Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Lost cat – Bob might still be missing in Sandyhills

It’s weeks since I waddled along this route and, unfortunately, it looks as if I should have been back sooner.

Bob, a rather nice, thoughtful looking, ginger tabby cat has been posted missing since 06 July.

At least this poster is dated, so we know how long it has been up. The laminated sheet looks brand new and shiny clean, so could easily have been placed just last night.

I only saw the one, on Sandyhills road itself, next to the golf course.

Fingers crossed.

Lost Bob in Sandyhills

Lost Bob in Sandyhills

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August 23, 2017 Posted by | Lost | , | Leave a comment

Unfair to cats!

A recent sortie into the city brought some sad and bad news…

The cats of Howard Street and Dunlop Street have been largely ruined.

Glasgow Howard Street Cat Murals Boarded Up

Glasgow Howard Street Cat Murals Boarded Up

Yes, sure, they were never going to be permanent, but they were pretty good and deserved to be around for longer.

They were certainly nicer to look at than the odd face murals that were created under the bridge at Broomielaw (I haven’t been there, so no pics only for that reason), which I recently read somewhere were beginning to fall apart as water got behind the plaster they were painted on, but they might be repaired.

No such love, apparently, for the cats of Howard and Dunlop streets.

Click the pic below for the originals:

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

August 13, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Baillieston closing for business?

Unless there’s something unusual or interesting I don’t usually bother about the steady coming and going of business or shops on the ‘Main Street’.

These tend to balance out, with a few empty shops, the occasional new arrival, and the occasional closure maintaining a steady balance.

But last night was a bit different as I took my regular wander through Baillieston, with two obvious losses (three now that I think of it), and the realisation that there may be a fourth I had not noticed.

The first obvious one was the bookies, really, a betting shop closing?

I’m more used to being surprised at seeing them being granted permission to open in Shettleston in recent times, there are so many, and within sight of one another too.

That makes this closure in Baillieston all the more of a surprise, unless they’re moving or refurbing. But that seem unlikely as I recall the place being gutted and upgraded not so long ago, when all the old computer gear was dumped in the road. And it didn’t even seem to close for that. There’s a note stuck to the window near the door, but it’s just security details.

Betting Shop Closed

Betting Shop Closed

Next one I came across was this former ladies clothes shop.

Oddly enough, as I’ve been passing this in recent weeks I’ve actually been thinking how remarkable it was that it was still there after so many years, and how the window displays were always fresh and clean. Many long-established little shops let their window displays slip, get untidy, out-of-date, and even dusty, dirty, and faded as they are neglected, but not this one.

Looks like my thoughts were similar to Murray Walker’s ‘Kiss of Death’ or “Commentator’s Curse” which often applied when he suggested someone was about to win an F1 race – which would almost immediately cause their car to fail in some dramatic way.

Terrible lighting and compact camera made for a terrible pic – the sign is still there, above the door, but the colour combination just comes out as a smear with its little sensor. I also thought there was a hole in the roof before I tweaked the image, but I believe is/was actually a chimney, centre front.

Chambers Fashions Closed

Chambers Fashions Closed

The other two that came mind were the pub at the bus stop. The Circle Bar if I recall correctly, appeared to close then was open on odd days, then closed completely and became a shop.

Caught in this Google view from 2016 being converted into a shop full of bongs:

Pub to Shop

Pub to Shop

The other one is, or was, the  grossly over-priced designer brand label ice-cream shop. (Sorry, nothing against the shop, just the concept of a brand names and labels that have silly money premium prices attached.)

This moved from a smaller shop in the busier middle of the Main Street to this once derelict former TV shop a while ago.

The place has been closed for a while now, and the shutters are up. I had wondered if they were maybe just on holiday, but there’s no sign or note obvious.

A pity, as it always seemed to have a steady stream of customers, I thought it was ‘safe’ – perhaps not sustainable. Despite the name, it is a Scottish brand, based not that far away, and while I see they offer help to start a business, I don’t see any mention of the ‘F’ word (franchise – can be expensive).

