Oh, and as I haven't posted about it, last week I had an entertaining 'phone interview with Jane Featherstone of Kudos (I was at uni with her sister who is now running Scottish theatre in a way I've somehow failed to) and a trip to Glasgow to see Colin Gilbert at The Comedy Unit, who was exceptionally generous with his time and highly amusing in discussing just how much folk singing and country dancing there was in Scottish Light Entertainment in his early days there.
Once upon time folks, backe when we had as many rain forests as uses for the wood it was all Andy Stewart not Only An Excuse at the year end North of the Border (hence the feeble anagrammatical title- though be fair it's a great anagram and one I feel should be used more widely).
Colin's dad is the great Jimmy Gilbert incidentally, which I hadn't known until about an hour before we met. He was the BBC Head of Light Entertainment who offered John Cleese his own sitcom, enough said. Even if he'd done nothing else we should all thank him for that one.
Lots of fun had, and I really liked the feel of the city. Glasgow felt like Manchester did to me in the '80s, a city of just the right size somehow (possibly because I didn't see enough of it). It also has much better architecture than a lot of Northern English cities, I think.
Particularly in West and North Yorkshire I get a real sense of everything having been knocked up in a rush by Victorian mill owners with a bit of a puritan streak and then only having been mucked about with briefly afterwards, once during 1968 with some flaky concrete to make an FE College and a fly-over and again in 1991 to cobble together some red brick single story shopping arcades with health centres attached. This is probably Just Me (TM).
Coming back to size rather than aesthetics though, Sheffield's a tidge small I think, London's a bit big, I've never quite got to grips with Leeds, even when it was wall to wall eye-liner and patchouli (last week/1987) and Manchester seems to have grown a touch too big for my grumpy old bones now. I think they should probably pickle Glasgow and keep it as it is from now on- they may already have done so.
By contrast, I sampled Warrington's stations and city centre on the journey back. Deary me. Somewhere to pass through or come from (insert own male genitalia gag) rather than live in, I fear. I should have taken an alternative route back but I wanted to catch Low Gill again, which had been just beautiful coming up. Funnily enough on the way back in pitch darkness it didn't have quite the same magic.