Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Street fight – LED vs sodium

Not sure what’s going on here.

Last year, I noticed that new lampposts were being installed next to a number of existing poles on this road.

Over a period of months, these eventually started to have new LED light fittings installed, while the old low-pressure sodium fittings were removed.

Slow as this process was, eventually it seemed to grind to complete halt. Maybe it will restart in 2018.

Crossing the road recently, I noticed the contrast between the two, and since this is something that will eventually never be seen, as sodium lighting fades into the past and stocks are depleted, it was time to grab a pic.

This one went better than expected, as the trees popped out of the background as a surprise when I processed it.

LED Vs Sodium

LED Vs Sodium


January 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Irritating cyclist

Not a tale about one of those ‘bad’ cyclists, but just some personal points.

This is a reprise of an earlier catch, and almost for the same reason.

I thought this old gent had disappeared, but as my walks tended to cross his route, I spotted he was still plodding along despite the lovely cold weather we’re enjoying at the moment.

It really IS irritating, how he manages to get out on the decent days we get (no rain or snow, or nasty gusty wind), yet the only days I find myself thinking “Should really get on my bike” seem to be the ones that look half decent, then turn into howling gales and storms within the hour, making me glad I decided to walk, or just stay in bed.

I did try to baulk this trend once – and was rewarded with a one-hour ride home in the rain.

Last time I spotted him he had almost disappeared into the distance (while I should have caught a better pic then, I’d put the camera away) as it took so long to get organised.

Different camera this time, actually slower to fire up, but then is quicker to reach ‘first shot’ status, so did better after he passed this time.

His dedication is impressive.

Irritating Cyclist

Irritating Cyclist

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

Jas D Galloway sign spotted

One of the surviving relics I rather like in Glasgow is a painted gable-end sign that lives above Hunter Street, for Jas D Galloway Tyre Distributors. Long gone as a business of course, but the sign must have been painted using some pretty decent old-fashioned paint, which would no doubt fail all testing as regards detriment to human health.

Obviously, you can see it from Hunter Street, less obviously, you can catch sight of it from the train too, as the track breaks surface from the various tunnels and underground runs it makes in the area.

The view below is one I found from the Gallowgate, one I was unaware of until recently, brought to my attention when I saw a pic of the sign from an angle I didn’t recognise.

It’s not particularly obvious if you’re passing, as it lies quite far behind some spare/derelict land, and when I pass that way my attention is always focussed in the opposite direction (yup, careless).

It’s actually quite an interesting view, (click for biggie as it’s wide) including (left to right) Simpson Flats, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow Cathedral, Jas D Galloway sign, The Necropolis, and even a little bit of Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery.

Jas D Galloway Sign

Jas D Galloway Sign (and friends)

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Kid Inventors’ Day

17 January is Kid Inventors’ Day.

I’ve really mixed feeling about this one.

On the one hand, they’re going to have naïve and uneducated thoughts, and that means coming up with a lot of stuff that is just not going to work, no matter how novel the idea.

On the other hand, that same ignorance of what those have ‘seen it all’ can find themselves blocked by, even before they have had a chance to try something, can lead to discoveries.

While it may not be entirely accurate, I often look in wonder at how rookies and little teenage car thieves can leave trained drivers far behind while apparently ignorant of all the ‘proper’ braking and accelerating techniques, and fastest lines through bends.

They haven’t had all those standard moves ingrained by training, yet can leave the ‘pros’ far behind.

I’m not saying their techniques are ALL better – and the number of rookies and teeny car thieves that are dug out of walls shows that education/training is still a necessary element, but I am saying instant dismissal of something that is not the accepted norm is also not the best idea.

17 January is actually the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, renowned polymath, politician, and… child inventor. Just 12 years old, he invented the world’s first swim flippers.But let’s not forget how wrong he was later, when he sent a kite with key hanging beneath to attract lighting! If the story is accurate, then combining that with a wet string in a storm means he was lucky to feel little more than a tingle.

