Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Chatty Cafes to be joined by Chatty Carriages

Remember the story about the Chatty Cafes?

Somewhat less intrusive is and confrontational is The Chatty Cafe Scheme

Basically seems to be a way for those not inclined to be so forward, but provides a way for them indicate they’d be happy for someone to sit at their table and chat…

A Chatter & Natter table is where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers“.

A Chatter & Natter table creates a space for people to talk; whether it is for five minutes while you drink a brew, or an hour of good conversation. We’re not trying to build friendships – just simple interactions to combat loneliness and to just maybe have a big impact on someone’s day.

Although the aims of the scheme are to reduce loneliness and get people chatting we decided not to use the word loneliness on any of the publicity that is displayed in cafes.

Instead it is very positive and focuses on bringing people of all ages and from all walks of life together. We want to mix everyone up!

There’s a ‘Chatty Cafe’ finder on the web site.

The only place I saw on the list which is also somewhere I go is Kelvingrove.

I’ve wandered into the Kelvingrove cafe quite a few times – but never seen the ‘chatty’ sign 😦

It seems the BBC is behind a scheme to introduce

Buses, coaches, trams and trains will be a bit chattier than usual on Friday as a day-long experiment to encourage travellers to talk to strangers is rolled out on Britain’s transport network.

Commuters on West Coast Virgin trains will find every coach C is designated a “chat carriage”, while bus company Arriva is placing “conversation starter” cards on vehicles servicing their UK network.

The series of initiatives, orchestrated by a BBC team focused on solutions journalism, is designed to combat two of the most toxic issues of the age: polarisation and isolation.

Emily Kasriel, a BBC editor behind the project, said the aim was “to encourage people who are up for it to get out of their comfort zone and emerge from their screens to interact with the adult sitting next to them”.

“Many people are reluctant to talk to strangers, but perhaps someone is battling loneliness and an exchange could provide a meaningful moment that changes their day,” said Kasriel, the head of the BBC’s Crossing Divides season, which seeks to combat antagonism through conversation.

“Everyone has an interesting story to tell. These chance encounters can provoke a new way of looking at the world, and an opportunity to understand someone else’s story.”

Though typical commuter behaviour these days might involve inserting earbuds and avoiding all and any interaction with fellow travellers, research indicates that those who do open up to strangers tend to feel happier as a result.

UK public transport rolls out ‘chat day’

Probably not going to work with me.

Leave me alone cat

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Chatty Cafes to be joined by Chatty Carriages

Remember the story about the Chatty Cafes?

Somewhat less intrusive is and confrontational is The Chatty Cafe Scheme

Basically seems to be a way for those not inclined to be so forward, but provides a way for them indicate they’d be happy for someone to sit at their table and chat…

A Chatter & Natter table is where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers“.

A Chatter & Natter table creates a space for people to talk; whether it is for five minutes while you drink a brew, or an hour of good conversation. We’re not trying to build friendships – just simple interactions to combat loneliness and to just maybe have a big impact on someone’s day.

Although the aims of the scheme are to reduce loneliness and get people chatting we decided not to use the word loneliness on any of the publicity that is displayed in cafes.

Instead it is very positive and focuses on bringing people of all ages and from all walks of life together. We want to mix everyone up!

There’s a ‘Chatty Cafe’ finder on the web site.

The only place I saw on the list which is also somewhere I go is Kelvingrove.

I’ve wandered into the Kelvingrove cafe quite a few times – but never seen the ‘chatty’ sign 😦

It seems the BBC is behind a scheme to introduce

Buses, coaches, trams and trains will be a bit chattier than usual on Friday as a day-long experiment to encourage travellers to talk to strangers is rolled out on Britain’s transport network.

Commuters on West Coast Virgin trains will find every coach C is designated a “chat carriage”, while bus company Arriva is placing “conversation starter” cards on vehicles servicing their UK network.

The series of initiatives, orchestrated by a BBC team focused on solutions journalism, is designed to combat two of the most toxic issues of the age: polarisation and isolation.

Emily Kasriel, a BBC editor behind the project, said the aim was “to encourage people who are up for it to get out of their comfort zone and emerge from their screens to interact with the adult sitting next to them”.

