MOST of us are likely counting the days to leave the year 2020 behind us, which makes it an unusual first full year of working for the Glasgow Times to reflect on. 

As the “weekend girl” I always relished in the chance to report on the colourful and wide-ranging events, from rallies to races around the Glasgow Green, that took over the city each Saturday or Sunday. 

But clearly this year has been different and for a moment it seemed everything stopped in its tracks. 

I remember the first weekend after hospitality closed in March, but I do not think we quite realised how much our lives would change throughout the year. 

Yet news carried on and throughout the year I covered a range of stories with one of the most unforgettable being the Park Inn stabbings. 

The city centre of Glasgow was unrecognisable that day in late June with police cops and emergency services lining West George Street.

Six people were stabbed in the Park Inn hotel which was housing asylum seekers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The attacker, 28-year-old Badreddin Abadlla Adam, was shot dead by armed officers on the scene after the knife attack. 

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READ MORE: Wails for help: Witnesses describe the scene of the Glasgow stabbing in West George Street

Two of the victims were workers at the hotel, three were asylum seekers while the final victim was PC David Whyte, the first officer on the scene. 

The chilling words used by witnesses to describe the scene are words I will never forget –descriptions of wails coming from the hotel and the “whole reception being covered in blood” remain with you. 

Glasgow was at the centre of world news that day but not for admirable reasons. 

The incident without a doubt had a major impact on the city but in a year of uncertainty, Glasgow was already in the biggest story of the decade as it responded to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic brought people together but also highlighted some of society’s most vulnerable and Glasgow’s charitable spirit. 

But my heart broke hearing the struggles of one woman who suffered sleepless nights after a spate of student parties in her streets the same week the city’s University campuses saw major coronavirus outbreaks. 
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READ MORE: Shielding woman hits out at raging student flat parties 

“It’s about saving lives it is not about condemning them,” Shirley Lenehan told me as she described the impact the lack of sleep was having on her health

My heart also goes out to all of the city’s businesses which were hard-hit this year.  Speaking to independent businesses in Trongate area ahead of Glasgow entering Level four restrictions highlighted the very real threat of permanent closure faced by retail and hospitality. 

One of the Saltmarket businesses Shabby Upcyclers may need to call it quits in 2021 but that would be a real loss for Glasgow. 

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READ MORE: 'There might not be a 2021 for me': Independent shops in Glasgow react to Tier 4 restrictions 

Owner of business Carol Wilson said “there might not be a 2021” for the upcycling shop but her optimistic resilience and “just keep smiling” attitude is a testament to the city’s character.

Now more than ever we should support the independent and quirky stores that demonstrate the real spirit of the city. 

As if Covid-19 was not enough pressure on the city businesses, a beloved guitar shop was robbed of £30,000 worth of equipment just days after level four restrictions were lifted in December.

“The shop was ripped apart, there was stock everywhere,” Strung Out Guitars co-owner  Louise Carruthers said. 

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READ MORE:  Guitar shop 'could shut down' devastating £30,000 robbery 

But the shop was blown away by the support given not just by customers but competitor businesses who shared their appeal far and wide.  

It has been a tough year for many, but the Glasgow spirit has shined through for the better on a number of occasions. 

No city is better at keeping spirits high than Glasgow and the story of viral-sensation five -year-old Freya Phillips will always bring a smile to my face. 

The Baillieston girl addressed her disappointment at her cancelled sleepover directly to the First Minister in the video. 

READ MORE: 'Ya wee witch': Glasgow mum hails daughter after hilarious viral video slams FM for cancelling sleepover

“I’ll no be cancelling my sleepover with Ceci, ya wee witch,” Freya said in the video in a time the city needed something light-hearted. 

We all know the saying ‘People make Glasgow’ and it is perhaps for that reason that some of my favourite stories have revolved around that fact. 

Glasgow’s magnet fishers became a topic of fascination this summer after they pulled a gun out of the Forth and Clyde Canal in August.

 My report on their past recovered treasures prompted a range of coverage and their preferred past time of fishing out weapons from the city’s waterways continues to gain attention from residents across the city.

Simon McLean, a retired undercover cop, gave a fascinating look into Glasgow’s 80s drug gang underworld. 

READ MORE: Ex-cops bring initiative calling for change on 'ineffective drug policies' to Scotland

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 His experience combatting the drug trade in the city lead him to realise the need for a major shift to “ineffective drug policies” in Scotland and join the launch of global initiative Law Enforcement Action Partnership (Leap) in Scotland.

As drug deaths in Scotland rose to a new record in 2019, the importance of their initiative is evident.