Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Seems Marnock has been busy since the Inchmarnock sale was mentioned recently

Action pics from Zak 🙂

Daily Bute – 31st July

I have to give the Ardmaleish Boatbuilding Co. Ltd (on the Isle of Bute) a little mention, not only for producing Marnock, but for quietly getting on with its work, rather than being the controversial/embarrassing news magnets which bigger players on the Clyde now appear to have become.

The little yard deserves more credit and publicity.

Marnock by Zak

Marnock by Zak

01/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, photography, Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Ghost sign revisit for context

With a hint that the recent Dumbarton Road ghost sign pic showed the detail, but not the location, here’s a quick revisit to put the thing in context.

The partial ghost is almost dead centre of this wider view.

It’s maybe also interesting to note that what could be interpreted as a mirror finished sign to the right of the ghost is actually – a gloss black panel.

Click for bigger.

Dumbarton Road Ghost Sign Location

Dumbarton Road Ghost Sign Location

01/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Never knew what hit him – another unwanted visitor

I’ve enjoyed the peace, and lack of unwanted visitors recently, but I suppose it had to end.

I added a sort of extra door I can slide into place on warm, or even hot, days to let the wind (if there is any) blow through the house, and use it by habit, even though these guys appeared to have gone away since I cleared away all the undergrowth near the doors.

I guess they just hug the wall anyway, and find the doors.

Well, I’m afraid if they cross the threshold, they’re likely to find something else.


These traps really do seem to do their job. Thankfully, none seem to make it indoors now (there would be evidence to find).

Mouse Trapped

Mouse Trapped

According to the politically motivated, we’re ‘enjoying’ the highest numbers of rats and mice wandering around the city for years.

I’m surprised there’s room for them, given the number of foxes I meet wandering out streets nowadays.

Pity the sad/mad actions of a few mean that most cat-owners are becoming afraid to let their pets wander, and keep them indoors.

I hardly meet any as I wander around now, and those I do see are curled up on indoor windowsills.


01/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | | Leave a comment

I went to Yorkhill – and all I got was signs

Yesterday was (almost) interesting after I had to go to Finnieston in the early evening.

Rather than just head straight back home once my business was done, I took a chance as thunder boomed around (with no lightning, or rain) and decided to walk through Yorkhill (the part behind Kelvin Hall at least) and on to Partick, since I’d sped through the streets in the past, but never on foot.

Sad to say, as regards the part I walked through, there didn’t seem to be any ‘Points of Interest’. The buildings/tenements all seem to be fairly plain, and I didn’t see any decorative features or architectural variations.

Notably, the area was home to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, referred to locally as “Yorkhill” or “Sick Kids” when it was in operation.

Today, as of 2015, the facility has become The West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital, a healthcare facility created to house the remaining outpatient service’s and the minor injury unit of the Western Infirmary (replaced by a large hospital campus elsewhere). This lay nearby, but was closed a few years ago, and has now been razed, as noted in my ‘concrete block’ posts.

A classic entrance sign still exists on the approach road to the old hospital.

While I understand those who object to such artefacts being removed, I’m also more of a realist than the idealists.

This sign SHOULD be removed and preserved in one of Glasgow’s museums.

Instead, I suspect it will just gradually decay where it is, be vandalised by some morons one day, or maybe even be stolen and sold by a rogue ‘salvager’ for a profit. However, I doubt it could be removed like that, and the sign;s construction means the whole stone post it is attached to would have to be taken, or a very careful removal and reconstruction carried out.

Yorkhill Sick Children Hospital Sign

Yorkhill Sick Children Hospital Sign

On a lighter note, there was a more modern sign seen just along the road.

Yorkhill To Let Toilet Sign

Yorkhill To Let Toilet Sign

01/08/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Kelvingrove’s secret tunnel system tested for ‘Childfree’ days

If you’re looking for a reference to the real ‘International Childfree Day’ then look here

Otherwise, join me in a little wishful thinking 🙂

Those familiar with Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum will (or should) be aware of its ventilation system, basically a system of tunnels built into the stonework, with the outlets, or vents, covered by large grilles, some of which are plain, and some of which are decorative.

Some say, they form a network of tunnels leading to the basement, and secret places, such as a nursery, or maybe even a restaurant (with a very ‘special’ menu).

I can’t hide the fact that some people’s ‘cute’ kids’ behaviour is quite the opposite for others, and screaming kids stamping their feet, or racing repeatedly from end to end the central hall as if they had OCD, do little to enhance the daily organ recital.

Few parents seem to care these days, afraid to do anything to curb theirs sprogs for fear of scarring them mentally, for life, and dooming them to years inside the social service, or even prison, system.

However, I did spot one particularly considerate parent testing Kelvingrove’s tunnel system recently – and one smart kid, who had clearly worked out what was going on, and making good their escape.

Kelvingrove tunnel grille size test

Kelvingrove tunnel grille size test

As the grilles are securely fixed in place…

It was necessary to carry out a practical test, to determine what size child could pass through the grille spacing.

Kelvingrove tunnel grille size test 2

Kelvingrove tunnel grille size test 2

The remaining pics of the test results weren’t pretty (if you think that opening in the grille is smaller than the kid, you’d be right, and getting it through wasn’t easy, neat, or tidy, so I thought it better not to include them.

