Tom's Glasgow Mag #6

Rainy mid-July

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Opening Remarks

Hello and welcome! Hope you’re doing great. Mainstream media outlets have been particularly toxic these past few weeks so I hope this newsletter brings you a bit of an escape, even for a brief few minutes.

I always release my newsletter at 7 a.m to capture a bit of that morning newspaper feeling - when you first open your eyes, make yourself a hot drink and catch up with the crazy world via telly, papers or online media. I have looked at the statistics and many of you actually do read my newsletter as soon as it comes out, at 7 in the morning. That feels really good so thank you very much for that. And for sticking around. As always, please feel free to tell your family and pals about the newsletter, or contact me if you have an idea for a feature.

I’m really excited about today’s content. Happy reading!


Sensory Art Workshops for Children with Disabilities

Source: Kiwi’s Facebook page

Kiwi is a sensory art and play club in Sighthill. It aims to create a safe environment through adapted play and art making. The club provides FREE after-school workshops for children living with disabilities, complex special needs and ASL (aged 5-15).

Consuelo is the founder of Kiwi. As a visual artist, she has worked with disabled people for many years and is passionate about creating a safe space for the kids. Over the years, Consuelo has had numerous conversations with parents of children with special needs, who all agreed that more services were needed. Thankfully, her experience and expertise meant she was able to get funding for the project, as well as lots of support from like-minded people.

Children’s needs are Kiwi’s absolute priority. Their space includes a quiet sensory room, filled with gentle colours and soft toys. Much attention is paid to levels of sounds and light. There is a dedicated space for parents, where they can spend time with one another while their children are playing. Alternatively, parents can participate alongside their kids.

Source: Kiwi’s Facebook page

Kiwi’s puppet making workshops are especially fun. During this week’s class, kids made characters and alter egos from forks, spoons and craft materials. “When you play with puppets, it’s very easy to instantly put your voice, energy and internal feelings into the puppet in a playful and safe way, without even thinking about it”, Consuelo told me when I caught up with her on Friday. “The kids really engaged with the process, you could see it on their happy faces.”

Kiwi’s workshops run on Thursdays between 4:30 and 6 p.m. The club will take a break in August and return in September. See the poster above for address. CLICK HERE to visit Kiwi’s Facebook page. Please forward this email to any parents who might be interested.

Carntyne and Riddrie Food Bank Continues to Support East End Communities

Carntyne and Riddrie Food Bank has been supporting people in need for more than 12 years. Located on 45b Gartcraig Road, the food bank doesn’t require any referrals, nor does it keep a database. The founder John makes it clear - it’s about helping people in need, not bureaucracy. “Come and see us. We don’t need to know anyone’s business”, John told me in a phone interview. “It’s a case of feeding the hungry.”

Their team consists of 10 dedicated volunteers. “Our Twitter followers turn up to help, if necessary”, said John. Carntyne and Riddrie Food Bank provides not only food but also clothes, baby products, or even furniture. If anyone is in need of anything specific, John usually posts a call on Twitter and gets whatever’s needed within 10 or 20 minutes.

If you’re in need, please do not feel ashamed to ask for help. Your details will not be kept on any file. You will not need to explain your situation to anyone.

The food bank is open between 10 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, the opening times are 12-3:30 p.m. The above video shows their location and the nearest bus connection. CLICK HERE to visit their website.

Nostalgic Think of Scotland Exhibition Taking Place at Pollok House

Glasgow, Barrowland, 1995. Martin Parr | Image courtesy of Magnum Photography. Shared for art promotion purposes.

Art is best when it’s real and relatable. It resonates with people through inclusion of authentic imagery. Add nostalgia to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for success. Look at Aftersun, a compelling and heartbreaking film based on childhood memories of Scottish director Charlotte Wells. The world fell in love with it because it felt real.

So does the new photography exhibition titled Martin Parr: Think of Scotland. This touching collection of nostalgic images evoking quirkiness of Scottish life is now taking place at Pollok House in Glasgow.

The exhibition blends documentary, satire and nostalgia. It’s a gentle wink. It’s a bit cheeky. And I’m sure it’s likely to bring back many memories.

The exhibition will run until the 27th of August at Pollok House.

The song of the issue is Fever by Dylan John Thomas

I said to my partner the other day that we are experiencing a true rebirth of indie guitar music in Scotland. Forget Britpop, Scotpop era is coming (feel free to quote me on this). Calum Bowie, Megan Black, Rianne Downey, Dylan John Thomas… The scene is booming. The culture is lit.

Discovered by the Glasgow icon Gerry Cinnamon, Dylan John Thomas went from playing a cheap Argos guitar in his bedroom to playing support slots before Sam Fender, Liam Gallagher and Gerry himself. His music could be described as catchy, well-written indie rock. Blue skies ahead for this lad, for sure.

By the way - I’m thinking of making each round-numbered newsletter (#10, #20, #30, etc.) a themed special. For example, newsletter #10 would be a Glasgow music scene special. Still the same length as a regular newsletter of mine, just something celebratory, to mark the growth of this project. What would you say? Feel free to email me!

That’s it for today, folks! Whatever your plans are for this weekend, I hope you have a great time. See you in two weeks’ time.

All the best,