Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Brushies sold here

Question: Where can you buy a brushie?

Answer: At a Glasgow indoor market.

Question: Why would you want to buy a brushie?

Answer: To brush you Internet meme with!

I’m not sure which order I saw these in (apart from my own market original of course), but I would have had the pic of this collection of sad spelling/grammar examples seen in a Glasgow market anyway.

Don’t know if this is funny, or a shame, since it reflects both on out system of education, and the level of education attained by some ordinary people.

Glasgow Market Grammar/Spelling

Glasgow Market Grammar/Spelling

Apparently, the original ‘Brushie’ pic was NOT of a cat, but of a bat, back in 2008, and didn’t get the ‘Brushie’ added until 2010.

Brushie Bat

Brushie Bat

I’m going to be honest here – I’d rather have cats with brushies.

Brushie Cat

Brushie Cat


Brushie Cat

Brushie Cat


Brushie Cat

Brushie Cat


July 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scottish Aviation Ltd Twin Pioneer ‘saved’

While it may not be the museum class restoration some would want to see, it’s still nice to see that an example of a Scottish Aviation Ltd Twin Pioneer aircraft will not be left to rot, or broken up.

Built at the Prestwick factory almost 60 years ago (coincidentally in the 1960s too), G-APRS, or ‘Primrose’, retired from her last job in pilot training due to ageing wing struts after 59 years in service.

The airframe will serve as accommodation (beside a Sea King helicopter that took on a similar job a few years ago) with a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom fitted inside to replace 14 seats – but the cockpit will remain.

Vintage plane’s new lease of life as holiday home for high-flyers

The very same aircraft can be seen below, preparing to taxi at RAF Abingdon in 2004.

G-APRS Twin Pioneer RAF Abingdon 2004

G-APRS Twin Pioneer RAF Abingdon 2004

July 18, 2018 Posted by | Aviation, Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Delusional or just plain mad? Suggesting that Holyrood skip be used for functions

I just can’t let this one pass, as I simply can’t even begin to understand the thinking behind anyone daft enough (or maybe who thought there was anyone daft enough to) think that the skip which passes for the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood would be a desirable place to hold functions.

Nothing to do with politics, the place was just a money pit from day one, designed by  a non-Scottish architect who ultimately succumbed to brain disease.

It’s a pile of scrap.

It failed from every aspect, and even started falling apart (didn’t kill anybody) soon after opening.

It was an environmental failure, leaking heat out from inside, and water from the outside.

Then, more millions had to be spent making it secure!

Nobody thought that might have been a good idea from the start?

Somebody must have been desperate to think of this, and expect anything other than that…

Lack of demand puts paid to Holyrood letting out parliament for functions

Here’s a great pic of the place (still shows more of it than I really want to).

Holyrood Parliament Skip

Holyrood Parliament Skip

July 18, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The illegals – J70 NHY

I guess a look at J70 NHY gives a clue as to why someone might take the chance on the possible £1,000 fine for illegal character spacing.

And for once, I don’t have to wonder what the plate might be supposed to read.

I pass this one quite often, so often, I was so used to seeing it I almost forgot to stop for pic – and ended up stopping for two (back in 2017), and noticing something else.

It’s a 2007 Honda Civic Type-R GT I-VTEC, and is one of those cars I’d like to have as it’s not only distinctive and practical, but also fun, with the 2-litre V-TEC engine delivering just under 200 BHP, able to reach silly revs, and run to 60 in around 6.5 seconds. I even went after the original incarnation back in the 90s, but had to yield to other criteria and get a ‘sensible’ car.

I ended up with two pics, some months apart.

You can play ‘Spot The Difference’.

There’s at least seven, or eight if you count two examples of the same thing separately.

2007 Honda Civic Type-R [J70 NHY] March

2007 Honda Civic Type-R [J70 NHY] March

2007 Honda Civic Type-R [J70 NHY] October

2007 Honda Civic Type-R [J70 NHY] October

July 18, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Today is Hot Dog Day

It seems 18 July 2018 is Hot Dog Day.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you when the next one is, or how the day is fixed – all I see are dates for the last two, 19 July 2017, and 14 July 2016.

Best of luck finding 2019’s day if there is a rule in there to be had from those three!

Anyway, I’m guessing from what I’ve read that this is really a US ‘day’, as it refers to skinlesss sausages and grilling the things.

Our UK hot dogs are usually steamed or heated in hot water, and quite different from the grilled type, and probably more pork than beef. And, since I don’t want be told I’m completely wrong about them, that’s as much as I think I’ll say about their recipe.

However, since I’m NOT a lover of ‘burgers’, and always used to go for the hot dog option when at an outdoor event and feeling hungry, I have to give this a mention.

