Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Rain don’t keep meeces away

After a few days’ respite, it looks as if curiosity killed the mouse this morning, and they’re back.

Although I’m hardly suggesting they were ever away, just not trying to get in.

We’re rather soggy at the moment, with more rain than we’ve seen in a while, and I wondered if would keep the little invaders away – clearly not.

No pic evidence of this morning’s catch – our garden bin collection was on the way (we have a selection of wheelie bins to segregate our assorted wastes into) and since I’m fed up digging graves I wanted to make sure I caught this collection since I had filled the bin and it was ready to go this morning.

However, it gives me a chance to include a pic I got from someone who was having a problem getting their ‘little friends’ to obligingly wander into the waiting traps, and they consulted a local ‘expert’ who advised the following.

Occult Mouse Trap

Occult Mouse Trap

I think…

I’ll pass on this one.

Many years spent watching education films produced by Hammer Films suggest this is actually more likely to conjure up a giant demon mouse, rather than attract any ordinary one to the trap!


October 20, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Do what cat says – cat never lies

Spotted this variation on a pic that has been circulating for a while, and couldn’t resist pairing it with another.

Press here kid, will be fun” (cat said):

Will Be Fun Cat Said

Will Be Fun Cat Said

Did the cat’s conscience bother it afterwards?

You decide:

Bad Dog Vs Bad Cat

Bad Dog Vs Bad Cat

October 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Any Scottish fans of ‘The Prisoner’ left?

I used to be a regular visitor to Portmeirion (no longer a secret that this was where ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed prior to broadcast in 1967), able to drive down during annual convention weekends. I was also a happy member of Six of One, The Prisoner Appreciation Society, until both came to an end for me some time after 1998.

Six of One imploded (as seen from my distant perspective as a subscriber), the conventions came to an end, the society appeared to lose favour with Portmeirion, and even the little Prisoner shop in the village closed. I hadn’t been able to make it there again (having to abort the next drive down as work meant I started the trip too late in the day), and later read that some attendees’ behaviour had led to apologies being issued to Portmeirion. Details never really emerged, but the invitation for Prisoner events seemed to evaporate for some years (as did my ability to get back there). As that was my last opportunity to make the trip, I ended up being glad I had aborted the trip, and wasn’t part of whatever happened that weekend.

I bumped into the former committee when the WorldCon came to Glasgow a few later, but they weren’t particularly approachable when I tried to say ‘Hello’, so that was that.

But, fast-forward a few years and The Unmutual Website (TUW) appeared.

Unusually, and unlike the acrimonious f0rmer society, there is no membership for TUW – just visit the web site and participate as you like.

I’ve done so for some years now, and the (very) nice man who runs it seems happy to hear from anybody.

Even me, with odd bits of trivia, such as this penny-farthing duo I found nearby one day.

Penny Farthing Twins

Penny Farthing Twins

I’ve followed the site for years now, and it has grown from a small start into a vast resource of wide and varied Prisoner related information.

For someone who was once there every year, it has assorted galleries of changes that have taken place in Portmeirion over the years, which helps make up for the loss of visits (and the 300 miles drive, ending with the remarkably Scottish looking final section through North Wales).

50th Anniversary

As noted above, 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of The Prisoner’s first broadcast, so this was a special year, as noted by TUW’s opening para on its report page:

‘The Prisoner’ 50th anniversary- an in-depth photo report on the event

September 29th 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the first UK screening of ‘Arrival’ (at 7.30pm on ATV Midlands on 29/9/1967).

NETWORK were the hosts and organisers of the official 50th anniversary event at Portmeirion, fifty years on, on 29th September 2017.

With The Unmutual Website advertising the event well in advance, most of the invited guests had been well publicised, as had the various screenings, so nothing less than a feast was promised. What was to follow exceeded even that, and proved to be an unforgettable smorgasbord of Prisoner delicacies!

The report continues with a lengthy and detailed description of the event, and coverage of the many members of the original cast able to attend, it was a unique picture opportunity too.

Fenella Fielding provided the Village Voice in the original series, so who better to announce each of the days events over a PA/speaker system which covered the whole of Portmeirion, caught on video – and looking amazing for 90!

A notable ‘first”reported from the event was the live performance of a Big Finish episode inside The Green Dome.

As a central location, Number 2’s residence, it was a little disappointing that this particular building was never accessible during any of the previous conventions or my visits, even it was a fantasy location that existed only as a set, and not actually under the dome. I did look closely during those early visits, and access was probably not really practical as the place was then in something of a state internally, and clearly in need of restoration, which it now seems to have had in good measure.

