Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Well THAT was surprise – a Mackintosh statue just appeared!

I’m not the sort of person who has ‘heroes’, but if I did, Mackintosh would be one of them.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue And Plinth

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue And Plinth

It may be my less than helpful memory, but when I saw these stories last night, about a statue to Charles Rennie Mackintosh being unveiled yesterday… I was taken completely unawares.

I had no idea, and have been near the spot fairly often, but the site is not in clear view from where I’ve been.

It was too late to do anything, so I had to wait, and hope the decent weather lasted.

Mackintosh statue unveiled on 90th anniversary of death

Charles Rennie Mackintosh statue unveiled in Glasgow today – here’s where to find it

‘Ensuring Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s memory lives on’ – take a look at Glasgow’s new statue

Mackintosh statue unveiled on anniversary of his death

The only sour note of the day came from the usual source – the ‘Moron area’ after The Scotsman’s poor article.

The article failed as it tried to make some daft references to the fire in the Mackintosh Building, and the morons did their usual party piece, using it as an excuse to twist the unveiling to insult others, and make their now standard political points (which nobody but them is interested in).

Statue of Charles Rennie Mackintosh can help Glasgow ‘move on’ from art school fire

The completed statue weighs three tons, is 2.8 m (9 ft) tall and sits on a 2.2 m (6.5 ft) plinth.

It features Mackintosh sitting on one of the famous high-backed seats he designed for Glasgow’s Argyle Street Tea Rooms.

The monument’s creator, Andy Scott, said: “Most of my memories as a Glasgow School of Art student have Mr Mackintosh’s beautiful building as a backdrop. His distinctive architectural styling and the sculpted detailing of that building undoubtedly influenced my career path.

“I am immensely proud to have created this distinctive bronze statue of him, especially here in his home city. There can’t be many Scots who deserve recognition more than Charles Rennie Mackintosh.”

The sculpture was originally intended to be the ‘icing on the cake’ of a year of events planned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the architect, who was a pioneering influence in Europe’s art nouveau movement.

The unveiling took place on the 90th anniversary of his death.

Mr Scott, whose other public works include The Kelpies, was commissioned to create the statue more than three years ago, and it is believed to be first ever public sculpture of Mackintosh.

It can be found at the junction of St Vincent Street, Elliot Street, and Argyle Street.

I’m more used to seeing St Vincent Street and Argyle Street as they appear in the city centre, and it’s very odd to stand in them in the form they now have in Anderston.

I don’t care what anyone else refers to this as, but since Mackintosh is sitting squarely in the middle of present day Argyle Street, even if it is now a pedestrian avenue, for me, this is now the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue.

Click for bigger.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue

It’s a seriously good piece of sculpture, full of rich detail (often missing from stone, but captured in bronze).

I already have a favourite part – his boots!

The lacing detail is gorgeous.

It really is high, and he has a commanding view of the area.

Click for bigger.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Rear

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Rear

What the unveiling stories from the media failed to report was – the small fact that the plinth’s cladding was incomplete.

When I arrived, it was lunchtime, so the team was packed into their van, and I could take almost clear pics.

You can see the top layer of cladding is only present at the front of the plinth.

It seems ReGlasgow’s photographer was there after me, and took pics AFTER the top cladding was completed.

The pics are a bit odd though, with weird colouring on the statue – I suspect there may be up-lighting built into the plinth, not visible when I was there earlier in the day. Guess I” have to go back later in the day for another look.

IN Pictures — Glasgow’s New Charles Rennie Mackintosh Statue

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Left

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Left

Oh, one small detail from the right edge of the above pic, just in case anyone didn’t believe me about this being Argyle Street.

Argyle Street Sign

Argyle Street Sign

From the other side.

Click for bigger.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Right

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Right

You noticed the plaque, and wonder what’s inscribed.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plaque

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plaque

Then, lunch was over, and it was ‘Back to Work’.

The workman gives an idea of the scale of this sculpture – it is ‘larger than life’.