“Many people are reluctant to talk to strangers, but perhaps someone is battling loneliness and an exchange could provide a meaningful moment that changes their day,” said Kasriel, the head of the BBC’s Crossing Divides season, which seeks to combat antagonism through conversation.

“Everyone has an interesting story to tell. These chance encounters can provoke a new way of looking at the world, and an opportunity to understand someone else’s story.”

Though typical commuter behaviour these days might involve inserting earbuds and avoiding all and any interaction with fellow travellers, research indicates that those who do open up to strangers tend to feel happier as a result.

UK public transport rolls out ‘chat day’

 

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

New east end cycle route – I put my foot in it!

It’s remarkable – all I have to do is make a statement about something…

And I’ll be given the equivalent of ‘A poke in the eye with a sharp stick’.

Yesterday, while considering the ambitious plans for new parks and other goodies running from the river to Kelvingrove Park, I mentioned that plans for a cycle route along London Road seemed to have sunk without trace, after being expected to see a start as early as the second quarter of 2019.

I’m thinking of one project local to me, which I was following, and looked as if it would be underway by now (middle of 2019), but has seen no activity, or apparently any update info regarding its progress, or not.

Sooner, rather than later please (I’m looking at backers as I say that, NOT the council).

Of course, as soon as I committed my thoughts to print, in less that 24 hours I was proved wrong.

Construction on phase one of new sections of the East City Way is due to start at Mount Vernon, in January 2020 and be completed by June 2020. Applications for funding to progress phase two and three designs have been made to active travel organisation Sustrans.

The plan is for East City Way to stretch for seven kilometres from Bridgeton to Mount Vernon, with work carried out over the next three to five years.

NEW 2.2-Kilometre Segregated Cycle Route Proposed For Glasgow’s South Side

Ah well, I may have been a day early with my negative thoughts, but at least the East City Way looks as if it is going to arrive, if a year later than expected. And anything up to another six years for the rest!

Guess I’ll just have to wait that little bit longer before this view becomes a reality.

Proposed Layout London Road

Proposed Layout London Road

 

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Will anything from Glasgow appear during the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship paranormal lockin?

Some intriguing goodies turn up in my carefully curated set of feeds, and this one about the former Carrick, once moored in Glasgow, now the City of Adelaide, definitely falls into that category.

Come aboard the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship docked at Port Adelaide. Investigate the ship where 7 people died on the first voyage to Adelaide. Converted to a Hospital Ship in 1893, many more lives were lost on this ship.

Our investigators will show you how to use the equipment and you can search for any activity yourself!

Hear the history from the Ship’s own volunteers and then poke around the Ship’s remains.

Time Sat Jun 22 2019 at 07:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Venue Dock 1, McLaren Pde, Port Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

City of Adelaide Clipper Ship paranormal lockin

So, still time to arrange that trip half way around the world and not miss that unique experience on board the old hull.

There just HAS to be something spooky left after this…

Sunk Carrick

Sunk Carrick

Then again.

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

You don’t have to go to Aus for this sort of fun

Thrill-seekers will get to take part in a ghost hunt at Glasgow’s Merchants House this winter.

Scottish Ghost Nights are set to explore the building on George Square, which boasts over 400 years of history.

It was once a hub for social gatherings, civic affairs and an almshouse for merchants and their families who had fallen on hard times. The investigators reckon places like this are “alive with energies of the past” – which should make for a spine-tingling night of spooky goings-on…

The event will take place on Saturday, November 9 between 7:30pm and 12:30am. Over the five hours, you’ll explore the building and get the chance to try out table-tipping, spirit boards and a full Victorian Seance.

Tickets are £39 per person and you can get them here

Hunt ghosts at Glasgow’s Merchants House this winter

Cheaper than a trip to Port Adelaide 🙂

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime | , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh 150 – apparently good news follows after two years

Although I thought I had been lucky to notice that 2018 was to be noted as Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 150th anniversary and be marked by a number of events, I managed to miss them all (suffice to say a couple of little accidents meant I was stuck indoors for some time).

Two years on, it seems things went well, even without me 😉

A recent article notes:

A campaign celebrating the legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh has boosted visitor numbers to Mackintosh attractions in Scotland by more than a quarter.

