Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Pathetic driver of hulking great Mercedes SUV hit all the stereotype buttons

I’m fairly easy-going on the road, but a old guy in a huge Mercedes SUV managed to press all the wrong buttons today.

Location: Entrance into Kelvingrove Park at the junction of Claremont Street, Royal Terrace, and La Belle Place.

I’m coming along the cycle path along Claremont Street, about to cross Royal Terrace and enter the park as I do on most days.

There’s a big Mercedes SUV coming from the right so I adjust my pace to pass behind.


The driver looks over at me – and then just comes to a dead stop directly in front of me (good job I was already slowing).

Then, he gets out, blocking Royal Terrace (and the park entrance) to traffic approaching from Claremont Street and La Belle Place.

Since I had to come to a dead stop while still in higher gears I have to struggle around the front of his road block, and suggest he try harder to block the whole road.

This brings a stream of abuse as he opened both front doors and the rear hatch, as if I was the one that did something wrong.

He could have lied, and claimed he was collecting his sick little pup that had taken ill in the park, which would have been reasonable.

When I made it into the park, got moving and was able to change gears, when I looked back he was carrying his dog back to the car.

Who CARRIES their dog out of a park?

Well, it LOOKED as if that was what he was doing, and put in the back of the car.

Maybe he was a dognapper, and that was why he was upset about having attention drawn to him, as he collected his next pet blackmail subject.

Unfortunately, by the time I could stop and pull my camera, he was all done, so all I got was a pic of the car before he sped off, and his number plate was blocked too. I’ve blurred the face if the guy walking behind, he was just a chance catch in the pic, completely unrelated.

Abusive Mercedes SUV driver

Abusive Mercedes SUV driver

Wonder if his female partner approved of what he said?



Probably, since she opened her door to make sure the road was indeed completely blocked as well as the park entrance.

Context shot of the entrance and road.

Kelvingrove Park Royal Terrace gate

Kelvingrove Park Royal Terrace gate

One large SUV, doors open, and this junction is all blocked until it moves.

A handy van turning from Claremont Street shows how the road is only one vehicle wide, also the National Cycle Route marker on a pole.

Kelvingrove Park from Claremont Street

Kelvingrove Park from Claremont Street


Lest you make the mistake of thinking I wrote this post because I was ticked off by this motoring retard, you’d be wrong. If he carries on like that, karma will deal with him one day, doesn’t need any help from me.

I am ticked off, and did indeed write it to work off some steam, but…

The reason for that is how long it takes for even a ‘quick’ compact camera to ‘wake up’ and be ready to start working and take pics – a delay extended by the controls, including the zoom, all being administered via buttons.

It’s one of the major reasons I still favour the bulkier dSLR and semi-manual lens when I can carry it.

It has no ‘wake up’ delays.

Raise it and you can press the shutter immediately at any time, and the manual zoom works as fast your hand can slide the barrel.

17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today IS a sad day, and I AM grumpy

Every now and then I get a reminder of why I don’t like looking at the news each evening 😦

Still a sad day, even if I knew she had health issues, and I wondered how long Grumpy Cat would be with us.

Thanks for the smiles you brought.

Not Always Grumpy

Not Always Grumpy

Grumpy Cat, the feline famous on the internet for her permanent scowl, has died aged seven, her owners say.

A statement says she died on Tuesday following complications from a recent urinary tract infection.

The cat from Arizona had “helped millions of people smile”.

Grumpy, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, went viral in 2012 after photographs of her sour expression emerged online. Her image quickly spread as a meme.

Grumpy Cat internet legend dies

17/05/2019 Posted by | Lost | | Leave a comment

Oor Wullie is pure gold at Kelvingrove

Things are being made ready for this weekend’s art show at Kelvingrove (they forgot my complimentary ticket, so don’t expect any posts), as noted previously.

More stuff has appeared in the central hall, including projection screens along the sides, and almost all of the balcony access has been closed off now.

But the most noticeable feature was a larger than life golden ‘Oor Wullie’ sittin’ oan his gold bucket in front of the marquee entrance.

