Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Glasgow’s second dinosaur exhibition drew to a close today – could there be controversy?

As Trixie Joins Dippy and leaves the city, there’s a rumour of shocking news.

A new discovery threatens to overturn all we thought we knew 😉

Dinosaur Problem

31/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Nightvision – not as new as you think

Years ago…

Nightvision 1917

Nightvision 1917

31/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, military, World War I | , , , | Leave a comment

James Watt centenary – rather quiet?

The centenary of a certain Mr James Watt (1819 to 2019) seems to be passing quietly, at least in comparison to some others I’ve seen being marked at Glasgow University in the past.

I was passing the university’s library recently when I happened to notice some large posters in the window.

Glasgow University Library James Watt and Glasgow

Glasgow University Library James Watt and Glasgow

I’d like to be able to pass on some clues as to what might be found there. but two issue seem to prevent that.

Firstly, it was too late in the day to wander in for a look, so until I get back to the area, I won’t know what’s in there.

Secondly, there’s little online.

To celebrate the works and legacy of James Watt in the 200th anniversary year of his death, the University of Glasgow are undertaking a number of events throughout 2019 to honour this pioneer of the Industrial Revolution.

James Watt 2019 at the University of Glasgow

There’s also a list of James Watt related events around the country, but few have links for details.

James Watt UK Events

Although the poster spotted above has no details, I found a graphic that reveals this ends in December 2019.

James Watt GU Library details

James Watt GU Library details

Seems he had a ‘break through moment’.

I suppose we are lucky he made his breakthrough while have that momentary break!

Sorry, but I had to point that out as it’s not really good enough that such an obvious howler should make it through final copy.

And on something publicising a library event too!

Notably FREE 🙂

These are the ‘advertised Library Opening Hours’.

GU Library hours

GU Library hours

31/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

I thought this was EIGHTY EIGHT

Like I always say, stay alert, look up (or maybe down) and you never know what you might see.

I’d seen the (empty) shop on the left before, but it was only recently I noticed the coincidence with the one to its right.

Awww shame – out by just two!

On the other hand, 88 Dumbarton Road could hardly be beside… 88 Dumbarton Road.

Dumbarton Road twofatladies

Dumbarton Road twofatladies

Let’s take a closer look…

twofatladies shop sign

twofatladies shop sign

I guess Glasgow City Council was not the one I read about a while ago, which apparently BANNED all bingo calls, such as the one this sign is based on, because it considered them to be Politically Incorrect and offensive.

Don’t miss the (slightly damaged) window graphic too.

twofatladies window

twofatladies window

31/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Tartan paint mural

Although I can’t claim personal experience of any of the tricks played on naïve apprentices, I did come across tales of various tasks given to the inexperienced young hopefuls in their first days on the job, such as being sent to Stores for ‘A long stand’, or the more local gem… a tin of tartan paint 🙂

A new mural created in Glasgow’s Cresswell Lane recalls that particular ‘product’.

Cresswell Lane Tartan Paint mural

Cresswell Lane Tartan Paint mural

The tin in that mural isn’t opened (in fact, look closely and you’ll see it’s been returned), so you can’t see what that particular brand of paint looks like. That said, it seems to be leaking!

Fortunately, somebody sent me a pic of a competing product some years ago, and this is the first excuse I’ve had to share it.

Suedetess Tartan Paint

Suedetess Tartan Paint

That one was actually turned into a bit of an advert for a commercial web site, but I’ve since been able to track down the source image (without the advertising/branding), so can now credit the source.

Anyone who remembers the original Finnegan’s Hammerite might be wondering if they could come up with something that would resemble this today. The original hammer finish paint was chemical magic to watch – after you painted this treacly goop onto a surface (usually metal), the smooth finish would slowly turn into a ‘hammer’ finish as two components in the mix separated into two slightly different colours, and created the hammered texture.

Apparently, you need not wonder.

Due to the nasty volatiles used in original Hammerite in Finnegan’s day, it’s now rubbish since they were replaced by ‘kinder’ versions, and nothing like the original since the company changed hands and it had to drop the ‘nasties’ from the good old days.

31/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Raspberry Cake Day

31 July is Raspberry Cake Day.

This was a bit of a surprise, since raspberry cake seems to be pretty common and ordinary, it hardly seems to merit a ‘day’ of its own.

On the other hand, it could be argued that that’s a perfectly good reason for this cake to have its day.

So, just enjoy it.

I like mine plain, just a sponge sliced, and filled with cream and some sort of raspberry filling.

With tea – accept no substitute.

Raspberry Cake

Raspberry Cake

31/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Aaron Hawthorne wins prestigious American music award

One of my favourite performers on Kelvingrove’s TS Lewis organ has been named the American Theatre Organ Society’s 2019 Young Theatre Organist.

He accepted the honour just weeks after graduating from the University of Glasgow with a Master of the Arts degree in Music.

In a short video, he describes how his love of the organ began on a family holiday to the English seaside resort of Blackpool, when his parents took him to the famous Tower Ballroom and he heard the sounds of the ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ organ.

I have to say I made the same trip many years ago, although I’d have to say that was an away day from what was (back then) a fairly regular trip to Morecambe since it was slightly closer, quicker and easier to get to for a day trip, and didn’t suffer the yobs who unfortunately make Blackpool their home.

That said, Blackpool survives, while Morecambe has died the death of most resorts, having lost all its attraction, illuminations, theme park, pier, and interesting things to see and do.

