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l l SllVAl CITY OF LOVE Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 6-Wed 18 Feb.

When you think of Glasgow you don’t normally think of love - not unless it’s a big scary bloke with ‘hate’ tattooed on the other hand. But Glasgow is about to celebrate being the City of Love for the third year.

It is a little known fact that Glasgow is one of three cities that house the remains of Saint Valentine. In 1999 they were moved from their original site at St Francis’ Church to the Blessed John Duns Scotus in the Gorbals, stirring up a huge amount of local interest. The move also gave Neil Baxter of PR outfit Baxter Associates the idea to create the first City of Love festival, which not only celebrates St Valentine’s day itself but all things to do with love. ‘I realised that if we’ve got a third of the main man in the city why not exploit that to the benefit of Glasgow? February is a dull month so let’s do something that is a lively, fun, stimulating and will lift peoples spirits,’ he says.

The festival lasts 12 days and is a typical festival mix of music, film, theatre, art and food but with a few added extras. ‘We’re involving the broadest conceivable public and community groups, arts


organisations, high and low culture. We’ve got everything from classical concerts to a big wheel,’ says Baxter. As the name suggests, this is all about love, the all powerful, mind-altering state of the heart, and whether you have it or are looking for it, it’s a damn good excuse to get out there, have fun and make the most of what the city has to offer.

‘Although it’s nice to focus on romantic love it’s also much broader than that as there are various fundraising and charitable enterprises that happen at the same time. You’ve got people contributing generously in the Sense Scotland fashion show, which will be amazing, as well as the Heart Foundation Valentine’s Ball at the Hilton.’

But how has Glasgow, the hard city of Scotland, reacted to being all romantic? ‘I think the people have really embraced it,’ says Baxter. ‘Nobody doubts the warmth of Glasgwegians. All sorts of Celtic blood runs in the city and they have a strong romanticism. It’s also a chance to overcome the image of the dour Scots.’ So whether you are in love, looking for love or happily out of it, there is plenty of fun to be had, even if it’s just to laugh at the hopeless romantics.

(Jane Hamilton)

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Waterstone’s, Glasgow, Thu 5 Feb; Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, Fri 6 Feb.

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The Elsies Hidden Heroine Award

With Enact's fourth annual Women's Festival (5-15 Mar) on the horizon. it's time to celebrate the lives of ordinary women who have made a hefty difference. both on our doorstep and further afield. In conjunction with International Women's Day and the Women’s Festival comes the E/sies your chance to vote for your hidden heroine. If you know of any woman. living or dead. who you feel deserves recognition for her unique contributiOn to your life. Enact wants to hear from you. Forget the Oscars this is an award for the people by the people. Closing date for applications is 15 Feb. For details email enactiorwomen<® or log on to wwwenactfonNomenorg.

To provide you with some inspiration. here are some quotes from some of the loveliest (albeit more famous) ladies. through the ages.

‘If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.’

Maya Angelou

‘I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them.’

Jane Austen

‘It is better to be unfaithful than to be faithful without wanting to be.’

Brigitte Bardot

‘A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.’ Ingrid Bergman

‘The trouble with some women is they get all excited about nothing - and then they marry him.’


‘I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.’

Carrie Fisher

‘Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door, and just visit now and then!

Katharine Hepburn

‘Falling out of love is very enlightening. For a short while you see the world with new eyes}

Iris Murdoch

‘I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.’

Joan Rivers

‘I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.’

Eleanor Roosevelt