Then there was Louis Braille, inventor of the system of the same name, who lost his sight in a tragic accident when just 3 years old, and spent his early teen years developing his new language while studying at The National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris.

Children’s minds are still to be limited by the knowledge of what’s possible and what’s not, so do something to let that be of benefit, before life rains on their parade.



January 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Our longest running story – will it ever end?

It’s funny when your interest in a story changes from wondering about whether or not it will succeed, to wondering if it will ever come to an end, why it is taking so long, and where the money it has attracted is going.

I’m not particularly taken by the story of Peter Pan, but I can understand how the story and its author has attracted fans.

I was more interested in the story regarding the saving of a derelict and abandoned mansion which was notable, yet being vandalised, and this dates back to at least 2003, with the first post noting it in here back in 2008.

The trust that owns the house bought for the vast sum of £1.

Back in 2009, I noted the project was priced at £4 million.

Now, we’ve hit 2018, it’s still not finished, and the project is aiming to make an £8 million target.

The local council has already thrown £500,000 into this pot, and is now being encouraged to keep supporting the project.

Support for Peter Pan project in Dumfries recommended

I get the feeling I could go find articles about similar being built from scratch and stocked for less.

A North Uist visitor centre (for a St Kilda viewpoint) is expected to cost somewhere in the region of £1.5 million.

The community of the island of Ulva proposes to buy it for £4.2 million.

This project is possibly progressing so slowly that the money raised is effectively being frittered away just to cover the annual recurring cost of ongoing management, maintenance, and service support, rather than restoring the building (or is it a mere facade-retention game) and opening the centre.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

City of Adelaide clipper fly-around post move

I’m not really sure what triggers some of the bots I have watching for relevant material, but I did get a few videos flagged up, and this one from January 2017 (a year ago) seemed relevant.

It’s worthy of note after the news that the ongoing development work in the port area saw the hull being moved a couple of hundred metres from the dock where it was resting as the various discussions/debates/demands/requests/wrangles carry on regarding a final acceptable home somewhere in the midst of the continuing developments and plans for this area.

Last video I saw of this spot was bare, with only the barge moored in this berth, and gangway for access.

This slightly later one looks more interesting.

Coincidentally, I also heard of a local media source having a short item by someone who was able to go for a look:

From Ayrshire to Australia … Largs Bay and other connections

I recently received a little ‘postage stamp’ thumbnail said to be of The Carrick during one of its sinkings in the River Clyde.

But there were no details given, not even a date (or source of the original).

I blew it up to the usual blog pic size, and was surprised at how well it came out (OK, I did play about with it to try to smooth it out and make it more viewable).

I’ve no reason to doubt the subject, and from the days I spent working around some of the dry docks on the river, recognise the stepped area which can be seen on the right of the image, which also leads me to believe this is The Carrick floundering to the left.

The background is just rubble, and a fairly anonymous lorry, so not really much to go on.

But if anyone does recognise the scene, or has seen a proper full-size version of this image, it would be nice to pin it down and identify the date and/or location.

Sunk Carrick

Sunk Carrick

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Maritime | , , , | Leave a comment

World’s least impressive icicle(s)

I would get around to this ‘old’ pic on the same day that it chose to start snowing again!

This morning, the snow is on and off, but the temp is hovering just above freezing for the moment, with no proper freeze forecast (here), so I doubt it will lie, and is already slush underfoot on ‘warm’ footpath.

Looking at the current change in the weather, it looks as if a recent chance find of a couple of little local icicles is the only find I’m likely to see, so I might as well use the pic.

I tried thinking of anywhere there was likely to be anything bigger, a stream or similar, but there seems to be nothing handy that doesn’t just flow at ground level, so won’t be doing anything creative.

The only reason I got this was courtesy of a little bit of meltwater on a tiny hill.

I think I’d have to move to get anything bigger.



January 16, 2018 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment

Carmyle, no smoke, no mist, just weir

What a difference a day makes.

Slid from some nice moody, misty weather (for a few minutes at least) to the usual wet and windy variety, which even a rise of 5°C didn’t help make feel any warmer than it had been. If anything, it felt colder after a while.