Maybe business is really good, and they’re having a looooooooooooooong holiday.

Again, Google has to rescue me as I’ve never pointed a camera this way:

Ice Cream Parlour

Ice Cream Parlour

I’m there all the time, so any changes or updates will be added below.

Updates

As par a later post, the Ice Cream Parlour has moved back into the busy body of the main street, away from this quieter spot, and is installed in a shop that sells trendy stuff.

The betting shop is indeed gone, as estate agent’s signs were bolted on to the front a few days later. No real surprise, more that it lasted so long, as two others sit beside one another in the busier part of the main street, and are next to a pub.

Thinking back (I’m not a betting shop person) I have memories of a fourth one that opened across the road from those two, but was hardly there long enough for me to remember it quickly.

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Child – No Reward – Seems Fair

Saw this recently.

Just seemed to be so right:

Lost Child No Reward

Lost Child No Reward

If only this had happened about 60 years ago.

July 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost | , | Leave a comment

And the pile of charred junk was…

It’s not that often I get something wrong (AND admit it) but I did get taken by surprise while out for a wander one night, and completely failed to realise what I was looking at – until I woke up from the semi-trance state I usually enjoy while walking. Why I don’t bump into things or people is a mystery, but I don’t.

As is becoming the custom, this was found after another change to my ‘regular’ route, and once again shows that the ‘interesting’ stuff never happens when I’m around. I only find it later.

In this case, after noticing my path was almost blocked by some burnt and charred rubbish, I was puzzled about how it came to be there, and who would have dumped.

I was so puzzled I failed to notice the obvious clues at first (well, to be fair, it WAS dark AND the remains were blackened, these pics only appear ‘light’ as they have been processed to recover the image – note the lit door in the background of one of them), maybe I should have noticed things such as the jockey wheel, and bits of chassis.

But then again, a caravan without its body is a pretty rare sight – especially when not only the body, but the interior has been burnt to a crisp, and all that remains are things like a gas bottle, and odd pieces of nondescript metalwork. The rest is lightweight and inflammable, so doesn’t last long once the fire catches hold. I guess steel survives, but lightweight aluminium probably doesn’t have a chance.

This pic shows how it looked the first time I found it, although I had to go back for this view later, but I wanted to see how it looked when found it the first time, and didn’t quite realise what it was (in the dark). I thought there was more junk on the footpath, but then again, I tend to follow the kerb in my usual trance, like a ‘white line follower’.

Ex Caravan Dusk

Ex Caravan Dusk

First time around, I grabbed this shot in the dark, and it was actually the remaining piece of body still standing on the right that made me twig as to what I was looking at.

Ex Caravan Dark

Ex Caravan Dark

While not wanting to promote vandalism, arson, or fire-raising, this find does make me wonder about some stories I’ve seen in the media over the years.

According to the reporters, concerned, a caravan left on the road cannot be given a parking ticker, nor is there any legislation in place which allows either the police or council to move, or remove, it as an obstruction, unlike an abandoned car (or even a parked car!).

In fact, according to those stories, items such as caravans and trailers, if simply left in the road, cannot legally be touched or removed by either the police or the council, and must be left there – and the owner attracts NO PENALTY. (I’m not stating this as fact, merely recounting what has been written by hacks in the media).

These stories have dragged on for months, maybe even years, as the various authorities pleaded ‘Not our problem’, and upset residents whined.

Seems to me there’s an obvious solution to removing this particular problem – no need for it drag on for months or years.

July 4, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Quick, get out of Photobucket while you still can

It’s weird, but it seems every time I go offline, or can’t go online for a while, something significant happens and I don’t find out about until long after I should.

It’s only July 2, and after being out of touch with the web for most of June, I looked at my web site to find it filled with this blackmail message from Photobucket, instead of the thousands of image I have uploaded and had hosted there since 2005 or so, I can now only have them show if I pay these crooks $399 EVERY YEAR:

Photobucket blackmail

Photobucket blackmail

Now we know why Rupert Murdoch (Mr Paywall) bought into Photobucket.

