Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

I should have stayed in bed (but even that threw me out) today

Today didn’t start well, and spent a fair amount of time going downhill after that.

A bit of history is needed – I had some problems with beds recently, and dumped three that failed last year. Rather than just dispose of them, I took them apart, which was enlightening. The cheapest was almost the same inside as the most expensive fancy brand name! The expensive was really just made of better exterior fabrics, but the metalwork and padding inside all looked much the same.

I mentioned my problems during a conversation, and was told to give up on conventional mattresses and buy an airbed. My advisor suggested they thought they great, AND could be adjusted quickly to be soft/firm/hard as desired.

Since I had to get something, and there was a sale of airbeds in one of the big stores nearby, I decided to give it a try.

Long story short…

So far, FOUR have developed leaks after about 6 weeks, not punctures. Two failed in the same place in the centre of a panel, and two failed in the same place at an edge seam.

None of the failures responded to being patched. They are supplied with patches, but they just don’t work.

The one I had been using, until this morning, failed in the middle of the main panel, losing pressure during the night. Supposedly better than those that have a series of cells across their length and width, this one has internal webs the hold tension when the bed is inflated, but are loose otherwise.

When I woke up, I must have been dead centre – as soon as I turned over to look at the clock, all the remaining air moved to one side, and was deposited on the floor as the side with no air collapsed completely!

No falling at least, as the base is part of the airbed and inflates (and deflates!) with it.

Oh well, I wasn’t going to have long lie anyway.

Next, worst bus journey(s) – so far.

Heading for the west end, the bus picked FOUR drunks between Shettleston and Parkhead – it was more like 12 midnight than 12 lunchtime.

One of them brought the bus to halt for a while as he tried to get change of a £5 note to pay for his fare.

Another started shouting about getting the effing bus moving because he ‘Had an appointment!’

When he eventually got change he joined the three at the back, and they had a nice wee Buckfast session – what a stink!

Oh, didn’t I say, I was sitting near the back of the bus (as the able bodies are asked).

Suitably fuelled, ‘£5 change’ then tried to get witnesses to the fact that the driver moved the bus before he sat down, and he was going to sue because he had a bad back.

By then, we’d reached the city centre, my ears and nose had enough, the drunks were talking about beating up the driver – and I was off the bus (next one is only a few minutes behind at this time of day).

The drunks actually begged me ‘Not to get off because of them’ when I got up.

Today was bad for bus journeys.

Next up was some poor woman with seven kids (I’m no good at ages, say around five years just as a wild guess). Four were little girls, who all the most important things in the world to talk about, and since they all wanted to do it at the same time – they basically all told their tales at the top of their voices.

Same bus – two more kids up the back, these were younger, and while they couldn’t talk, were both compelled to shout the same nonsense ‘words’ over and over a loud as they could, and not amount of ‘shush’ from mum made any difference.

I honestly don’t know how I did not arrive back home with a splitting headache.

Since I couldn’t find a pic online that combined the above (drunk mum using Buckfast to quieten screaming kids), I thought this would do instead. Seems someone has been thinking about this.

Could maybe have used an airbed pic, but how would you know the kids were inside?

Wal-mart condoms

I was testing some ear buds and music players the day before.

Wished I’d had them today.

The buds would have been fine on their own, just to jam in my ears!

And now I have to organise ANOTHER bed if I want to sleep tonight. (Oh look,  I see a nice comfy sofa).

Will the fun ever stop?

02/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost | | Leave a comment

St Simon’s church (the one that was vandalised)

After the depressing story regarding the vandalism at St Simon’s Church in Partick Bridge Street (which I noted took place at the same time as I was rummaging around the Salvation Army shop in Dumbarton Road, only a few metres away), since I’d never ventured down that particular street (even though I’ve passed the end of it regularly), I thought I really should go down and take a few pics.

I found the church has a presbytery attached, to the left.

Partick Bridge Street St Simon's Church

Partick Bridge Street St Simon’s Church

As noted previously, World War II saw this church become known as the Polish Church:

In front of church there is a Memorial Stone in Polish which translates:

During the second World War Polish soldiers on leave from the battlefields came to this church to attend Mass together to hear the word of God in their native tongue, to sing their Polish hymns, and to thank Our Lady, Queen of Poland, for this touch of home the Polish community of Glasgow has. Through the years they felt deeply grateful to Father Patrick Tierney for the privilege he has accorded them of celebrating the Polish Mass in this Church and for the many kindnesses received from him and the parishioners.

and in English:  “I was a stranger and you took me in”  Matthew 25:35

VII Niedziela Wielkanocna 31 Maja 1992 DLA Upamietnienia X Rocznicy Kiedy W TYM Miescie BYL Jan Pawel II

Find more history here

St Simon's Memorial Stone

St Simon’s Memorial Stone

Another plaque lies adjacent to this memorial, and features a prominent Polish eagle.

I couldn’t find any reference for this.

St Simon's Plaque

St Simon’s Plaque

The presbytery to the left provided one further detail.

St Simon's Presbytery

St Simon’s Presbytery

When I referred to the listing for this site, the niche in the presbytery was referred to as ’empty’.

It’s not empty now, and the out-of-date reference probably also explains why this statue looks brand new.

St Simon's Church Presbytery Statue

St Simon’s Church Presbytery Statue

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and suggest St Simon (I assume this statue portrays the church’s namesake) has some distinctly Polish features 🙂

02/05/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

So, St Enoch works started on Monday? (And it celebrates its 30th birthday this month too)

After the daft story about work starting in the St Enoch Shopping Centre on Monday, to convert the former BHS store into cinemas and restaurants, I had to grab a pic as the bus sped past it yesterday.

