Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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

Today is Cheesecake Day

30 July is Cheesecake Day.

I have to confess that cheesecake is another of those gems I was late to discover.

Like some others I have mentioned, I found the thought of combining cheese with various cakes and fruit… disgusting.

But, I’m happy to admit that pre-judgement, and lack of giving the thing a fair tasting, was just plain wrong, and that cheesecake can be one of the best treats around.

In fact, I’ve tended to try just about all the flavours found on the shelf, and been surprised at just how many of them are not just delicious, but how some them are amongst the most delicious combinations of flavours I’ve ever come across.

I’ll enjoy anything from the simplest plain vanilla creation, to horrendously expensive items featuring Belgian chocolate.

Nor am I fussy, as a cheesecake that looks like a mess is probably going to be tastier than one that is rigid and formally laid out.




30/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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