Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Clyde Tidal Weir – still working

Sad to say, this is actually the first opportunity I’ve had to get anywhere near the Clyde Tidal Weir since its recent disaster.

Not that there was really anything new to see, since it was repaired within a few days.

There might have been more to see if I’d remembered about the damage reported to the nearby south bank (near the distillery and flats), but I was concentrating more on the road home, thinking I was going to be close to walking 20 miles by the time I finished the day, and not wanting to overdo it by adding another couple (turns out I could have, as my estimate proved to be a couple of miles light after I saw the GPS log).

Still looking good, especially with that nice clean stonework (and no more soot to turn it black).

Clyde Tidal Weir From West

Clyde Tidal Weir From West


Clyde Tidal Weir From East

Clyde Tidal Weir From East

These pics (or the originals, and the top one, from the west) were weird when I processed them.

Although I would have sworn both were perfectly level when I hit the shutter, the originals are way off the horizontal (15-20 degrees).

Don’t know about anyone else, but I find this often to be the case, and I should perhaps be clear that I’m referring to the camera (or pic) being at an angle to the horizon or horizontal, NOT converging verticals or similar perspective distortion (which I deal with separately).

While the second pic looks just about right, the first one was a real problem to correct.

It was taken off-centre, standing near the left bank.

When I aligned the vertical, the image looked worse than the slightly rotated original, and the alignment still looked ‘off’.

Although it was not horizontal, I tried setting the top of weir horizontal – this actually looked better, and the weir no longer appeared to be trying to slide out of the pic – but the building and chimney were now lying at an angle.

Time for a compromise – I split the difference, with the bias being on the verticals. Well, verticals HAVE to be vertical, don’t they?

In this case, they lean a little to the right, but when I made them true verticals, the slope of the weir seemed to create the illusion that it was at the wrong angle.



October 14, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, Maritime, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Sheldon – another missing cat from long ago

Hunter Street is not (for me at least) a Glasgow street name that rolls off the tongue with any sort of immediate familiarity.

In fact, most days I would have to go find it on a map (which I had to in order to work out where I saw this old missing cat poster).

I’ve no idea how old this one was when I first saw it, unfortunately the rain had got at, despite it being firmly attached with duct tape – it might still be there!

Spread the word…

DATING these posters helps.

To be FAIR – this one does carry the date (9 September), but I’ve no idea if that refers to the year I spotted it,  as I didn’t spot it in September, but some time later, and think the original year was 2015.

It’s interesting to note that most of those I’ve seen recently, and included here, have mostly carried a date to show when the cat went missing, so the idea seems to be catching on.

Sheldon went missing on the old railway in the area of Calton/Bridgeton – I wonder if he was found?

Missing Cat Sheldon

Missing Cat Sheldon

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Lost, photography | , , , , | 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

On Friday the 13th never forget that…

Groucho Marx Black Cat

Groucho Marx Black Cat


If that’s too subtle, then…


Friday The 13th Black Cat Awareness

Friday The 13th Black Cat Awareness

Black Cat Alarmed

Black Cat Alarmed

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Long lost cat (Parkhead)

Filing away some recent pics (the lost cat posters), I came across an old one and since I’m on a lost cat poster roll, guess I should mention it.

I didn’t get around to using it after noticing it was dated – and the date was ONE YEAR earlier than the day I noticed the poster and tool a pic when I passed it. This was on Springfield Road, near the houses that had been built there recently (recognisable behind the pic of the cat).

The cat was lost for a year (since July 2015), but the poster and the tape looked brand new in July 2016 when I took the pic.

Coming across the pic again (I’d forgotten all about it) more than a year later, I guess this one was not found.

Long Lost Parkhead Cat

Long Lost Parkhead Cat

October 12, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Lost, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Catbutt and disdain – that’s all I get

Wandering the streets behind Tollcross Park, I spotted a black and white pop out of the undergrowth down the street from me.

Of course, as soon as it saw me (and my camera) it turned around and headed away, meaning all I got was the usual view.

Tollcross Catbutt

Tollcross Catbutt

That black smudge near the centre – it really is a cat (butt).

Usual Contempt

Usual Contempt


Later the same day, and the above cat’s fluffier cousin must have been listening on the grapevine and decided to give me the ‘disdain’ routine when I came across it behind Gallowgate.

After about five minutes I decided to give up the game this one was playing – camera down, eye-to-eye contact… camera up, looks off to the side – and just took the pic with a profile.

“Look at a hoomin? Don’t be ridiculous!”



October 12, 2017 Posted by | photography | , | 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

Glance at the Royal College of Science and Technology

Another example of the problems encountered when trying to take a half decent picture of a sizeable building within a city.

Standing at the corner of George Street and Montrose Street, it struck me how awkward it is to photograph many buildings in their entirety – in this case the Royal College of Science and Technology, a significant part of the University of Strathclyde (and a building I spent a significant number of years wandering around), it formed the original building of the University of Strathclyde (awarded charter 1964).