While I was up on the viaduct I took a pic intended to catch the old weir that used to provide water for adjacent factories, but it wasn’t really high enough, so turned out to be a better comparison for the catch I’d made earlier, with smoke and mist in the distance – all gone now.

The buildings on the opposite bank belong the ‘new’ Fire Service training facility.

Carmyle Weir No Smoke No Mist

Carmyle Weir No Smoke No Mist

Time to stitch up another wide shot, this time showing the stretch of river from the viaduct, across the weir, and then off towards Rutherglen.

As usual with these, click for the bigger version.

Carmyle Weir Stitch

Carmyle Weir Stitch

January 16, 2018 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment

Today is Nothing Day

16 January is Nothing Day.

Interesting the difference losing just one word can make, recalling that we noted ‘Buy Nothing Day’ recently.

While Buy Nothing Day was probably one to embrace, only confirmed shopaholics would have a problem, I’m not quite so sure about Nothing Day.

Apparently popping into existence back in 1973, this day is simply about doing nothing at all. It has absolutely no purpose or intended structure, and is acknowledged as a pointless celebration.

Said to have been first proposed by late American newspaper columnist Harold Coffin, the day was founded with the intent of eventual self-destruction, through satirically reigning in what Coffin considered a glut of recently established, useless commemorative days. The Nothing Organisation was simultaneously formed in to raise awareness, and has appropriately never held a meeting.

The day’s existence is a testament to its founder’s ultimate failure.

I’ve mixed feeling about this one, being someone who has always bucked the system by largely doing as I please, be that being busy, or not being busy.

But as I get older and the clock counts down…

I seem to have become increasingly irritated by days when I am baulked for some reason, and cannot do something.

Maybe I need to ‘Ask an Expert’…

Nothing Interesting

Nothing Interesting

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

The brilliant Austin Brexit

Nothing to do with the politics, but this is a bit of a gem.

While the poor little Allegro gets a lot of stick now that it is history, I did know one person who had one when the type was current, and even got the occasional trip in it.

Over the few years we were neighbours, his supposedly unreliable and horrible little car never missed a beat.

It WAS quirky, so I can see how those who are sheep-brained conformists would have hated it.

Austin Brexit

Austin Brexit

(Seen on imgur, noted before it disappears.)

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The illegals – C9 RYF (hybrid illegal? Or perhaps Schroedinger’s Number Plate)

Collecting registrations, and the side sport of spotting illegal number plates is usually straightforward – but not this time.

After yesterday’s post that noted the recent media-frenzy that fed on its sudden realisation that it could end/start the years 2017/2018 with a lovely ‘gloom and doom’ story for some (with dire warning of £1,000 fines), I came across an enigma.

I thought I’d just passed a boring and mundane registration, of no obvious interest.

Seat Ibiza Legal Rear [C9 RYF]

Seat Ibiza Legal Rear [C9 RYF]

But, when I turned around to look back at the junction I’d just crossed, there was a surprise.

Multiple offences appeared!

Illegal spacing plus some sort of odd graphic on the left, which does not appear to be one of the approved national or regional flags. Worth adding it’s not a mistake – while I’m not going into detail (although this is in clear public view) there are more details shown on the plate than seen here.

Legal rear, illegal front – a Hybrid! Hopefully pulled by the police from the rear (they do tend to do that, rather than pull ahead and force a stop these days), they’ll see the legit rear plate and not take a walk around to the front.

Also known as Schroedinger’s Number Plate (after Schroedinger’s Cat) since it is both legal and illegal at the same time 🙂

In my day, when we still had ‘Tax Disks’, the front of the car was always examined in detail during a stop, so they could have a good look at the tax disk, checking not only its validity, but also that it was not a forgery, or an old beer bottle label, which could look similar from a distance, if it was the right brand.

Seat Ibiza Illegal Front Plate [C9RYF]

Seat Ibiza Illegal Front Plate [C9 RYF]

Next time I get over that way, I must find out what that graphic is, and kick myself for missing it first time around.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

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