Looking good in today’s sunshine.

Golden Oor Wullie oan bucket

Golden Oor Wullie oan bucket

Perfect setting, on the lawn in front of Kelvingrove’s back (or is it front 😉 ) entrance.

Golden Our Wullie at Kelvingrove

Golden Our Wullie at Kelvingrove

Probably only gold plated plastic, might even be one of the pieces being offered for sale over the weekend.

17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

They’re STILL demolishing that lump of concrete in Dumbarton Road

Was this Western Infirmary building a secret nuclear bunker?

The rest of the site has been razed, but contractors are STILL beating on the concrete lump I spotted and have already mentioned a couple of times.

I look across at it most days, and wonder when it will eventually be gone.

Just out of curiosity I had a look at archived imagery for this part of Argyle Street,  and noted that the building in this corner was solid, and had no windows, so I wonder what it’s purpose was. Unfortunately I don’t appear to have access to any records for such a recent, or unlisted, building, so have no idea.

While I can’t take a pic something that isn’t there, it will be a special day the day I can take a pic of this corner when it’s empty, and there’s nothing there.

But it won’t be happening tomorrow.

This was ‘concrete corner’ yesterday, still with the demolition team hard at work.

Argyle Street concrete demolition

Argyle Street concrete demolition

17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Cream coloured recital ‘friend’

I was momentarily distracted from today’s organ recital in Kelvingrove, when something ‘different’ appeared on my programme.

First time I’ve seen one with anything other than the usual black spots, this cream spotted ladybird decided to drop in for a little walk.

Apparently not even rare…

Ten-spot ladybirds (Adalia decempunctata) are extremely variable in colour and pattern. They can be cream, yellow, orange, red, brown, purple or black, with up to 15 spots. They live in deciduous trees and hedgerows and overwinter in leaf litter and beech nut.

Now that I’ve seen more, will they be like buses, and loads will now turn up?

Little recital friend - cream spotted ladybird

Little recital friend

17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Still not getting the logic of CSOs (Compulsory Sales Orders)

Other than a means of forcing the sale of property in a way which allows councils to escape having to pay for them, as it currently has to if a CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) is enacted, I’m still not convinced that CSOs have anything to do with bringing abandoned or derelict property back into use.

I remain to be convinced.

If forcing the sale of a property is going bing it back into use, which presumably means it is worth something, or can be used profitably, then why would the owner have to be FORCED to sell it?

If it’s so good, then they should be investing in it, and reaping the profit themselves.

Unless the CPO also invokes… magic!

Papers for the committee state homes can become empty for various reasons including bereavement and inheritance.

The Glasgow City Council submission stated: “The introduction of Compulsory Sales Orders should be implemented as soon as possible as these would enable local authorities to force the sale of a derelict or abandoned property if it has been lying empty for more than 12 months.”

Fife Council said the orders could be an “easier and less complicated tool” than the current Compulsory Purchase Orders, which tie the council in to purchasing the empty property, a view echoed by Angus Council.

West Dunbartonshire Council said: “The introduction of Compulsory Sale Orders could play a role in assisting Empty Homes Officers to encourage home owners to either rent, sell or move into the empty home.”

Rural Housing Scotland also backs CSOs, as does housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland and the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership.

The latter two organisations said in a joint submission that CSOs, as with all enforcement options, “should never be a first choice approach for bringing empty homes back to use”.

Glasgow City Council backs plans to introduce compulsory sales orders for empty homes

Thought for the day

Could a CSO be served on the council that brought the system into existence?

Or, will it write immunity for itself into such legislation, to avoid being caught by its own enforcement system?

Tollcross Winter Garden and Visitor Centre, derelict since 2011.

Tollcross Winter Gardens Visitor Centre January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens Visitor Centre January 2017

17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Next giant mural could be seen in the east end

Thenue Housing Association has commissioned the work, in London Road, near Bridgeton Cross, to mark its 40th anniversary in October 2019.

The association manages a number of buildings in the area, and is seeking permission for the mural to be created on a prominent gable at 499 London Road, near Bridgeton., and is near their head office.

