Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Lost Child – No Reward – Seems Fair

Saw this recently.

Just seemed to be so right:

Lost Child No Reward

Lost Child No Reward

If only this had happened about 60 years ago.


July 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost | , | Leave a comment

The Holyrood skip is featured on a stamp

No matter how many times ‘They’ try to retell history, make up ‘Alternative Facts’, or claim that the Holyrood Skip aka the Scottish Parliament Building was never estimated at something like £40 million, and that the final accounting of something more like £430 million – I won’t buy it.

Oh! My mistake – I paid tax at the time, so I was FORCED to buy it, no matter what it cost.

For example (just one link, I don’t have enough time left to list more): MSPs ‘deceived’ over Holyrood costs

And it made a list too: Great British building blunders

The Scottish Parliament – 2004

In arguably the most spectacular mismanagement of public finances ever, the original estimate for the construction of the Scottish Parliament building, Holyrood, did not even cover the final tax bill.
Over nearly 10 years projected costs of £40m ballooned to a final bill of over £400m as design changes, overruns and a hugely ambitious architectural specification turned what should have been the pride of Scotland’s burgeoning political ambition into a major embarrassment.
In attempting to design a building that reflected both the geography and culture of Scotland, the joint Spanish/Scottish architectural team EMBT-RMJM created mountains of extra costs.

While I have no interest whatsoever in the politics, I will never forgive those responsible for their choice of architect, his wife (who apparently came knocking on the door for more money after he died), and the pile of rubbish foist on Scotland, beaten by the Scottish weather and leaking (water in, and heat out), and then also apparently needing yet more spent not long after completion to upgrade its poor security.

Worse still, reports noted back in 2014 suggest will be cheaper to demolish the heap after it has been standing for only 30 years (due to spiralling maintenance costs).

So, I’m not quite sure why anybody would want to have a stamp issued to commemorate a national embarrassment and a skip, but it seems they did:

Scottish Parliament and Armadillo celebrated with new stamps

SeSco was lucky enough to be given an early look at one of the designs, featuring a view of the Scottish Parliament in session in the £430 million Catalan architectural ‘gem’.

Holyrood Skip Stamp

Holyrood Skip Stamp

The BBC also had the story of the new stamps, but wisely avoided any mention of the Holyrood skip in its story, although it did include a pic (probably had to, to avoid accusations of pro-Glasgow bias) – but that means little since it also had pics of all the other places featured on the new stamps.

SEC Armadillo features in new special set of stamps

July 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | 1 Comment

The island of Little Ross is up for sale

I’m always intrigued to see how often small islands around Scotland come up for sale – even more so when I think that I could maybe sell up everything (and I really mean EVERYTHING) and maybe have the one of the cheapest for myself.

Then stuff like ‘Cost of ownership’ and ‘Reality’ (not to mention ‘Eating’) start to appear – and I stop having such foolish thoughts.

Liken it to buying a second-hand (or even a new) Ferrari – you might get it home and enjoy looking at it, but for most ‘ordinary’ folk, the first year would probably ruin them with the various running costs if they actually drove it too. And don’t even think about the pain of any repair costs if warranty or insurance did not apply.

But back to the island.

On offer is the island of Little Ross, with offers over £325,000 being invited.

It will be interesting to see if it sells, as the trend has (for the ones I’ve eyed up, and the sale info has not been kept private) been for them to hang around for a while, not sell for ages, or have their price dropped to help them along – or they do sell, but the details are held private, with hints that the price was not changed (much).

The lighthouse tower – which is not included in the sale – was designed and built by Alan Stevenson at the mouth of Kirkcudbright Bay to close the gap between other lighthouses at the Mull of Galloway and Southerness. and first lit in 1843.

It was manned until 1960.


Little Ross

Complete with history of murder

In this case, the island comes with an interesting history.

In 1960, the lighthouse keeper was killed by a colleague.

Keeper Hugh Clark was found dead on the island and his assistant Robert Dickson was later tried and found guilty of his murder.


Keepers’ houses

The listing includes a six-bedroom, B-listed cottage and courtyard which is next to an operational lighthouse tower which is not part of the deal.

Via: Little Ross lighthouse island up for sale

It’s a bargain compared to a castle

Looking at recent news, I spotted a castle up for sale, for mere £3.75 million.

Admittedly, Glenborrodale Castle actually includes TWO isolated islands (Risga and Eilean an Feidh)along with its 16 bedrooms, not forgetting the tennis court, gym and sauna, commercial kitchen, games room, boat house with jetty, and of course, live-in accommodation for your staff.

But a look at recent castle sales and stories show they are just a liability, bringing annual maintenance bills which will (like the apparently desirable Ferrari mentioned at the start) soon cripple you financially.

But, if you have your own oil-well, or a Facecrook page, you might be interested…

Dream home: Highland castle goes on the market for £3.75m


July 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Neeb’s wheels 10

Given the cost of a Ferrari, and if you’re at all familiar with owning one, you’ll understand I really mean the cost of running one, then a six or twelve volt kid’s option makes more sense… LOTS more.

I’ve known a few folks who saved their pennies and bought a Ferrari, and some (who did not have bottomless pockets) were almost ruined by the annual running and servicing costs. They can be horrendous if you clock up appreciable miles.

And DON’T break it!

One of them missed a gear change, and the bill (this one was about 20 years back) was a crippling £30 k just to repair the gearbox.

And Ferrari apparently does not suffer fools gladly either, as they were not interested in his efforts to get any of the costs covered by warranty, or even insurance. He had to choose between coughing up the cash and having the repairs carried out, or selling his nearly new car as ‘damaged/repairable’ at a significant loss. Who wants to buy an expensive car that comes with a £30 k bill before it can even be driven, and might have more damage?

This one I spotted not too far from home (must have missed it on past walks) seems to make a lot more sense, even if it does come in need of repair – the front end seems to be missing.

It’s kind of hard to tell what it’s modelled after, given the missing front, and the rounded lights plus lack of any bonnet detail seem to suggest it’s an older type, no longer lodged in my rapidly diminishing memory. Recent models have lights with corners thanks to slimming down and using LEDs, and have a variety of bonnet scoops and intakes now.

The rear light would probably have given the needed clues, but a raid over a very locked gate and tall hedge seemed a bit excessive.

Ferrari for Kids

Ferrari for Kids

While the styling may be forgivable to make it cheap and easy to make…

The real SIN revealed by that lack of front bodywork is not.

The directional tyres have been mounted backwards!

There is just NO excuse. None.

July 15, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment


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