Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Double trap mousey signals end of mini Beast from the East

We just got to enjoy what might be referred to by some as a mini Beast from the East which arrived in the past week, but this one is really just a more usual blast of cold air from the east/Russia that we get at this time of year.

Hardy Scots are used to this, and it’s not unusual (in my memory at least) to find what appears to be a lovely sunny Easter Day can, in fact, be absolutely freezing when you get out into the cold air. I won’t forget the Easter holiday I went out to work on a car restoration job on that holiday morning – and had to give up by lunchtime as I couldn’t feel my fingers!

But this year, the early start seems to the return of mousey, trying to get back into my house via the back door.

Having remarked on the peace I’d had during the coldest weather, it seems the end of that break has been marked by the return of my little friend.

There was the little smiling face staring back at me this morning (technically yesterday morning, Saturday, when the catch happened).

Ah well, at least two traps stopped the invasion this time

Double Trap Mousey

Double Trap Mousey


March 18, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

The amazing disappearing lockbox

Well  THAT was surprise.

After two posts about an odd lockbox spotted clamped to a lamppost a few days ago – it DISAPPEARED!

Thanks to an unplanned detour resulting from some unexpected snow that joined the increasingly chilly wind last night, I ended up passing the same spot.

I thought I was in the wrong place after a passing glance at the relevant lamppost failed to show the expected silhouette in the dark, but when I checked the lamppost, it was the same one – but the box had gone, completely, including the hefty clamp that fixed it to the pole.

It didn’t even seem to leave a mark where it had been, suggesting it hadn’t been there very long.

Lockbox Lamppost - No Lockbox

Lockbox Lamppost – No Lockbox

Compare this with the previous view from only a few nights ago.

Between the pics, you should be able to match the clear tape at the bottom of the view, and the little reflective survey marker at the top.

Daytime Lock Box

Daytime Lock Box

So that’s that.

No chance of catching it ‘In Use’ some day.

But now I’ll have to be even more alert, to see if it turns up somewhere else.

Unless YOU know better.

March 18, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Inversnecky wit nails it again – this time, winter!

I’ve mentioned some of the fun shared from the Aberdeen’s Inversnecky cafe sandwich board in the past.

This time, they’ve nailed the departure of this year’s winter, or the Beast from the East.

Nice 🙂

Inversencky Winter

Inversencky Winter

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

James Keith Gorrie – ‘the nicest man in Glasgow’

There’s a lot of pics of items which can be found in Kelvingrove, but the vast majority are of the same subjects.

While I wouldn’t suggest there’s anything wrong with that, it is also true to say that there are many items I’ve never seen anyone take, or share, a picture of.

Case in point, the display pictured below.

James Keith Gorrie Kelvingrove

James Keith Gorrie Kelvingrove

March 17, 2018 Posted by | military, Naval, photography, World War II | | Leave a comment

City of Adelaide Clipper gains children’s activity book

Strangely, if you ever listened to the ramblings of one poor individual from Sunderland, it seems the fortunes of the hull of the City of Adelaide clipper which went to live in Australia a few years have been good, and so far at least, it has not spontaneously combusted, or disintegrated under the fierce Australian sun, nor has the rescue project foundered.

It’s actually rather nice to see it amble along slowly, step by step.

Far better than many I watched arrive with great fanfare and promises/demands of many millions – over-ambitious and doomed to failure if the promises fall short. Over the past decade or so it’s become clear that projects which limp along with a steady cash-drip and avoid sensational claims are much more likely to be around for years.

This looks like one of those ‘small steps’.

SEAFARING adventures are swept off the page in a new children’s activity book about the clipper ship City of Adelaide.
The ship’s restoration project director, Peter Christopher, and Meredith Reardon — a descendant of its captain — have teamed up to create Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Facts and Figures.

More than a quarter of a million Australians can trace their ancestry through passengers and crew who sailed on the City of Adelaide, which made 23 return voyages from English ports between 1864 and 1887.

Mr Christopher said the 40-page book had been specifically written for children — a deliberate move as most of the material available about the historic ship was geared towards adults.

