Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Clutha owner sues helicopter firm Babcock for £350,000

Interesting logic.

The owner of the Clutha bar in Glasgow where a helicopter crashed killing 10 people almost five years ago has said he is still waiting for compensation.

Alan Crossan confirmed he will sue Babcock, the company which owns the helicopter operator, for £350,000 in lost earnings while his pub was closed.

Mr Crossan said his lawyer would serve a writ to the multinational corporation within a week.

The helicopter was operated by Bond Air Services, which is now owned by Babcock.

Mr Crossan was given an initial six-figure payout for refurbishing his damaged pub but almost five years later he said he was still trying to get compensation for revenue and profits lost while the pub was closed for 20 months.

Under Scots law, complainers have five years to make a damages claim of this sort.

Mr Crossan told BBC Scotland he had been “pushed to the court steps” by Babcock’s refusal to discuss compensation.

Clutha owner sues helicopter firm Babcock for £350,000

The Clutha Bar As Was

The Clutha Bar As Was

I wonder how long we’ll have to wait for a resolution, and if we’ll find out the details, or if any award will be kept private?


23/11/2018 Posted by | Aviation, Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Shettleston Aldi to open on November 29

They DID tell us!

Shettleston’s Aldi is set to open on Thursday, 29 November.

And the date was on the news site I thought might be the one to have it.

Opening date announced for new Aldi store in Shettleston

The new 1,140 sq metre Shettleston shop will stock more than 400 Scottish products from 80 supplies across the country.

All joking aside, it is interesting to actually read the labels on what they sell (and to be fair, this applies equally to the other supermarkets too). Mouthy activists and media looking for ‘clickbait’ like to slag off supermarkets for not supporting local produce, but in the real world, away from biased individuals and reporting, things are actually pretty good.

Oh, this old pic will do 🙂

Aldi Fitting

Aldi Fitting

23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Christmas is coming

I’ve been a bit tight with the early Christmas light pics, so I should get some of them posted.

This was the entrance to the St Enoch Christmas Market as seen from Argyle Street.

St Enoch Christmas Market

St Enoch Christmas Market

It provided the chance of a pretty good ‘reflection’ pic in the glass entrance to the Subway (behind).

St Enoch Market Subway Reflection

St Enoch Market Subway Reflection

The market’s quite quiet at the moment, so it’s still easy to a quick walk around.

A really quick walk in my case, as I must really be out of touch. The prices are just eye-watering for most of the stuff on offer.

Interesting to note the photo machines that were dotted around the place last year are absent. No great surprise (again, given the price) since almost everyone carries a phone with a camera these days.

Along at GoMa (Gallery of Modern Art)m the lights were finished, and all lit.

Couldn’t decide if ‘wide’ or ‘tall’ looked best for the building, so you get both.

GoMA Wide

GoMA Wide

Can’t get proper symmetry, at least not without standing in the road – and dying!

GoMA Tall

GoMA Tall

Although I still only shoot handheld, I’m using different base setting compared to the past, possibly catching more detail, and delivering darker darks, or shadows.

I’m leaving pics largely as taken (but errors always get fixed, if possible), whereas in the past I tended to ‘lift’ detail out of the shadows.

If nothing else, easier and faster for me.

23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

The illegals – WA09 ELL

Another of the illegal spacings, with WA09 ELL being shown as WA09ELL, so fairly obvious.

I always think these will be a gift for the coffers if the police ever see these as an easy catch one day, and start pulling them, like the TV traffic cops do down south.

I’ve been a bit slow with this one.

While it was on a Fiat when I tripped over it a while ago, records show it’s now on a 2014 Audi.

Wonder if it was a one-time visitor in the dangerous east end, or if I might catch the upgrade if the owner dares bring their nice car here?

Well, never saw it before, so chances of seeing it again?

Fiat [WA09 ELL]

Fiat [WA09 ELL]

23/11/2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Surprise opening of Calton Hill Collective

I spotted news of a development on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, around the site of the old observatory, not that long ago (back in August), and while mentioning it then, had no idea the work would be completed so soon.

I noted then that whenever I had visited Calton Hill, and the old observatory site, while there may have been a great view, it was really disappointing to see that this was really a dead place, with more interest for vandals than visitors.

It seems the work is done and the opening is set.

A new centre for contemporary art is to open at one of Edinburgh’s most iconic sites.

Collective – on Calton Hill – will include a new exhibition space and restaurant as well as the restored City Observatory.

The £4.5m development on the world heritage site is the result of a partnership between artists, businesses and local people.

The new art centre will open on Saturday.

Collective will include the restored City Observatory, designed by William Playfair in 1818, a new purpose-built exhibition space with panoramic viewing terrace, and a destination restaurant, The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage.

For the first time in its 200-year history the City Observatory site will be freely open to the public.

The City Observatory played a key role in the history of astronomy and timekeeping in Edinburgh.

The original telescope, installed in the observatory in 1831, will be on display.

Art centre to open on Calton Hill in Edinburgh

The only downside I can see is that I couldn’t get into the observatory building when I was a regular visitor to the area, now I can get in, but likely won’t be in Edinburgh again.

City Observatory Calton Hill

City Observatory Calton Hill

See also…

Observatory embarks on new mission after £4.5m makeover

23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Kelvingrove lights

Passing Kelvingrove, I thought the light was maybe right to catch the decorative lights that stand ahead of the façade.

I wasn’t far off.

In this case it was still light enough to take pics of the building, yet catch the lit fixture without the illumination burning out the detail.

The only disappointment was that it’s not really possible to get into positions where they line up in interesting way.

