December 2020

Feeling A Bit Like Christmas

Christmas pantomime is one of the many things that this awful pandemic has brought to a halt. It is also one of my favourite assignments of the festive season. The Pavilion Theatre Glasgow decided to film this year’s show, Santa Clause is Coming to Town, with the cast in a bubble for the all the rehearsals. The show was available on YouTube on Christmas Eve. It proved so popular the run was extended to the 10th of January. All the regular cast : Stephen Purdon, Grado, Liam Dolan,  Nicola Park, Joyce Falconer, James McAnerney & Mori Christian with dancers and musicians, made it a great watch and I had one of the best days in ages. I did walk through a booth, which misted me all over with a fine spray of disinfectant, I got my temperature taken and put on hand sanitiser and was shown to my seat where I had a row to myself. It was so good watching the filming. It felt like the most ‘normal day’ in ages. The pater of River City’s Stephen Purdon and Scot Squad’s Grado was brilliant.

Glasgow’s Amazing People & Buildings

I love Glasgow’s old buildings. It’s true that they will never be built like that again. I have been privileged to be inside many of Glasgow’s architectural gems and meet some really interesting people. I visited The Clyde Port Authority building on the Broomilaw recently. It’s one of the few original buildings in that part of town. When you see old film footage of the Clydeside its always there with all the horses and carts driving past. I had to meet Tom Allison, chairman of Peel Ports Ltd.  Tom was chief executive at Clydeport before it was taken over by Peel Holdings in 2003. What he doesn’t know about the Clyde Port building is not worth knowing. We spent nearly an hour chatting about the building and its history before we started taking any pictures. Tom, who is also a non executive director at Celtic FC has been given a CBE in this year’s new years honours list for his services to Scottish Business and charities. It was a really dull December day outside, so I am glad I had my big studio lights with me. I loved the staircase with the painting of Sir Nathanial Dunlop the longest serving chairman of the Clyde Navigation Trust whose eyes followed you as you walked down the stairs. 

Happy Deliveries

I met lottery winner Sandra Devine when she collected her win back in November. It was a double treat, as she lives round the corner from my old house in Johnstone and her postman husband Martin was a couple of years below me in school. She was delivering personalised Christmas items, cards and Christmas puddings from National Lottery winners to charity Glasgow’s Golden Generation based at the David Cargil Centre in Langside. My grandpa was in David Cargil House old folks home. It really felt things were coming full circle.

Science Will Get Us Out Of This

Another fascinating person I met lately was Harper VanSteenhouse, president of BioClavis who are based at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus. BioClavis, was set up in 2017 as a spin-off from California-based life science firm, BioSpyder Technologies. I met Harper in the science labs where the company have developed, in collaboration with BioSpyder, the BioClavis Test which detects the Coronavirus virus using biological barcoding. I was puzzled, even with my O Level in Biology, it had to be put in laymen’s terms for me. “So it’s like scanning your shopping?, I asked” Harper was very kind with his reply and he didn’t laugh. I didn’t mention that I failed my higher biology. The good news about the biological barcode testing is that it will be able to test 100,000 samples by the end of January. The story appeared widely in the media and I even saw a piece from as far away as the San Diago Metropolitan. How cool is that.

Bad Moon Rising

Always have a camera at the ready I always say. Driving home I saw the moon popping up from behind the Campsie fells. I knew I had minutes before it went too high and the huge size caused by the curvature of the earth was lost. I put on my 300mm with a 1.4 convertor and using the car window to steady myself managed to get a few frames off. Fortunately there was still some sunlight coming through to put some light on the snowy hillside. The picture was one of my most popular with 470 likes and 54 re tweets on twitter. Instagram had over 150 likes with 248 on Facebook.

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