The mural would depict the moment Princess Theneva was rescued from the River Forth by St Serf of Culross Abbey, while she was pregnant with the future St Mungo (Glasgow’s patron saint and founder), after being cast out by her father.

In a statement submitted with the application, Ali Smith of ArtPistol explains: “It is this brief moment of fate, which is to become part of the origin story of Glasgow, that we want to capture in the mural.

“This is not going to be a religious mural, with religious imagery. We are avoiding that and looking to visualise the moment in a contemporary way. It is all about that moment Serf meets Thenue [Theneva], the sheer significance of it, the fortuitous and beautiful timing, and creating a stunning piece of street art.”

GLASGOW’S Latest Mural To Be Inspired By Rescue Of Patron Saint’s Mother

In more detail…

The new street art will feature Princess Theneva or Saint Enoch (Thenue), who lived from 510 to about 570.

She was the daughter of King Loth of the Gododdin, and mother of St Mungo or St Kentigern – the patron saint and founder of Glasgow.

The work will capture the moment Theneva was rescued by Saint Serf of Culross Abbey in Fife after her dad had thrown her into the River Forth.

Glasgow mural trail: new artwork in tribute to St Mungo’s mum planned for east end

This would add to the existing murals on this theme in High Street and George Street.

So, here’s the ‘before’ shot.

499 London Road at Abercromby Street

499 London Road at Abercromby Street


17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | 2 Comments

Billy Connolly quote

Billy Connolly Wisdom

Billy Connolly Wisdom

Seems fair 🙂


17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Today is Bike to Work Day

17 May is Bike to Work Day this year (2019).

But, it’s another one of those happy ‘days’ that wanders around from year to year, as it falls on the third Friday of May.

While I managed ‘Walk to Work Day’ (something I was thwarted in for many years as I needed my car for work, so had to drive to work, even though the distance was relatively trivial) and this became my norm, ‘Bike to Work’ never happened, or even occurred to me.

I really never thought of it, even though I had sometime cycled past. The distance was kind of silly for driving, but as noted, I had to have my car to hand. That same distance turned out to be a reasonable walk, and better than driving in winter – the car was still freezing when I got there, but walking was enough to be  warmed up when reached the door, even if the weather was freezing,

But bike/cycle?

The distance, and the awkward route by road (busy at ‘rush hour’), just made it unattractive as a daily proposition, so the thought just didn’t arise.

I’m not going to preach about getting fit or any of that stuff. It should be self-evident, and is becoming more obvious as more people cycle.

But in these days of ridiculous tax takes on drivers/cars/fuel, I would note that this is one way to keep a lot of your hard-earned out of the taxman’s hand, and keep it in your own.

As far as that goes – he’s successfully priced me off the road anyway.

I'm Ready

I’m Ready

Interestingly, I’ve done a LOT more cycling since first noting this day, and the stats are interesting.

Cycling is obviously faster than walking.

But what I’ve found to be consistent is that it’s twice as fast as the bus. (Also soggier if it’s raining. Cold and dry is not really a problem, but wet is.)

For a ONE hour cycle run to, or through Glasgow, I have to leave home TWO hours ahead of my arrival time if I take the bus instead of cycling.

For comparison, the train takes about the same time, but is rendered kind of useless since it only runs between stations, of which there are considerably fewer than bus stops. That means the time can balloon at each end, by having to catch buses, or walk.

That’s a pity, as the train can be really quick, if only the stations are near the start and end points.

17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Pack Rat Day

17 May is Pack Rat Day.

Pack Rat Day is a warning to take some time to look at your life and determine if you have things you don’t need.

We all collect little stuff, but with some moderation, there’s nothing wrong with that.

But some people take this to excess, and collect everything. They may think they’re being thrifty or resourceful, and that may be true, but it may be that they’re staring hoarding down the throat and are on the verge, or deep in the middle of, a very serious problem.

The history of Pack Rat Day is the history of a pathology and the people who live with it. Compulsive hoarding is a serious problem, and can be seen in people who collect things past their homes ability to contain it. Worse, these same people are sometimes unable to determine whether saving a thing is truly useful or not. Sometimes it simply results in a home that is packed with useless items and an uncomfortable living space. In others, things become much more serious.