While you can go look up more related videos on YouTube, there’s one more I’d like to include here, and that’s the dedication by daughter Catherine McGoohan as she unveils a bust of Patrick McGoohan which will now mark his presence in the village.

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Surveillance, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Hurricane Ophelia – informational cat supplement

It’s windy out there…

Hurricane Cats

Hurricane Cats

Local weather post.

Windy Cat Post

Windy Cat Post

October 16, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Closer look at Celtic (and Emirate shed) EV charging

Since I had some old (unused) pics lying around, I thought I might as well look at EV (electric vehicle) charging at Parkhead.

I won’t go techie, mainly because the last time I did this the end result was just to attract the sort of moron who spends their day telling folk they are wrong (even when they are right – I CAN read electrical standards).

There are actually some more (I haven’t mentioned before) down at Dalmarnock, but that’s not Parkhead, so maybe later.

This was sparked (sorry) off by the sighting of a privileged vehicle being charged in Celtic’s little car park, and it made me curious.

This turns out to be an electrical enclosure mounted OUTSIDE the car park, and fitted with 2 x 32 A 400 V and 2 x 16 A 230 V connectors. I assume isolators are mounted inside the enclosure (otherwise Glasgow neds would have their houses plugged in!) and ‘protected’ by the keys mentioned on the labelling.

Me? I’d check all those cables dropping from the bottom of the enclosure, and make sure they’re all legit, and that none of them run to any nearby houses.

Celtic Car Park EV Charging Rear

Celtic Car Park EV Charging Rear

With no good reason (ever in my lifetime) to be inside such a place, I can only take my best legal shot from a public place, the street, so this is the connection INSIDE the car park.

I’m guessing it’s just a conventional (but weatherproof) 13 A mains socket.

No fast(ish) charging here unless you have a Tesla and suitable adapter for the 32 A socket outside the fence.

Celtic Car Park EV Charging Spot

Celtic Car Park EV Charging Spot

Meanwhile, across the road

I hinted that the car park behind the big empty shed (they tell me it’s the Emirates Arena), across the road from Celtic Park had real EV charging stations that ANYBODY could use, not just someone with Celtic parking privileges.

And it appears to be free to use (after you cough up £10 for a card to let you access all such stations in Scotland).

Sure enough, I still have the pics from my wander across the vast empty expanse of that car park.

I wish I had an EV.

Charging Bays

Charging Bays

EV Charger

EV Charger

October 13, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mice, snails, insects… now Hitchock’s birds!


What did I do to earn the ire of Mother Nature?

I don’t seem to be able to keep ANY of her damned offspring out of my house.

There was a new twist in the invasion tale this morning when I got up and looked out of my living room window.

I thought I saw a little bird fly past, and thought it was odd that I thought I could hear its wings.


A few seconds later I saw it fly past again, only thing was… it was flying around INSIDE, not OUTSIDE.

The good news was that its next port of call was the kitchen, and that’s where the back doors are so, I shut the inside door and opened the back doors. By the time I got back to kitchen door and turned around to see where it was – it had already found its own way out, so at least I was spared the job of shepherding it out. The other good thing was this one was so small it couldn’t knock anything over – you really don’t want anything larger flying around inside your home (like when they fly in the back door!)

I’m slightly puzzled as to how it got in though – while all my windows are open, they all have insect screens.

There’s a possible/unlikely way in if it crawled under the outside back door – LIKE A MOUSE!

But I guess it flew in the open skylight – where one of the local cats really did ‘drop in’ for a visit once. We heard it ‘arrive’, then panic, and were able to get it down. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay, just ran away once it was out of the loft.

The surprise with the visiting robin was that it made its way out of the loft and into the house. Although the loft ladder is on a swinging hatch cover, at the moment it’s almost closed, but is normally wide open just for ventilation.

I’m guessing/hoping it wasn’t inside for too long – birds are similar to mice in that they’re more or less incontinent, so just drop their load whenever the need arises.

So far the news is good – no evidence found (so far).

PD Robin

PD Robin (probably shouting at me to “Dig Faster!”

It took me a while to find a PD robin image that looked like the ones that turn up in my garden.

In fact, they look more like the New Zealand variety I found online, as opposed to our traditional type with the light underside. I’m sure those I see close-up have a very dark area below the red breast – but what to I know?

I usually only see them when I’m digging holes, and they are so intimidated that they not only dive into the freshly turned earth (risking having the next shovelful thrown on top of the) to pick out the insects I’ve just uncovered, they’ll sit on the shovel if I stop for a moment and just stick in the ground to deal with an obstruction.

