Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Celebrating Apollo

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time man walked on the Moon.

Glasgow Science Centre will hold the Moon50 Festival during the summer, with a number events dedicated to the event during that week, 13th to 21st July.

The centre is calling on people throughout Scotland to get in touch with their recollections of 1969 by sharing stories of where they were, how they watched it, and how it made them feel – an estimated 530 million people around the Earth watched the event as NASA astronauts took “…one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” on 20 July 1969.

Although the line didn’t quite come out like that, and Neil Armstrong said “…one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

I think we can forgive him. After all, it was a fairly significant moment, and he must have had a lot on his mind.

The event is ticketed, and tickets are now on sale. To find out more, click HERE

Where were you?

The centre is looking to collate recollections of 1969 when humans first stepped foot on the Moon and what their memories were.

Where were you? Did you watch the Moon landing? Did you hear it on the radio? How did it feel?

To help in being a part of this project visit: Moon Memories form A4-fillable.pdf

I think I was on holiday on a certain Scottish island, living in the luxury of what would now be referred to as a ‘company flat’, but I was too little to really remember, but I think the event did stick in my mind.

I rather like “The Eagle has landed” as the most memorable phrase of the day, rather than the standard “one small step…” offering.

Apollo 11 50th anniversary

Apollo 11 50th anniversary

It was also the source of my online name of ‘Apollo’ – selected way back in the early days of the Internet, probably the first time I was presented with the demand to “Enter your user name”, and I simply wanted something I could remember, was not embarrassingly stupid, and quick to type.

Believe it or not, I’ve received abuse and insults for having it, from slightly retarded people who accuse me of thinking I’m some sort of Greek god, and therefore ‘better’ or ‘above’ them.

While that may not be true, I’d say just about everybody was ‘above’ or ‘better’ than anyone whose minds works like that.

14/05/2019 Posted by | Transport | | Leave a comment

Some cycle fun, and some serious stuff

I try not to mention cycling too often, lest I be mistaken for a loony cycling ‘activist’, most of whom probably do more to harm to cycling than advance it, thanks to their endless whining.

On a serious note, I see a number of mentions for a police campaign to enforce spacing between drivers and cyclists.

Plain-clothes police cyclists are taking to Scotland’s roads to target drivers who get too close.

The officers will use bike-mounted cameras to catch motorists, who will then be pulled over.

Drivers will be spoken to and could face being fined and getting points on their licence.

Cycle police will target risky drivers who get too close

The majority of motorists are not aware that driving too close to cyclists can result in three penalty points, a survey suggests.

The poll of more than 1,000 Scots found 73% did not know the potential consequence of failing to leave at least a car’s width when passing a bike.

Cycling Scotland , which commissioned the YouGov research, is raising awareness of the risks to cyclists in a new nationwide campaign.

It has received the backing of Police Scotland , which underlined that driving too close – classed as careless driving – is punishable with a minimum penalty of three penalty points and £100 fine.

Campaign to cut risk to cyclists on Scotland’s roads

Police Scotland has meanwhile launched Operation Close Pass to make roads safer for cyclists.

The initiative sees plain-clothes police officers cycling with a camera on their handlebars and the back of their bike.

When they are passed too closely by a car, the police cyclist radios details to colleagues further up the road, who pull over the motorist and talk to them about their driving.

While I’m certainly not going to disagree with the campaign, I’m also going to speak up for Glasgow’s drivers (and add that I’m not one of them now, having been priced off the road some years ago).

Over the past year or two, having taken to the road by bike (around 1,500 miles per annum), I was expecting to have the paint scraped off my bike by passing drivers, after listening to the damned cycling activists.

In fact, very few come close, and most stay so far away it’s almost as if they’re afraid of me.

It’s also worthy of note to watch Glasgow’s bus drivers (from inside the bus), who demonstrate remarkable restraint when their large vehicles are baulked by some very bad and very slow cyclists (and drivers).

Recent fun

I was brought up in the days when we were actually taught to drive, rather than how to pass the driving test.

Think about that, there IS a difference.