Via New City of Adelaide clipper ship children’s book opens maritime history to new audience

He and Ms Reardon, a teacher, first had the idea for the book two years ago but it wasn’t until they received a grant from an anonymous donor that they were able to publish it.

Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Facts and Figures is now on sale for $10 at the ship at Dock One.

It will soon also be available in selected newsagents and book stores.

City of Adelaide

City of Adelaide lying at Irvine on 07 February 2012 © wfmillar

March 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, Transport | , | 1 Comment

The illegals – DK51 MBA

This one was a bit odd.

I’d actually walked past it, and along the road for some distance before I decided to go back for a closer look.

At first, I thought it was a foreign registration plate, due to the (illegal) spacing and the (illegal) font (especially the ‘1’), and the unusual pressed metal plate, something not seen very often nowadays as most are perspex.

Maybe the owner of this 2016 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Tech R-Line (phew – these names are getting longer) is a secret, or part-time, lion tamer.

Volkswagen Golf TDI [DK51 MBA]

Volkswagen Golf TDI [DK51 MBA]

March 16, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Hulking great BMW tyres

One of those numbers I’ve passed for ages yet never ‘collected’.

If I’d been awake, I’d have this number on more cars as they’ve changed over the years.

I just noticed it has moved to this Dec 2017 BMW X5 3.0 30d M Sport Steptronic xDrive (no wonder they’ve stopped putting full model names on the rear), from another mini-monster-truck style BMW (but I forget the model already).

BMW X5 3.0 30d M Sport Steptronic xDrive [50 AS]

BMW X5 3.0 30d M Sport Steptronic xDrive [50 AS]

Just look at the tyres, which I read American owners regularly discuss  as regards finding alternative to the $500 per corner cost when replacing them.

And many seem to complain of lives as short as 5,000 miles on their “wife’s car which is only used for the school run”.

Make of that what you will. I did note some techie-types noted the thing has a lot of camber to aid road-holding, and that can wear out tyres under certain adverse conditions.

Looking at the quoted size options (not forgetting to look at the associated huge wheel sizes):

285/35R21 (front) 325/30R21 (rear)
285/40R20 (front) 325/35R20 (rear)

I had a quick look at table for the Lamborghini Countach, and found this from the start to end of its life:

1974 Lamborghini Countach Tyre Sizes
LP40(front) 205/70R14 (rear) 215/70R14

1978 brought a new LP400 S model, the engine was slightly downgraded from the LP400 model at 355 PS (350 hp; 261 kW), while the most radical changes were in the exterior, where the tyres were replaced by 345/35R15 Pirelli P7 tyres The widest tyres available on a production car at the time, and reportedly also the first to be manufactured for a particular car, rather than just standard production.

1989 Lamborghini Countach Tyre Sizes
25th Anniversario(front) 225/50R15 (rear) 345/35R15
5000 quattrovalvole(front) 225/50R15 (rear) 345/35R15

Just an observation.

Who wore it best?

Original wide Countach rubber 🙂

1989 Countach

1989 Countach

Whole car could probably sneak under an X5 (you know what I mean).

March 16, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Today is World Sleep Day

Good luck with this one!

16 March 2016 is World Sleep Day, but it’s not always on the same date as it takes place on the… Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox.

Worrying about getting that right should be enough to keep anyone that CAN’T sleep awake.

While I’m not going to be worrying about it, I will probably be awake for most of that, and most other nights.

I reckon I must have done all my sleeping as a baby. From stories, it seems that while all the other babies in the hospital were screaming, crying, and other spending their own (and apparently everyone else’s) night doing anything but sleeping, I was curled up fast asleep. Unless it was feeding time, at which point somebody had to make sure dinner was to hand when my eyes snapped open, or I’d be the loudest baby in the ward and wakening anybody that had managed to fall asleep by then!

Later, sending me to bed was pretty pointless, and compared to other kids, I was always up late.

By the time I was out of school and at university, same story, and I’d be studying into “The wee small hours”.

Now I’m ‘old’ and supposedly my sleep requirements should be reducing.

Well THAT’S not really going to be happening, I already see too many dawns arrive during summer.

Contrary to popular mythology, those classed as insomniacs don’t stay awake 24/7 – they just don’t sleep much, and don’t seem to suffer for it. Well, those of us who do it naturally don’t – but those who are truly sleep-deprived do, and probably have another problem that needs diagnosis.