Today – the architect’s birthday [07 June] – new results showing the success of Mackintosh 150 and Beyond have been revealed.

It has helped to attract 1.2 million people to venues he designed – a 29% increase compared with the same period last year.

The campaign was focused on promoting venues and events in and around Glasgow and the west of Scotland to visitors in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee.

It was also aimed at encouraging UK short-break visitors to make a Mackintosh-inspired trip to Glasgow in 2019.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh campaign boosts visitor numbers to attractions in Glasgow

Not around back in 2018, I wonder how many come for a look?

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Odd news – the ancient meteorite crater in Scottish waters

There’s probably a few people who already know about Scotland’s meteorite which landed in High Possil.

I’ve been trying to collect a decent pic of the related display items in the Hunterian, but so far, always seem to visit when the lighting has failed, and the display is too dark to get a detailed, in focus, image.

However, this tale refers to a meteorite which arrived during an event which occurred about 1.2 billion years ago, when the continents were arranged very differently from how they are now, and life would have existed almost exclusively in the oceans.

Writing in the Journal of the Geological Society, Dr Ken Amor and colleagues say this location is centred about 15-20km west-northwest of Enard Bay – part way across The Minch towards Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.

The key supporting evidence is a group of reddish-coloured rocks on the eastern side of The Minch known as the Stac Fada deposit.

These are determined to be ejecta from the impact – the material hurled outwards when a 1-2km-wide object slammed into what was probably then some kind of rift valley.

The rocks are fragmented and contain melt particles, and also what geologists term shocked quartz – a type of mineral that has at some point been subjected to enormous pressures.

Shocked quartz is very often associated with meteorite events.

The team is examining some seismic surveys that were done in the 1970s as part of an oil prospecting programme, but they are of poor quality.

Likewise, they are investigating gravity data. This indicates something anomalous in the strait, but again it is all somewhat uncertain.

“What we really need is a new high-resolution geophysical survey – a 3D seismic survey,” said Dr Amor.

“Unfortunately, being offshore that would cost a lot of money. I shall be putting in a grant proposal to do some seismic work. That would be a first step and would greatly assist the definition of any impact structure.”

Scientists close in on hidden Scottish meteorite crater

Impact crater location

Impact crater location

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Battery storage planned for Whitelee wind farm

Although I’m too far from something like the Whitelee wind farm to wander along for a look, I did see it recently as the coach I was headed south out of Glasgow.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen a large wind farm, and used to pass one (and did actually stop and wander to the base of some of the turbines) when I drove south, although I’ve no idea which one it was, or really even where it was now.

Sad to say, I don’t see the ‘horror’ that the various naysayers who campaign against wind farms see. Nor could I see or hear any of the strange side-effects I used to read about in objections and complaints that used to be raised against them. Those stories seem to have disappeared, unless you’re unfortunate enough to let your eyes fall on the moron comment section after any wind farm articles in The Scotsman  – where you will see the same ‘individual’ (who I suspect are NOT individual, but sponsored commenters, funded by activist or campaign groups, given the time they must spend making comments, and the vast number of loony links they have access to).

As someone who spent some time in conventional (fossil fuelled) power stations, none of arguments against wind (or other renewables) seem to make sense nowadays, even the appearance and supposed claims of land and environmental damage seem born of resistance to change rather than reality.

I expect (if I were to offend my eyes and brain by looking) the naysayers will be whining away (somewhere) as usual, against news that Whitelee will have battery storage installed. I remember the first such system being commissioned only a few years ago, amidst scepticism that such a large installation could even be built, or made to work. Sadly, for the naysayers at least, it did, and has since be joined by many others, of various sizes.

Sad to say, such system also upset the naysayers who object to any pumped storage hydroelectric system being added to those already present in Scotland.

I used to know one, until he found out I’d been an electrical engineer – and I burst out laughing the day he tried to convince me that pumped storage was a conspiracy by the electricity companies to boost their profits by selling the same electricity twice, or some such idea. I freely confess I wasn’t listening, especially after I realised he was being serious, and expected me to accept his dogma.

The world is changing, and that change is happening quickly.