One aspect which seems to have been forgotten is ‘Defensive Driving’ – to look ahead and act early to avoid getting into a problem scenario before it even arises. I cycle the same way.

A couple of evening ago I was cruising along Tollcross Road, about to arrive at a junction (street on the left) at about 20 mph when an SUV pulled out in front of me.

While ‘Angry Scottish Cyclist’ would have seen this as an excuse to stop, and start banging on the car and shouting abuse at the driver, I had been watching it, and intended just to slide over the left and pass behind it.


When the nice lady driver did spot me (and my lights) she decided to PANIC, slamming on her brakes, and coming to a dead stop right in my path.

I had to stop and shove the bike around the back of her – I wasn’t really looking, but notice she was still having some sort of panic attack inside her SUV, with arms waving, and a little face that looked as if it was about to burst into tears.

I was off as fast as I could 🙂

I find pedestrians on cycle paths are more of a problem, as some of them seem to hate cyclists.

I was on the cycle route through Kelvingrove Park yesterday, when I met one.

I’d spotted a couple walking ahead of me, spaced side-by-side and taking up almost the who width of the 3 metre wide path.

Walking towards them was ‘Mr Denim’.

I like to give people a wide berth, so altered my speed so I’d arrive as ‘Mr Denim’ passed them, and I could slip through the space they’d made for him to walk past.


While I arrived as planned, ‘Mr Denim’ slowed down and almost stopped, deliberately blocking the space I had been aiming to slip through.

While it wasn’t an issue since I’d been cycling at walking pace by that point, the noise of my brakes did startle the person I had arrived behind, which I didn’t like to do, but had to thank to the actions of ‘Mr Denim’. To the couple, unaware of my presence until then, it could have looked as if I was just about to run into them from behind, rather than already coming almost to a stop.

People like him are a real pain – I was almost surprised he didn’t shout something like ‘GET OFF THE PATH’ as he almost stood in front of me.

It’s a shame people like that are allowed out on their own.

Normal people are usually quite accommodating on shared paths like Kelvingrove Park – almost TOO accommodating at times, and it’s almost embarrassing how many of them move out of the way when they don’t have to and say “Sorry” even if I’m 2 metres away from them. But then again, they may have met the types that speed through people at 20 mph+, and shout at them for getting in ‘their’ way.

However, the many good folk make up for the few ‘Mr Denim’ types, and the other various ‘Grumpies’ that occasionally make a point of being awkward.

Kelvingrove Park CCTV twins at big bin

Kelvingrove Park

14/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | | Leave a comment

Street-light deja vu

Out for a short run a few nights ago, and spotted a familiar sight along the road.

Broken Street-light Two Spotted

Broken Street-light Two Spotted

We’ve seen this before, and it looks as if I was right, and…

Our birds are too fat and well fed

These lights are likely to be of similar vintage, so I wonder if something has got old and tired, or maybe there’s a manufacturing fault in some?

The failure looks similar to the first example spotted a few weeks ago, although I’d need to go back in daylight for a better pic.

Broken Streetlight Two

Broken Street-light Two

We’ll see.

I’ve no idea how long this one has been hanging, and it could last a while thanks to the better weather we have now.

Unlike the first, we’re no longer in the days of wet and stormy weather, so it’s not likely to fill with water like first, or be battered by high winds, and broken off.

I’m not along this way so often, but I’ll be watching when I am, so we can see how long this one lasts like this, and when it’s replaced.


I did manage to make a fairly rapid return, and sure enough, the daylight pics confirm this has broken around the bracket, just like the first one.

Broken street-light two

Broken street-light two

A closer look confirms the fitting has again just split and broken away around the edge of the bracket.

You can see how dirt has been washed inside the fitting, and collected under the bracket area for some time, before it eventually broke away.

Although it’s evaporating in the better weather, water can also be seen to be collecting at the bottom of the lens cover.

Broken street-light two detail

Broken street-light two detail

Just to be different, another view with a nice leafy background.

Broken street-light tree shot

Broken street-light tree shot

14/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: