Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Glasgow’s top attractions

Two venues in Glasgow recorded more than 1 million visitors in 2018.

No real surprise that those were Kelvingrove and Riverside.

Six Scottish attractions made that figure, the others being the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish National Gallery, and St Giles’ Cathedral.

I never made it to the last two – maybe one day.

There was even a marginal overall (0.1%) increase compared to the previous year – that’s going to be worth watching over the next couple of years, with the Burrell set to reopen in 2020, and the new V&A in Dundee to do a full year.

Top Scottish visitor attractions revealed

I simply haven’t bothered looking at the comments  – I’m sure the naysayers will be out in force. It’s guaranteed in the face of anything remotely resembling good news that normal people will be pleased to read about.

There’s some more detail listed in this article:

These two Glasgow tourist attractions were the most visited in the city last year

I wonder if I made a difference, since I try to get to these places more than once a week now that I’ve found easy and free ways to get to them.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum




06/03/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Off we go again – yet more ‘local’ violence

And again…

One that hits two buttons, I am there regularly, and I could be there at that time, but thankfully, usually a fair but later.

Police are hunting a man who robbed cash and tobacco from a Glasgow shop.

Around 3pm yesterday (Tuesday, March 5) he entered the ‘Shop Local’ key store in Dalmarnock Road, threatened a female member of staff and demanded money.

The 37-year-old woman was uninjured but has been left badly shaken by the incident.

The suspect is white, around 6 ft tall with a slim build and a local accent.

He was wearing dark coloured clothing with his hood up.

He left the store carrying two blue plastic bags with a quantity of tobacco and cash.

Police launch hunt for man who robbed Glasgow shop in broad daylight

Violent crimes

Violent crimes

06/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Rotten weather may not be all bad – kept me away from Glasgow Uni

I was a bit sad to see the weatherfolk had been spot on once again, and their forecast of cold and rainy weather today was accurate.

I’d been up before 7 am, and then it was howling a near gale as well, but this at least had calmed down within a couple of hours, and the trees were no longer bending over.

I might have been at Glasgow University again (for the galleries/museums) but for that weather, and had been there a few days ago, when I spotted a Maserati (they are very popular in China, and apparently with Chinese here) while I was having a seat on the wall across from the main entrance, as it was a reasonably nice day.

It was too quick for a decent pic – but at least a dSLR is ‘always on’, unlike a compact, so my only problem was lifting it fast enough, and zooming (oh, and standing up, as I’d been enjoying the sun).

Glasgow Uni Maserati

Glasgow Uni Maserati


Had I headed that way today, there would not have been so much fun to be had.

As you’ll see from the news pics, the action was taking place at the Main Gate, seen above, where I was sitting.

I might have been evacuated!

University of Glasgow buildings evacuated over suspect package

Thankfully, the latest updates suggest it was a false alarm, and the suspect package contained promotional items.


I’d grabbed another quick pic only a few metres away, a reminder of the autopsy benches I’d come across on the grassy area nearby.

It was interesting to see the students were happy to sit on them, and enjoy a break, and their lunch in the sun.

I wonder if they realise what the benches are modelled after?

Autopsy Lunch Benches

Autopsy Lunch Benches

I’m almost surprised to see this, given the way some people have hysterics about quite innocent connections to objects.

06/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Leonardo da Vinci knew a good thing when he saw it

I’ve already mentioned Leonardo Da Vinci: A Life in Drawing at Kelvingrove.

I probably won’t include any pics of the exhibits though, as the room has subdued lighting to protect them for damage by over-exposure to light. Maybe later, when it’s quieter. But the sketches are both small and very subtle, a result of the way they were produced by silverpoint, in which a silver-tipped instrument inscribes lines on a surface that has been coated with a ground or pigment. This was used for drawing used in drawing during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries because it produced a fine line, and the sharp point was maintained in use.

But I came across an image of an earlier exhibition, The Da Vinci Experience, which took place in San Diego back at the end of 2009.

The pic makes it look as if da Vinci is looking (approvingly) at the A-12 on display just below his eyes.

Although most will identify the aircraft as an SR-71, it seems this is A-12 – 06933, on display at San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Briefly, The A-12 was a single seat aircraft, while the SR-71 (and YF-12) were 2 seat. The A-12 was shorter and lighter than the SR-71, meaning it could fly a bit higher and faster. Operationally, the A-12 was designed for direct overflight, with cameras pointing, straight down. The SR-71 was designed with oblique (side looking) cameras, avoiding the need for direct overflights.

da Vinci and A-12

da Vinci and A-12

Follow this link for the source, full size original of this image, and a collection showing all but one of the surviving aircraft on display.

