Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Interesting images of the early M8 in Glasgow (Updated)

Some nice pics of the M8 in Glasgow in the 1970s.

I would say footage, but so far all attempts to view that offering just return a ‘Try Later’ message.

Unseen footage shows Glasgow’s M8 motorway in 1970s

Strange as it may seem to anyone who might think I tend towards liking only the older stuff, I don’t have any problems or issues with the changes that the M8 brought to Glasgow, and am probably more disappointed that so much of the original plan for the motorway was dropped as work progressed, and the objectors became more active and vociferous.

I tend to think things could have been better, and we’d have less jams today had much of the earlier work been allowed to progress as planned, and instead of having to spend later years fixing what we were left with, the same effort could later have been expended improving a developing system, instead of applying ‘sticking plasters’ to an incomplete solution.

We’ll never know of course. The noisy folk got their way, and much was scrapped to shut them up.

Now, we are still seeing ‘sticking plaster’ being applied to the M8.

This time, it’s in the form of a great big ‘plaster’ to be stuck over the motorway…

A roof garden with a landscaped park area will be created over the M8 near Charing Cross.

Currently the motorway drops down at this point with Bath Street Bridge over the top.

But Glasgow City Council want to ‘cap’ the motorway and create a park area in the gap so that people can easily walk over the top of the motorway from North Street to Newton Street.

The plan is part of the Sauchiehall and Garnethill Regeneration framework which was presented to councillors on Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee today.

The overall aim of the framework is to link Glasgow City Centre with the West End and remove the barrier created by the M8.

Ambitious plan for roof garden over M8 to link city centre with west end

That said, I kind of like standing on the road over the motorway here, and watching the traffic speed through below me.

All good fun.

See more of this concept here…

Plans for M8 roof park to begin by summer

Note: “A council spokesman said the image was just indicative, and the planned location of the park was closer to the top of Bath Street in front of Tay House.

M8 Garden Image Keppie

M8 Garden Image Keppie

The story resurfaced again, in January 2019…

A pedestrianised cover could be installed over the M8 in Glasgow


Still can’t get the BBC video to run for some reason.

But one of out local sources has it.

Enjoy almost 10 minutes of archived footage on offer here…

(Sorry, you’ll have to click the link. WordPress is pretty fussy at embedding anything but the common stuff.)

Watch amazing unseen footage of Glasgow’s M8 motorway in the 1970s

Oops, my mistake.

So busy trying to fix the BBC problem (which was being caused by something else), I didn’t notice this film had been made available on YouTube.


15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Late attempts to win this year’s Darwin Award


Are we supposed to be sorry for them?

Pupils seriously ill after drinking vaping fluids at school

I wonder if it really was vaping fluid though.

This is mainly water, flavouring, maybe nicotine if it is that type, VG (Vegetable Glycerin) a base that forms the stuff, together with PG (Propylene glycol).

Propylene glycol should not be confused with diethylene glycol,  a main ingredient in antifreeze. Alarmists wilfully confuse the two.

PG is a common food additive, and is used in medicines.

Diethylene glycol is poisonous, but unfortunately sweet tasting, and why anti-freeze can be dangerous, and has been used to poison cats. It should NOT be found in vaping fluids. Reputable sources should be safe, but there are unscrupulous/cheap sources.

Reading up on the toxicity of the stuff is initially alarming, with warnings to wash it off skin if splashed, and potential fatality if ingested.


These warning turn out to be for the fluid which contains nicotine (which is toxic), and the actual hazard presented depends on the concentration, so it’s impossible to be specific without knowing that.

On the other hand, you don’t really want any sort of nicotine to be absorbed, or ingested.

Look up a material hazards sheet for it to find out why. It’s just not nice stuff, and can kill. Doses between 30 and 60 milligrams, can be fatal, making it more dangerous than both arsenic and cyanide.

I’m not particularly interested in this, but just had my head filled with interesting vaping info after studying the electrical and electronic side of e-cigarettes, the cute sensors they have, and how they use and abuse the LiPo cells which power them.

Reminded me of…

They weren’t lucky, the train driver was – driver’s lives can be ruined if they meet people like this, and can only watch them turn into strawberry jam in front of them since a train cannot stop in an instant.

