Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

New feature trial – Weekly round-up: 16 October 2017

Big SeSco S

After some observations and conversations and discussions and hand-wringing I’ve decided to trial a new feature for the site/Blog – a ‘weekly round-up’.

I’m not sure of the format (that’s part of the reason for giving it a trial), but its basic aim will be a place to dump interesting stories seen during the week and which, if I had infinite time and patience, could form the basis of a nice Blog post – if I hadn’t grown accustomed to eating and sleeping.

Subjects may be more general than those with a Scottish flavour, maybe even controversial.

I’ll play with it for a while, and it will either stay if it does what I want it to, or quietly just… disappear.

I expect they’ll comprise a brief comment (AKA My Blog, My Opinion), which means they can be found by a search, plus a link to their online source, to prove they’re genuine and not made up (or in these days of ‘Fake News’ and SCROTUS ignorance and/or lies, not made up by ME).

There are some more reasons why this might be a handy feature (for the writer, not the readers), so it will be interesting to see if it satisfies them, and stays.

Weekly round-up: 16 October 2017

A fairly obvious chancer (a Spanish Tarot card reader, so the final outcome was sort of obvious) recently tried to grab a cut of Salvador Dali’s estate when she claimed she was his daughter – the result of an affair, something she said she had been told since she was young. Thankfully, DNA testing can positively discount such claims and put such claims firmly in their place. The nearest skip. The news reports her response is unknown, and fails to mention if she will be held liable for the costs of proving her potential fraud, which led to Dali’s body being exhumed (from a crypt), court time, and related costs.  Salvador Dali: DNA test proves woman is not his daughter

Dali’s response (too big for me to include – you’ll have to click the link to see it):

Scotland (Glasgow even) is becoming world famous for being the ‘Sick Man of Europe’ with (we’re told) the worst health record on many fronts, and poverty galore, especially for children. I don’t buy the latter though, as it’s an artificial line ‘drawn in the sand’ by those who want to score political points, and classes those without a mobile phone or games console as being in poverty. BUT… there was yet MORE good news for Scotland this week, as it scooped ANOTHER award and carried of the crown as: Scotland named as ‘UK’s gambling capital’

While this year seems to have seen the rise of a few disgruntled people who are now not only moaning, but getting into the news by actively disrupting events (allegedly even assaulting participants), it seems that Scotland, and local communities, are benefiting from such things, as illustrated by figures recorded over the years: Scottish production spend figures by year…

  • 2016 – £69.4m
  • 2015 – £52.7m
  • 2014 – £45.8m
  • 2013 – £33.6m
  • 2012 – £27m
  • 2011 – £29.3m
  • 2010 – £21.5m
  • 2009 – £24m
  • 2008 – £28m
  • 2007 – £23m

Source: Creative Scotland Money spent on TV and film production hits record high

Interesting that it was a Scottish team that chose to give this a try, and actually succeeded without getting stranded somewhere. Notably, the even takes place across the mountains, desert, and steppe of Europe and Asia, with no back-up, no support, and no set route. Scots couple first to complete Mongol Rally in electric car

It may not be considered as a ‘real’ ferry by some (bearing in mind some think it’s clever to say the Isle of Skye is not a ‘real’ island), but if it crosses water and gets you from A to B and your feet are dry, then being ‘free’ does not invalidate it. Incidentally, ‘free’ actually amounts to £40,000 being needed to run it, and its success and popularity may provide the basis for justifying yet another bridge across the River Clyde.  Big demand for revived ferry across the Clyde

No great surprise as Edinburghers are officially classified as being more miserable than Glaswegians – but that’s no surprise with all the Harry Potter associations that the natives of Edinburgh get lumbered with It’s official: Edinburgh is the most miserable place to live in the UK

There’s a bit of a surprise to be found in a web site called Atlas Obscura. While many similar sites have few contributions originating in Scotland, Atlas Obscura has managed to attract quite a few entries, and they’re not merely the most common or obvious ones that might be expected. For example, the two I noted most recently were for a drying green and some wallabies living on an island. See The Drying Green and Wallabies of Inchconnachan and have a search of the site for more Scottish items – it’s worth the effort.

The week ended with a feature on Glasgow’s old Lennox Castle Hospital, which also happens to be the subject of one of our most consistently popular Wiki pages, and nearly always feature in the top ten in terms of weekly views. Dating from 1936, its story seems to be a sad one, like a Jekyll and Hyde character, with some who were there full of praise (and probably earlier residents), while those held there prior to its closure in 2002 tell of an institute that lacked funding, was overcrowded, and staffed by people who were totally unsuitable, leading to abuse. “Care in the community” may be mocked by some, but seems better than the alternative The sad secrets of Glasgow’s abandoned mental hospital

A couple of industries I like to keep an eye on, wind power and nuclear power (because you get a great laugh meeting to many utter loonies spouting their ‘knowledge’ on both), managed to feature in the same story covered by a number of sources. The title tells all Offshore wind power cheaper than new nuclear

Since I mentioned nuclear power, I can now mention this excellent article about storage of nuclear waste. It’s intriguing to read the story behind this sensible approach, rather the general hysteria and NIMBY response to the subject in the UK, so beloved and fuelled by the green loonies.

While I don’t necessarily agree with the general theme of the article, there’s a lot of truth in this article When I was small the tourists poured into bustling Scottish coastal towns … how times have changed. Why don’t I endorse it fully? Simply because it whines on about deprivation AND commits the sin of blaming local politics, as if these could have changed wider influences from around the world (think personal choices of the visitors who deserted these resorts and package holidays, for example).

The above isn’t necessarily the format this feature will take, just a first effort, and I’ll (probably) play around with options for a while, and maybe see what else it can be used for.


September 17, 2017 Posted by | Weekly round-up | | 1 Comment

Neeb’s wheels 11

Spotted hiding ‘In the wild’ a while ago, this may not be one of the possible super cars some of my neighbour’s try to intimidate me with, but I would have to say that I’m rather impressed by this one. Dating from 2006, this blue BMW 525D M Sport A baulks the usual trend of not keeping a car for more than a few years.

While I’ve been in the position of being obliged to change my car every few years, with no option to retain it as the company policy is frequent renewal, I prefer to keep one I like, and look after it.

The treatment some of those cars, only a year or two old at most, got from the drivers was pathetic, and the manufacturer usually carried the can and bore the cost of their neglect and abuse. Having seen this first hand, I often wonder at the accuracy of many negative reports about some makes.

This one has lived along the road from me for years, yet I have no idea just what the significance of 234 GFJ means to the owner.


2016BMW525[234 GFJ]

2016 BMW 525 [234 GFJ]

September 17, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment


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