Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

So, there really was a storm called Helene

Just kidding, I did notice the storm that passed a few days ago, and was intrigued to notice that my own weather station saw gusts of 36 mph, and an overall wind speed of 31 mph on the day. From memory (never a good thing with me), I think this differs from past observations where the gusts have been higher, but the wind speed was much less. I’m sure this means something for the sort of damage both types could inflict – a higher peak force could bring down less massive items which could resist a smaller, but longer lasting sustained assault, and vice versa.

It was also intriguing to watch a plot of the local pressure, which really did dip as the ‘eye’ passed Scotland, then rose back to its former level – and that wind/rain returned. The forecasters also suggested that it would make things warmer, they were right about that, but all the warms have gone.

I’d forgotten about this until I went for a late evening walk, and got cooked inside too many clothes!

But I was also reminded when I started tripping over fallen trees.

I thought we’d seen the last of these for a while, here at least, as so many were brought down in the worst of the storms we saw in the past few years, and the park folk had also taken down others at the same time, as they looked weak.

Maybe I was right about the higher sustained wind speed, doing different damage than high peak speeds.

I also noted a warning that at this time of year, lesser winds can do more damage to trees that are still in leaf, as they present a greater area to the wind than they do later, when they have lost their leaves.

I just walked past one of the local parks, and spotted this unfortunate, the only tree blown down in the park, and you can see how the trunk just failed. This park is quite open, and I noticed there was not a lot of debris (broken branches) lying around.

First Downed Tree

First Downed Tree

Next find was on a green in front of some sandstone mansions. Fortunately this debris had blown down onto the green itself, and not the other way, where a main road passes by. Obviously not the whole tree, but still sizeable branches – you would not have been happy if any of those had landed on your head. Then again, you would probably never have known.

Second Downed Tree

Second Downed Tree

Next park, I just stepped in and found my path almost blocked by the next fallen tree.

I’ve been walking for a while now, and it’s getting dark.

Third Downed Tree

Third Downed Tree

I was here a few days later, much later at night, but with a proper camera, and was curious to see how a pic would turn out.

Of course, the sodium lighting still surviving here means the pic is yellow.

But this is made up for by the detail, rather than the mush that passes for leaves in the other shots.

Fallen Tree Night

Fallen Tree Night

Round the other side, the break is obvious.

Third Downed Tree Break

Third Downed Tree Break

This view gives an idea of the size of this tree.

Third Downed Tree

Third Downed Tree

The trees are still quite dense in the park itself, despite losses and thinning in recent years, and a lot of smaller branches had been blown down, covering the paths and making it hard to avoid the odd trip or two in the dark

As a parting shot, when I left the park I found another branch had broken, larger than it looks in this pic, caught on the fence at the side of the path, and most of it has landed in the garden on the right.

It landed on the lighting cable, and although it didn’t break, it looks as if the wires have been pulled out or shorted, as none of the path lights were working.

Storm Damage Path Tree

Storm Damage Path Tree

This was another view I was able to catch later, with a better camera in the dark.

Storm Damage Path Tree Later

Storm Damage Path Tree Later

That was it, around here at least.

I did wander a little further, but all the other groups of trees I know here seemed to be standing with no fallen comrades among them.


21/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

They always do stuff when I’m not looking

Got a (pleasant surprise) when I returned to Parkhead Cross recently.

Having becomes so used to dodging the scaffolding at the bottom of this building in recent years, it took a while for me to work out what had changed!

The missing scaffolding at ground level was the obvious difference, but then I realised the rest had gone. I’d become so used to the frame added to the top of the tower I’d stopped looking as it was so depressing to see it up there.

Now it’s all gone, and we can see this very attractive red sandstone building in the clear once more, without obstructions.

Parkhead Cross Restoration

Parkhead Cross Restoration

A closer look at the top of the tower, no longer decorated with scaffolding to hold it together.

Interesting to note they’ve lined the compass points with the sides of the building, which is quite close to reality, but I believe it should be a touch clockwise (as seen from above) to have them correctly aligned.

But it’s still near enough to be just fine for anyone that does look at it, and believes it.

Still, it’s better than it was, as the older pic (below) shows this feature was previously even further out, and rotated anti-clockwise from its new alignment.

Glasgow Parkhead Cross Restoration Detail

Glasgow Parkhead Cross Restoration Detail

From the archives, a view of the same thing with ‘extra bits’ – added after (if my memory is at all correct) a bit fell off, fortunately not hitting anyone just before it reached the ground.

Parkhead scaffold

Parkhead scaffold

When I checked, I found this was actually a B listed building, with some notes about the corner.

Crawford and Veitch, 1905 (dated). 4-storey and attic corner tenement with renaissance ornament and decorative sculpture, square corner towerv with distinctive bell-shaped cupola of Scots renaissance type.

I’ve never looked, but there also mention of surviving Art Deco tiles in one of the closes.

The scaffolding in the street was always in the way for a clear view, but I will have to have a closer look at the closes (sorry) to see if those tiles are on view, or sealed behind the security door most tenement closes have gained over the years.

21/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day

21 September is World Alzheimer’s Day.

Alzheimer’s disease is the cleverest thief because she not only steals from you, but she steals the very thing you need to remember what’s been stolen.


Millions of families struggle with challenges arising from Alzheimer’s disease.

World Alzheimer’s Day is dedicated towards raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia/Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer Disease International (ADI), because of this, organizations around the world come together on this day to support finding a cure for this sorrowful disease.


This day was originally part of World Alzheimer’s Month, when organizations coordinate to create global messages about dementia.

The decision to hold this event over a whole month was made to enable national and local Alzheimer associations worldwide to extend the reach of their awareness programs and events.

The single day was launched in 1994, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Alzheimer Disease International (ADI), an association which empowers other organizations with research and updated knowledge about Alzheimer’s and dementia.

ADI is the international federation of Alzheimer associations around the world, and officially linked to  the World Health Organization (WHO). It holds international conferences, and the Alzheimer University, a series of practical workshops intended to help staff and volunteers, and to help educate people about the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and what they can do about it.



21/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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