Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Media reports say the People’s Palace reopened today

While I couldn’t make the trip to see for myself today, I was pleased to see that the media didn’t forget to give the reopening of the People’s Palace a mention.

One of Glasgow’s most popular museums, the People’s Palace, is reopening after being closed due to concerns over the neighbouring glasshouse.

It was forced to shut in December because of structural issues at the Winter Gardens – which was used as the fire escape from the museum.

The People’s Palace opened again after £350,000 of modifications were carried out.

The alterations included a new fire escape, café and retail space.

The museum – which highlights the social and cultural history of Glasgow – also has a new photography exhibition capturing daily life in the city in 1955.

People’s Palace in Glasgow reopens to the public

The People’s Palace has opened its doors to the public once again.

The much-loved Glasgow Green museum had been shut for a vital repair programme since December, 2018.

The adjoining Winter Gardens glasshouse will remain closed due to health and safety issues.

The historical tourist hot-spot has had a £350k revamp during its upgrade, and now boasts a new cafe and retail space on the ground floor, access to public toilets and a fire escape.

School groups will also now be able to access a new purpose-built packed lunch area on the top floor, replacing the former space available within the Victorian glasshouse.

People’s Palace reopens after £350K revamp and repair

I’ll have to take a look – when there’s no school groups or kids tearing up the place 😉

People's Palace And Fountain

People’s Palace And Fountain


05/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Today is Caramel Day

05 April is Caramel Day.

Every year I think this is a duplicate, or a mistake, as it comes so soon after ‘Chocolate Caramel Day‘.

But that’s fine after I check and find it is a different day – can’t have too much chocolate, or caramel.

Caramel, a rich, gooey, delicious substance made by the dark alchemy of the culinary arts, and born out of the exacting process of caramelization. Deceptively simple, it merely requires sugar to be heated slowly to 170°C where it breaks down and turns into the desired sweet. As the sugar heats, the molecules break down and re-form into compounds with the characteristic colour and flavour.

This is distinct from toffee, where the recipe calls for butter (possibly flour too). The mixture is heated until its temperature reaches the ‘hard crack’ stage around 150°C.

It seems there are two options: caramelize the sugar, and then add cream, butter, and vanilla to bring out the flavour; alternatively, add them all together at the start then cook the mixture until the milk caramelizes, but not the sugar. This sort of caramel is known as ‘milk caramel’.

I have to confess I’ve never been a great fan of toffee, finding it to be too hard and too sticky, but I can also see how that can be desirable for others.

I much prefer the softer and faster melting option delivered by caramel, and its taste. It’s also better for combining with things like chocolate and cake, where it breaks down at a similar rate to its partners, unlike toffee, which just hangs around long after they have gone.

My tastes are simple, and my favourite caramel item is probably the simple caramel cake, which I see has come to be known also as caramel shortcake. I don’t know about the rest of the land, but here we refer to this stuff as ‘School Caramel Cake’ (and that needs no explanation), but it remains a treat for life, especially with warm custard poured over it, to melt the chocolate and caramel.

Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake



05/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Anybody else miss Sundays?

This is nothing to do with religion, although that is inevitably the original source of what I miss.

Sundays used to be different from the rest of the week, as were weekends, but as we have become a 24/7 (not yet quote 365) society, the days almost all look the same.

Years ago, if you woke up and your calendar was broken, it didn’t take long to work out roughly where in the week you were, just by looking at what was going on outside.

And the weekend, especially a Sunday, was a good day to head into Glasgow if you wanted to explore a bit, and look at anything historic.

Most people tended to stay home, get stuff done at home, and of course, many shops were shut.

Most travel and parking restrictions were also not applicable on a Sunday either, so it was easy to get around, with even buses and taxis scarce.

Of course, Sunday trading is now the norm, and you can’t really see much difference in looking at a weekday street as compared to a Sunday street.

I see another of difference is about to become history – no parking charges on Sundays.

That’s due to come to an end soon as well.

Not that it matters to me, I was priced off the road years ago.

I’ll just miss ANOTHER little thing that made days different.

Life moves closer to being one homogeneous blob, with everything smushed together, and never varying day to day.

Glasgow council bosses challenged to restrict Sunday parking charges

Skoda Kissy Kissy Parking

Skoda Kissy Kissy Parking

05/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Almost a ‘City of Adelaide’ story

Although I’m just interested – since I knew, and was even on board, The Carrick, when it wasn’t sinking in Glasgow – rather than a fanatic, I do find myself reading between the lines of the stories that my search bot sometimes finds published in Australian media.

While I’m not impressed by any ‘conspiracy theories’, I keep getting the impression that there’s something not just quite ‘right’ about the way plans are vaporised, or are just plain inconsistent, after being shown to the folk working on the ship.

We’ve just had ‘Smoke and Mirrors Day‘, and that the sort of feeling I get whenever I read of some plan that they might depend on.

As if others with their own agenda are making plans, and the like of the City of Adelaide group are a bit of a nuisance, but have to be thrown crumbs to stop them becoming a bigger nuisance, and disrupting even more of some scheming they know nothing about.

I don’t know enough, and never will as I’m not spending the amount of time it would take to find out more, but I was interested to see an article today, not about City of Adelaide as such, but nevertheless revealing as regards the surrounding area, and the interest who have fingers in it, and what is happening there.

