Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Today is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day

22 January is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day.

You wonder what your cat is thinking from time to time. Don’t you?

What unsolved mysteries does your fluffy overlord ponder?

Take this day as a chance to find out, and spend some time attempting to work out what questions your cat is asking, and make an effort to fill in the blanks.

Cat Questions

Cat Questions


January 22, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | | Leave a comment

The Lasting Legacy of shame following Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games

With the passing of 2017, another year has been lost, and another opportunity to embarrass and shame Glasgow City Council over the dereliction of Tollcross Winter Garden and Visitor Centre has been delivered.

(For what it’s worth, I DO NOT subscribe to any of the generalised mindless criticism of the council, this is a specific case.)

In summary, the Winter Garden glasshouse in Tollcross Park was last rescued and refurbished in the period 1999/2000, having then lain derelict for at least a decade, and at risk of being lost at worst, or left to be vandalised or rot at best. However, £1.7 million was raised to save it then, when it also gained an adjacent Visitor Centre, café, and play area.

But, having suffered storm damage during the winter of 2010/2011, it was simply closed and left to rot, with lack of cash being given as the reason.

Despite more than £300 million being squandered on the 2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow was lumbered with paying for the privilege of hosting, and who knows how much of that being spent on upgrading the adjacent Sports Centre and swimming pool in Tollcross park (allegedly great attractions that attract visitors and money), the Winter Garden and Visitor Centre was not considered to be a visitor attraction. NO MONEY could be spared from the ‘Games Pot’, nor has any been liberated from the so-called ‘Lasting Legacy’ the Games were supposed to bring to the area.

This earlier post summarised a number of reviews of the site

A visit to survey the structure at the end of 2017 showed that both the glasshouse and the fabric of the Visitor Centre were visibly displaying the signs of neglect.

Anti-council cynics would be quick to now suggest that we are approaching that time when the council issues the traditional demolition notice on the basis that the structure is unsafe, and it has to go to protect the public.

Or the vandals, who are now beginning to turn their attention to the once fairly unmolested glass walls and doors, will have a party and attempt to discover just how flammable some of the remaining structure might be.

And that is bound to be followed by that council demolition notice for the remaining ‘unsafe structure’ – and the removal of the problem.

Previously just about intact, the glazed Visitor Centre now has THREE glass panels boarded over, suggesting they have been smashed to kicked in.

The entrance doors have also been attacked.

The  suspended tent-style roof may have been a dramatic feature (and originally criticised as impractical), but without regular maintenance, it will eventually fail completely, and get beyond repair before that. Perhaps that early scepticism was well-founded.

The interior is wet, and puddles above and below suggest the roof is no loner weatherproof.

Plasterwork is breaking up and falling to the floor.

One set of doors to the glasshouse now appears to have gone.

The other side isn’t much better.

Perhaps obvious, but the glass is an easy target

Again, perhaps just stating the obvious, but damage to the glazing just grows over time.

Perhaps less obvious, a look at the closer shot given below (click to zoom) reveals that the underlying structure of the building is now failing, putting the whole structure at risk.

The spine of this gallery is now visibly distorted, showing that structural integrity of the cast iron framework is failing, and parts are moving.

The ridge should be straight – it is now distorted. Parts below should run straight and parallel to it. They no longer do so.

See also the fit and alignment of the framework around the windows.

Windows no longer fit, and the surrounding structure is curved rather than straight and aligned.

Click to zoom detail

I haven’t seen it appear to look so bad on previous visits.

I hope we don’t have any heavy or lasting snow falls during this winter (or any to come).

Most people don’t realise it, but water weighs 1 tonne per cubic metre, and snow is basically frozen water, so not far off that figure..

For comparison, a car now weighs around 1.5 tonnes (I’m not even guessing what a hulking SUV weighs).

Picture this structure with a line cars sitting on top – how long would it support them, and what might the effect of adding a few more be, or just increasing that load by mixing in some storm or hurricane force wind?

Reminder, from a year ago.

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

January 21, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

5,000+ Scots need to be told the reality about PeTA

It’s some years since I was put straight on the shocking truth hidden behind PeTA’s (People for the ethical Treatment of  Animals) apparently admirable front.

