Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Pity you have to read to the end to discover the nasty PETA connection

The wording in the second paragraph was biased enough to send some warning signals in this article, had the title not already alerted you it was ‘suspicious’…

Why I boycott zoos and so should you – Jennifer White

So I sped down to the foot of the article to find things were as I suspected.

Jennifer White is media and partnerships coordinator at the Peta Foundation

PeTA – one of the biggest animal killing organisations in the world.

PeTA Reality

PeTA Reality


06/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Incomers! And Easter egg rolling near Kelvingrove Park

One of the many interesting things I learned about some years ago, when I was able to have closer links to the Isle of Bute was the term ‘Incomer’, which I’m sure applies in other circumstances.

But on the island, it wasn’t generally good to earn the name as it was usually used in a derogatory way.

While many people happily move to an island and blend in, there is another group that doesn’t.

They move there as some sort of statement of status, and want to make it obvious.

The have NO interest in the island itself, those already living there, or the way of life.

Incomers generally make their presence felt by complaining about things that don’t suit them, their way of life, and interfere with their social life, which they want to carry on as if they were still on the mainland. They don’t change to accommodate the island and islanders – they want everything changed to suit them.

One example might possibly be the creation of a Ferry User Group, to complain about the existing ferry service, and campaigning to have it changed.

They might, for example, not be happy about reduced services at certain time, possibly when they and their boozy pals want to travel late at night after partying.

They might petition for additional late sailings to suit THEIR schedule (after all, who wants to have to get up early the next morning, with a hangover, and an early ferry to catch).

A well-managed campaign by a few well-resourced people might win those extra sailings, only for the ferry company to find just a handful of people ever use them, and then disappear after a while.

I am, of course, being hypothetical, having never moved to an island (even if I wanted to), or met any ‘incomers’ – but then again, I might know someone who did.

Why do I ramble on about incomers and ferries?

This story about new residents near Kelvingrove Park, who had letter sent out to their neighbours, somehow reminded of them.

Residents near Kelvingrove Park have been branded “pathetic” for trying to ban kids from rolling their Easter eggs.

Families in the leafy west end area hit out over a letter from new neighbours telling them to stop the egg rolling as they feared it may “cause distress”.

One outraged dad said the 10-year-old tradition would now come to an end as another local said kids were “really upset” by the news.

He told the Daily Record : “It is beyond pathetic. We were shocked to get a letter from the factors of 20 Clifton Street this week.

“Our kids along with many of their friends have always gathered on Clifton Street to roll eggs on Easter Sunday.

“It’s a tradition that’s lasted nearly 10 years and involves 12 families. One resident – who had just moved into the building – asked what happened to the bits of waste eggs left over.

“They were told family dogs with the group ate most of the leftover bits and the rest were polished off by passing dogs, gulls and maybe even a fox or two.

“We thought nothing more of it until this letter from the factors arrived to ask us ‘to not cause distress, nuisance or mess within the area of the property’.

“Do they have nothing else to bother them? The waste is entirely natural produce and will be gone within hours. It’s not like we are leaving rusty ­shopping trollies outside their front door.”

Residents near west end park slammed for trying to ban kids’ Easter egg roll

Technically, my Easter eggs rolling says should be well behind me, but…

This story makes me feel like going out and buying a nice Creme Egg, tying a piece of string to it (NOBODY wants to lose their Creme Egg), and heading there to roll it with the families, – in front of those in 20 Clifton Street.

They’d probably call the police and have me removed as a trespasser or vandal of some sort, since I don’t live there.

I wonder what ’20 Clifton Street’ will do when there’s some REAL messy action there soon?

Be TERRIBLE if a piece blew ’20 Clifton’s way’ – value of the place would tumble!

That ended up with so much rubbish they had to put in bigger bins AND camera cars.

Kelvingrove Park Tidy

Kelvingrove Park Tidy

06/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Anyone else just plain fed up feeling COLD!

After enjoying the few days that masqueraded as the apparent end of winter a few weeks ago, when it really was nice enough to go outside and walk around, it’s just got steadily colder and colder since then.

By the time I got around to anonymising this pic for some fun, we were freezing again. I could barely keep my face straight and not burst out laughing as the owner of that skirt (I thought it was shorts at first) spent all her time trying to pull it down a little lower as it went the opposite way with every step.

That's a skirt?

That’s a skirt?