Click for bigger.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Works

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Works

While there were no crowds, there was a steady stream of people arriving to take pics. As one left, another would arrive.

Note the tripod on the right, attached to a video camera. You saw it in the second pic above, along with an interviewer.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Visitors

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Visitors

I missed my chance for fame!

I could have been the first person interviewed for a programme about the statue on “That’s TV”, which took over Freeview channel 8 after the ultimate disaster of the local television channels that appeared there a while ago, did some sort of deal supposedly to make their service ‘better’, and promptly collapsed. I can’t even remember their name since I stopped watching the useless ‘improved’ version.

Ten years ago I might have, but I’m just not that social now, or even looking for somewhere to push this web site.

But, as you can see, she did eventually manage to interest some of the folk who were turning up.

I began to wish I’d stayed closer, as some of the conversations became quite animated, with the interviewees pointing at lots of places, and doing lots of talking.

I thought I’d return the favour, and hit the video button on my camera but, as the joke goes “I have no idea what I’m doing” as I never use it.

11/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

The REAL reason Deliveroo numbers are ‘rising’

I don’t think this story is telling the FULL story…

I think they’re selectively forgetting to tell that while numbers surge as riders join – they’re falling as others are removed from the gene pool.

Online delivery firm Deliveroo has seen its rider numbers surge in Scotland in recent years, according to figures seen by BBC Scotland.

In 2015 – two years after the company was founded – there were fewer than 100 Deliveroo couriers in Scotland. Today, there are more than 1,400.

Edinburgh has the most at 641, followed by Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.

Deliveroo reveals big rise in rider numbers


Have you seen Deliveroo riders during the dark nights?

Probably  not.

They look more like competitors fighting for the next Darwin Award.

Don’t feel smug if you have a big box with ‘UBER’ plastered over it  –  the story may not be about that company, but same rider issue in the dark.

As I cycle through Glasgow, I find it shocking that these riders, who probably follow the example of taxi drivers, and call themselves ‘professionals’, are unlikely to be seen.

Few of them seem to have lights fitted to their bikes.

Those that do appear to buy theirs from Poundland, and never replace the batteries, and would probably be better lit if they fitted candles.

I saw one who had bought a £1.50 pair of little silicone rubber lights (a white one for the front, a red one for the rear) powered by CR2032 button cells, and had tied BOTH the red and the white to the end of their rear rack frame, so were showing a WHITE light to the rear (at least while the battery lasted). CR2032 lithium cells aren’t going to last, and are far from cheap, so those lights aren’t going to be maintained either (each one uses two cells), and will be discarded as soon as the riders learn the cost of keeping them lit.

I value my life.

I have a number of lights for use front and rear, under different conditions, and designed to be bright without dazzling those I’m riding towards or away from, all rechargeable. While I draw the line at hi-vis stuff, I do have a fair amount of hidden, or covert, reflectors. So, even if my lights fail totally (including the spares I carry), I’m not invisible in the dark.

I’ve also spoken to some cyclists who don’t give damn about anyone else, and whose attitude is one of “I don’t care if I dazzle other people, as long as I can see OK I’ll have the brightest lights I can get”.

They mean drivers of course, but forger that any other cyclist riding towards their front or rear ‘mini-suns’ is also being blinded by them, and can’t see traffic past them.

It’s a pity the police can’t have such offenders bikes crushed as easily as offending drivers’ cars.

I haven’t worked out how to grab pics of these lunatics – how do you take a pic of an unlit bike in the dark?

It’s like taking a pic of a black cat in a dark room at midnight with the lights turned off.

But, I did find this, which illustrates the problem.

Typical Deliveroo On Left

Typical Deliveroo On Left

11/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Interesting… Chris Boardman doesn’t seem to agree with Glasgow’s cycling activists

While I have to choose my words carefully, and avoid putting words in his mouth, it seems that someone who probably has half an idea what he is talking about, as regards cycling at least, agrees with me.

