Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Tollcross Park Winter Gardens just sliding into ruin

Cutting through Tollcross Park meant passing the derelict and now very ruined glasshouse of the winter gardens.

Somehow this looks even worse, as the undergrowth and weeds start to build up around the uncared for structure.

Looking at the roof, I noted the clips holding the glazing in place have started to show signs of rotting and failing.

Glass panes on the roof section are starting to come loose and slide down.

I wonder if anything helpful came out of the last meeting of the ‘Friends’ of the park?

It really is shameful that this has been allowed to happen, after all the money and effort which saw it restored, now a memory almost two decades in the past.

Tollcross Winter Garden Decay

Tollcross Winter Garden Decay

If it carries on at this rate, in a few years there won’t be any need to think about it being demolished – it will have done the job all by itself.

Good example of… a Building at Risk

16/05/2018 Posted by | council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Prison cat or Thoughtful cat?

When you’re behind bars, you get the gift of time to think.

The warmer weather is bringing a few cats out, and I’m getting luckier just by keeping away from them.

This one looked as if it was staring out of prison bars first time I passed.

Then it just seemed to look deep in thought (plotting world domination no doubt) when I went back.

Prison Cat Or Thoughtful Cat

Prison Cat Or Thoughtful Cat

But, it was business as usual after I took the pic and tried to walk past gate and say ‘Hello’.

As soon as I got close, it was ‘catbutt‘ as usual, and it had vanished without trace.

16/05/2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Green has… mermaids?

Passing through Glasgow Green on a nice evening (the same one that got Kelvingrove Park in the news, again) I still find it slightly odd to see ordinary folk enjoying the space late into the evening. Cleaning up the surrounding area, and adding new flats/housing around it has paid off big time, and it’s great to see people take it back from the dross that used ‘own’ it and make it somewhere to keep well clear of.

I would have given it a wide berth at this time a few years ago, but today go through it even when it’s dark (there is lighting there now) and rather than drunks, now bump into locals who are running and cycling there.

Back to the nice evening, and while I snapped a few pics they didn’t really turn out, and just showed some nondescript views of people wandering on a grassy area. I may consider myself good at buildings and structures, but I need to work on people/street/candid.

I’ve developed a habit of checking corners of pics and stuff in the background though, before I dump them, in case there’s something interesting I didn’t notice at the time.


This jumped out of one.

Mermaid Water?

Glasgow Green What's That?

Glasgow Green What’s That?

Closer – yes, it is.

Mermaid Water

Mermaid Water

I wonder if they only come onto land when it’s sure to be dry?

16/05/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Sea Monkey Day

16 May is Sea Monkey Day.

This one was so weird and such a surprise to come across, I just had to include it.

And I used to have sea monkeys too, so there’s another reason.

Like most (I suspect) I never REALLY know the story behind these things, although I assumed they were some sort of larva, or something.

I’m guessing we all got them from the same place through ads in comics that appeared along with X-Ray Goggles, Magic Tricks, and chemistry sets and similar gems. They advertised the most unlikely of pets, monkeys that lived in salt water that you could easily have for your own. They came freeze-dried, coming to life when added to water, and made active when placed under the heat from a light bulb.

Pity the poor little things nowadays, with ‘cold’ LED or fluorescent lights chucking out only a few watts.

I can just picture a ‘Millennial’ sitting puzzled at this, wondering why their sea monkey don’t come to life

Back n the ‘Good Old Days’ we had REAL lightbulbs, with proper filaments that glowed white-hot and quite literally burnt tens or hundreds of wasted watts to produce a little light. But, wasting all that power as heat rather than light made those incandescent bulbs a handy, of small, source of heat.

(And, would ever have had Lava Lamps if not for incandescent light bulbs?)

What on earth IS a sea monkey?

Sea monkeys can trace their existence back to ant farms. A certain Mr Milton Levine managed to make ant-farm kits popular back in 1956, and it seems that one Mr Harold von Braunhut was inspired to do the same with the aquatic  brine-shrimp.

It was a surprisingly clever move, although he did have to work with a marine biologist to perfect it, and (eventually) with just a small packet of minerals and a suitable (clear) container you were ready to help your brine-shrimp needed to survive.

How did the become sea monkeys?

Simple. Who was going to buy brine-shrimp?

It was clever marketing, although the name didn’t appear until 5 years later. They were originally called ‘instant life’ referring to the ‘just add water’ line. But after the resemblance of their tails to monkeys tails was noted by fans, they became ‘Sea-Monkeys.

Their success was unbelievable, with something like 3.2 million pages of comic book advertising per year, money was pouring into the venture.

What exactly are they?

While there was some story on the wrapping, it wasn’t all that clear, but they really are seriously clever.

They don’t (or didn’t) exist in nature before being created in a lab by hybridization, and are known as Artemia NYOS (New York Ocean Science). When dried out, go through anhydrobiosis, or hibernation.

But, with the right mixture of water, nutrients, and heat, they spring back into life as if nothing had happened to them.

They’ve even orbited the earth and gone to the Moon.

You can still get them,  maybe in toy or gadget shops near you, or there’s always Amazon, which seems to have quite a number of different kits on offer.

I have to confess that until I read their history (as repeated above) I had no idea why anyone had christened them ‘sea-monkeys’ – especially since the adverts showed them as semi-human (and they clearly don’t look even remotely as depicted).

Original Sea Monkey Ad

Original Sea Monkey Ad

And after an original ad…

An original sea monkey or brine shrimp.

Sea Monkey Or Brine Shrimp

Sea Monkey Or Brine Shrimp

Sad to say that while they may last indefinitely when frozen, the same is not once they are unfrozen and hydrated.

I was always sorry for them, as they died off after a while – and got poured down the drain 😦

16/05/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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