However, we did receive this pic, claimed to show the exit of this tunnel (after a few interdimensional jumps).

Slide end

Slide end

Oh well, we can always dream/hope 😉


I wanted a pic of a complete/undamaged grille, but this isn’t possible at the moment, since the museum’s information desk was moved from the centre of the central hall, and set up in the corner across from the grille seen above, blocking the view.

However, the same grille appears on other vents fed by the same ventilation tunnels which run through the building.

This is one of a pair which lie on either side of the organ.

Interestingly, there are others nearby, but they are not in plain sight, and are simply made of a plain mesh, finished in gilt.

Kelvingrove ventilation grille

Kelvingrove ventilation grille

01/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

My brain hurts – I must have been trying to read a Scottish ferry article

Yup, THAT was careless of me.

I used to enjoy travelling on the occasional ferry. I even managed to do a little work on some of them, and had some ‘free’ trips along the Clyde as they went to the trials area. That was even more fun – normal ferry journeys don’t include running the engines up to full power with the rudder hard over, sailing in circles with the stabilisers fully deployed to keep the vessel level. We even managed to blow cylinder heads on one trip (and they’re big on ferries that can carry up to 500 passengers and 120 cars).

While I’m still interested, it’s no fun following the fates of both the old vessels (retired) and the new, as the news never seems to be good.

It used to be intriguing as various people and groups claimed they could operate and maintain the services better than CalMac, but never really had to worry about actually delivering since the chances of them winning the work were slim, but they cost everyone else millions thanks to their challenges.

Fast forward something in the order of twenty years, and it seems that little has changed, with millions apparently still being gobbled up by side issues (as opposed to running costs and subsidies), plus RET (road equivalent tariff), howled about and demanded for years, yet apparently the ‘wrong thing’ when it was introduced. Apparently what should have been applied was a journey pricing system in use by air carries. No, I’m NOT going to summarise this one in then words or less.

And, I digress (and it’s not even reducing the pain).

Here’s another chapter to add the disaster which has grown from the opportunity to create new ferries…

Ministers reject Ferguson shipyard share ownership bid

Far too much political nonsense and blame being concentrated on.

All concerned really do seem to have lost the plot, and completely forgotten the idea was to develop and build two new technology ferries.

Can’t wait for the next chapter.

Hole in Boat

01/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Today is International Childfree Day

01 August is International Childfree Day.

Watching for interesting ‘days’  has thrown up a number of weird days, most of which I ignore, but as I had expected this one to relate to something quite different from that which it actually does refer to, I thought I should raise it.

While I will admit to not having children, this is purely a result of how my life has progressed, rather than any sort of deliberate choice or plan.

In fact, I find the whole idea of deliberately planned ‘childfree’ to be slightly disturbing, at least as part of a movement, as opposed to a more personal choice, since we should all be able to choose how we live out lives.

I’m not going to try to explain this one – I don’t even think its own web site does the job, but here it is anyway…

International Childfree Day


On to what I thought (hoped?) this day was about, but turned out not to be.

I’m one of those apparently horrible people who wants places that are ‘child free’ in the sense that children are barred from them.

I want pubs, restaurants, cafes, theatres, cinemas and similar places to have areas, or perhaps times, when children are barred, or not welcome, so I can enjoy them without the little monsters running around wild and ruining my day/evening/visit or whatever.

I’ve had important business meetings and lunches held in some places ruined as kids ran around playing, or screaming babies let loose with their endless crying.

I’m NOT saying those with families should not be made welcome in public places, as I have been so misrepresented in the past.

All I’m asking for is a little consideration, and to be given the same freedom to enjoy a venue in peace, just as the families with screaming or unsupervised kids are given.

And, I’m not even going to start on the parents who exercise NO discipline over their offspring.

Consider my mug (and my standing order for duct tape).

Silence Is Golden Mug

01/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Raspberry Cream Pie Day

01 August is Raspberry Cream Pie Day.

Not seen too often as a specific treat.

The filling makes this one special, and demands heavy cream, sugar, a dash of vanilla essence and… raspberries.

Some recipes say the cream should be mixed with a smooth raspberry syrup, while others prefer the marbled effect of crushed fruit… and fresh raspberries.

Toppings are optional – icing sugar, melted dark chocolate, or anything you like.

Nearly all the (online) pics of this treat look EXTREMELY staged, and ‘polished’ to make them look perfect – and just too neat and tidy.

But – I did find one that looked like a bit of a mess (and I mean that in a GOOD way), and maybe home-made rather than staged.

Raspberry Cream Pie

Raspberry Cream Pie

01/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | 1 Comment

Today is World Wide Web Day

01 August is World Wide Web Day.

The World Wide Web was conceived by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, as a way for him to communicate with co-workers via hyperlinks. A quarter of a century later, WWW has become the main means of interaction, transaction, and communication among people, in ways that would have been unimaginable to previous generations.

Note, this World Wide Web is not ‘The Internet’, but is a protocol carried on/by it.

It’s funny to look back and think of how this was a specialised thing which ‘ordinary’ people had no idea about when it started, and was a tool used by a few of us who had technical needs it satisfied.

Now, they’ve taken it over, and trivialised it.

And we have all the problems with things such as privacy (and advertising) which were not a consideration at the time – but now are major failings.

Poor guy – you can almost feel him thinking “What have I done?”

World Wide Web

01/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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