Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Two letters and two number again

That was quick – and lucky I shoved the compact in my pocket on a pouring wet day or I’d have missed it.

I’m really not sure about the so-called Mini, which BMW may have retained the rights to the name, if not the original spirit of Sir Alec Issigonis’ original creation.

While it seems to be a fine car with references to the original, that’s really as far as it goes, as from what I hear/read, is considered a step on BMW ownership ladder for those a little short of the readies to buy something with that actual badge attached.

However, the car is neither ‘mini’, not cheap, as in following the low-cost philosophy of the original.

I think the size is thing that spoil it for me.

If you see claims that the new Mini is the same size as the original Range Rover – I’m sad to say that this is neither a myth nor made-up story.

It’s TRUE!

Dig out the original dimensions of the fledging first Range Rover and compare them to the new Mini – while an exact comparison will reveal that the comparison is not wholly accurate, the difference is mere centimetres.

While you might speed an original Mini through a gap that the original Range Rover would have squeezed through, you will have to squeeze a new Mini through that same gap unless you don’t mind losing some paint.

Mini Cooper [79 SG]

2011 Mini Countryman Cooper [79 SG]

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Even a skip can be a mural

Another from my collection of wall art or murals for businesses, this time for skip hire.

To be honest, this is actually an old pic from a set I’ve had lying around for a while, put to one side as it’s not possible to get a decent, square, or head-on view.

But I’ve now mastered perspective adjustments, and with a touch of patience can sort most horrible squinty pics.

This one is still in place, if a little worn, and not just an offensive ad.

And, more importantly, it’s THEIR wall, so they have not stolen or vandalised space or property that belongs to someone else.

Christie Skip Mural

Christie Skip Mural

Update

I happened to pass the same spot a few days ago, and grabbed a new shot to compare, and see if it had become a little ‘tired’.

While the photo makes it look a little better than the reality, it’s not that bad for a bit of weathering.

Skip Mural Wider

Skip Mural Wider

June 21, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Anybody lost a drunk celebrity?

Harrods Booze Bag

Harrods Booze Bag

When I came across this tacky Harrods bag at the side of the south-bound lane of the A74 dual-carriageway, complete with the broken glass of a bottle of booze (label unfortunately ruined and unreadable) and a plastic bottle of something to mix with it…

All I could think of was the image of some drunk, waste-of-skin celebrity, embedded in the front of a London-bound lorry they had staggered in front if in their stupor.

But – probably not.

And we’re not supposed to think such thoughts anyway, since humour from such a scenario, probably fatal, is not allowed these days.

Let’s forget that though, and just imagine the removal of one celebrity as illustrated by this Vietnamese police officer, who tried to ticket a coach, only to the find the driver was having a bad day:

Vietnam Coach with Police Attached

Vietnam Coach with Police Attached

Just picture your (least) favourite waste-of-skin holding on like that for the 400+ mile jolly down to London.

Sad to say, not likely these days since the M74 extension opened nearby, and took most of this traffic away.

June 20, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XIII and XIV – Baillieston bonus

Being in Baillieston can (or could) be a gold mine for collecting pictures of bad, dreadful, or just plain lazy or selfish parking.

I’m sure if the police were ever short of their ticket quota, then they’d only have to go for walk from the local station and they’ve be able finish a book most days/evenings. And I generally don’t bother looking, or even deliberately leave the camera at home, or I’d have to start another blog dedicated to the abysmal parking often seen there.

But some are so bad, and unnecessary, that it’s worth the effort of recording them.

It’s worth noting the possible offences:

  1. no vehicle should stop on the crossing;
  2. no vehicle should overtake in the “controlled area” of the crossing (usually indicated by zig-zag lines); and
  3. no vehicle should park in the “controlled area” of the crossing.

Offences can earn a fine up to £1,000, 3 penalty points, and discretionary disqualification from driving.

So, is getting a hot meal justification for this:

Baillieston Crossing Parking

Baillieston Crossing Parking

I make that TWO of the three possible offences:

  • STOPPED on the crossing;
  • PARKED in the “controlled area” of the crossing.

Worth noting that these are ‘offences’ and not just parking tickets or PCNs (Penalty Charge Notices).

One way ignorance

There are two notable one-way streets in Baillieston, and I’m not sure if the regular offenders in them are strangers who don’t notice the signs, or arrogant locals who just ignore them. See Dyke Street and Martin Crescent.

Two narrow side streets were made one-way years ago, both feeding INTO the main street. This means they LOOK like two-way side streets from the main street, and the high mounted ‘No Entry’ signs are not the most visible due to their location.

