Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Almost missed something interesting in Kelvingrove (or, can I have my mind back please)

I almost missed an Aaron Hawthorne day at Kelvingrove, even with the supposed help of a calendar/organiser.

I’m fairly lax as regards watching the calendar from moment to moment, but had noted Aaron was due back on the 29th – but hadn’t spotted how close that day was due to the page layout of the organiser. It looked further into the future, and I only realised my misreading when I was filling in some date-sensitive records at lunchtime. Cue another rapid departure to Kelvingrove, which should have got me there on time, unfortunately the bus took 20 minutes longer than usual for the trip, so I only caught the last ten minutes or so.

I wish it hadn’t been raining – had I jumped on my bike I’d have been twenty minutes EARLY!

As it was, I was in time to spot something different/interesting – there was a pro making a video using a Sony XDCAM (anything I can’t afford is pro 😉 ).

Videoing Aaron Hawthorne

Videoing Aaron Hawthorne

He disappeared – then reappeared to catch a different view.

Kelvingrove Video

Kelvingrove Video

Better than yesterday’s ‘effort’

Still, it was better than yesterday, when I totally failed to catch ANY of the longer Sunday recital.

Worst thing is, it’s not the first time I’ve made this mistake.

For some reason I can’t nail, I seem to get the departure time wrong for Sunday’s 3 pm recital (weekdays are 1 pm).

Instead of aiming for a notional 1:30pm departure (to catch the bus), I seem to fixate on 2:30 pm – which is useless, being an hour late!

I never even realise my mistake until I happen to look at a clock seen during the trip – and see 3 pm on it!

I really lucked out yesterday, as the bus got there late (it wasn’t late as such, I just caught the wrong one), and I didn’t fall through the door until 3:38 pm. While the Sunday recital often lasts longer than that, this one was done and dusted, with nobody in sight.


Cat Cannot Brain Today Has Dumb

29/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Vinicombe Street garage survives

I actually did have reason to visit this building when it was one of Arnold Clark’s parts departments (after a deer tried to wreck my car one night).

Then got a surprised when the place closed very soon after, and it looked as if the building, a former garage for lucky residents when it was built, was going to be lost.

It got lucky after a while, and found a buyer, even it seems some locals weren’t too happy.

While I can understand not wanting a chain (I have no time for them), I’m also a realist, and the amount of money needed to repurpose a building like this is not going to trivial. The typical ‘Greasy Spoon’ owner isn’t likely to have the cash to splash on launching a new venture AND redeveloping and restoring the building.

Let the chain spend its money on that – then force it out of business and let a worthy local take over!

I just happened to walk past a few days ago, in the sun, and grabbed a quick pic – the place isn’t quite open.

Vinicombe Street Garage Redeveloped

Vinicombe Street Garage Redeveloped

Read more on the background, local thoughts, and find an interior gallery here:

Hillhead – First look inside new Nando’s in historic west end garage

For some reason, as I write, ALL the Scottish historic building lists are offline (or I’m being denied access?), but this independent list is working fine, so it has more details of this building’s history:

24 Vinicombe Street, Former Botanic Gardens Garage – A Category A Listed Building in Hillhead, Glasgow

29/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lion and Unicorn on historic Glasgow University staircase smartened up for 330th

With a year in hand before the actual 330th anniversary, I wasn’t in a hurry to go get new pics of the Lion and Unicorn in Glasgow University.

I had collected some pics fairly recently, and you can find some more detail of their history in that post. No need to repeat here.

However, the historic pair are, it seems, set to celebrate their 330th birthdays next year, and the gold paint has already be drawn from stores in preparation for the event.

So, since I was nearby, AND has some unexpected spare time in hand, I just had to make the effort and walk up the hill to the university.

Lion and Unicorn Retouched

Lion and Unicorn Retouched

It’s a bit unfortunate that you can’t really get a good angle/view of the pair from the front, as they sit part way up the staircase.

The views are all from just below, or just behind and to the side.

For what it’s worth, my colours are accurate and realistic, unlike some other pics seen online, where they seem to have been made more vivid.

29/07/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

It’s Scottish island sale time again – this time one I’ve seen, Inchmarnock

It’s been a while since a Scottish island was mention in the For Sale column, and news of this one made me look twice since I’ve seen it quite a few times, together with the little landing-craft style ferry which services it.

Not quite a “stone’s throw” from the Isle of Bute, Inchmarnock lies about a mile to the west of the larger island. There’a car park and viewpoint where you can stop and look across to the smaller island, and usually see the little ferry (Marnock) moored somewhere nearby too.

Never looked like this whenever I was there, but then again, photographer Zak does have the advantage of being there, unlike those of us who just enjoyed the odd day here and there.

Inchmarnock from Bute

Inchmarnock from Bute

I never really though about buying – but now know the asking price (today at least) is offers over £1.4 million.

We’ll see how that goes – I may be relying on my memory rather than running off to spend time researching, but I think most of these sales have either never happened, or seen a drastic reduction (thing half a million or so) before they did.

As far as I’ve read over the years (and the sale documents will be more up to date) some buildings are occasionally used by the owner of the island, but most are now empty/derelict. There was chapel, St Marnoc’s, but that is just remains. The Isle of Bute Museum (I think/hope, it’s a long time since I was last there) mentioned a bronze Age cairn discovered at Northpark. This held the remains of what became known as The Queen of the Inch, a 3,500 year old woman decorated in a jet bead necklace and with a dagger and housed beneath a glass panel.

There’s a World War II connection. Like a number of coastal regions around this area of Scotland, landing training and exercises were carried out on the shore (using craft similar to Marnock), in preparation for the D-Day landings.

Nowadays, the ferry carries livestock to and from the island, for grazing.

The island was bought by Lord Smith of Kelvin in 1999.

Someone’s been out with their new drone, so you can have a ‘virtual’ look at the island from this link.

Inchmarnock Island music – struttandparker-1

In the media:

Stunning Scottish island with rich history on sale for £1.4m

From the selling agent:

A peaceful and historic private island estate in the Firth of Clyde.

Lovely shot of Marnock underway – and far better than anything I ever took, usually just a little dot moored in the sound.

Marnock from Zak's collection

Marnock from Zak’s collection

29/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, photography, Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Today is Lasagna Day

29 July is Lasagna Day.

Did you know…

Lasagna refers to the wide, flat, long noodles commonly used to make a dish of lasagna. However, the term for multiple lasagna noodles is lasagne, so maybe the dish should actually be called Lasagne

I have to confess being late to the ‘lasagna table’ – it was probably something considered ‘foreign food’ in my younger days, so wasn’t something even considered for serving in our house.

However, I guess the advantage of that sort of thing is that you can enjoy the later find.

And, if you grew up when Garfield became popular, you grew up with an appreciation for the joy a fine lasagna. ‘Garfield Mondays’ cane into existence, and this was a reference to eating lots of lasagna and living in your bed.

I see no downsides.

Garfield Lasagne Bed

Garfield lasagna Bed

29/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Today is Rain Day

29 July is Rain Day.

Being a Scot in Scotland – there’s not a lot to say about Rain Day.

But then again, just ONE day dedicated to rain?

Who are they kidding!



After the rain, there come puddles.

Scottish puddles are…

Well, here’s one seen in Kelvingrove Park recently.

Kelvingrove Park Wee Rain Puddle

Kelvingrove Park Wee Rain Puddle


29/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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