Aaron’s success has also led to him being invited to join the team of organists at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Musuem in the West End of Glasgow, where daily recitals are held all year round.

He has performed to tens of thousands of people over more than 50 recitals.

Scots graduate wins prestigious music award in New York

So, I guess we now know why there was a camera following him yesterday.

Videoing Aaron Hawthorne

Videoing Aaron Hawthorne

I may not claim any special musical education, but I do know there’s a special few amongst those who give the free recitals at Kelvingrove, and I’d have to say Aaron tops the list.

I used to think they all sounded the same, but over the course of almost a year have learned that they’re all different. I hesitate to say any are ‘better’ than any others, they’re all very good of course, but I have also some to appreciate the slight difference between them all, and found that there are differences to be appreciated between them.

I wonder where the video will turn up?

It wasn’t in the STV article I mentioned.

30/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The illegals P24 ORN

Maybe I’d better not say too much this one, spotted on a 2017 Vauxhall Corsa as it whizzed past my bus.

No doubt about the illegal spacing, but more interesting at what it looks like, since DVLA supposedly withholds any registrations that could look ‘questionable’.

No real doubt about the intent, especially as it has an ‘Instagram this’ sticker attached.

2017 Vauxhall Corsa [P24 ORN]

2017 Vauxhall Corsa [P24 ORN]

30/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

East end set to get second Aldi store – this time in Forge Retail Park

News this week of a second Aldi store to join the one that finally opened in the area a few months ago.

While it’s been nice to have the Shettleston store, I have to say its very ‘domestic’, by which I mean it has plenty of food, but (to me at least) appears to favour stuff for babies and families when it comes to the non-food items, and I find I still end up travelling into Glasgow (city), Rutherglen, or Cambuslang, if I want to get my hands on any of the more technical items they have on offer.

The stuff does appear, eventually, by which time I’ve usually got anything I want from those other stores.

I may be wrong, or imagining this, but it will be interesting to see if the Forge store is similar, or not.

Be easier to get to.

The article suggest Aldi are to take ove TWO units for their new outlet.

I wonder if this means they’ll be taking over the former Maplin and Poundworld units?

NEW Glasgow East End Aldi Supermarket Can Go Ahead

Maplin and Poundworld side by side

Maplin and Poundworld side by side

Might explain why I saw one of them open a while ago.

Being surveyed?

Forge Retail Maplin Open Door

Forge Retail Maplin Open Door

That said…

I should probably also note that there’s a larger unit to the left of Maplin.

It’s been sitting empty for even longer – so long, there’s been time to remove all the signage which identified the previous tenant.

I have no idea who that was, other than a recollection that it wasn’t the sort of place I’d even look in the window of, let alone walk through the door.

Ah! According to records, it was a Next Clearance outlet.

30/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Finally – Buchanan Street water top up tap seen in use

Every time I go along Buchanan Street I stop across from the recently installed Water Top Up Tap, in the hope of seeing somebody actually using the thing.

Believe it or not, it’s taken from March until the end of July for me fulfil this simple desire.

So here it is, someone actually filling a bottle from the tap!

To be fair, I knew fine well it was being used (or leaking badly) as there was often evidence of water splashed on the ground around the tap – but never anybody near it.

Buchanan Street Water Tap

Buchanan Street Water Tap

Of course, the REAL pic opportunity arrived just after this, and after my camera was back in my pocket.

Three wee Glesca neds arrived, no water bottles to be filled, and I had no chance to take pics of the wee morons trying to hold their heads UNDER the tap (if it’s not obvious, the water flows from the top of this stand) and drink from it that way, with their heads tipped back.

Yes, THAT’S going to go well 🙂

Find your nearest Top Up Tap

30/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

New Sauchiehall Avenue Scheme STILL blocked

As some be aware, the new ‘Avenue’ scheme was completed through Sauchiehall Street last week.

Unsurprisingly, rather than see any sort of happiness being reported on the various so-called ‘Social Media sites, most of what I saw was miserable people with nothing better to do than spend their time complaining and naysaying.

I believe that, over the past week, I could have collected a huge gallery of images showing every out of alignment paving block, every crack, every repair, fix, or piece of road work which can be found on the Avenue.

But – I’d be hard pressed to find ANY ‘Social Media’ offering from people who are actually PLEASED to see the Avenue completed and in place.


Why the heck should I be any different, and NOT join the mindless masses and their whining?

After all, when I went for a ride along the new cycle path along Sauchiehall Street, as you can see from the pic below, it was STILL BLOCKED!

Sauchiehall Avenue Blocked

Sauchiehall Avenue Blocked

All I can say is that I hope the morons are enjoying themselves – with their response, I wouldn’t blame Glasgow City Council and its transport partners if they withdrew all the cycling and pedestrian improvement plans.

So, in the strange and isolated world where there is such a thing as Good News…

This was the view past the o2abc, where I recently mentioned the last section of road works was being completed.

Sauchiehall Avenue No Works

Sauchiehall Avenue No Works

It was quite interesting to travel along this.

And mildly hazardous – thanks to the cyclists stopping on it to take pics with their phones!

You will note I wasn’t standing on the path when I took my pics.

Maybe a few deranged people will be able to cycle along here, and NOT find reason to complain.

And, I wonder when the first fight/assault will be reported, as the cycle path seems to be a magnet for groups of pedestrians to walk along, beside the footpath, so I’m sure it won’t be long before some ‘ANGRY ACTIVIST CAMPAIGNING CYCLIST’ decides to ‘EDUCATE’ them, and clear ‘their’ path.

30/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

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