But don’t take my word for it, read this from PCMag UK:

The key feature of a Photobucket account we’re talking about here is called “3rd Party Hosting.” It allows you to embed images from Photobucket in another location on the Internet, e.g. in a forum post or on a website.

As Norvic Philatelics discovered, Photobucket changed its terms and conditions and removed the 3rd Party Hosting feature from the lower subscription tiers. If you want to continue using that feature then a Photobucket Plus 500 subscription is required. It costs $39.99 per month or $399 per year.

Not only is that very expensive, it means existing Photobucket accounts on lower subscriptions tiers will have any embedded images they’ve created in the past cease to work. Considering Photobucket has been around since 2003 and hosts over 10 billion images, that’s potentially millions of embedded images across the Internet being broken thanks to a policy change. Here’s just one example of how this change impacts a forum thread.

The worst part of this debacle, according to Ghacks.net, is the fact Photobucket users were apparently given no warning of the change. The subscription features simply changed, and images stopped loading without explanation.

There’s hope this is a mistake, or that Photobucket’s management will realize the scale of the problem they have created with this change. But if that doesn’t happen, expect to see that Photobucket broken link image above many times in the coming months.

Photobucket Breaks Image Links Across the Internet

No faith or trust – Photobucket is now dead

Like many others (take a read around for responses), I was taken aback by this step-change.

While Photobucket has been happy to keep filling my InBox with crap adverts for the cheap tat it wants to be to buy, there was not ONE WORD OF WARNING OR ANY ALERT regarding this fairly significant change to its Terms & Conditions, opportunity to plan/prepare in advance, or even offer feedback for them to ignore.

Like many, I am now in the process of downloading whatever material I had there (to host myself), and then closing/deleting my account.

FOREVER!

Also, like many other responses I have read to this betrayal, I will not use Photobucket ever again, even they cancelled this change and restored this free aspect of their service.

While I’ve used some fairly questionable (free) hosting services in the past, and they HAVE disappeared, I at least was able to look at their offering and see this was likely.

Not so with Photobucket – at least not until the last sell-out/takeover, when it went rapidly downhill, lost quite a few functions, started selling aggressively, but did not make any changes that affected the free hosting, which carried on as before, so I left things alone.

I should have jumped ship then, when I noticed New International and creep Rupert Murdoch lurking.

A DECENT company does not remove your images THEN give you the option to pay to get them back.

Maybe they just thought it would be ‘kewl’ to change their business model to that of the current spate of Ransomware operations that have appeared recently.

July 2, 2017 Posted by | Lost, photography | | Leave a comment

Clara is missing in Sandyhills

Another set of posters in the area tells of another missing cat.

Having been sort of housebound for a few weeks, I kind of snapped and just went out for a mindless wander to cover a few miles, and was disappointed to find that another appeal to help find a lost cat.

I’m guessing this one has been missing for a week, but it’s never possible to be sure as the posters generally just refer to ‘last Sunday’ and omit any sort of date, so it could be a week, or it could be weeks. There’s no way to tell.

I’ve seen some of these posters up for months on some of my walks, and looking reasonably fresh if originally well made.

However, these are just plain paper, so have to be only from last weekend.

Clara Missing Cat

Clara Missing Cat

June 26, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Lost | , , , | Leave a comment

How do you lose…

So, ambling towards The Forge at Parkhead, and watching out for interesting finds lying in the street, I come across one…

But not a find I’ll be collecting or taking home – see the pic:

Shettleston Road Lost Bra

Shettleston Road Lost Bra

As always, I arrive just to late to catch the fun, or whatever.

On this occasion, I’m not even going to TRY and make up a narrative to go with this one.

I’m sure you can come up with own, and probably better than any I could come up with.

June 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

Hope the cat is OK and got a new home

Spotted this sad and sorry sight on the way home recently.

I hope the resident wasn’t injured in the collapse of their home, but then again, it might have been their own fault, and the place just couldn’t stand the strain of all those ‘pussy pound’ bearing down on it, and just gave up one day.