I’ve recently become sick and tired of the endless whining coming from those I’d class as cycling activists, who seem to complain about ‘nothing’ ever being done to benefit cyclists (according to them, motorists are the blessed ones), and locally at least, Glasgow City Council is useless.

In recent posts, I’ve suggested they just go away and give the rest of us peace, as we are quite happy with all the positive work being put in place by Glasgow City Council which, far from ignoring cyclists, is installing path, routes, and avenues (to an existing system, which this year I found is pretty good already) for cyclists, which is making it easy for us to cycle through the city centre with surprising ease.

Before I started doing that, I read the comments of various ‘activists’ and forums on cycling in Glasgow – and was scared out of my wits by them.

Now, I’m coming close to almost 2,000 miles, which means crossing the city centre (or along its edge) on almost every trip to places like Riverside and Kelvingrove (from the far east end), and I wish I had NEVER looked at their clearly biased comments.

Boardman was featured in a short local article.

A former British cycling champion has praised Glasgow for ‘sorting out’ the city’s cycle lanes.

Chris Boardman, an Olympic gold medal winner and Tour De France competitor, said the city council’s plans for Sauchiehall Street should be praised.

Writing on Twitter, the 50-year-old said: “Kudos to Glasgow, quietly getting on with sorting itself out any UK City not prioritising is soon going to find themselves a less desirable place to live…”

Former cycling champion praises Glasgow for ‘sorting out’ city centre bike paths

I think he said something very similar to my own thought regarding Glasgow City Council’s efforts…

Glasgow, quietly getting on with sorting itself out

The council seems to spend its life being kicked by people who have not actually considered the facts about what they being negative about, and the only thing I seem to find the council guilty of these days is being too quiet, not standing up for itself more forcefully, and getting credit for its successes, most of which seem to be ignored in favour of a few high-profile ‘Bad News’ stories.

A good example are the cycle lanes, routes, and priority cycle lights we have.

I didn’t learn about their existence from the council’s general cycling advice, or comments or advice in any cycling forums.

I found them for myself, only when I hit the roads.

As I say, things are too quiet.

There needs to more publicity about things like this.

Cycle Priority Traffic Lights

Cycle Priority Traffic Lights

11/12/2018 Posted by | council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

More info on yesterday’s QRA off Scotland (with scary supersonic Russian nuclear bombers)

Did I get enough keywords in the title to make it a worthy contender for media ‘Clickbait’.

I noticed a couple of items in the media last night, referring to a QRA (Quick Response Alert) by a couple of Typhoons from Lossiemouth.

I don’t usually bother with these non-events, they’re not rare, and generally blown out of all proportion by the media to sensationalise them.

There weren’t many details given, I think they just referred to ‘unidentified aircraft’.

The main stories with detail concentrated the first reported arming of Typhoons with the Meteor active radar guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), which has a multi-shot capability against long-range manoeuvring targets in a heavy electronic countermeasures (ECM) environment, combine with range in excess of 100 km (62 miles).

I received a couple of links to coverage with better details than the attempts made by our lot.

RAF Typhoons Launch With Meteor BVR Air-to-Air Missiles For the First Time During QRA Mission

Which also noted.

QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) mission was sparked by Russian Tu-160 bombers activity off Scotland. But no intercept took place this time.

RAF Typhoons in QRA at RAF Lossiemouth, UK, “were scrambled today as a precautionary measure against unidentified aircraft approaching the UK area of interest. However, no intercept took place and the Typhoons subsequently recovered,” a UK MoD release states.

Indeed, two Russian Air Force Tu-160 bombers, tail numbers RF-94100 and RF-94108 based on their radio activity, skirted the British Isles, reportedly on their way to Venezuela.

There was also more on the Venezuelan aspect.

Two Russian Tupolev/ United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Tu-160M1 supersonic bombers, NATO codename “Blackjack”, arrived in Venezuela on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 amid speculation about rising tensions between Russia and the U.S. along with continued questions about the status of Venezuela’s government. It’s the third deployment after those in 2003 and 2008.

