between two of Europe’s most powerful nations when it comes to the 11 a side as Germany and Belgium showed us their skills in the sunshine. I can only think that the poor attendence might be due to the fact their game clashed with the Brazil one. 

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Picture (6) Shows yours truly in a selfie with with those lovely  lads from Northern Ireland who insisted I have my picture taken with them and since they were such nice lads this was an offer  I couldn’t refuse 

Picture (7) Shows a happy smiling Scotland team before their match with Indonesia later that night.

Picture (8)  Shows my friend and fellow poet Derek Read in thoughtful mood as he concentrates on the quiz at the Rainbow Spoon event at the Spoon Cafe. I have to commend the wee man on his form that because he was in my quiz team and believe or not we actually won.

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Picture (9) Illustrates multi culturalism Glasgow style as a member of the Mexican coaching staff swaps his Sombrero for more local attire and embraces his inner Weegie in a See You Jimmy hat.

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Picture (10) Shows the power of women as Frances McGlinchy in green and Catherine Baird in red stand proud at  Buchanan Street steps  against the twin evils of  Trident and Racism.

Picture (11) Shows a woman with a message for a better world as Green Party Councillor Martha Wardrope addresses the gathering on the dangers of racism and scapegoating those that the mainstream media would have us see as other. 

Picture (12) Demonstrates the diversity of those attending the protests with banners representing both the LGBTI community and the Scottish Green Party 

Pucture (13) Shows one of the most familiar and welcoming sights in our city a Saturday afternoon busker. In this case the busker Anna Shields had a lovely relaxing style I really enjoyed listening to and since picture was taken I have checked out her music on the internet and I recommend you do the same. 

Picture (14) Shows Argentina playing to the crowd by displaying both The Saltaire, and The Lion Rampant, before the plate final against Gteece which they went on to win 3-1 

Picture (15) Scotland do the huddle before our ladies take on Chile in the their Homeless World Cup third and fourth place play off 

Picture (16) Shows Scotland on the attack in the early stages of the game. If memory serves I think we scored from this build up but it wasn’t enough as Scotland lost a thriller on penalties after a 6-6 draw.

Picture (17) Scotland and Chile take the applause of the crowd together after their third place play off 

Picture (18) Shows Women of all nations whose countries played their part in the tournament but failed to reach the final including Argentina,  Chile, France ,India , The Netherlands , The USA, and Scotland. This is a particularly powerful image it shows Women forging friendships in the name of both sport and sisterhood and destroys the myth that football is just a boy’s game.  

Picture (19)  Team England players are happy to pose for the camera after playing their final game which by a strange coincidence was against Scotland who won 6-4 much to the delight of the very neutral home crowd.  

Picture (20) Shows Hannah from Team England cheering from the stands during one of the games. I promised her I would put her picture in my review of the month as you can see I’m a woman of my word. 

Picture (21) Shows a cracking example of Double Dutch as Tess (left) and Mandy (right) show that for the Netherlands total football also means total equality.

Picture (22) Shows Me in a selfie with Tammy from Team America as we form The United States Of Womanhood.  

Picture (23) is one of my favourite ever pictures as I proudly pose with Diana from Team Argentina who told me she felt like a real star because I wanted a picture with her. Well as far as I’m concerned she is a real star and always will be I just hope things go well for her now she’s back home and I hope she has the kind of life I would wish for her.

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Picture (24) Is definitely one for the Blue Chair gallery as finally get a selfie with the only footballer I know whose sang songs in her Scotland strip the one and only Courtney Lynn

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Picture (25)  Shows the men of Chile and Russia as the battle it out in the bronze medal play off which was eventually won 3-1 by the Russians. 

Picture (26) It was time for women to shine and contest the Women’s World Cup Final where Mexico Kytgyzstan who had beaten Scotland in the semi final Mexico however were a far more difficult proposition and though Kyrgyzstan were deserved silver medallists there was no denying the Mexicans as they won 5-0 in a one sided final.

Picture (27) This picture shows the Kyrgyzstan girls receiving their runners up medals after their defeat by Mexico in the Women’s Homeless World Cup Final. These women were a credit to their country and their sport during a tournament in which they made many friends and put their country on the map when it comes to this version of the beautiful game.  

Picture (28)  The Mexican women go on their lap of honour after being crowned Women’s Homeless World Cup Winners 2016 after  their 5-0 victory against Kyrgyzstan   

Picture (29) Shows Brazil lining up for the men’s final in the Homeless World  Cup against the highly rated Mexican team who were chasing a double with their women already having won their tournament in very impressive style. 

