Thursday, 1 May 2014


Cloutie Dumpling - a gingery, light fruit cake
 I took a flying visit to Glasgow this week to read from The Closet of Savage Mementos at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) on Sauchiehall Street. My husband and youngest child came with me and we had a lovely time at the Kelvingrove Gallery and wandering the book shops, stationery shops, charity shops etc. We enjoyed tea and cloutie dumpling and shortbread in the Rennie Mackintosh designed Willow Tearooms.

What a great venue the CCA is - it's an old building and it houses the Saramago Café, a vegan bar and eaterie ( we were very happy veggies), where we enjoyed wine and food after my reading.

Writer Dónal McLaughlin
I received a very warm welcome from writer Dónal McLaughlin of the Scottish Writers' Centre, a Derry native who moved to Scotland as a child. (I will interview him here shortly about his latest short story collection, Beheading the Virgin Mary.) Another Scotland-based Irish writer, Orla McDonald, took us to lunch. And the Director of the Scottish Writers' Centre, writer Douglas Thompson was a lovely, relaxed host in the evening at the CCA.

Juno & Daddy wrapping a mummy
Juno at Kelvingrove
I love meeting readers (and potential ones) and there was a lovely mix of Irish and Scottish people at the event and they weren't shy at the Q&A. The nature of this book means I end up talking a lot about my personal life, which feels strange, but I'm getting used to it. Several people came up to my afterwards to tell me of their own, or their folks', experiences as unmarried parents in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

We adjourned to the Saramago Café afterwards and ate and drank and nattered, and it was all very friendly, as you would expect in Glasgow. I've loved Scotland since my first visit to the Isle of Skye as a student and I can't wait to go back in September to read at the Nairn Book and Arts Festival.

Verity in the novel is a taxidermist
The hanging heads at Kelvingrove
Tea & cake pit-stop at the gallery - Ju and Nu


Kar said...

great photos, great little trip, I'm mad curious to hear what the Scots think of the book - I'm almost finished it, I LOVE Lillis!

You look FAB btw, your hair is gorgeous! So is your daughters, and her cute little smile.. I just want to squish her ;-)

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

I dreamt abut you and Harley last night! Dying for a chat.

Oh the hair, the hair. I want to cut it off. So much work...

shaunag said...

Looks like a great trip, love the photos and your hair - do not cut it off, it's gorgeous!! Great pic of the stag's head, Verity would love it!!

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

It was fab, Shauna. And we were blessed with the warm weather.
Still, where's me scissors?! Snip snip. Sinéad O'Connor has the right idea...