I could have taken this pic at any time during the past few weeks, and that goes for the interior, where the entire end of the centre where the BHS store was located was boarded off to block any public access weeks ago.

The main reason I noticed that was not the fact that it was boarded up, but the way the many of the floor tiles had been ruined by having holes drilled through them, so will need inevitably have to be torn up and replaced at some time. I doubt any inspector will sign off on the final conversion with that sort of damage in plain sight, and there might even be insurance issues if an assessor decides some poor member of the public could trip and fall over the little holes.

Been looking at this for weeks. Goes round the whole end of the centre, and cut off a portion of the car park too.

St Enoch Shopping Centre BHS Redevelopment

St Enoch Shopping Centre BHS Redevelopment


Just for fun, tried some shots from the bus as it passed the car park, for a wider view.

St Enoch cinema works

St Enoch cinema works


St Enoch cinema works

St Enoch cinema works

Some say…

I just wanted to catch the F-Type 400.

Jaguar F-Type 400

Jaguar F-Type 400

This twist on the F-Type platform is the 400 Sport. This model uses a juiced-up version of the same 3.0 l supercharged V6 as the 340 and 380 horsepower versions, but boosted to produce 400 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. The 400 Sport comes only with the eight-speed automatic transmission with driving modes and paddle shifters, but you have your choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive.

The 400 Sport package also includes upgraded brakes, which Jaguar calls “Super Performance” and a set of 20-inch wheels unique to this model. The front brakes are 380 mm and the rears are barely smaller at 376 mm. On top of that, you get “Configurable Dynamics” driving modes that change the shock damping, steering, throttle, and shifting behaviour, so you can set the 400 Sport to predefined settings for comfort or sportier driving, or dive in and create your own custom settings.

Not that I would know anything about it though.

Another update!

I’m sad to see that the St Enoch Centre is about to hit its 30th this month.

Later this month Glasgow’s iconic St Enoch Centre celebrates its 30th birthday.

The distinctive pyramid shaped glass roofed shopping complex – affectionately known as ‘The Glasgow Greenhouse’ – has remained at the heart of the city’s vibrant retail sector since the days of shoulder pads, bright jumpers and non-stop radio play of Madonna’s “Like A Prayer”.

The centre offered something of a retail revolution for Glaswegians – offering shoppers the chance to browse over 70 shops and enjoy a wide range of food options without having to worry about the ever-changing weather.

Built on the site of the former St Enoch Railway Station, which was demolished in 1974, it very nearly never came to be in the first place. The site was originally acquired by the Scottish Development Agency to assist in the relocation of civil service jobs from London.

Memories of the St Enoch Centre as the ‘The Glasgow Greenhouse’ turns 30

It was interesting, but as noted in that ‘Memories’ article, much of what originally made it innovative and interesting has largely gone, replace by the standard franchised shop unit fronts, and the usual big name clones.

Back in their day, shopping centres at least tried to be different.

Today, parachute into just about any of them, and you would find it hard to say which one you were in, or even where you had landed.

St Enoch had its ice rink – but that had to go to make more space for shops franchises.

It used to have giant, illuminated glass/mirrored rotating pyramids. They’re gone too. Last time I bothered to look, they were still in place, but standing still, dead, and dust-covered.

Memories indeed…

The centre dominated the city skyline when it opened its doors to the public in May of 1989, and was officially inaugurated by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on March, 9, 1990.

Unique in being built separately from the stores under it, its how it earned the ‘greenhouse’ nickname, with giant steel beams (fashioned made in the Port Glasgow shipyard of Scott Lithgow) supporting the biggest glass structure of its kind in Europe.

Costing £46 million, the 260 metre long building comprised a two-level shopping centre with seven levels of parking for 750 cards and 280,000 square feet of retail space (more than four full size football pitches).

In addition to being a shopping and food complex, many Glaswegians will remember that it also had an ice rink, which in its heyday prior to its closure in June of 1995 (to cater for more shops) welcomed 5000 skaters a week.

I think every shop I once used in the centre has gone.

There used to be one that sold giant cookies, or muffins (yes, there is something similar there today, but a shadow of the shop I’m referring to from years ago), and I think when it disappeared, so did my reason for making a regular detour through the centre.

02/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Mosaic surprise in Hill Street

A surprise from a street I didn’t expect to find one in.

I may have to go back, and pay MORE attention in these streets.

I tend to ignore the buildings, as so many have been abused by reuse by the School of Art, and as hotels. Their treatment can be ‘unsympathetic’. Those still serving as homes can be better looked after, but they can also suffer from lack of funds as they can be costly to maintain.

And the new builds there? Well, let’s just say they’re ‘new’.

Apart from the obvious variations in architecture, I didn’t expect to find anything to surprise me in Hill Street, having wandered along it more than once, but there was one, and I guess you should ALWAYS ‘Look Up!’

In this case it was a splash of colour from a mosaic, which turned out to be something (relatively) new.

I’m never that sure of sticking modern additions on established features though. I’m fine with nearby, but this sort of thing makes me think that the hassle listed building protection brings might not be ‘all bad’.

Charing Cross Housing Association 1992 Mosaic

Charing Cross Housing Association 1992 Mosaic

In this case, we have a fairly obvious phoenix depicted beneath a banner, ‘CCHA 1992’.

CCHA is Charing Cross Housing Association, registered in 1976, operating mainly in the Woodlands and Garnethill areas, and set up to address disrepair in pre-1919 tenements. It started new build developments in the mid 1980s. I didn’t find anything specific after a quick flick through their web site.

I’m guessing this building, formerly The Cancer Hospital; Beatson Hospital Annexe; Royal Beatson Memorial Hospital, was one of the association’s projects, and was completed in 1992.

02/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: