Archive for the ‘Glasgow’ Category

Within the space of a week, there have been three significant fires in or around Glasgow (there may have been others, but these are the ones I’m aware of).

The most recent was at a Land Rover car dealership in Motherwell. This fire was thought to have been started deliberately, and has been estimated to have cause about £850,000 of damage.

Just the day before that there was a fire in Hamilton in a disused hotel, the Hamilton Town Hotel. This building was due to be demolished to make way for a new £7m hotel.

And final, last Friday night, the fire which I’m sure you are all aware of, the second fire in the space of four years at the internationally renowned Glasgow School of Art (GSA). The fire this time was much worse, and in fact spread to nearby buildings, including the Campus nightclub and O2 ABC music venue.

At the time of the fire last week, the Mackintosh library (an A-listed building), was being restored in a project estimated to be costing £35m, was due to reopen next year.

Thankfully in each of these recent fires, no-one has been injured. However when it comes to the impact of the fire on the surrounding area and community, the fire at GSA has by far had the greatest impact. Many have expressed deep sadness, and used words such as ‘devastating’ and ‘shocking’, to describe this latest fire.

We still don’t know what caused this latest fire at GSA, and it’s also unclear whether any of the building will need to be demolished, or whether it’s going to be possible to save it.

GSA has been an iconic part of Glasgow for so many years, that for those of us who consider Glasgow to be home, it seems hard to contemplate our city without those beautiful buildings anymore. So let’s hope that once again, GSA can be rebuilt from the embers, and come back restored to its former beauty once again.

I recently read this article on the bbc news site and found it a hard read – It was quite upsetting and it really challenged me to consider how I treat homeless people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-42003888

Yes, I’ve stopped and given a few coins to some homeless people sometimes; Yes, I’ve also bought a sandwich and a drink for a few as well; But have I ever really taken time to speak to them? My honest answer is, no I haven’t – Just like two-thirds of other Scots, I haven’t taken the time to stop and engage in conversation with a homeless person.

I was recently in Glasgow city centre during the day for the first time in a while, and must admit to being quite shocked and saddened by the number of people sitting/lying out in the streets homeless, on what was a chilly morning.

Who am I to judge these people, as just like me they are human beings! The difference been them and me is they have lost everything, including all hope. What can be worse than losing all hope and having no-one to talk to?

Why do we feel afraid to speak to homeless people? What reasons do we have to feel afraid of them? Personally I think it’s probably just another sad indictment of how society is these days – The fact that the article on the bbc website states that younger people are less likely to stop and help homeless people does seem to confirm this.

What has our world become, that we aren’t willing to try to help those at their lowest?

Let’s take time to help anyone who needs help, regardless of whether they are our friend, a neighbour, a colleague, someone we meet in the street or a homeless person.

I’d be the first to admit that words are not one of my strong points, particularly when it comes to the spoken word. That’s maybe why it’s maybe stuck in my mind that in the last week I’ve heard several stories/instances of miscommunication that have all come about because of language differences.

These miscommunications have all fallen into one of the following categories:

  1. English is not the primary language of all participants. e.g. English and French.
  2. Difficulty understanding specific dialects. e.g. Glaswegian, Geordie, Liverpudlian etc.
  3. Use of local or slang terms instead of a standard English term. e.g. Dreach instead of raining etc

Have you been in a situation where for one of the above reasons has caused miscommunication in your life?

miscommunication

It’s been a very sad day today as we said a final farewell to my Mum

Margaret Jackson Watson Johnson (nee Gilchrist)

27/09/1931 – 06/09/2015

Mum 70th

I had hoped to write a tribute to my Mum today, but I’m afraid it’s just too soon for me to be able to write anything that would do my Mum justice, so I’ll save my thoughts for another day once we get back to some kind of normality (whatever that means!).

So today, I simply want to express my gratitude to everyone who has offered support and love to us during these very difficult days by phoning, visiting in person or by sending us cards or flowers. You will never know just how much your support has meant to us.

To those of you who have helped us get everything sorted out for the funeral today and helped with the funeral itself, a huge thank you.

To the many of you who shared with us today at Rutherglen Salvation Army and then at the cemetery before returning to Rutherglen Salvation Army for refreshments, thank you for taking the time to support us on this most difficult of days, we really did appreciate it.

