It is many a SM fan’s holy grail, to go to Taormina for a stay at Villa Angela.
I was mulling over the idea again tonight. Looking at what’s available at the hotel and checking plane fares from Luton to Catania around my birthday.
The idea of spending my 49th birthday there is mildly alluring. I’d rather much go for my 49th than make a hoo-ha about my 50th.
OH MY GOD! I AM TURNING 50 next year! I can’t! I’ve wasted too much of my life being an absolute useless waste of oxygen! And now I am going to be 50. WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE?! Absolutely fuck all is the answer for the vast majority of it!
I dunno. I don’t know if the place really appeals. I mean…Sicily looks lovely. The views of Mount Etna from Tao in general look stunning. But as for VA itself? I don’t feel the pull to it that others do. I feel more like I am being coerced into the notion of it, you know?
“REAL FANS” go to Villa Angela. Well, Kerr can blow it out his arse if that is something he actually thinks. I’d actually rather visit Toryglen in all honesty. See the humble beginnings rather than what the success has bought Mr Basil Fawlty.
But would I? Am I rebelling for the sake of rebellion? Am I kidding myself I don’t want to go? I certainly don’t want to go in the hight of summer! I have no desire to go in July or August. I’m not even sure I’d want to see a SM gig at the Teatro Greco.
MY “holy grail” of places to see Simple Minds perform is in Oz. Sydney highest of all, but Melbourne and Adelaide also would be wonderful to see.
And probably still a pipe dream, for who knows when they’ll be out there next? Other that? The other place to see them play that I really wanted was Barras and that’s been ticked off the list 🙂
Maybe I’ll do VA next April. The only months that appeal to me for going there are either April or October.
I was never sure I wanted to shatter the myth of the dream of meeting Jim and now…well, it’s been several encounters now (I bet he’s absolutely sick of the sight of me…stupid bint that I am). I kinda feel the same about VA.
After not a super long but very solid night’s sleep, I awoke to see…although an overcast sky, high clouds and dry conditions. It seemed promising. I looked at the forecast which seemed to say although it was dry now (around 8am), it wasn’t going to last and it would be a dodge of sunshine and showers for most of the day.
I had to check out of the hostel by 10am, so after some social media catching up, I got myself ready and out the room at 9.45. The weather was still dry at that point but had clouded over quite a bit more.
I stopped in for breakfast at the Bucket List Cafe up on Cambridge Street. I had scrambled eggs served with toasted sourdough and a very strong but very nice latte (and a second). By the time I left the cafe the weather had turned decidedly “dreich” and only got heavier as I walked along. I stopped under some shop facades because although I was protected enough by my umbrella, my cloth backpack wasn’t and I was getting worried about how wet things inside of it would get. The rain eased after several minutes and I walked onwards to the Kelvingrove.
My plans had chopped and changed over the weeks prior to arriving in Glasgow. Initially I wanted to see the Linda McCartney Retrospective, take in the Clyde, go down to Barras and Merchant City, have something to eat at a Cafe/Bar called Mono (with a fully vegan menu), then go back up to the Cineworld to catch a film before getting on the red-eye coach back to London. Then I thought, maybe with it being summer and the potential for good weather, I could go to the cathedral and then necropolis instead of the exhibition.
It was all change again when the weather seemed uninterested in playing along. So on I went to the Kelvingrove. Along the way, as I was making my way along Sauchiehall Street, just as I am walking by Royal Crescent, along comes this man on a bike. He’s in full MAMIL regalia and helmet…but there was something in the eyes. As he rode past me, he looked at me. I was drawn to those eyes. There was something familiar about them. Wishful thinking, I am sure…for one hopes that every street corner they turn into that you’ll see a familiar face. One hopes the serendipity would allow such a thing. It did with Derek once. Up in Glasgow for the Walk Between Worlds album signing, me and the OH were making our way back into the city from up the West End. As we’re walking down Argyle Street, who should we see walking along in the opposite direction but Mr Forbes. Well, I spotted him anyway. The OH was none the wiser. Lol. Did I make myself known or say hello? Hell no!
Anyway…Jim in lycra? Jim riding around the city on a bike? Naaaah! Doubt it.
The weather was still pretty dreich by the time I got to the museum, so the right choice was made. I left my bag in the cloak room and wanted to sit and have a coffee before going into the exhibition, but both cafes in the museum were heaving – it had just gone midday. The exhibition itself seemed relatively quiet and had no queue to go in so I decided to get straight on with it.
Souvenirs from the exhibition
Linda McCartney postcards
As you enter, you’re greeted with photos of a young Linda before her photographic career takes off. One or two self-portraits and then very early work of her capturing the Rolling Stones in New York on the Hudson in 1966 and some images of The Doors taken in 1967. To my surprise there were two wonderful photos of Linda that had been taken by Jim Morrison on display. I have to say, based on those two photos alone, Morrison himself wasn’t too shabby behind the lens!
Obligatory as it would be, there were several of her earliest photos taken of The Beatles and of Paul on his own. And there were also some absolutely stunning photos that Paul had taken of Linda.