This came about by accident, from my opinion that so-called celebrities are a waste of skin, after I noticed how many celebrities are attached to PeTA and get loads of free publicity by ‘donating’ their image to the organisation, usually at the head of some sensationalist shock campaign.

Far from protecting animals, it seems PeTA likes to kill them once it (or some celebrity) has got the publicity (money) shot.

It likes to do this indirectly too, by convincing its followers to feed their pets a vegan diet. At best this makes them ill, at worst it kills them, as carnivores need their proper diet to get all the nutrients they need.

And PeTA is not only disgusting, hypocritical, and celebrity oriented. It dangerous, as it happily funds violent activists who have no qualms about the methods they use, or are willing to trains others to use.

They don’t even rate my ‘Green Looney’ award. GLs may be looney, but they’re not usually rabid or deadly with it.

If you are easily offended, then Penn & Teller’s style of presentation is probably not for you, otherwise, it’s better than embarrassment to Scotland Alan Cumming’s sadly misguided stunt Alan Cumming sends council vegan caviar in Peta protest which has apparently helped dupe some 5,000 well-meaning, but probably mostly ill-informed Scots sign a petition.


DON’T refer to ANY PeTA produced propaganda – go find out what other have to say.

I don’t think I have EVER come across an animal shelter (that cares) that has even referred to PeTA.

Just a sample of the numbers extracted from records in the US:

PeTA Ethics

PeTA Ethics


PeTA 2014

PeTA 2014


PeTA Reality

PeTA Reality


January 19, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Probably low priority – but these people SHOULD be caught

There are two things that come to mind every time I see a story  such as noted below – that the person(s) concerned are likely to remain unidentified; and that I’ve read too many reports that suggest actions such as this are practice (conscious or unconscious) for moving on to children.

These are people who should be turned in to protect others.

In nice quiet Fintry, a pet tabby went out one night (16th) and failed to return as usual.

Next day, the owner found  their pet shaved, covered in blood, and crying in a street, having had the fur removed from its legs, belly, and back.

The incident is being investigated by the Scottish SPCA.

No mention of the police being involved, but they should be.

Via Owner finds crying cat shaved and covered in blood

And Blood-soaked cat found shaved and cut in Dundee

Maybe we should be following the US, and employ professional cat walkers.

Cat Walker

US Pro Cat Walker

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Another street box reveal

Outside my ‘comfort zone’ this time, I find the need to appeal to ‘someone who knows better’ to explain this one fully.

Devoid of its cover, I came across this fairly common small street box, which on this occasion proves to be some sort of terminal box.

The only problem being that I’ve never come across some of the hardware hidden within.

While there’s a fairly obvious IDC (insulation displacement connector) block with the usual wiring punched into it (and going to individual street addresses), less obvious (for me) is the crusty alloy distribution block with numerous screw-in connectors.

From this angle I don’t recognise the connector types, or the block they are screwed into.

Following the relevant cables is even more puzzling, as they terminate in larger screw-in connectors that look exactly like hydraulic connection I use in my garage.

At a guess, it’s some sort of demultiplexer, separating encoded signals from an incoming carrier, and then feeding the demultiplexed signals to individual addresses, but I don’t know what their carrying. There’s no owner or contact details given for emergency or service. Phone, Internet, cable, or other?

So, if you’re familiar with this lot, please give us a clue as to just what we are looking at.

Street Box Revealed

Street Box Revealed

While it’s nowhere near the above, this is a similar box, but still complete with lid.

Street Box

Street Box

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

The missing cat archive

All I know about this one is that it is old, which is a bit of a shame.

I mention this often, in the hope that people putting up lost/missing cat posters might see it, and take note of the problem of such posters if they are not waterproof, or get forgotten.

I saw a few of these around the same area of Rutherglen I was wandering around, but they were all weather-beaten and as unreadable as this example.

Sad to say, I’ve still only seen one case where a lucky owner went around and was able to replace the ‘Missing’ posters with ‘Thank you’.

Rutherglen Missing Cat

Rutherglen Missing Cat

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Appeal | , , | Leave a comment

Explain this Buckfast mystery

It’s hard not to look at abandoned Buckie bottles lying around Glasgow.

Having done this for some years I noticed something, and the recent contributions from The Abbott and his offerings in The Daily Buckfast have only served to confirm this, as I preview upcoming images to make sure they are… ‘safe’.