Mum never liked making a fuss about anything, so I’m sure she would have been embarrassed by the number of people who came to say farewell to her today, as well as by all that was said about her. However, to me it simply shows how well-respected my Mum was and the huge impact and influence she had on many, none more so than on me!

Mum’s family have been a part of Rutherglen Salvation Army since the Salvation Army first started in Rutherglen, and Mum has been a soldier there for many years, so it was fitting we celebrated her life there before we laid her in her final resting place. Mum loved Salvation Army music abd she loved a “good old army march“, but as a member of the songsters (adult singing group) for many years she also loved singing. One of her favourite songs was Jesus Thou Art Everything To Me as it was also her testimony. So for you today Mum, here’s your testimony in song:

Mum you’re now at rest, and I believe you have been reunited with Dad. I miss you and Dad so much, and I will love and remember you both forever.

Rest in peace Mum xxx

Mum 1952

Today is all about options again – I’m going to give you two items at a time, and you have to choose either the option that best describes you or which you prefer:

  1. East coast of Scotland or West coast of Scotland
  2. McDonald’s or Burger King
  3. Bath or shower
  4. Skiing holiday or beach holiday
  5. Chinese food or Indian food
  6. Football or rugby
  7. One for the ladies: Skirt or trousers
  8. Saver or spender
  9. Jaguar car or Audi car
  10. Book or film

A variety of questions, some about your personality, some about your preferences. Whatever your answers, together they define who you are.

In case you’re wondering here’s my answerslogo_your_preferences_final

  1. West coast of Scotland
  2. McDonald’s
  3. Shower
  4. Beach holiday
  5. Both!
  6. Football
  7. Trousers
  8. Saver
  9. Jaguar car
  10. Both!

MerryChristmas

Everyone is always so busy on Christmas Day, with friends and family, eating and celebrating, that I’m not sure how many of you will read this blog post on Christmas Day, but in the chance that at least one of person read this on Christmas Day, I want to ask you to stop for a few minutes and pray for who are finding today very difficult. Let’s remember the reason for the season, and do our bit to spread some Christmas cheer by praying for those in special need of our love and help today:

  • Those who will spend today alone
  • The homeless
  • Those who mourning the loss of loved ones
  • Those who are ill or in hospital
  • The families of those who died in the tragic accident in George Square in Glasgow on Monday this week
  • Those who didn’t have money to buy their family any presents
  • Those who didn’t have any money to buy a meal for their family on Christmas Day

So please today, can you take a few minutes to pray for those for whom Christmas Day has not been a day full of joy and happiness. I pray your Christmas Day has been one full of joy and peace, and that you have  shared some precious moments with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas!

Yes, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are now over, so I couldn’t let these fantastic games go by without blogging about them since they’ve been in my home city!

My highlights are many, so I’m going to pick out just a few for you tonight.

5Ross MurdochMy first highlight has to be a Scottish gold medallist, so my choice is Ross Murdoch who won the 200m breaststroke final, piping the Glasgow Commonwealth Games poster boy, Michael Jamieson to the gold medal. The look on Ross Murdoch’s face when he realised he’d won gold, was absolutely priceless.

For Scottish supports it was a night when we were delighted for Ross but also really felt for Michael Jamieson who looked shocked and broken because he hadn’t delivered the gold medal that was expected of him…Michael, don’t be sad, you did your best and that’s all we can ask, you were just beaten on the night by someone who just went that little bit quicker than you.

We were lucky enough to attend a number of sporting events during the games, including several visits to our national football stadium, Hampden, which had been transformed into a top-class athletics venue. So my second highlight is the athletics, although there are a few specific events/achievements I want to specifically highlight, the first is another Scottish gold medallist, Libby Clegg who, along with her guide Mikhail Huggins, who won Scotland’s first gold medal in track in field for quite some time, and we were in the stadium to witness it, and get a great photo of Libby and Mikhail as they did their lap of honour. The best bit for me was at Libby’s medal ceremony, when the whole of Hampden seemed to be singing  along to O Flower of Scotland. Wow, what an atmosphere and what noise!

Libby Clegg

We were also present when Blessing Okagbare won both the women’s 100m and the 200m, what a fantastic show of running, to do the double. I also loved seeing the men’s 800m final where Nijel Amos beat the odds-on favourite David Rudisha, but what a gracious loser, he was all smiles when we warmly congratulated Nijel Amos on his victory.