In the past, I have been forced to run out of the way of angry drivers mistakenly turning from the main street into these side streets while I have been crossing them, and in their opinion ‘NOT PAYING ATTENTION’ – yet they were the ones committing the offence by turning into a one-way street AGAINST the direction of travel, and either driving or parking in them facing the wrong way.

If you think I’m exaggerating or just making this up, here’s just one example from my collection – a car parked facing the wrong way in Dyke Street at Baillieston Library:

Baillieston One-way Parking

Baillieston One-way Parking

In some respects I don’t really even blame the driver – the sign is poorly placed due to the wide and angled nature of the street, even if there are other clues to alert drivers, it’s position and the direction it faces does not help. I’ve also been gestured at by angry drivers here, as they turn into the street and I am crossing and apparently ‘In their way’.

I could probably collect stuff like this every day/evening I walk along the main street.

If  only I got a cut of the fines issued – it could be a nice little earner.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The illegals – AB11 LTN

I’m not really sure what this is supposed to be.

If this is supposed to be read as BILL, then as a ‘new’ style number I don’t think it’s worth whatever it cost, or worse, the chance of a pull by the police and the resulting fines etc for the illegal spacing of the letters and numbers.

I wish someone would come along with a ladder one day, and fix that PDSA sing on the lamppost. Sorry about the focus, but it was a grey and grimy day when I grabbed this one.

It’s been pointing the OPPOSITE way from the  actual PDSA centre for years – I think it’s loose, as it sometime points in different directions when its windy.

BMW M135I  Auto [AB11 LTN]

Grey BMW M135I Auto [AB11 LTN]

June 18, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Two numbers and two letters – nearly always nice

While I don’t think I will EVER come to terms with the horror that is the SUV (by whatever euphemism), or forgive BMW for working its magic on the X5 all those years ago and making it handle, I’ll also probably always like registrations with two numbers and two letters.

I think it’s nothing more than their neatness (obviously shorter than normal), and symmetry (compared to one number and two or three letters) that makes them notable for me. I could list some more ‘features’ but that’s not my intent. But might add I like the cur-down short number plates too.

In this case, lumbered by a fairly huge, black, 2014 Audi Q7 S Line + TDI Quattro A.

It may have been nice and shiny, but this 7-seater mobile cave was taking up the road to carry a tiny kid almost lost n, and able to run around the passenger footwell and get lost. Do people REALLY need a small private bus to themselves?

Audi Q7 78 EC

Audi Q7

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XII – Dan Dan the parking man

It’s been a while since I saw a decent “If it’s stopped, it’s parked”, and the recent explosion of instant Internet fame, or media reuse as ‘clickbait’ fof a pic or video of a car tyre that has strayed as much as a millimetre outside of a marked bay in a deserted car park (where it matter not one jot), has put me off it.

But then the gems appear, and can re-awaken some interest.

Sure, it’s a quiet side street, but it’s neither abandoned nor derelict, and in use by the folk who live along it.

Could easily have parked against either kerb, and not just blocked it.

I wish I’d had the time to loiter nearby, and maybe got a pic of a car trying to use the junction, but had to move on.

Walking, rather than driving a Privileged Peugeot, means you don’t have time to waste.

Privileged Peugeot Parking

Privileged Peugeot Parking

It is empty and abandoned – I can’t run fast enough to stand in front of such driver and calmly take his pic!

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport, photography | , , | 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 | Lost, Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Doctor Who in Dennistoun

Might be worth a trip to Duke Street (Dennistoun) if you are a ‘New’ Doctor Who fan (I’m not, the pre-publicity for the 2017 series was the last straw for me for various reasons, and this travesty of the classic series is now firmly off my list), and a collector of goodies.

While they’re not exactly giving the stuff away, it is on offer at charity shop prices, so there’s are bargains to be had for anyone serious.

I couldn’t get a decent pic, sorry, but the reflection of the footpath on the glass was pretty strong, even when I processed a lot of it away.

Raid the piggy-bank, and go…

(Click for a bigger pic.)

Doctor Who Charity Shop

Doctor Who Charity Shop

June 14, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Bloody Kids!

Last time I found kids ‘Having Fun’ was when a bunch of them hid behind the wall of Janefield Cemetery (also the Eastern Necropolis or even Parkhead Cemetery on the Gallowgate, which has its entrance just across from The Forge shopping centre.