Well, you could try, but you’d probably also get carted off by the police, given how some people react if you stand in the wrong place,or climb onto something.

Kelvingrove Lights

Kelvingrove Lights

It’s nice to catch the light at this time of day, and get images like this without having to process them to alter the balance.

Kelvingrove Lights

Kelvingrove Lights


Kelvingrove Lights Kelvin Hall

Kelvingrove Lights Kelvin Hall

And… the Kelvin Hall, just because.

Kelvin Hall From Kelvingrove

Kelvin Hall From Kelvingrove

Actually, I find I have to grab shots like this because I really thought it was something (a regular haunt) I’d never see for real again, some years ago.

Lamp Detail

I almost missed detail on the lamp, such was my interest in the few minutes of evening light.

As I walked away I noticed the lamp bases had Glasgow’s coat of arms cast into the base, I thought it was just the tree at first, but all the parts are there:

There’s the tree that never grew,
There’s the bird that never flew,
There’s the fish that never swam,
There’s the bell that never rang.

The fish (salmon) does have a ring in its mouth, it’s not a flaw in the casting.

Kelvingrove Lamp Column Base

Kelvingrove Lamp Column Base

I was sure I’d lined this view up accurately, but it seems distorted.

I’m not sure if these are the original light fittings, from the opening back in 1901, or if they are modern replacements or upgrades, I’d have to dig out original pics to answer that one.

However, as foundry items, they would never be ‘perfect’ due to way they were made.

The manufacturer really is SUGG, a company which has been making such items since 1837, so it’s entirely possible these are ‘modern’ items, but made with the original patterns. I just don’t know (perhaps an ‘expert’ is looking in 🙂 ).

I might ask, but it’s surprisingly ‘hit-and-miss’ doing this, as some staff are knowledgeable, while others have no idea. That’s not a criticism or complaint, as they do offer to help, I just find it a little surprising that info/knowledge is sometimes not easy to get. I think it’s simply that those who know seem to specialise in their own area, with great detail.

23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Systems Engineer Day

23 November is Systems Engineer Day.

But, it’s another wandering day, set to fall on the last Friday of November, so next year, you’ll have to look for it on 29 November 2019.

The term Systems Engineering is said to have first appeared in Bell Telephone Laboratories in the 1940s. Now, systems engineering has been divided into many fields and sub-fields including cognitive systems engineering, industrial engineering, mechatronic engineering, reliability engineering, security engineering, and software engineering, and many more.

This is just a mention in keeping with SysAdmin day, to recognise groups that are just not really that well noticed.

Systems Engineer Mug

Systems Engineer Mug

23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Espresso Day

23 November is Espresso Day.

Espresso is a refinement of coffee, distilled down to its most potent elements and delivered in special cups that should have a warning label that reads “High Vibration and Caffeine Jitters Ahead”.

It seems this date from 1884, in Turing, where an innovation was developed that went way past ordinary watered-down caffeination as found in ordinary coffee and tea. Thanks to new methods of Angelo Moriondo, he had made a machine which separately control the passing of steam and water through the coffee, making it possible to extract the fullest possible potential from the humble coffee bean.

Now anyone can have their own espresso machine, which brews the coffee by expressing or forcing out a small amount of almost boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.

Fine for special occasions, but I’m just not that patient. All the fuss with beans, grinding, packing, filing, waiting… it’s all too much for me.

My little machine makes a good dust-gatherer, while I just get on with drinking coffee (my favourite instant).

Jar – Boil – Gulp – Repeat -Jar- Boil – Gulp – Repeat – Jar…

Sorry, but while I appreciate the fun and variety of coffee brewing hardware, it’s just too much effort.

It’s also been spoiled by all the myths and snobbery associated with coffee and machines – and I detest those ‘capsule’ things.

I even get frantic with a simple cafetière, even it needs proper timing, and the application of patience to plunge the plunger at just the right rate – too fast, and all that effort is wasted.



23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | 1 Comment

Today is Buy Nothing Day

I thought this felt familiar.

23 November 2018 is buy nothing Day.

And it felt familiar because it’s another of those irritating and wandering days, this one set fall on the Friday after Thanksgiving (who makes up these daft rules?). That means the next one will fall on 29 November 2019.

Said enough about this one here: Buy Nothing Day

All you need is this handy, thrifty, Scottish wallet, and you can take part in this day no problems.


Locked Wallet

Locked Wallet


23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Fibonacci Day

23 November is Fibonacci Day.

I don’t really know why, but there just seems to be something about Fibonacci number I like.

Certain number sequences appear in nature time and time again, and they seem to define the very basis of our reality and coordinate how everything comes together. One of these is the Fibonacci sequence, and it can be found in the most surprising of places.

Fibonacci Day commemorates this sequence and the man who brought it to our attention back in 1202.

That was Leonardo of Pisa, known today as Fibonacci. However, he was not the first to think of it, but he was the first to bring it to the European world and bring awareness to its importance in the advancement of science.

The sequence first appeared in Indian mathematics, where it was known as Virahanka numbers, and was connected with Sanskrit prosody. The number sequence is also linked to the golden ratio, and the golden triangle. These appear repeatedly in nature, as does the sequence.

Found in the most fundamental of things, from the petals of a flower, to the apparently complex and random branching of a trees limbs. Find them within a pine cone, the shape of an unfurling fern, it even describes the family tree of bees.

So, for Fibonacci Day, try doing a little research into it, and learning what it can describe, and where it appears.

Fibonacci Sequence

A natural example showing where such a sequence might be found.

Fibonacci Tree

Fibonacci Tree

23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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