It used to take decades for change to happen, now it happens in years.

A huge “super battery” will be built on the site of the UK’s largest wind farm, after plans were approved by the Scottish government.

It will store power generated by the 215 turbines at Whitelee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor, near Glasgow.

Scottish Power, which operates the wind farm, said the battery storage site would be the size of half a football pitch.

Its planned capacity will make it largest wind farm battery in the UK.

The energy firm said the facility would support the National Grid in maintaining the resilience and stability of the electricity grid, even when the wind is not blowing.

It will be able to achieve full charge in less than half an hour.

The battery can been fully discharged or used in bursts as and when required to keep the electricity network stable by balancing supply and demand.

‘Super battery’ for Scottish Power’s Whitelee wind farm

Oh dear, that seems to hit a few naysayer claims on the head.

On the bright side, it gives them a whole new range of option to moan about, and say ‘Nay’ to 🙂

Incidentally, such storage systems are not quite as new and untried or untested as objectors would have you believe – we’ve had such large systems protecting computer and data centres for years. But why let a few facts waste a good naysayer’s fantasies?

We can have a little fun, thanks to this pic they always use to mock such storage.

Giant battery

Giant battery

One’s no use, the trick is use the whole box!

 

 

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Work starts on flats with no car parking

I mentioned the slightly odd approval for a development with flats which had no provision for car parking (for the residents).

I noted this only because I’ve become used to reading planning applications which have been refused for ignoring parking requirements in the past.

Work has started on the site, and the tatty advertising that was strung across it by nearby shops is gone, although it has revealed some equally disgusting/garish advertising, but at least it will soon be hidden by the new building.

Watson Street development underway

Watson Street development underway

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

2020 Bentley Flying Spur bonnet mascot

While I’ll never get around to forgiving Bentley for its disgusting Bentayga, the rest of the fleet is still OK, and doesn’t make my eyeballs bleed.

I just received some pics of the recently released 2020 Flying Spur, and wanted to note the arrival not because of the car (I won’t be collecting one any time soon), but for the size of the pics – 16000 x 7240 pixels.

That’s pretty big, and I’m guessing taken with a camera (not identified) which, together with its lens, would probably have cost the same as a small car. I know that because the huge pics could still be zoomed down to the pixel level without losing resolution and becoming blurred.

As an example, I cropped this view of the new bonnet mascot, which is both retractable AND illuminated on the new car. No pics of it lit so far though.

2020 Bentley Flying 2020 Bentley Flying Spur bonnet mascotbonner mascot

2020 Bentley Flying Spur bonnet mascot

Ah… they did a tease video before the car was launched.

We can only afford old secondhand cars down my way,

But that’s not really a problem as I think they have ruined the looks of the Flying Spur with a huge radiator grille with vertical struts. It’s very anonymous looking, and has lost the family resemblance to the existing smaller grille, as seen on this bargain GT for sale at the end of my street.

2013 Bentley Continental GT

2013 Bentley Continental GT

This is the 2020 grille – sorry, but it is just BIG, anonymous, and could have been lifted from a 1970s American cruiser. The late Lincoln Continental of the time probably DID look better, even if it was a land yacht.

I did, however like one observation – “For when an entire building needs to go 207 mph” 🙂

Or reach 60 in 3.7 sec (that’s for 2,437 kg unladen).

2020 Bentley Flying Spur

2020 Bentley Flying Spur (626 bhp / 664 lb ft or 900 Nm)

And I still like the ‘old’ classic Bentley saloon, also for sale beside the one above, and even more of a bargain.

2001 Bentley Arnage

2001 Bentley Arnage

And it really is a bargain now, £2,000 LESS than the first time I spotted it.

Just for letting it sit on the forecourt for few weeks.

2001 Bentley Arnage

2001 Bentley Arnage

Found another pic.

I still think this body has more classical style and is more pleasing to the eye.

I worry that later versions are beginning to suffer from ‘Directions from above’ where bosses hand down directives to the design department to make sure they keep certain recognisable body lines, but are also instructed to make the next car look ‘different’ (or they’ll be looking for new jobs).

I’m not thinking only of Bentley.

2001 Bentley Arnage

2001 Bentley Arnage

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

   

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