Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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

Lion and Unicorn on historic Glasgow University staircase smartened up for 330th

With a year in hand before the actual 330th anniversary, I wasn’t in a hurry to go get new pics of the Lion and Unicorn in Glasgow University.

I had collected some pics fairly recently, and you can find some more detail of their history in that post. No need to repeat here.

However, the historic pair are, it seems, set to celebrate their 330th birthdays next year, and the gold paint has already be drawn from stores in preparation for the event.

So, since I was nearby, AND has some unexpected spare time in hand, I just had to make the effort and walk up the hill to the university.

Lion and Unicorn Retouched

Lion and Unicorn Retouched

It’s a bit unfortunate that you can’t really get a good angle/view of the pair from the front, as they sit part way up the staircase.

The views are all from just below, or just behind and to the side.

For what it’s worth, my colours are accurate and realistic, unlike some other pics seen online, where they seem to have been made more vivid.

29/07/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Don’t miss Lil BUB’s 8th birthday

Still on the theme of “Things only happen when I’m away”, I see LiL BUB turned 8 recently, and had a party.

I don’t see much of the ‘Internet cats’ these days, as the original sites that tended to focus on them have gone downhill, and I just don’t visit, so almost missed this too.

And I’m still a bit down over the loss of Grumpy. Did you realise both were girls?

But this is about smiling, and just look at the faceplant as soon as BUB get near the cake, even before it’s ready.

Couldn’t be there, but let’s not forget the sight of them together.

04/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cat with sound effects

Sound on, smile on…

19/06/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Today is Chocolate Ice Cream Day

07 June is Chocolate Ice Cream Day.

Since I got carried away with the post about VCR Day (which also falls on 07 June), I’ll keep this short.

Chocolate Ice Cream…

No explanation needed – go eat some!

For what it’s worth, my preference is for the streaky type – I find the taste is less overwhelming than the uniform option.

While it may be hard to believe you can have TOO MUCH chocolatiness, you can, and if it’s too strong it limits the amount of chocolate ice cream you can eat.

And that’s… not a good thing.

Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate Ice Cream

07/06/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

There goes Dippy (and Leonardo)

Just quickly, an automatically created panorama of Dippy’s last hour (at 16:00) in Kelvingrove.

I don’t usually use this as the result is ‘mushy’ at best (and it’s quite dark in Kelvingrove), but since I have plenty of decent pics, why not?

Click for bigger.

Dippy end pano

Dippy end pano

The Leonardo da Vinci sketch exhibition also ended today.

As there are plenty of pics of the sketches (and that room was REALLY dark to prevent light damage to the originals), here’s the crowd one hour from the absolute end of this one too.

Leonardo end pic

Leonardo end pic

06/05/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh-oh… Looks like my unhappy opinion of the NPA might not be the only one

I’ve said before that I’ve long given up on passing comment on the NPAs (National Park Authorities), especially since I lost the option of being a regular visitor to the Loch Lomond area some time ago.

So now you know I think they’re (around Loch Lomond at least) useless,

I spotted news of a proposed major development at Loch Lomond, and it seems to pretty much fall into line with the negative things I think about NPAs.

This sounds kind of what like I was saying years ago, and the NPA still seems to be letting developments be added.

So much for preserving the place, unspoilt.

More than 50,000 objections have been lodged against a new £30m tourist development at Loch Lomond.

The proposals include a 60-bedroom apart-hotel, 32-bedroom budget accommodation, a craft brewery, holiday homes, leisure centre and restaurants.

But the Lomond Banks development at Balloch has proven controversial with strong local opposition.

Campaigners fear the project will spoil the scenery and limit access to the shoreline for locals.

Alannah Maurer, of the Save Loch Lomond campaign, told BBC Scotland’s The Nine: “A national park is a theme park in its own right, a natural theme park and in this time of climate change we should be looking at conserving that natural theme park.

“Those buildings will dominate the scenery, they will dominate the village of Balloch.”

Anger over £30m hotel and leisure complex for Loch Lomond

They (the developers, and the objectors) can’t both be right, so this will an interesting confrontation between two fairly outspoken groups who would seem to be unlikely ever to agree.

Benidorm pic still seems appropriate, so…



04/05/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Look at that smile

I sometime go for a quick wander while listening to the organ recitals at Kelvingrove, mainly to get a better view of the video displays relaying the performer’s feet and hands, particularly the pedal board, which can be interesting to watch.

I’d been standing beside a couple of tourists (why are they the quiet ones?) before changing sides on the balcony, and happened to look across at where I had been standing.

What a nice change from the usual babbling, sometime arguing, disinterested locals and their noisy brats who usually ruin whole sections of the recital, especially at the moment with the schools on holiday.

