Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Nice to see Michael Calwell called out over his shocking letter

I see I was not the only person who found Michael Calwell’s letter to The Scotsman shocking.

Michael Calwell (Letters, 12 September) says “that corporal punishment, unlike actual physical abuse, causes no detectable physical, psychological or emotional harm, and has no detectable negative behavioural consequences”.

He could not be more wrong. Research studies made over a long number of years and one involving more than 160,000 children, clearly indicated children who are smacked are more likely to exhibit higher levels of aggression and mental health problems.

Other research indicates that children who are smacked are more likely to be abusive to their partners as adults.

Letters: Studies show smacking ban is the right approach

There’s not really any point in going over the same ground again, and it is covered in more detail than I have to hand in the article the above quote is taken from.

The sad thing is still that so many of those motivated to comment are AGAINST the ban.


Mad, bad, or sad?

Mad: They simply don’t understand the issues raised or caused by showing children that violence is the solution to a problem.

Bad: They’re child abusers, perverts, or pedos.

Sad: They don’t care, and are just trolls or politically motivated, and see a free space to promote ‘their’ party, or rubbish their opposition.

Regardless, the chances are they may be dangerous people, and merit watching.

Tonight, there was more bad news to go along with this.

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry to look at 17 more institutions

Glaswegians urged to watch for signs of abuse and be ‘ready to take action’ following ‘harrowing’ case of neglect

Life is NOT good for some.



13/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

First Christmas event announced for 2018

Christmas gets earlier EVERY YEAR!

This seems to the first item for Christmas 2018, and isn’t decorations, or trees, going up early, but the dates for the Christmas Markets that have become regular features in George Square and St Enoch Square.

Hopefully we won’t see the same bitching about the events being at the two venues, which was something I was sad to see reported in the media last year.

I love them, but only for a wander around, and rub shoulders with the wealthy.

I’m so far out of touch with the price of stuff, I just wander around in a daze, trying not to look at any of the price tags on the stalls.

The event has its own web site with more details.

Glasgow Christmas Markets

The dates and time given there are as follows (but there’re months to go, so check to make sure they haven’t changed by the time these markers actually take place!)

George Square Christmas Market
Sun 25 Nov –  Mon 31 Dec
Mon – Wed, 10am – 9pm
Thu – Sun, 10am – 10pm (finish at 6pm on Sun 31 Dec)

St Enoch Square Christmas Market
Fri 9 Nov – Sun 23 Dec
Mon – Wed, 10am – 9pm
Thu – Sun, 10am – 10pm (finish at 6pm on Sun 23 Dec)

George Square Scene B

George Square Scene

13/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Catch this Dundas Street view while you can

Demolition can reveal views not normally seen, but you have to be awake and alert, or the chance can be lost – this is especially true if the demolition is in aid of rebuilding or redevelopment.

In this case, demolition is being carried out to update Queen Street Station. Once the site is clear, the gap site will be filled.

The gap reveals a normally hidden view of some fine sandstone buildings in Dundas Street, one with the sign ‘Dundas House’.

Unfortunately, the (online) list of building and records only shows them by their number in the street, with no details or history.

Catch this view while you can, it won’t be on offer for long.

Queen Street Station Demolitiion

Queen Street Station Demolition

In a few months, it will no longer be possible to photograph these building directly.

Queen Street Demolition Reveal Dundas House

Queen Street Demolition Reveal Dundas House

The smaller building on the right is Dundas House, in Dundas Street.

The larger building on the left is the Connal Building.

Described as one of the most ornate building in Glasgow (a look at the façade will confirm), the Connal Building was built for William and Company, warehouse keepers and traders, in 1896, while the Connal Company was an iron maker. The building opened in 1900, with warehouses on the ground floor, and offices on the six storeys above.

The architect was James Thompson, responsible for a number of ‘Ritterhaus Renaissance’ commercial buildings in Glasgow, modelled after the Ritterhaus in Heidelberg, Germany. All are said to feature carved portraits of the architect on their façades.

Built of red Locharbriggs sandstone, it has numerous stone carvings, said to include a carving of a train over the main entrance. I have still to find this, but noted a carved ‘W’ amongst the decorations there, presumably for ‘William and Company’. Iron products are said to featured in the window pediments, while  the columns are supported by stone heads.

Thompson’s favourite carver was James Young, who worked for the architect until 1903. The Connal Building was one of his last commissions. Young once worked for the well-known Glasgow sculptor John Mossman, before starting his own business, and is best known for his figures of St Mungo and St Ninian in Glasgow Cathedral.

13/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Programmers’ Day

13 September 2018 is Programmers’ Day.

But not always.

Programmers’ Day is celebrated on the 256th day of the year – chosen because this is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte, and the highest power of two which is less than 365.

Many people celebrate this day on 07 January, apparently the original (though unofficial) date.

However, in 2009, it seems the Russian government declared the day to be a professional holiday, and set the date as 13 September (12 September in leap years).

Whatever – I think it’s just nice for Programmers to have a day to celebrate, and make up for all the abuse they get for the rest of year – from people who hand them poorly specified requests for programs.


Programmer Coffee

13/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Defy Superstition Day

13 September is Defy Superstition Day.

Funny thing, I used to pay attention to superstitions, but as I got older, and the chance for superstitions to prove themselves diminished, I eventually gave up on them, and have even began to regard any suggestion that I should believe in them as something of an insult – I’m just not that stupid.


I am smarter after all those years of waiting.

I don’t just dismiss a superstition without looking behind the claim, or the simplistic message it may be carried by.

There are some valid warnings to be found in a number of supposed superstitions – some of which grew out of observations of mishaps which befell people in certain circumstances, so the wiser folk of old communities wrapped up that knowledge in a story or anecdote that could be easily remembered and shared.

I thought somebody might have made a nice list explaining a few of my favourites, but no luck.

The best thing to do is try hunting down (serious) articles that look at superstitions, and try to give their origins.

Groucho Marx Black Cat

Groucho Marx Black Cat

13/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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