Fat Cat Broken Home

Fat Cat Broken Home

This may be a build defect which the local planning authority has failed to catch during the inspection and approval process, as many similar cases of cats becoming homeless after such a disaster can be found online.

Perhaps it is not actually the cats that are the cause, but poorly designed and manufactured perches.

Perhaps we need the Americans to raise the first multi-million dollar class action against the manufacturers and suppliers of these potentially deadly high-rise structures, so that responsibility for failures can be properly established in court?

Online example of imminent and actual failure:

Fat Cat Broken Perch

Fat Cat Broken Perch

June 6, 2017 Posted by | Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Allie is missing in Shettleston

News of another missing cat, this time in Shettleston near Killin Street.

At least that’s where I picked up this pic.

Not much I can add, but Sunday was only a couple of days ago, so this is a new appeal.

Allie Missing Cat

Allie Missing Cat

May 31, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Lost | , , , | Leave a comment

Irony at the antique shop window

(Full disclosure: Sad to say, this is actually an old post that got lost in ‘Drafts’ years ago, but since I found it and it was almost complete, I’ve finished it since the content remains interesting. However, the shop mentioned is long gone these days, and has been upgraded and opened as something else.)

Irony: There are plenty of clever definitions of various flavours of irony to be found in dictionaries, so I’ll go with a plain language version that didn’t come from such a source, A simple way of putting it is that irony usually signals a difference between the appearance of things and reality.

It’s been some weeks since I visited Parkhead Cross, and even more since I walked along Westmuir Street to get there. Other needs generally see me going along Shettleston Road, or Tollcross Road, and missing this one. It’s kind of depressing, as quite a few of the shops have thrown up the shutters in recent times.

However, new ones do appear, and when I did get near the cross itself I noticed what appeared to be a ‘new’ antique shop. Some would just call it a junk, or second-hand, shop, but it doesn’t really fall into either of those categories either. The reason I say that is down to the eclectic selection of items that (visually at least) are genuine antiques and could be valuable to the right collector, and I could also see some items which would be classed as architectural salvage, and command a fairly hefty price tag.

Parkhead Shop

Parkhead Shop

(I’ve since been past again, but did not have time to stop and look closely, but spotted a pile of original B&W prints in card frames, which appeared to be 1950’s survey pics taken over Glasgow. By the time I get back there though, I expect they will be gone.)

One thing caught my eye, almost hidden in a wooden cabinet with glass doors – a ceramic Smudge.

Smudge, for non-Glaswegians, was the famous Glasgow cat that resided in the People’s Palace, and was immortalised by a short run of ceramic copies of her likeness, and once sold in the museum’s shop, later came to be known as ‘replicats’ by some. Sadly, I have no idea what they cost, which varied as they were produced in different sizes. I believe 50 were planned originally, but the number was increased to 500 due to their popularity.

Smudge Ceramic

Smudge Ceramic

(This image actually came from Pinterest, which I have no idea how to work. I don’t have details of the source, and Pinterest blocks access if you click on an image, unless you respond to their blackmail and register an account to gain further access – and I will NEVER register with such a site.)

All the Smudges were hand-finished, and I think the one I have looks better than the one above.

Oh…

Where did the irony come from?

While I was standing at the window of this shop, trying to spy enough detail to work out if I was looking at collectibles or modern copies (not worth anything), I was repeatedly approached by a local elderly ‘character’, trying to ‘tap’ me for 2 p. While this made a nice change from the usual kids or neds that generally accost me here, and want me to go into the shop and buy alcohol or cigarettes for them, I still wasn’t contributing.

If I need 2 p, I can generally find such a coin in the street, and almost suggested he try the same – and that’s where the irony came in.

When I turned around from the window and walked away… the first thing I saw lying on the pavement was a tiny 5 p coin, just waiting to be rescued. So, if he’d taken my advice (which I’m sure he wouldn’t), he’d have been 3 p up on the deal he wanted. As it was, I got the whole 5 p!

May 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

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