I think the people who REALLY suffer are those who try to adhere to the “8 hours of sleep MUST BE HAD!” routine, as they try to force themselves to get those 8 hours by any means necessary, including doping and drugging themselves.

I’ve never even though of going down that road.

As far as I’m concerned, your body will tell you when to sleep, and if you want a guide, look out the window and see if it’s dark – if so, probably a good time to go lie down, don’t fret or worry about getting those damned ‘8 hours’ and just catch what your brain/body take.

Humans were sleeping long before clocks and hours were invented, and I suspect got along just fine.

Get advice here, but don’t get hooked on some detail, just go to bed if you are sleepy:

World Sleep Day

On a more light-hearted note, it’s a pity imgur galleries don’t work in WordPress blogs, so although this is pretty accurate, especially the last graphic, you’ll have to click on the link below to see it at all.

How to sleep “properly”

I say it’s accurate, but only if you start off your night following the steps in the opening graphics, trying those methods just seems to generate anxiety, and that starts off a self-fulfilling loop, as you begin to worry about not falling asleep. So, as I noted, I just don’t bother, and leave it to nature to knock me out when I’m ready, not when I ‘should’.

There’s another gallery I’d like to have stuck in here, but same problem, so this is one of the sleep ‘experts’ as seen there.

So, you’ll have to click this link for the full set.

I Can Sleep Purrretty Much Anywhere

Sleeping Door Cat

Sleeping Door Cat


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

Nameless fairy is still nameless

I’ve had TWO bites at this one already, and had to wander around near midnight to get a third to satisfy my curiosity.

First time around, I was distracted by the novel approach of a set of hybrid legal/illegal number plates on a Seat Ibiza – the front one is illegal, while the rear one is legal.

Then I was distracted by the illegal ‘flag’ I noticed on the left side of the front place, which turned out to be a little fairy. I was so busy catching that I didn’t notice there was footer on the plate, and was left wondering if that was the fairy’s name.

So, loaded with goodies from the nearby 24-hour Tesco, there I was dropping them all, so I could take yet another pic, and try not to look too suspicious since it was almost midnight.

Well, I don’t think this looks like a fairy’s name.

[C9 RYF] Plate

[C9 RYF] Plate

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

Water Bus sign

Digging back into the archives for an unused ‘rainy day’ (freezing day?) pic, I found one I spent so much time fiddling with I forgot to use it.

I’d taken a few that day, and had suffered a bad attack of ‘Tilted Camera Syndrome’, and couldn’t settle on a final version or edit that looked any way half decent or square. Although I whittle the mess down to this one, I forget to finish the job.

While a quick look trawled up some reference to a Clyde Water Bus running for a few years up to 2012, I’m pretty sure the Water Bus refers to something that ran some years before this.

I can’t (quickly) find anything online referring to this, nor can I recall much more than a vague memory. It didn’t seem to cover any routes or destinations that made it of any use to me, so I never had the opportunity to play on it, and then it was gone.

If you know or remember more, a comment below would be nice.

But this quite nice entrance has survived. A bit faded perhaps, but otherwise substantially OK.

Water Bus Sign

Water Bus Sign

Find it on the Broomielaw, at the corner of King George V Bridge, and the junction with Oswald Street.

Wider view, for a bit of context. (Click for a little bigger).

Water Bus Sign Wider

Water Bus Sign Wider

March 15, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Daytime view of the mystery box

Oops, sorry.

Didn’t intend to make two similar posts on following days, but forgot we had suddenly reached that time of year when ‘tomorrow’ is probably not going to be stormy, snowy, windy, and wet, so I can pop out for another pic without waiting for a week or more.

So, the odd lockbox I noticed a couple of nights ago gets its own daylight pics for a closer look, and no delay.

As can be seen, no indication of purpose or owner, and no sticker or labels.

Only other observation might be that it is mounted just above head height, so you have to reach up to it.

And, it IS locked.

Daytime Lock Box

Daytime Lock Box

There’s a reflective survey target on the pole, but this is unlikely to be related.

March 14, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, photography | , , | 6 Comments

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