The two massive Tu-160 “White Swan” bombers arrived at Simón Bolívar International Airport outside Caracas on Monday following a 10,000-kilometer (6,200-mile) flight across the Atlantic from Engels 2 Air Base, 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) east of Saratov, Russia. The aircraft belong to Russia’s elite 121st Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment, the only unit to operate the approximately 11 operational Tu-160 aircraft of 17 reported total airframes from 6950th Air Force Base.

Russian Air Force Tu-160 Bombers Deploy To Venezuela

11/12/2018 Posted by | military, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rutherglen’s Christmas tree – and a weirdo

I took a chance and grabbed a quick pic of Rutherglen’s Christmas tree, mainly because I should already have caught Baillieston’s, but as you see – it has yet to be caught. It is at least there, I’ve seen it, but could stop for a pic, or get back quickly. Soon.

I’m starting to develop a memory, goodness know what from though, as there were never any decent memory cells ‘up there’ in the past.

So I know this is much like last year, as are the lights in the Main Street.

Rutherglen Christmas Tree

Rutherglen Christmas Tree

Yet again, I’m finding myself slightly surprised at the results, and wondering what I changed to almost ‘ready to use’ pics out of the compact. At this level, the only giveaway is the mushy detail it delivers where there is any fine detail in the scene, or subtle shadow detail, which just doesn’t register, or is also mushy.

I have tweaked it a little, but not anywhere near what I was doing last year.

Creepy Clown?

I have to admit that while I find circus clowns funny in their natural habitat, I’m also with the people who find clowns distinctly unfunny, and even creepy, outside that environment.

They don’t scare me, unlike some people I’ve come across who seem to have an irrational fear of them.

It’s more a feeling of unease about anyone dressed and made up like that where it’s not appropriate. Probably something to do with the modern archetype of the evil clown, popularized by Stephen King’s 1986 novel, ‘It’. The character can be seen as playing off the sense of unease felt by sufferers of coulrophobia, the fear of clowns.

Anyway, while I was photographing the tree, I happened to look behind me (and up), and saw this thing watching me…

Rutherglen Christmas Character

Rutherglen Christmas Character

I have to confess to never having looked closely at the lights mounted along the main street, concentrating more on getting the whole street captured.

I haven’t really noticed this sort of thing before.

Since I’ve photographed the same lights and views for a few years now (they don’t seem to change much year-on-year now, anywhere), maybe I should change ‘mode’, and take walks along these streets and their lights, and look for interesting details, such as this.

Guess I’ll need to run some tests first, to see which camera/lens does this best since it means moving to longer zooms, and away from wider angled shots (one of the tricks for taking decent low light pics).

11/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

The High Street area recovery seems to have started

I’ve referred to proposals, which I think are maybe long overdue, to return the High Street and its surrounding land to more active use.

I’ve passed through this area for years, thinking it was a pity that leaving Glasgow by crossing High Street was like dropping off the edge of the world.

One notable ‘Zone of Desolation’ was the area behind High Street station, which you always see as you pull into that station since that part of the track is still above ground.

From Duke Street, things don’t look too bad, thanks to student accommodation that landed along that road a few years ago, but the train arrives behind that, so you get to see the whole of the barren area hidden from the road by those recent buildings.

Now an ambitious development will fill the area…

A historical site in Glasgow’s city centre is set to be transformed into a £200million housing development.

Glasgow City Council has approved plans which will see the derelict site behind High Street railway station transformed in to a new residential neighbourhood of over 700 homes.

The scheme will feature a new public square, 99 student studios and approximately 3,365 sq m of space for retail, leisure, food and drink and commercial business.

For the first time, new tree-lined access routes on the site will connect the Merchant City through to the east end via High Street. Work on the first phase of the development is expected to start in 2019, subject to building warrant.