Even with its claimed potency, it’s not exactly cheap (if we assume the hordes of little boys that stand outside wee shops and plead “Mister, gaunnae jump intae the shoap fur us? We’ll gie ye the money“), and not all obtained by means of shoplifting – around here it all seems to be racked behind the counter now.


Why don’t they finish the bottle?

It’s not that rare to see bottles lying around with a good inch (more than 2 cm for millennials) in the bottom, and as can be seen from the two example pics I swiped from The Abbott’s upcoming efforts, there can be a lot more left behind.


Does it taste that bad?

Buckfast Half Half Bottle

Buckfast Half Half Bottle

And there’s a good ‘swallie’ in this one too.

Buckfast Bottle Drink

Buckfast Bottle Free Drink

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

The (Hyndland Station) cat came back

Note to self: set up news feeds now that new Firefox is stable and scheduling works.

I guess I’m missing a lot of ‘current’ stories I should really see, but on the other hand, it is kind of nice not to have possible relevant news stories rolling in to review every 10 minutes.

I definitely didn’t see this first news story from mid-December 2017, alerting people to the fact that Hermes, the Hyndland Station Cat, appeared to have gone missing.

Where’s Hermes? Hyndland Station Cat reported missing

Fast forward almost three weeks, and I DID see the good news – a couple of locals came across the wanderer.

Hyndland station cat returns home after three weeks

Wish I’d known about this one before, but I’m not a local, although I do occasionally manage to land in the area.

I’ll have to try to remember, and wander into the station for a visit.



January 3, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Lost, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

January 1, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | | Leave a comment

Scottish thrift at its best

Just spotted this afternoon.


Who asks for a discount in a CHARITY shop?

(I’m assuming the sign is not referring to some good-hearted haggling which is probably fair game for special, unique, or ambitiously priced rarities).

I’ve found it hard enough to get a deal on anything that doesn’t cost a fortune, and for stuff that costs only a few pounds, or even pennies, it seems to be a pretty pointless exercise.

It probably says more about the people ASKING than it does about anything else.

Probably another group I’d rather not share air with!

Dogs Trust Sign

Dogs Trust Sign

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , | Leave a comment

The Grinch IS alive and well and is GP Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard

While I’d normally applaud any efforts to improve health, I think there is a time and a place.

While never a great fan of TV, my opinion is that they were ultimately ruined as concerned groups and individuals managed to influence their philosophy, and every miserable life circumstance was forced into their plot0lines in the name of ‘Public Education’ or similar.

Unfortunately, in the process, the scriptwriters lost all freedom to stay within the original storylines, and ended up crawling around in the most miserable and lowest aspects of life.

If you want evidence to back this up, just have a look at the current material being dished up in the rerun of ‘Take the High Road’ on STV2.

Once amusing, fun, and twee, it’s saturated in deception, crime, sex, violence, blackmail, manipulation, and mental health issues (to name a few).

And now, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, head of the Royal College of GPs, has hijacked Christmas to claim Santa could face a raft of health issues because of his diet and busy schedule.

Some of his conditions could include gout, sleep deprivation and alcoholism.

Via GP warns Santa to ‘give sherry a miss’

Professor Stokes-Lampard said: “He’s overweight, and all of us do our bit to add to his obesity by leaving mince pies and cookies out for him, and milk or alcohol.

“If Mr Claus was a patient at my practice, I would be encouraging him to adopt a vastly healthier diet and take more exercise in the new year.”

As well as running between houses, rather than riding on his sleigh, the professor thinks he should “give the sherry a miss” and share some of Rudolph’s carrots instead.

“The human body can only process one unit of alcohol per hour, which means excessive consumption could make Santa drunk very quickly,” she said.

“This not only increases the likelihood of him slipping in the snow or mixing up important presents, but could also lead to long-term issues affecting his mood and mental health.”

I’ve come across some well-intended efforts in my time, but this one is just a step to far!

Let’s forget who he is, and apply ALL the rules and regs…

(And that the so-called ‘Detox’ is just another celebrity con intended to separate the wealthy from the cash.)


Santa Detox


Regulated Santa

The only good this about this story is that I can suggest you will get a good laugh if you do an online image search for more cartoons like the examples given above.

December 23, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

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