06/03/2019 Posted by | Aviation, Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

The illegals – H18 MNH

As usual, I’m left wondering what makes it worth the risk of a £1,000 fine the day a grumpy traffic cop decides to stop this one to make their day.

I’m rubbish at interpreting the weird translations the sales people use to sell some plates, and was just shown MAR 573N, which was on a Bentley as MAR573N, and apparently reads Marston.

This one’s on a (deep breath) 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d 4Matic AMG Line, and makes no sense to me.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d [H18 MNH]

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d [H18 MNH]

I had hopes of an explanation after spotting some extra text in the bottom centre field, but that did help, and “McLean Girls” without any sort of qualifier is, sadly, just too vague to work in an online search.

Toothpaste cheerleaders?

H18MNH McLean Girls


Here’s the Marston (it’s given under the 5) example I mentioned earlier (I don’t make stuff up).

Marston [MAR 573N]

Marston [MAR 573N]

06/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Boer War memorial damage revisited

Since my first visit to catch some views of the damage to the vandalised Boer War memorial were made in semi-darkness, I stopped to collect some more in proper daylight, and see the detail.

As far as I’ve noticed, there’s be no further news about those who smashed it, or of plans to restore it.

Vandalised smashed Boer War memorial Kelvingrove Park

Vandalised smashed Boer War memorial Kelvingrove Park

You’ll notice the sculpture is missing a leg, but I couldn’t really take a pic of that.

I mention it as it seems obvious that whoever did this was also trying, but failed, to smash out the forearm of the right arm as well.

Vandalised Boer War memorial

Vandalised Boer War memorial


Vandalised Boer War memorial face

Vandalised Boer War memorial face


Vandalised Boer War memorial foot

Vandalised Boer War memorial foot

Looking at how ‘slight and unnoticeable’ the damage is, I think we can be fairly sure that whoever was responsible (if found) will say it was an accident, and happened when they tripped and bumped into it, so wasn’t their fault, and they didn’t mean it.

06/03/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council, military, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today is White Chocolate Cheesecake Day

06 March is White Chocolate Cheesecake Day.

I can’t really think of anything to add to that title – it really does say all that needs to be said.

Only problem with this one is that I have to confess to having picked up some fairly odd cheesecake combination on offer in the local shops, white chocolate has NOT been amongst them.

But, since I know white chocolate fairly well – I’d have no hesitation grabbing one of these if they did appear.

And who knows…

If it doesn’t appear, I might just have to make my own! (After all, cheesecake is an easy make.)

White Chocolate Cheesecake

White Chocolate Cheesecake

06/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Frozen Food Day

06 March is Frozen Food Day.

I wouldn’t have rated this day as being worth a mention, but for a number of factors.

The main personal one was deciding to turn OFF my freezer many years ago, mainly to save the electricity it was consuming for little or no real benefit. The initial reason for doing this was not actually the waste of power I considered it to be causing, but the discovery of some truly ancient frozen food which had been shoved further and further back, unseen, and only found during a ‘proper’ clean out. I think it was a ridiculous FIVE YEARS on from the date marked on it. That suggested we didn’t need it, or the freezer, so it was not turned back on, and never has been. It now just serves as a cupboard.

The only downside is that the fridge and freezer were combined, but had separate compressors, so the fridge is just that, a fridge! It doesn’t have a small freezer compartment like ‘ordinary’ fridges, so I can’t freeze anything AT ALL!

We even had a ‘spare’ freezer (picked up years ago at a clearance sale). Never used from the day it was bought, it was dismantled and turned into another cupboard shortly after turning off the main unit, since it was obviously never going to be used.

The other points I noted about this day…

It was inaugurated by none other than US President Ronald Reagan in 1984! (So says the page dedicated to this day.)

Flash freezing was developed by Clarence Birdseye, who had been inspired after seeing Inuit eating thawed fish which had been frozen months earlier.

It’s sometimes a nuisance not being able to freeze some fresh Items I have, to use later if I have too much to use all at once, or before it goes off. On the other hand, as the cost of energy has risen steeply over the years, I’ve probably saved a lot more on wasted electricity (running a near empty freezer) than I’ve lost on a few portions of discarded food.

Frozen Food

Frozen Food

06/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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