Then there are two other Scottish track and field medallists I have to mention – Firstly Eilidh Child, the poster-girl of the Commonwealth Games, finishing a superb 2nd to win the silver medal in the women’s 400m hurdles, and again, we were there to see it. She got such a fantastic ovation from the crowd, it was brilliant to witness. But the best athletics moment for me came on Friday night when Lynsey Sharp won silver in the women’s 800m despite throwing up all the previous night and being on a drip until the morning of the race. Lynsey has also had a very tough year with injury and illness, and so for me, seeing her battle back from those dark days to win an unexpected medal, was absolutely amazing – Her story touched me, and so I was so pleased for her.

Lynsey Sharp

There were loads of other highlights, but I’d be here for a very long time if I tried to list them all. To all the volunteers at the Games, thank you, you did a fantastic job, and helped create a great party atmosphere at the venues.

But before I finish, I have to share with you my final highlight was during last night’s closing ceremony when Prince Imran of Malaysia (Commonwealth Games Federation president) ended his speech with “Glasgow, you were pure dead brilliant” in his best Glasgow accent, it was simply, pure dead brilliant!

I have never been so proud to be a Glaswegian as I have been during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, so thank you Glesga, you done us proud!

glasgow_2014_commonwealth_games

Glasgow is my home.

Glasgow is the focus of sport for so many just now.

Glasgow 2014, the twentieth Commonwealth Games.

Gold, silver and bronze medals to be won…how many will we win.

Gold medals is what we want, and on the first day of competition, we won multiple medals!

Going to watch some sports we don’t get a change to see very often.

Great atmosphere.

Great crowds.

Great support for all the athletes, but of course the loudest and best support is definitely given to the Scottish athletes.

Getting excited by the games being in my home city.

Gold, gold, gold is what we want.

Go on team Scotland, get us loads of medals.

Go team Scotland!

scotlandteam

The start of the twentieth Commonwealth Games is finally here, and it’s in my own back yard!

glasgow_2014_commonwealth_games

We’ve known for a while that Glasgow would be the host city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but it always seemed something way in the future, however we are now on the very final minutes of the countdown to the start of the games.

Like many in Glasgow and the surrounding area, we are taking this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the world’s top athletes, so over the next couple of weeks we’ll be heading to Hampden to see some athletics, the Emirates Stadium for some badminton, and Ibrox for some rugby sevens. My hubby is also heading to the Hydro one day to see some boxing, but that was not for me!

I’m certainly looking forward to seeing some world-class sport in the next couple of weeks, and most of all I’m looking forward to proudly supporting my country, Scotland!

C’mon Scotland, let’s win loads of medals!

Saltire-Scottish-Flag

A number of years ago when I was Songster accompanist and then later when I was Songster Leader at Rutherglen Salvation Army, one of my favourite songs was an arrangement of the following song by Herbert Howard Booth from our songbook:

kneel at crossI bring my heart to Jesus, with its fears,
With its hopes and feelings, and its tears;
Him it seeks, and finding it is blest;
Him it loves, and loving, is at rest.
Walking with my Saviour, heart in heart,
None can part.
 
I bring my life to Jesus, with its care,
And before his footstool, leave it there;
Faded are its treasures, poor and dim;
It is not worth living without him,
More than life is Jesus, love and peace,
Ne’er to cease.
 
I bring my sins to Jesus, as I pray
That his blood will wash them all away;
While I seek for favour at his feet,
And with tears his promise still repeat,
He doth tell me plainly: Jesus lives
And forgives.
 
I bring my all to Jesus; he hath seen
How my soul desireth to be clean.
Nothing from his alter I withhold
When his cross of suffering I behold;
And the fire descending brings to me
Liberty.

It was not just the beautiful musical arrangement of the song I liked but also the words, particularly the second verse where it talks about us bringing our whole life before God because He loves us, and has promised to love us forever. And because of that we need to let Him help us make our lives worthwhile.

Here’s the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army singing this wonderful arrangement of I Bring Them To Jesus:

God doesn’t care about our past and the wrongs we may have done then, He cares about us now and more than that He cares about our future, so let Him be your everything, and bring your all before Him today.