Darwin Train Line

Darwin Train Line

15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Isolated fuel station – apparently not just a Scottish thing

It’s something that goes back few years for me (needing petrol in a remote location), but as someone whose natural habitat was the city, and who had never had any problems when venturing further afield, the distance between fuel stations when driving around the north west of Scotland was an interesting discovery.

The distances involved weren’t really the main issue, assuming you were planning ahead and knew where you were going.

Alternatively, there was the even simpler plan of ‘Fill The Tank!’ every time you came across a fuel station. The distance between them generally meant more than half a tank at each stop during the day.

And ‘day’ was the important word.

Most (nearly all when I was there) operating normal hours, and were open around 9 am, and closed around 6 pm.

Turning off the normal roads, taking a long diversion, or getting delayed could mean arriving back in civilisation to find the station closed.

And I did sometimes decide to sleep in the car, rather than run the risk of running out of fuel by carrying on. That only works when you are sure of where the next stop is.

However, it seems that it’s NOT just the far reaches of Scotland that have remote fuel stops, or fuel station that matter to small places.

Fuelling Communities

I think what’s NOT MENTIONED or referred to in this article is even more interesting now.

Not a word about charging stations for electric vehicles, or the coming fall in fuel sales.

I hope these locations learn from their experiences with fossil fuels, now on the way out, and move faster than they did in the past, and get ready for the next generation.

Petrol Station Unfenced

Petrol Station

15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | | Leave a comment

Faster human, FASTER!

These guys are great.

But this latest clip I found seems to show their human is likely to wake up dead soon, unless it moves a bit faster in response to those bells!

15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | 1 Comment

SNAW! – The weatherfolk were 100% right (again)

I have to admit to a loss of patience with the people who think it’s ‘kewl’ to mock a certain large and official institute in the UK that is responsible for weather recording and forecasting.

This dates back, I believe, to 1987 and a weather forecast which has been misrepresented ever since then by the media, as an excuse to get a cheap laugh by mocking the forecaster who presented that forecast.

NOT so widely shown by the media is an ACCURATE review of the WHOLE forecast given then, which debunks the fun, and shows that the forecaster was referring to a number of storms during that forecast, and that his words have been taken out of context to create the myth.

But, as I say…

Why let the TRUTH spoil a good media story?

This week it was interesting to see that the weekend not only carried warnings about possible snow falling in Glasgow, both Yellow and Amber warnings were issued.

(Snow tends to be referred to as ‘snaw’ in Glesga, or ‘Glasgow’ if you’re posh, so I have to cater for the locals as well as the rest of the world 🙂 )

Looking at the prevailing weather, this might have seemed a little silly, as we are living with temperatures up around 8°C, although the nights are sometimes frosty.

So will the folk who think it’s ‘kewl’ to laugh at the forecaster be laughing.

You decide.

This was a shot taken out my back door during the night.

I’m not sure how much had fallen, as the ground is still relatively warm.

Nothing was lying on roads or paths, but they were very wet, with puddles, while grass and soil had visible snowfall lying.

Remember, it only needs ONE snowflake to fall on a certain rooftop in London on 25 December for it to be officially declared a White Christmas!

Sat 15 Dec 2018 Snow

Sat 15 Dec 2018 Snow

Right about ‘Frozen Rain’ too!

The alert I read also mentioned something referred to as ‘frozen rain’, but didn’t go into any real detail.

I suppose the meaning is fairly obvious (to anybody but a weather forecast naysayer, that is).

I was standing in my hallway at lunchtime, and noticed a strange noise penetrating the house, and getting more noticeable.

For the technically aware, it was as if someone had started to turn up an amplifier just playing white noise.

It was coming through the open loft hatch, and also from the front of the house.

Sure enough, tiny little ice drops were hitting the front window, and presumably landing over the whole area of the roof.

This was quite unlike the usual hail we see here, which often batters down in clearly visible waves, and lies on the ground.

This fine stuff was almost invisible, and just falling like ordinary rain, and so light it couldn’t stay frozen on the window, or gather on the ground.

So, I guess it was indeed, ‘Frozen Rain’.