It feels like we’ll never get to wear ‘warm weather’ clothes again!


I dropped a layer two weeks ago, and took advantage of the apparent start of better weather to get the ‘winter warmer’ off and into the washing machine as I much prefer hanging stuff outside to dry, as opposed to ‘cooking’ in a costly tumble dryer (kept for real emergencies).

Since I didn’t dig out proper replacement I’ve not been warm at home since – thank goodness I’ve had reason to go out and loiter in other people’s warm spaces.

Don’t even let me start moaning about my bed, usually a warm retreat, problems with the mattress mean temporary changes that mean even that happened at the wrong time, and I’m almost reaching for an electric blanket! (But I’m just a bit too lazy to move that much, even if I really should).

Again, as I thought I was maybe imagining this chilly weather, I’ve gone to my little weather station, and this time done a quick plot of the outdoor temperature from the start of November 2018 (just before it began to get chilly) to date 06 April 2019.

Yup… this week HAS been colder than last week, and it was WARMER before that.

Probably the most intriguing line to follow in the graph is the one for +4°C.

Temperature Nov 18 - Apr 19

Temperature Nov 18 – Apr 19

In recent days I’ve been admiring the folk who are still out on their bikes, having been out myself regularly until about two weeks ago, I really stayed in because of the rain, bit since it dried up, every time I poke my nose out the door, it’s that degree or two below what I consider it to be fun to ride in.

I did almost go out today, but the weather forecast said rain was set to arrive mid-afternoon, and I didn’t fancy having a nice day ruined not only by rain, but COLD rain.

The forecast is usually right – and it was spot on today.

There is good news, I hope.

After accurately predicting the past week’s return to rather cold weather – I’m hoping the accuracy is maintained, as the coming week looks like it might be leaving the deepest temperature dips behind.

I can’t wait.

Being cold isn’t funny any more.

Cold Tail

06/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Apparently you can escape laws by breaking them in a car

This is really just one of those posts I occasionally make just to help stop scratching my head (where there’s a high risk of skelfs), and to clear ‘boiled snow’ out of it if something has caught my attention, and won’t go away.

I recall reading an article some time ago, by someone who presumably had access to the relevant data, and was pointing out the insane number of laws being created in recent years, as if this was going to somehow stop people from doing the things they applied to.

Back then, I had been wondering why laws were being introduced (in some countries, not the UK as far I’m aware, BUT the term is in general use) for ‘Road Rage’ offences.

Like many of these ‘subject specific’ laws that seem to be conjured up in order to allow tougher sentences to be applied – think of ‘Racist Crimes’ in the UK, if that aspect can be added, then tougher penalties can be applied for a given crime – they’re simply not really needed.

For example, Road Rage (and many Racist crimes) involve assault and violence, aspects which already have existing criminal legislation on the books, and could be addressed by that, all it needed was a sentencing review to add tougher criteria.

My head developed a bad case of ‘Boiled Snow’ when I saw this…

Ministers are planning new laws to make it illegal to throw litter out of cars on Scotland’s roads.

Some 1,300 bags of rubbish, weighing almost seven tonnes, are collected from the sides of the M8 and M9 each month.

New rules making it an offence to litter from vehicles is to be included in a new circular economy bill.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said “mindless behaviour” from drivers dropping litter creates a “significant cost to the taxpayer”.

New law to crack down on roadside littering in Scotland

I’m sorry, but this just seem daft and pointless.

We already have litter laws, even if it could be argued few are ever enforced (and there is usually some newspaper ready to jump to the defence of the poor victim, claiming some overzealous officer ‘Picked on them to make up their quota’.

Although I don’t know this for a fact, I’ve been warned not to throw litter from a car as there are increased penalties for that, compared to just dropping litter.

So, one has to ask what the point of these new rules are.


Does that mean I’m currently free to throw litter from my car at the moment, as these rules are yet to be introduced?

If so, I (and everyone else) should get out there now, and make the best of this freedom, before it is taken away!



I’d like to see anyone try it – I’m pretty sure they’d end up at least with a fine, if not something more serious.

We don’t need MORE laws.

We just need the existing ones enforced (which tells you how much use any now ones for the same thing are likely to be).

Or import some Russian girl bikers…

I’d have included the Russians shooting each other for littering, but those videos are always being taken down – just imagine someone emptying a hand gun into the side of a car, you won’t be far off.

Or some Asians?

