Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Fungal Sunday surprise

Living in the east end of Glasgow means a daily walk around the policies surrounding Apollo Towers, to check for any incursions by the locals looking for anything not screwed down.

This could take a few hours, but for the moment can be completed before the kettle boils for breakfast 🙂

I’m used to seeing various mushrooms popping up through the grass, they’re nothing great to look at, being a sort of stale yellowy-brownish colour, but I did get a surprise today.

Not seen before – the trees sometimes get a few dark brown, almost black, growths appearing low on their trunks – this white variant was staring back at me at eye level.

I almost walked past without even noticing. Only this one group was found.

Fungal Sunday surprise

Fungal Sunday surprise

Looks edible – but I can assure you I won’t be picking it for any of my cookery experiments.

15/09/2019 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment

Lobey Dosser

It’s hard to believe the bronze statue of Lobey Dosser was erected way back in 1992, in Woodside Road.

It commemorates Lobey Dosser, a cartoon character from the 1940s and 1950s, astride his two-legged horse El Fidelo, with another character behind, his nemesis, Rank Bajin.

Lobey Dosser was the sheriff of Calton Creek, a fictitious place in Arizona full of Scottish immigrants. He and his two-legged horse El Fideldo (Elfie) protect Calton Creek from the wrongdoings of Rank Bajin.

Their adventures were published in Glasgow’s Evening Times and the Sunday Mail from 1949 to 1956. ‘Voiced’ entirely in Glasgow dialect, the cartoon was probably beyond the understanding of anyone outside Scotland – yet was said to be known around the world

The trio of characters was created by William “Bud” Neill, who turned to cartoon work after being injured during World War II.

Thanks to the cartoon’s cult status, after Neill died in 1970, public funds were raised to erect a statue to his memory. The work was created by Tony Morrow and Nick Gillan, two art students. Erected in 1992, it is believed to be the world’s only statue of a two-legged horse.

I guess I forgot about it, even though I was around nearby Great Western Road fairly often, but tended to pass through any surrounding streets fairly quickly. The statue is not a large one, and easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.

I grabbed a couple of pics when I passed along the road a while ago.

I’m not sure when the plinth seen below was added, but pics I’ve seen taken prior to (approximately) 2015 show the statue and plinth mounted on the ground, as opposed to the raised (and more noticeable) setting.

Lobey Dosser

Lobey Dosser

The plaque was less successful, and almost unreadable until I took the time to process it to extract the lettering carved into it.

It looked fine to the eye, but as seen by the camera, the lettering just faded into the background.

Statue erected by public subscription

on May 1, 1992, to the memory of




Creator of Lobey Dosser, Sheriff of Calton Creek, his

sturdy steed El Fideldo, resident villain Rank Bajin,

and many other characters

Lobey Dosser Plaque

Lobey Dosser Plaque

While I think I’ll have to go back and reshoot the plaque (from the side next time, with light being reflected from the polished surface to make the matt carved lettering clearer), I found I could improve the statue pic by raising the shadow detail, which revealed more detail.

Lobey Dosser corrected

Lobey Dosser corrected

15/09/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Cheese Toast Day

15 September is Cheese Toast Day.

(As a slight aside, there was a whole load of ‘Day Alerts’ raised for today, so I decided just to pick the one that REALLY mattered.)

Today’s alert claims that Cheese Toast (which we refer to as ‘Cheese on Toast’ where I come from) was born in California.

I’ll tell the tale, but seriously folks, cheese on toast is such a basic and obvious thing I really think it’s a bit of a stretch for any place or individual to claim to have been responsible for its invention.

So, with that in mind…

Said to have been created by Del Johnson of Los Angeles in 1958 when he opened his first Sizzler restaurant. Sizzler’s cheese toast was originally made with an egg bread having a Parmesan cheese mix . Over time, they switched from white bread to french bread with a margarine base, and Sizzler’s has restaurants in countries such as Australia, China, Japan, Thailand, and Puerto Rico. Sizzler’s also dedicates this day as their Cheese Toast Day, when they usually give out free cheese toast in their restaurants.

Fine, have a variant and call it your own.

But I’d still say that ‘just’ cheese on toast belongs to everybody, and shouldn’t be branded.

Just one more point.

PLEASE make your cheese on toast with REAL cheese, and not one of those disgusting squares of processed cheese taken from a vacuum pack of such slices.

Cheese On Toast

Cheese On Toast

Here’s some extra advice.

Formula for the perfect cheese on toast revealed

The Royal Society of Chemistry, together with the British Cheese Board, has today announced the formula for making the perfect slice of cheese on toast.

Following a series of scientific tests on the grilling conditions, performed by the society’s Science Executive, Ruth Neale, the society and the Cheese Board concluded that the ultimate cheese on toast can be made using the following formula:

Formula for the perfect cheese on toast

Formula for the perfect cheese on toast

I looked at the numbers – I think there are problems (sorry).

But the distance of 18 cm from the grill. That just looks WRONG.

That converts to an old school value of 7 inches, and that’s more than twice the distance I even have below my grill elements.

The grill compartment is not even 7 inches high.

Even though it’s not practical, it doesn’t seem to be a mistake.

Ruth, a chemist, said: “As the result of tests we carried out in our Chemistry Centre kitchen, we found that the perfect slice can be made by melting 50 grams of sliced hard cheese, such as cheddar, on a slice of white bread, 10mm thick, under the grill. The cheese on toast should sit at a distance of 18cm from the heat source – which in our grill was at a temperature of 115oC – and needs to cook for four minutes to achieve the perfect consistency and taste.

Good luck trying to replicate that.


15/09/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

September is Happy Cat Month

September has been deemed Happy Cat Month, and event brought to us by CATalyst Council

Its aim is to help spread education and awareness about the health, welfare, and importance of companion cats, and correct the misconception that cats are incredibly self-reliant, and don’t need the sort of molly-coddling given dogs.

In fact, cats are incredibly social animals, and need the same level of care and attention lavished on dogs – but just won’t admit it.

The CATalyst Council was was formed after two meetings, Re-Branding Felix and the CATalyst Summit. Following these events, the non-profit entity was formed with a focus on Veterinary Medicine, Shelter/Animal Welfare, members of industries related to the organizations efforts like Cat Fanciers, the Media, and various commercial companies. Since then, it has been working to advance the image of cats as caring, affectionate, and in need of human care as much as any pet, and it works to bring awareness to cat owners to ensure their cats receive quality veterinary care, preventative medicines, and that products sold for cats are safe and suitable for our feline friends.

So, don’t ignore your cat if it seeks attention. Assuming that independent and aloof attitude may mean something important is missed.

Getting the furry little demon into a carrier may land you in hospital – but it’s worth the effort, stitches, and cleaning up afterwards, for the reward of that happy little face 😉

Happy cat

Happy cat

15/09/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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