Hoarding can completely take over a person’s life, rendering their entire space impossible to inhabit. Kitchens and fridges may be overloaded with junk to the point they are unusable, insanitary, and dangerous. Bedrooms can become filled with random collections of items, sometimes to the point where there’s no way to use the room for its intended purpose.

At worst, it can get so bad they may be unable to determine whether something is bad. Rotten food will be kept until it’s just mush, meat that’s gone bad will be considered ‘still be saved’, mouldy food be hoarded.

I don’t mind admitting I’m a collector, and won’t toss something merely because it simply not currently in use, or may be useful later.

I’m also fortunate that I was lucky enough to see someone close slip into hoarding (although this was probably not true hoarding, but a symptom of another genuine illness). Having to deal with this (and having to make space for the contents of a business that closed) was probably enough of a wake-up call to scare me from advancing from ‘collector’ to ‘hoarder’.

While it wasn’t rubbish, or dirty, having to accommodate the leftovers of a fair-sized business was close enough to having a house I couldn’t move in to make sure that I never wanted to end up having to climb over stuff just to move around, and I was glad when it was all cleared up and dispersed.

That was some years ago, but I still have regular ‘patrols’ ever few weeks and tackle anything that might be starting to turn into a permanent fixture on the floor. Sometimes it can’t be dealt with right away, and there may be good reason for having lying around, but it is eventually cleared. And keeping the floor clear is a pretty good indicator that things are not going downhill.

I reckon it’s also safer than trying to be ‘perfect’ – as that probably leads to developing OCD, and that’s no better.

Whatever. These things are NOT funny. Avoid or avert them if at all possible.

Not Pack Rat - Collector

Not Pack Rat – Collector

Since noting this day for the first time, I have to confess to running into a little problem.

I’ve taken up some hobbies that have led to buying into the necessary tools and clothes (and hardware) needed to enjoy them,

However, I didn’t reckon with those additions taking up about half of a decent sized room.

Added over the course of a year, these things suddenly became a problem since I haven’t given anything up.

After six months of trying to make space – I’m no further forward, and the ‘new’ goodies remain as a growing pile on the floor!

I need a bigger house 😦

17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Work from Home Day

17 May is Work from Home Day.

See National Work from Home Day

The aim of National Work from Home Day (and Work Wise Week) is to promote modern “smarter” working practices such as agile, flexible, remote and mobile working, as well as working from home.

I’m surprised I haven’t come across, or mentioned, this before.

How Work From Home Day might be celebrated has a lot to do with the position held within a company.  If you’re the person in charge you may want to take some time to examine the way your company and industry works and see if there’s an opportunity to allow some of your employees to work from home on occasion.

If instead, you’re an employee at such an institution, perhaps try speaking to your leadership and fellow employees to see if it would be possible to institute such a program at your business.

Work From Home Day’s provides an opportunity for flexibility that can help raise the morale of your employees, avoid lost productivity, and provide solutions for those going through temporary hardships.

A lot can depend on attitudes, and whether they are lodged in tradition, or able to be expanded.

I managed a period of working from home once, and it can be remarkably effective, removing distractions and colleagues who think ‘your’ time is ‘their’ time, with constant interruptions.

It can be divisive too, unfortunately, as the work-shy types wonder why they don’t get the opportunity, and whine about others getting ‘Time off to do as they like”.

Sadly, it’s easy to see who’s productive if given the option, and who can’t be trusted to manage themselves.

However, used wisely, I found it to be an excellent way to gain productive time – and work fewer hours while achieving more.

It can also gain time simply be eliminating travelling time – which can also save money.

The biggest hassle I could see (in our fairly small company) was the old traditional type of boss/manager, who valued people turning up on time (preferably early), clocking up the required hours at their desk, and being present – rather than gauging how good or effective their work/performance was.

But, be careful. A suitable home environment is needed.

Apparently not everyone can work from home, and be more productive…


17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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