Pat Byrne is the person behind Glasgow West End: Pat’s Guide, a website aimed at promoting this great part of Glasgow. It focuses on the local community, with a ‘what’s on’ guide and loads of useful information about restaurants, shops, pubs, galleries and more. She’s also a writer and involved in other projects, most recently Ten Writers Telling Lies, a unique collaboration between a group of storytellers, poets and the singer-songwriter Jim Byrne and which was performed as a live event and is now available as a book with an accompanying CD.
Pat was born in Glasgow’s Royal Maternity Hospital (known to most of us as Rottenrow) but her childhood was spent in Old Kilpatrick, a village half way between Glasgow and Loch Lomond. As a child, one of her great treats was to go ‘up the town’ so the city has always been close to her heart but her discovery of the West End came later, as a student in the 1970s. Now, she says she’s ‘smitten’ with the area and intrigued by the people, the parks, the history, the architecture and the atmosphere. And even though she no longer lives right in the heart of it (although she isn’t far) her West End Guide has provided her with the perfect excuse for discovering all the new things the area has to offer, and she says she ‘continues her observation as though a privileged visitor.’ Which is a lovely sentiment.
What I love about her site is the real sense of community, collaboration and support. For example, there are articles by local bloggers and writers, and pieces about the wonderful independent shops and art galleries. One of the parts I like the most is the section outlining walks around Glasgow and the West End.
Here, she joins the ranks of my (willing?) victims and answers my Proust Questionnaire.
1. What was the first music that you ever paid for?
Brenda Lee, Sweet Nothings
2. What was the most recent music that you paid for?
Rumer, This Girl’s In Love
3. What was the most recent book you read?
Montpellier Place by Karl Geary
4. What is your favourite novel?
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark. Although my absolute favourite piece of writing is James Joyce, The Dead.
5. Who is your favourite poet?
6. Who is your favourite artist?
Edward Atkinson Hornel
7. What is your favourite museum?
8. What would you spend your last tenner on?
9. What talent would you most like to have?
10. What trait do you most deplore in yourself?
11. What trait do you most deplore in others?
12. On what occasions do you lie?
Not to hurt someone’s feelings
13. What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
For no-one in the family to be sick
14. What is your idea of the depths of misery?
Death of someone close
15. What is your biggest fear?
16. What is your favourite journey?
Driving north through Glen Coe
17.What is your most treasured possession?
A bangle with multi-coloured stones. It was a gift.
18. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Roll on crispy bacon
19. Which living person do you most admire?
20. What was the last gig you went to?
Ten Writers Telling Lies (Jim Byrne, Graham MacIntosh and Elaine Fleming)
21. If you had to be an animal, what would you choose to be?
22. Do you believe in ghosts?
23. Is there anyone you would trust with your biggest secret?
My husband Jim
24. Where would you most like to live?
25. Where would you go if you needed to hide?
The book and CD launch for Ten Writers Telling Lies will take place on Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 at 7:30 pm in Cottiers Theatre, Hyndland. Tickets cost £6 redeemable against a purchase of the book.
And don’t forget to take a look at her website for everything you need to know about Glasgow’s West End.
Featured Image: Glasgow University by Steve Mullan, Flickr. Reproduced under Creative Commons Licence.