The next room focussed more on later Beatles photos, mostly ones taken at Abbey Road, one of when Paul and Linda got together. And there were early family photos of Paul and Linda together and of Paul with Heather, Mary and Stella.
Elsewhere there were two sets of displays of polaroids showing intimate family life. Wonderful colourful images of the family on holiday and of local life in the places they went to. Life on the road, touring.
In the final room was a display of work dedicated to Scotland, incorporating family life on the farm as well as everyday life for the locals.
It was a really extensive retrospective with a lot to see. I really enjoyed it. I grabbed myself a few postcards from the gift shop on the way out.
As I left the museum I thought “Oh well, I’m down this way, might as well have a doughnut.” I walked over to the store on Old Dumbarton Road but it was quite full and still quite warm from the heat of the previous few days. I decided against it and headed on down towards the Clyde.
What’s better than a jamboree? ….
By the time I got down to the Clyde, the clouds were parting and the sun was making a full appearance. And by the time I got myself down to King Street and to Mono, the clouds were high and distant and the sun was glorious. It was quite warm inside Mono, so I thought I’d indulge in an alcoholic drink. I looked at the specials on the board and saw among the options a kumquat margarita. I knew kumquats are citrus so I thought it would be a rather refreshing thing to have on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was delicious. I could have easily had another had they not been expensive and had I not feared getting tipsy. For my main I had the Schnitzel – served with roast potatoes (they didn’t seem roasted rather than boiled, with skins on) miso mustard cream, salad and beetroot chutney. It was really nice. And I indulged in a dessert of apple cake, served with a scoop of ice cream on top. It was all really delicious and the decor inside is nice. I’d definitely go there again. And there’s a music store within called Monorail. I had a look around, but nothing took my eye.
The Kumquat Margarita
After leaving Mono, I headed for Gallowgate and to Barrowland. It was the only point I had to get my phone out and refer to Google Maps. I knew I wasn’t far from there but I couldn’t quite get my bearings. I wanted to go to Barras so I could see the “Oor Ziggy” statute. There is a bucket trail on again this year. Last year it was penguin statutes and this year it is various decorated versions of Oor Wullie. The weather being as it was, I didn’t get to see as many Wullies (pun absolutely intended!) as I’d have liked. Lol. But I did see some. And I now realise, I missed seeing the one with Jim’s name on it. Damn! But I did get to see “Oor Ziggy”. Below are the Wullies I spied while I was up there.
Personalities of Glasgow
Life and Earth
I walked back through Merchant City and the market and had a quick perusal. I didn’t really see anything I fancied. Well, I saw one thing. A little plaque that said “Hame Sweet Hame” that I was tempted to buy to hang in the house that will be our hame that I hope we’ll buy within the next 12 months or so.
Another pit stop for an ice coffee and then up to the Cineworld for a film. I was hoping that, to tie in with seeing the exhibition earlier in the day, I’d get to see Yesterday. I got to Cineworld at 6.45 and the next screening of Yesterday was on at 7.50. It wasn’t due to finish until 10.15 which would have cut it fine for getting over to the station for my coach at 10.30. I thought it best not to chance it. With few other options and with at least 3 hours to waste, I decided on seeing The Lion King instead. I know! Lol. And I am sad to say I really did enjoy it. It has been really well done.
I grabbed a bottle of water for the journey home (and was armed with sesame snaps and a bag of marshmallows that I had bought earlier in the day) and was over at Buchanan Station at 9.40.
It was a long journey home…but it was a wonderful weekend.
More extras from Dublin – penultimate set of photos…
I saw and felt quite a few similarities between Dublin and Sydney…it was the last thing I expected, actually.
The day of gig No. 2. Selfie attempt number one – not bad (could do without the “orange peel” right arm). I SSSOOO wanted an Acoustic shirt for gig night…but the largest size they had in the regular unisex shirt was a Medium…but in the ladies fitted shirt they had a 2XL (that SOUNDS generous…but the ladies fitted shirts really ARE *fitted*)…so, being allowed to try one over the shirt I was in, I thought I’ll try it and won’t even get it over my tits – NO ONE was more surprised than me that it actually kind of fitted! I felt quite self-conscious in it…but at least I could wear an Acoustic shirt for the final night 🙂
That’s better! Even managed to hide the old “bingo wings”.
One last one – for good measure. Miss Sultry Specs. Lol. Crazy thing is, I have my glasses on…but did I take the shot in focus? Lol. No!
I never got to find out. Didn’t try one. Can’t imagine I would have liked it…
Pictures of rock stars adorn the walls through to the seating areas of the Olympia…I spied this dude on the way to my seat on night one. Not sure if I’ve heard of that band before. I must check them out…their singer looks pretty dishy 😉
Now, THIS GUY I *had* heard of! And I have been following him for as long as I have been wanting to go to Dublin. Now, if I had been able to combine DB and Dublin…that would have been something! Oh…but my two Simple Minds shows were really very, very special…
There he is again. Gone…but never, ever forgotten. Love you forever, David x
The ceiling of the Olympia had this beautiful celtic cross decoration to it…
Post-gig. On the barmen’s recommendation…a shot of Yellow Spot whisky….coming in at €11 per shot! (And that wasn’t the most expensive…it was mid range)