Unlike hail, which I think makes multiple journeys up and down in the freezing air at altitude, so grows slightly each time until the hailstones become too heavy to stay aloft, it looks as if frozen rain is literally just that, rain which has hit a layer of cold air, and just frozen on its way down, without ever being carried back up to get wet, and then freeze again as it falls.


Don’t think this has ever been mentioned before.

15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | 2 Comments

What do they play at in Sandyhills Golf Club?

I did walk past this without taking it in at first, and had to go back for a second look.

And a pic, of course.

Sandyhills Golf Club Cheeky Pig

Sandyhills Golf Club Cheeky Pig

No use asking me, or expecting an answer.

Golf is one of those strange cultish religions as far as I’m concerned – “A good walk wasted” as I think someone once said.

15/12/2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Looks like ‘Start of life’ is just as short as ‘End of life’ in Glasgow – I’m doomed

I mentioned the re-appearance of one of the media’s favourite subjects after an apparent period of absence.


I belong to Glasgow – Oh well

Now, it seems that not only will you not last very long if you live in Glasgow, you’re probably not going to do too well if you’re born there either.

More babies are dying within a year of being born in Glasgow, with data revealing the infant and neonatal mortality rates are rising.

Across Scotland, the neonatal mortality rate worsened, after decades of improvement, which baby charity Bliss said was “deeply concerning”.

In Glasgow, 40 infants died within a year a being born in 2017, compared with 29 the year previously, according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures.

This means the infant mortality rate, a key indicator of early years care, increased from 4.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016 to 5.8 in 2017.

The neonatal mortality rate, measuring babies dying within a month of being born, also increased.

In Glasgow, in 2017, there were 3.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 2.2 in 2016.

The ONS says the infant and neonatal mortality rates can fluctuate between years in local authorities due to the small number of deaths.

More babies dying within a year of birth in Glasgow, figures show

Oh well.

BORN in Glasgow.

LIVE in Glasgow.

I guess the third line need not be added.

Well, the hospital I was born is dead.

They tried to inject some life into the facade by converting it onto flats, but they’re long empty, and the place is sealed, empty, and abandoned today, with demolition sure to be its next ‘feature’.

I actually saw a demolition notice a few years ago, but it’s still there.

Duke St Hospital Flats From West

Duke St Hospital Flats From West

15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , | Leave a comment

Today is International Tea Day

15 December is International Tea Day.

The International Tea Day campaign was launched in 2005 by the trade unions, small tea growers, and civil society organizations in Asia and Africa to address the issues of living wages for workers and fair prices for small tea producers.

The International Tea Conference in New Delhi came out with an International Declaration on the rights of workers and small growers to help regulate uneven competition, land ownership, safety regulations, rights of women, social security and living wages. Another organization, The Tea Board of India, proposed International Tea Day in hopes of it becoming an official holiday to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

This was proposed by chairman Santosh Kumar Sarangi in 2015. According to the chairman, the proposal of India was supported by countries such as Canada, the United States, European Union, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Kenya, and Malawi. While the holiday doesn’t have official status, the goal of this holiday is to recognize the vulnerable situations that tea producers in India have with current living conditions and worker-related policies.

OK, that’s my duty done, let’s get on with the tea!



15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Lemon Cupcake Day

15 December is Lemon Cupcake Day.

Since I’ve had occasion (on ‘Days’) to mention how I was a latecomer to the flavour lemon, it follows that I was a latecomer to the pleasure of lemon cupcakes.

I have to make up for lost time, so no more time-wasting – let’s just get some of these, and start eating!

Lemon Cupcake

Lemon Cupcake

15/12/2018 Posted by | Blogroll | | Leave a comment

Today is Cat Herders Day

15 December is Cat Herders Day.

Describing an impossible task as being“like herding cats” is becoming popular, the phrase being relatively recent. One tale tells of an IT expert called Dave Platt bringing it to notice when he said “managing senior programmers is like herding cats”.

On this day, get ten cats (or as many as you can) and a shepherd’s crook. Herd the cats using the shepherd’s crook.

You have celebrated the day, had fun, and discovered just how futile this task is – you are now qualified.

Don’t worry if you can’t do it…

Even the experts have problems.


15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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