They’d found an old iron cooking pot and a length of rope, and were using it to launch the pot over the wall into the road – and passing traffic of course – then pull it back in for another go while staying hidden. Fortunately, realignment of the roads here has this section almost deserted, so they never hit anything (or anybody), and like little cowards usually do, eventually ran away over the graves after attracting the attention of a few pedestrians who had seen the pot come flying over the wall as they walked toward the spot where the kids were hiding.

This time, I was surprised when something (turned out to be a pen) landed next to me as I passed Enzo’s chip shop in Shettleston Road last night.

I tend not to react to such things (unless there’s a real need to find cover, or it’s the start of an earthquake or volcanic eruption) since that’s usually what they’re intended to evoke, and walked on until I could sneak a look without being seen. But I know this place well, and other than upper floor tenement windows, there’s little else.

But all the windows were closed – yet I could actually still hear stuff hitting the ground.

And people coming out of Enzo’s were jumping in surprise as ‘stuff’ was hitting the ground around them – yet I could not see an open window.

The answer came when I crossed the road and stood across from Enzo’s and looked up at the building above…

There’s a couple of attic windows in the roof, set back from the face of the building, and therefore invisible from the street below.

I geared up for some pics to catch whoever was at the window, but as you’ll see from the pic and enlargement below, as soon as the kid saw me point the camera at him he ducked out of view and pulled the window shut – never to re-appear. So only only one pic.

Above Enzo's

Above Enzo’s

Blue T-Shirt Kid

Blue T-Shirt Kid

You know who you are… that blue t-shirt probably wants burning now.

And I suspect some neighbours would like a wee word.

June 13, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Mural triplet celebrates Billy Connolly at 75

I have to admit to being a relative latecomer to Billy Connolly’s humour, but found it to be little short of hysterical with its frank honesty and simplicity – not to mention his delivery, which makes otherwise mundane and ordinary tales into side-splitting gems.

I’d never even heard of him until someone let me hear on of his records (that a round black plastic thing) somewhere, then I found him on the radio.

No Internet and search tools to find a quick MP3, stream, or YouTube item back then – but I suppose that could be another story, and one he could probably turn into another side-splitting sketch.

I read about the mural in the news:

Glasgow murals leave Billy Connolly ‘flabbergasted’

And decided it was time for a walk – and six hours and 17 miles later came home with the required pics.

There’s also a 1 hour documentary on them:

Billy Connolly: Portrait of a Lifetime

While two were netted with no problems, I managed to forget where the third was – mainly because its position in the Gallowgate means I’m almost obliged to pass it when I head for home, so I didn’t bother making a mental note of where it was. That was a mistake, and added around 3 miles as wandered around the city centre looking for something to jog my memory. Utterly useless until I turned for home – and THAT finally reminded me.

The murals are not hard to find or see, provided you know where to look.

The day turned windy and dull, with tiny showers, so I had to process the images to brighten them up and recover the colours.

I also corrected them for perspective, removing the slightly annoying narrowing as you look towards their tops.

(Click on any mural for a larger version.)

The last one, in the Gallowgate, is/was particularly annoying to photograph. I’m not sure what the best conditions or time of day would be, but an overcast evening was definitely NOT good. The finish is very glossy and the reflections from the sky behind the camera cannot be avoided, and obscure much of the detail. The other two do not share this problem.

Working from west to east, first up is Dixon Street, just south of St Enoch Square:

This one is slightly spoilt by a metal fence enclosing a seating area at its foot, but you can negate this intrusion by going up to fence and shooting between the railings

 

Billy Connolly Mural Dixon Street

Billy Connolly Mural Dixon Street

Next up is Osborne Street, in the section across from the car park, to the east of the St Enoch Centre, between Stockwell Street and King Street.

No problems shooting here, and you can even get squarely in front of the mural if you wander a little way up ‘Old Wynd’.

Billy Connolly Mural Osborne Street Old Wynd

Billy Connolly Mural Osborne Street Old Wynd

Last up is the Gallowgate mural, pretty (very) easy to spot as you head east along the Gallowgate from Glasgow Cross.

There’s no problem getting below the mural for a pic, but as you can see from this pic, reflections from the glossy finish are hard to mitigate – at least in the evening. Maybe there’s a better viewpoint to be had, but it’s hard to avoid sky reflections if you are stay on the ground/

Unfortunately, not even post-processing for highlight and shadow detail helps, since there is none to recover (recall the problem is the shiny gloss finish and reflections in it).

Billy Connolly Mural Gallowgate

Billy Connolly Mural Gallowgate

June 13, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

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