It’s almost a pity that the lights in the central hall have been switched off this week, as the Sun shines in, which makes the place a little darker than usual, and the poor old camera couldn’t quite cope with the marginal conditions.

Kelvingrove Smile

Kelvingrove Recital Smile

I probably smiled as much when I saw this video clip of a cat sleeping in a piano.

While it would be nice to have a Kelvingrove organ cat, I doubt even the cat would sleep through a performance if it was on the keyboard.

While the lowest notes don’t cause vibrations in the central hall, having been to a demo in the organ balcony, I now know the lowest notes are powerful enough to make the stone floor underfoot vibrate up there (well, the organ pipe do sit just behind the console).

24/04/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Mural surprise along a lane

With so many murals now being listed almost ‘officially’ on some web sites and publications, it’s almost something of a surprise to go wandering down lanes and finding examples not seen listed in those sources – or I’ve just missed them.

This one turned up in Burgh Lane, Hillhead, not far off Byres Road, and is on the wall of the Western Baths, which is just as well, as it features – the Western Baths!

Quite a place by all accounts, I managed to miss my chance to get in for a look at the place before it was revamped and became a club, although much has been retained.

Prior to the changes (and I have to say I am going by memory here, risky), I think the place, exclusive as it was, was under threat of being lost, but that seems to be a thing of the past for it now. It seems to be doing well.

The Western Baths Club is a Victorian era private swimming and leisure club founded in 1876. The club remains at its original site at 12 Cranworth Street, Hillhead, Glasgow. The 19th-century baths are protected as a category A listed building. Along with the Arlington Baths it is the one of two clubs of its kind left in Glasgow.

I had to go back a couple of times – I didn’t feel like taking an awkward pic (ie not a quick snap) with a small crowd of ‘yoofs’ who were intent on studying the contents of plastic bags they were carrying, standing on almost the same spot I had to be on to take the pic.

The lane is fairly narrow, and the mural fairly wide – there’s no chance of catching with any ordinary wide lens.

I had to stitch four shots together to get the whole thing in one pic.

It actually worked.

Click for bigger.

Burgh Lane Western Baths Mural

Burgh Lane Western Baths Mural

Although I don’t have any accurate tools to correct the distortion in such a wide stitch, I thought I’d try anyway, just to see how it did.

It does help, but if you look at the extreme edges on the left and right of the second image, you can see how this correction tool is adding more (different) distortion as it corrects the original distortion.

Click for bigger.

Western Baths Mural Version 2

Western Baths Mural Version 2

26/03/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Today is No Smoking Day

13 March 2019 is No smoking Day.

Unfortunately, another wandering day that falls on a different date most years – set as being the second Wednesday of March.

It may be an addiction, but that’s no excuse for starting!

Why is it so important to have a day set aside for this? Over the last few decades, it has become very clear just how extremely dangerous smoking is. There are toxins in smoke that cause many different forms of cancer from the mouth to the lungs. What is also important to know is that while it may be a personal choice to smoke or not, when one smokes near another person -or even a pet – the second-hand smoke is just as dangerous to them. So, it really isn’t just a personal decision. The protection of people who do not want to be affected by second-hand smoke has led to new laws in most communities that ban smoking in most public spaces.

Sadly, the many myths, beliefs, and excuses for smoking are STILL deep set in our various cultures, reinforced by the lies fostered by the tobacco companies in order to suppress the truth and keep people addicted.

This was especially important to those companies then (as it still is today, and they move into less well-informed countries and communities, as they knew full well that the more they got their customers to smoke, the sooner they killed them, and needed replacements to take their place, and keep up sales and profits.

Previous no smoking day

See also the fun here:

Anybody else miss those old educational cigarette adverts

Smoking Birth Weight

13/03/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Glasgow’s top attractions

Two venues in Glasgow recorded more than 1 million visitors in 2018.

No real surprise that those were Kelvingrove and Riverside.

Six Scottish attractions made that figure, the others being the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish National Gallery, and St Giles’ Cathedral.

I never made it to the last two – maybe one day.

There was even a marginal overall (0.1%) increase compared to the previous year – that’s going to be worth watching over the next couple of years, with the Burrell set to reopen in 2020, and the new V&A in Dundee to do a full year.

Top Scottish visitor attractions revealed

I simply haven’t bothered looking at the comments  – I’m sure the naysayers will be out in force. It’s guaranteed in the face of anything remotely resembling good news that normal people will be pleased to read about.

There’s some more detail listed in this article:

These two Glasgow tourist attractions were the most visited in the city last year

I wonder if I made a difference, since I try to get to these places more than once a week now that I’ve found easy and free ways to get to them.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum




06/03/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

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