06/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Note to self: Pay more attention!

Had I been asked, I’d have said I paid attention to the reorganised exhibits in the refurbished galleries of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which closed for that work to be done between 2003 and 2006, and I even got myself there on the opening day – but soon had problems getting back, until a few years ago. So, I suffered some withdrawal, and valued any chance I had to get there.

And I did look closely, I know I did because I can identify all the ‘new’ little displays tucked into corners with previously unseen items, easy to walk past and miss.

But some recent revelations highlight the odd fact that I’ve missed seeing a lot of the larger items lying in plain sight, and even whole galleries!

That may sound like something impossible to do, but having spent a few days reviewing this odd phenomenon, I think I see why.

There’s the obvious problem of walking through galleries that don’t specifically interest you, and never looking, telling yourself you’ll stop for a closer look one day.

That’s fine, but you really do have to have that day, when you do stop and take that closer look.

Then there’s the more subtle effect of what I’ll refer to as ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’, where you speed past goodies you recognise.

That’s not fine, as you’ll probably miss, or just forget, the fine detail.

Both are solved simply, merely by slowing down and taking the time to look.

In the first case, I realised I always ‘ran’ through the sculpture themed gallery to reach the gallery I was there to visit. And I’m not really classically trained, so that also means I’m not motivated to stop.

In the second case, I’ve admired this clock for many years, and it probably had a much simpler plaque in the ‘old’ Kelvingrove, so I just didn’t pay attention.

Mackintosh Domino Clock

Mackintosh Domino Clock

Now, I ‘ve stopped and read the current plaque, and find that the story of its manufacture on the Isle of Man by a German craftsman interned there in 1917 to be a fascinating in its detail history.

I really have no recollection of ever seeing this story before.

Domino Clock Plaque

Domino Clock Plaque

A few years ago, when I found the small, new, detailed exhibits tucked away in the corners of the expanded galleries of the refurbishment, I made a number of trips to seek out the rest.

Looks as if I’ll have to do something similar again, but this time for the bigger galleries, which I thought I knew better, but obviously don’t.

I suggest you might want to do the same.

06/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is DIY Day

06 April 2019 is DIY Day.

And the inclusion of the year does mean that it’s another wandering ‘Day’, not falling on a given date, but set for the first Saturday in April each year.

DIY Day is a fairly recent invention, but I give it a mention as so many people are prepared to pay ridiculous amounts of money to people who, if the TV documentaries are to be believed, are nearly all cowboys.

I met one a few years ago, a builder who turned quite chatty after we discovered a common interest in expensive performance cars, and it turned out that his collection included genuine examples of AMGs. He wasn’t that expensive, talked a good job, but a few years later I can say his work was crap.

A few weeks after he finished my job – he was in jail, the star of a feature in the local paper! It seems he was starting a five-year stretch inside for scamming pensioners out of their savings, starting jobs, then disappearing once he’d got them to cough up the money up front. This came as a bit of a surprise, since he didn’t get a penny from me until the job was done, which was one reason he got the work.

After that, I went back to my old habits…

If  I can do the job myself, I will.

If not, tough, it won’t happen unless something forces me to have it done.

I recommend getting a good DIY book before you start.

DIY Book

06/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Tartan Day

06 April is Tartan Day.

Tartan is one of the most recognizable patterns ever created, and has a strong history for Scotland.

Tartan Day was created to celebrate Scottish history and the achievements of people of Scottish descent around the world.

I have to say that I’m not a great fan of tartan, not because I don’t like tartan itself, more due to the hijacking of the material/pattern by many who want to make some point or other, and the way it has become an almost automatic attachment for anything purporting to Scottish, whether or not that is justified.

That said, being a Scot and living in Scotland, in some ways I don’t notice it – making it all the more noticeable when it turns up in wrong, or inappropriate places.

Thanks goodness few know the secret of this stuff, or it would be everywhere.

Tartan Paint

Maybe they still do it, but in the good old days of apprenticeships, or whatever they are called nowadays, the old pros used enjoy getting the newest apprentice, and sending him to the stores for a tin of, yes, TARTAN PAINT!

Stores were, of course, in on the joke, and would make him wait while they went and dug it out from the back of stores (but really went for their tea).

The other classic was when the new apprentice was sent for a ‘Long Stand’ – and didn’t understand when they were eventually told ‘There you are’ after a while, and sent back to the shop 😉

06/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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