Picture 30 Sees the Mexican team on what Lady GaGa would call the edge of glory as they get ready to face Brazil in the Samba Saturday showdown. 

Picture (31) Shows Brazil on the ball in one of their rare moments of inspiration in a final in which Mexico had the majority of the ball and the moves as they won the men’s Homeless World Cup 6-1 so for all their entertainment  the final to paraphrase a well known bit of Glasgow chat was not Pure Dead, Braziliant and they had to be content with the runners up medals on this occasion. 

Picture (32) That Champion Feeling Mexico Players celebrate with the crowd as the Brazilian players wait for their runners up medals. 

Picture (33) As poetry rock star Jenny Lindsay is captured chatting to one of the rising stars of the spoken word scene at the Extra Second event at the Blue Chair Kieron Murphy poses for the camera.

Picture 34 Shows Molly McLachlan telling it like is at Extra Second. 

Picture 35 Shows a woman of words of and wisdom take an East End voice to the West End of Glasgow as Victoria McNulty demonstrates why I believe she is the best new talent on the Scottish poetry scene during her featured headline act at Cafe Rio on the last Monday of the month

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Picture (36) If poetry is the new rock ‘n’ roll no one has told Gabriel Featherstone who is the best dressed comedian in the history of the Blue Chair where this picture was taken in the calm of summer’s evening whilst I was waiting for the fringe to start.

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Picture (37) It could only happen in Glasgow. If you can’t afford a guard dog to watch your car get a seagull. Well there a lot more independent and there cheaper to feed. Whilst dogs demand their dinner this lot are happy with crumbs of comfort 

Picture (38) This is one of Glasgow’s top tourist attractions. As the Duke of Wellington sits outside the Gallery of Modern Art he’s always had a cone on his head for a good few years. So when the city’s ruling Labour Party tried to remove it the move was viewed with such anger by the local population that an imeadiate petition was started to demand they do no such thing and was signed by 15,000 angry Glaswegians. Now call us schemers if you like but I think the fact that Glasgow citizens have also given his horse a cone sends out a very clear message to our city guardians you may mess with us but you will never ever beat us.

Picture (39) Sees me posing for a selfie and that selfie resulted in me posting my first outfit of the day post. 

Picture (40) Was taken at the square as I call George Square on the final Saturday of the month at the latest march and rally for independence. The picture shows not only the flag of Scotland but those of Catalonia and Palestine which like Scotland are also ruled by governments which don’t have their interests at heart. Indeed in the case of Palestine the people are ruled by such a ruthless neighbur they would even make the Tories look good by comparison. 

Picture  (41 ) Shows a collection of motorbikes parked in the square that it would be a boy or girl racer’s dream. These however are no ordinary bikes they belong to Bikers For Yes who provide cracking displays for the independence movement whenever they are needed and always add to the occasion at all our marches. 

Picture (42) Shows some of the merchandise on sale at the stalls.

Picture (43)  This T-shirt has to be my favourite fashion item seen at the march. I think I’ll need to get one so that unionists will stay out of my way and keep at a respectful distance from me.  

Picture (44)  Has a very clear message and neither May or Corbyn or any of their heirs and successors  will ever be able to change it. We will never give up on our country and we will never be defeated. The fight will go on until they get this message loud and clear.  We are and always will be 

And finally Picture (45)  Was taken later on that evening  outside the Kings Theatre as the music had switched to music or to more specific musicals and I had enjoyed one of the  best ever shows I’ve ever seen as along with loads of other women of a certain age I rolled back.the years  at Jackie The Musical which was based on the popular magazine of that name which was compulsory reading for teenage girls for the 25 years between 1964 and 1989 and peaked in the 1970’s when the now fifty something women like myself made up the bulk of the Jackie Generation. This was a night of unashamed nostalgia when I and the rest of the audience which was about 97 per cent female and 90 per cent women who are now mums and even grans  found our singing voices as we travelled back to our youth remembered the golden days when all we had was puppy love and the occasional summer love sensation and Donny Osmond and the Bay City Rollers were the poster boys of our dreams

With this final picture I completed my journey through July and it’s fair to say that this month offered me more variety than I ever thought possible during a month which for me at least has always been one of my quieter periods  of the year. As I look back on my birth month I think I can say I had a enjoyable and entertaining time in which we lived life to the Mex as the world came to Glasgow and I said yes to memories made by music. 

Love And Best Wishes 

Gayle X