October 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

I stopped laughing (or crying) so you could start, at this attempt to make a pic

I really thought this was a joke when I first saw it, but then realised a news service (which shall remain nameless so I don’t get sued or something) must have given the newest minimum-wage intern, or work-experience student, or whatever they are called these days, the job of making a pic of a VW Scirocco that was apparently set on fire, or maybe even petrol-bombed, or something…

What they got was a pic of the street concerned with a random VW Scirocco pasted on top, with no attempt to match perspective or… anything! Looks more like a crash. It’s not even on the correct side of the road, but would be facing oncoming traffic.

Seriously, please try not to laugh too hard at this – I’d hate to be the cause of your first hernia, or maybe aggravating an old one.

Scirocco Over Google

Scirocco Over Google

September 20, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

When you’re handsome and you know it

Handsome boy

Handsome boy

Not my pic of course, and ‘Mom’s hand looks a bit rough.

September 8, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Cats – still the same after 100 years. Mr Peebody is still on patrol

The pic below may be modern, only found online last night, but it seems the spirit of the message is unchanged, even after 100 years of inspiration in the east end of Glasgow.

In this case, the scene is my grandfather’s newsagent’s shop (long long gone, but was in Fielden Street).

Business is carrying on as usual, until…

There’s a SCREAM from one of the female shoppers!

Once again, Mr Peebody had struck silently… and accurately… as she removes her shoe and pours out the cat pee which has run down her ankle and into her shoe.

She gives my grandfather a ‘piece of her mind’, but he just shrugs his shoulders and points out that it’s not his cat (it’s too lazy, and just sleeps on the nice warm piles of newspapers), and just happened to wander into the shop to do… it’s ‘business’.

The attacks were deadly as the slightly warm stream was not noticed at first. Victims only became aware of events after it had evaporated a little and started to cool , By then, it was too late,

Mr Peebody was either finished and already heading out the door, or was about to run like hell as soon as the scream came.

Apparently he didn’t confine his fun to the shop, and it seems he knew that a group of gossiping women in London Road would be too busy to notice his arrival (until it was too late), so the scream was often heard there too.

Mr Peebody

Mr Peebody

It’s nice to know the old traditions are being upheld today, even with variations:

Peed On The Hamster

Peed On The Hamster

September 8, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Ask Grumpy Cat

Could be a regular feature – ‘Ask Grumpy Cat: Your Problems Solved’.

Actually this was just a coincidence, and these two pics happened to come up online in different places around the same time, yet they just seemed to be made to go together, so why not?

The Problem:

Cat Piglet Prob

Cat Piglet Prob

The Solution:

Piglet Prob Solved By Grumpy

Piglet Prob Solved By Grumpy

Seems legit:

August 31, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Kelvingrove is on fire. You can save ONE item. What do you grab?

I’ve seen this hypothetical ‘Fire’ question posed by others, and while wandering through Kelvingrove on one of my now rare visits (I used to be able to drop in at almost any time) found the same dilemma arose as I considered the time that now grows between my subsequent visits.

Given that most of my long-standing favourites are impractical candidates as they are simply too large or too heavy to lift and run with, I was beginning to think I’d posed a question with no single answer, then I realised I was looking at it.

It’s a long time since I first saw Regina Cordium. In fact, I was at (secondary) school, and the reason I noticed it was because of a remarkable similarity to a girl I sometimes saw there (I should add not in my year). But I would emphasise that it was purely a ‘similarity’, yet so striking it made this one of my favourite exhibits, and I reckon I’ve been lucky as it’s also one that is a permanent exhibit, and does not disappear as part of the museum rotation of the more than 1 million artefacts it holds.

Even luckier, this image was used on a large poster to publicise an exhibition some years (got that), and on the cover of an accompanying book (yup, got that too).

Another feature that struck me back in the day was how timeless the painting was, and I really did have to look twice when I looked at the plaque which was once fixed to the frame, and discovered it was painted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1866. Granted I was ‘young and stupid’ at the time, but if I’d been asked to make a guess, I’d have been utterly and completely wrong as I’d probably have had a stab at a 20th century date. I’m probably a bit of a perfectionist too, and the execution of the brushwork and detail is also worthy of note. While I enjoy impressionism, I’m much more likely to be drawn to what is now referred to as photo-realism.

So, that’s my choice, and if you ever see someone running through flames at Kelvingrove (sounds like a good name for an exhibition!) with Alexa Wilding – that will be me.

Regina Cordium

Regina Cordium

I’m guessing it’s been reframed since I first saw it, and the gilded plaque would seem to be long gone, replaced by this stylish, two-tone, printed card:

Regina Cordium Label

Regina Cordium Label

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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