Most of the time, I can get away with only needing to take pics of parts of buildings, such as entrances, or shop fronts that lie within them. But when the subject is an entire building, it suddenly becomes apparent how narrow the streets are, restricting how far back one can stand, and how NOT wide a reasonably priced wide-angle lens is. I won’t even go into the cost of special lenses built for architectural photography.

Sometimes I can manage a reasonable effort using (free) software to stitch multiple images together, but this can lead to excessive distortion which I can’t process out. Sometimes the simplest solution is just to take the shot looking along the front of the building.

There are a few rules which need to be remembered when doing even this, or horrible distortions and extreme converging verticals can be introduced, and look as bad as an unwanted ‘fish eye’ lens shot.

I managed to get most of the Royal College on this occasion, but still couldn’t get the whole thing, and lost a little off the top – but got the benefit of not having silly horizontal and vertical angles in the image.

Royal College Of Science And Technology University Of Strathclyde

Royal College Of Science And Technology University Of Strathclyde

You may want to compare this view with one taken in 1909.

It’s intriguing to see the street clear of the now usual clutter of signs, traffic islands, traffic lights, bins, railings, and bus shelters.

Since I knew there was not way I was going to get a plain front elevation, I decided just to catch the main entrance – showing off its metal grille, closed as this was a Sunday.

Royal College Main Entrance

Royal College Main Entrance

Oddly, the three arches appear to be too tall and narrow, but having checked the original, and found some undistorted circles recorded, can only assume it is an illusion, possibly from seeing the three in isolation, and not in context with the rest of the façade.

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

Lost cat – Royal (Bengal) – Glasgow city centre

After yesterday’s find of Animal Search UK while in Tollcross…

Today we have another organisation with a similar online presence, spotted first in The Barras area, then in St Andrews Square:

But differing significantly in coverage, this one is international, as opposed the UK coverage of the previous group… is a FREE international geographical Lost, Stolen and Found pet reporting and alerting site.

Significantly, both of these groups address a problem I highlighted on the home-made posters seen, specifically, the inclusion of a date to give anyone noting them an idea of whether or not the poster is new or old.

Specific page for this Lost Cat

Lost Cat Glasgow City

Lost Cat Glasgow City – on a Barras notice board


Lost Cat Glasgow City

St Andrews Square Lamppost

Meanwhile, on Glasgow Green

I hadn’t realised this was the same cat, until I saw the posters together!

Sadly, it shows what a bit of bad Scottish weather can do to a DIY poster in next to no time at all.

The following pics were taken on the 6th, and since the cat only went missing on the 5th, show how quickly some heavy wind and rain can do damage.

At least this one has the cat’s name included, ‘Royal’.

Lost Cat Glasgow City

Lost Cat Glasgow City

Lost Cat Glasgow City

Lost Cat Glasgow City

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Lost | , , , | Leave a comment

Geri – missing in G32 since July 2017

I seem to have ‘collected’ quite a few missing cat (posters) recently, but I think most of them are a little old, and are either being spotted as I wander around places I haven’t managed to get to for a while or, like the one below, seem to be repeated appeals.

It’s only a couple of days since I used this gate at Tollcross Park, and I don’t think even I am dozy enough to have missed this one, and I saw it right away yesterday.

It’s fresh and clean. With the recent rain and wind, I doubt it would have been so clean when spotted, hence the assumption it’s a repeat.

The web site address is not too obvious (lots of mention for good old Facecrook though) so this is Animal Search UK which is associated with Cats Protection:

See also Cats Protection

I’ll need to dig through recent pics, and do posts for others.

Geri Missing Cat Tollcross

Geri Missing Cat Tollcross

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Instant karma – St Enoch Centre cyclist

Since I expect to be treated decently when I’m being a cyclist, I take a dim view of any cyclist whose behaviour means I might be assumed to be some sort of related moron.

I haven’t been in Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre for months, but decided to cut through it, just to get an idea of how it looks as I read changes may be on the way.

I’d gone to the upper floor to get a better look, and was looking at the ground floor layout when I was slightly surprised to see a guy on bike weaving through the shoppers on the ground floor – not the best of behaviour, and unlikely to help convince most people that cyclists are not arrogant morons.

Not much I could do from the floor above, I assumed he’d got away with it.


A few minutes later, I arrived on the ground floor and turned around after stepping off the escalator, to see…

Instant karma – cyclist on left, centre security on right.


Karma At St Enoch

Karma At St Enoch


Woman standing up to cyclist who smashed into her on Centennial Trail

The guy involved IS a moron:

“I think its a ruse to try to sue me,” Haller said. “Just because you have a nice bike doesn’t mean you have a million dollars.”

Haller said he calls it a good day when he makes it home without an accident. “I’ve broken 25 bones,” he said. “When I lived in LA, a doctor asked me if I was a stunt man.”

Imgur galleries won’t embed, so you’ll have to click the link:

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

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