Throughout its rich history, the area has been home to the original Glasgow University and the Hunterian Museum. Most recently the City of Glasgow Union Railway Company used it as a goods yard.

Green light for £200m proposal to revitalise historical site in central Glasgow

While I knew the original Hunterian Museum had been somewhere in Glasgow, and have seen old pics of the building (which is long gone), I hadn’t really thought of where it had been located.

So, it has had a quite a past.

And the future looks mostly good…

But I hope someone objects the height of some those new buildings.

Image Copyright Chris Mellor

Image Copyright Chris Mellor

See more images of the proposal here…

APPROVAL For New Neighbourhood Of 700 Build-To-Rent Homes

11/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , | Leave a comment

Another chip shop joins the ‘Christmas Fryers’ club

They’re not getting any closer (to Glasgow*), but another chip shop has got itself into the news with its massive Christmas fry-up.

A Dalkeith chip shop has unveiled its festive treat – a Christmas munchie box.

MC’s Take-Away has been teasing customers online, ad taking-pre-orders for the huge meals.

The £20 box, said to have enough food for four, has everything  expected of a Christmas dinner.

Included are roast potatoes, two chicken Balmoral’s with stuffing, mixed vegetables including parsnips, carrots, and sprouts, pigs in blankets, four Yorkshire puddings, and two pots of gravy.

Dalkeith chippy reveals massive Christmas munchie box

Christmas Munchie Box Via The Scotsman Article

Christmas Munchie Box Via The Scotsman Article

*Maybe not allowed in Glasgow

Just spotted the following story, so we might not EVER see these Christmas dinner fry-ups here.

Glasgow takeaways urged to provide healthy alternatives to fast food

Actually, I find the premise of the story and its message to be fairly objectionable, AND inaccurate.

While I’m all for anything that might cut down the number of disgusting burger franchises and similar, or even wipe them from the face of Earth, I do think those offering their advice, and suggesting ‘healthy alternatives’ to ‘fast food’ need to sharpen their vision, and get up to date with reality, and NOT include the humble chip in their barrage.

Eat too much of ANYTHING, or keep shoving too many calories down your throat every day – you WILL get fat!

The only reason it doesn’t happen with most so-called ‘healthy foods’ is down to their generally low calorific value, and the sheer amount you would have to eat to start putting on weight.

The lack of accuracy, or perhaps honesty, regarding this, and other aspects, probably contributes as much to people getting fat as the food they shovel into their chubby faces.

Education in this area is shockingly bad, with waste-of-skin celebrities and the stupid fad diets being allowed to spread utter nonsense to sell their ‘plans’ and make money from the mugs that worship them.

11/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Have a Bagel Day

11 December is Have a Bagel Day.

I’m not even going to try a summary of its origins or past – there’s just too much argument!

However, a nice bagel (or maybe plate of bagels) would be ideal to keep those arguing about that subject happy and civil, until they ran out.

Funny thing, I’m coming to the conclusion that just about every nice foody treat I mention here which has a day, also seems to be matched with “I didn’t discover these until recently”, or something similar.

There has to be a lesson in there.

I find the bagels we get are variable at times.

Both those from bakeries, and the pre-packed type (NY Bagels) seem to have times when they just aren’t made right, and instead of being a fairly dense bake that is tasty and chewy, they just turn into a mouthful of dough that just won’t go away, eventually having to be dumped into the nearest bin to get rid of it.

I’m guessing that means they weren’t baked through.

It can go on for a while, days or even weeks, as if nobody bothered to tell the bakers they had a problem, or there was something wrong with the oven settings, and nobody noticed  –  until it got REALLY bad.

But when they’re good, they’re GOOD.

Cinammon and raisin would probably be my choice if pushed, but plain is good too, as are most options, but we do occasionally get another one I really like, and that’s wholemeal. This goes really well with non-sweet additions, and is perfect for bulking up a snack, or even a meal.

Cinammon and Raisin Bagel

Cinammon and Raisin Bagel

11/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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