Glasgow Letter with Robert Robertson – Thursday December 9, 2021

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The annual Park Bar event, Quiz in the Park, which I previewed recently, was cancelled this week due to Storm Barra – an ironic name for a storm that caused the cancelation of such a West Coast event.

Unfortunately, it is not the only event that will not be happening this December in Glasgow. There have been no association dances, no annual Vatersay Boys projection into insanity in the Barrowlands, and no George Square Christmas market this year.
Although there are numerous different reasons for all of this, it is perhaps just as well that Glasgow will be having a slightly quieter Christmas period this year, given the emergence of the new Omicron variant.

I, for one, will certainly be having a quiet few days. I have been in isolation since last Thursday having tested positive for coronavirus.

I was just about to leave the flat for Elfingrove – Scotland’s biggest ice rink by the Kelvingrove museum – when a Lateral Flow Test came back positive. I immediately got a PCR which soon confirmed I have the virus and I have been locked up ever since.

Thankfully, the symptoms have been very mild. My only real complaint is the loss of taste, but I am trying a few interesting tactics to recover it. I have bit into a lemon (couldn’t taste anything), chewed on a chilli pepper (didn’t flinch) and, if my taste has not returned by Friday evening, my plan is to pour myself a Laphroaig or something similarly peaty.

Surely the virus will be no match for that unique flavour! I will keep you updated.
In seriousness, the most gut wrenching part of the whole experience was having to postpone our Tide Lines show on Friday night in Darvel Town Hall, Ayrshire, which is a gig we have always enjoyed over the years. That gig will now happen in March next year and thankfully Horo, who were also on the bill, were on hand to put on a gig of their own for those who had travelled for the weekend to Darvel Music Festival. The following night, revellers enjoyed Trail West and Skerryvore – so I dare say, with that fantastic line up of bands, my absence was not felt too keenly!

If all those postponements and cancellations are getting you down, and you are in search of alternative ways to spend the winter nights, then never fear, there will soon be a new album to listen to from a Uist band who are really one of the most sought after on the scene at the moment.

Beinn Lee announced last week that their second album, Deò, will be released on Friday December 17. Pre-orders are available from the band’s website and will be shipped first class the week starting December 13 to hopefully guarantee delivery before Christmas.

I will certainly be reviewing that record when it comes out, as I did their excellent first album, Osgarra. If only it was out a little bit earlier and it might help me through this isolation.