That’s all.

It is astonishing that after 183 years there is nowhere in the state that visitors – let alone our own citizens and students – can get an overview of our history. Such an overview that would excite interest and signpost heritage tourism attractions across the state. It would be a place where South Australia’s story could begin to be appreciated.

Much can be learnt from the state’s more than 350 museums and historical organisations, but the big picture is missing.

As I write, another opportunity to address this gap is threatened. The former main workshop of the Government Dockyard at Port Adelaide – the vast sawtooth-roofed Shed 26 – is the last surviving building of an enterprise that serviced ports across the state. It may be demolished for housing.

It and the adjacent Fletcher’s Dock sit next to a State Heritage Place, ‘The Fletcher’s Slip Precinct’. Managed as one, those sites represent the last chance to develop a ‘must-see’ Port attraction at a highly visible site in the Inner Harbour – a site where currently inaccessible, unique collections and significant vessels of the SA Maritime Museum and the clipper ship City of Adelaide could combine to form a lively and appealing precinct. Indeed, the entire Maritime Museum could relocate there and become the drawcard that old port cities like Fremantle, Liverpool and Glasgow have had the sense to create.

It could even become the Museum of South Australian History – a proposal going back to the 1930s – mentioned in the Government’s election platform.

Saving Shed 26: why keeping this threatened building could rejuvenate the Port

Carrick berth

Carrick berth and former car parking area

05/04/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Maritime, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Life of Leonardo da Vinci – TV mini-series (1971)

If you’ve been to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in Kelvingrove, you might be interested in this TV mini-series I found on YouTube.

It’s a docudrama and mini-series that covers the full life story of the Italian artist and inventor, from his birth to his death, and adds to the rather short video which forms part of the exhibition.

This is Part 1 of 5, which leads to the remaining four.

I haven’t watched it all yet (it’s not short), just dipped on to see if it was any good, and it does seem to be a typical production of the time, with detail not possible to include in the exhibition.

That’s probably a good thing too, as more recent productions tend to focus too much on clever/daft digital video and production techniques, promote the actors and producers, and forget their real purpose – to cover the original subject material!

05/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

The Cold War – probably a better legacy than Glasgow 2014

The Cold War is always a handy fallback for politicians to get their names in ‘print’, and this week some of them decided to don their ‘Outraged’ hats and dig up some old stuff, and make it look as if they were ‘Doing Something’.

It’s always nice if you can kick a ‘Soft Target’ you know can’t fight back, and I’d say that’s the case here, as some politicians decided to resurrect the rather old story of the UK’s stored fleet of nuclear submarines, as if they had just discovered something ‘New’, and should be praised for being so diligent and caring.

In reality, they win either way, running the story they did, and jumping up and down while whining about the ageing boats being stored, or alternatively (had the MoD embarked on decommissioning them years ago, when there was little experience or practical expertise to draw on), they could today be throwing stones at the MoD for not carrying out the decommissioning properly.

MoD under fire over fate of 20 retired nuclear submarines

Gets better…

SNP demands public inquiry on failure to scrap decommissioned nuclear submarines

Still, these politicians are probably right to stick the boot into the MoD now, as I suspect the decommissioning work currently being carried out at Dounreay will provide previously unavailable tech to make decommission the nuclear boats practical in the near future, and they will lose their chance to score more ‘Free Brownie Points’ when that eventually happens.

More interestingly, and probably more use than the endless whining of politicians, the National Archives has started its season: Britain’s Cold War Revealed.

Launching on the 4 April with the opening of our brand new exhibition, our Cold War season explores the impact of the Cold War on Britain, in the corridors of power, in hidden government bunkers, and on daily life in the home. Discover the real evidence of what happened during this turbulent era of secrets and paranoia. Immerse yourself in the shadowy world of espionage, learn how menacing the Cold War became, and witness the experiences of the generations that lived through it.

More here: Britain’s Cold War Revealed

They also run other current events related to this, which can be found in this listing

This is when I miss the days I got to work down in London every few months, and could take the time to catch various attraction down there.

I just can’t afford to do that trip myself now, just for fun.

05/04/2019 Posted by | Cold War | , | Leave a comment

Kelvin Hall facade

Having had what I thought was reasonable success (with the tools available) with a wide view of the seldom featured front of Kelvingrove – the side that faces into Kelvingrove Park – I thought I’d try something similar with the view across the road… Kelvin Hall.

While this is generally seen from the front, with a lot of the façade in view, it tends to feature a more oblique view, simply because that’s easier to shoot, and I suspect many people just grab a shot while they’re looking across from Kelvingrove.

That said, it’s still not really possible to capture the full extent of the Kelvin Hall façade with a reasonably wide lens, and the extreme left and right will be lost. Although you can get a reasonable distance from the building, it’s still just not enough to make the whole thing an easy catch.

Fortunately (for me) it’s not quite as tall as Kelvingrove, so is easier to catch in just shots that are easy to stitch together, and avoid distorting the vertical perspective and having sloping verticals that need to be fiddled with.

This was relatively easy, just needing a couple of shots, and little aligning to level things up.

When things work as well as this, I start wishing I had the linear stitching option – then remember I’d have to have part with coin, and come to my senses.

Kelvin Hall Facade

Kelvin Hall Facade

05/04/2019 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment


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