This was the only decent image I could get of a ‘steamed’ hot dog – the rest were really horrible ‘staged’ images (ie probably inedible), or of the grilled type.

The only problem is I like mine with onions and tomato or brown sauce, not mustard. But if this is all I can find in the free stock images, so be it.

Hot Dog

Hot Dog

July 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Camera test spotted in Rutherglen

Hard to miss this one.

Bright yellow poles holding cameras for test purposes on Rutherglen’s Glasgow Road.

Sadly, although we can see it’s a test – there’s nothing to tell us what is actually being tested.

I suppose being only a single camera looking in each direction limits the options, but it would still be nice to know. After all, others have been noted which do have notices or labels to indicate their purpose.

Video/image processing is becoming so complex these days, while it was once possible to make a guess based on the number of cameras, software is becoming so fast and clever now, making a guess just isn’t an option.

I tried having a very brief look online, but with nothing identifying the owner of these cameras, the search was really too general to come up with anything worthwhile.

I was intrigued by the artistic symbol formed by the reinforcement at the elbow formed at the top of the pole, where the camera is mounted. I don’t know if it is just a chance form, or if it is a logo of some sort. I don’t recognise it, but it seems to be a deliberate shape.

Rutherglen Test Camera

Rutherglen Test Camera

I almost missed the one across the road, only spotting it when I turned around to look back along the road after crossing.

Rutherglen Test Cameras

Rutherglen Test Cameras

July 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Baltic Street Thomas Stoddart (beds)

I’ve pictured this abandoned factory in the past, and after the command to “Send in the wreckers” to clear Dalmarnock for the dopey 2014 Commonwealth Games nonsense, remain surprised to see this (and the adjacent old building) were left standing, given the urgency with which adjoining land was cleared – then left barren, and still standing barren in 2018.

Funny how none of the people who made a fuss about the clearance back then have ever been heard of since.

Given how loudly they were shouting back then (and some demanding silly money), one might think they’d still be protesting today.

There is now a new school being built in the distance, and the ‘new’ old people’s home that was boarded up as soon as it was built now seems to be in use. Or is it just staffed? There was an episode of “Yes, Minister” where they had a terrific new hospital, with some 400 staff, and no problems – it also had no patients!

Back in Baltic Street, the Stoddart factory just seems to sit there, barely changing – if you don’t count the increasing amount of plant life it seems to be supporting these days.

Now that I’m getting better at correcting images for perspective, I though I’d have a quick run at this one, and correct the converging verticals which are hard to avoid with any reasonably tall building.

Baltic Street Stoddarts

Baltic Street Stoddarts

July 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Lego exhibition in Glasgow Cathedral

I noticed this more because of what struck me as an unusual venue for this exhibition rather than the subject.

I tend to be a bit of purist when it comes to individualistic subjects, and that includes Lego.

While I always accepted the need for specialised bricks, such as lighting, doors, windows, and similar generic types, I really went off the stuff when it started to get specialised components that only allowed ONE item to be built, rendering a toy that inspired imagination into nothing more than a 3D jigsaw puzzle.

But, I might catch a Lego exhibition depicting subjects such as the wonders of the world which has gone on display in Glasgow Cathedral, and also features scientific discoveries such as the Big Bang Theory, DNA, the Great Wall of China, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Hoover Dam.

I haven’t really even seen Lego for years, so I’ll be interested to see how much depends on the standard brick and imagination, and how many special, or custom, forms are used.

It has just opened and will be in place until 23 September 2018, then move on to Stirling Castle.

Lego wonders of the world exhibition opens in Glasgow

While I don’t dispute this graph, I think it should be modified for the UK.

We REALLY need proper tests to evaluate the relative pain level associated with stepping on a UK 13 A plug, and to see where it lies on this graph – unlike the Lego, the pins from our lovely mains plug can also pierce the skin and enter the foot of the truly unwary who go wandering around in the dark if disturbed while asleep (thereby becoming even MORE disturbed, but very awake).

Pain Graph

Pain Graph

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Baltic Street update (still good)

Last time I wandered around Dalmarnock, I was a little glum to see that a little garage might have closed – or at least never seemed to be open whenever I was there.

There goes Dalmarnock

There’s better news after the most recent bit of wandering, and I can say it is still on the go.

And there’s a decent number of cars scattered around that are being worked on. Nice.

Now that Google has expanded its historic imagery, I can also add that the sign has been up there, just the same, since at least 2009.

One day, I’ll work up the courage to pop my head in the door and ask if they have any electricity in there.

I kid you not, the place looks as dark inside as it looks in the pic, despite that floor to roof door being open.

Baltic Street Garage

Baltic Street Garage

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Peekaboo Pagoda

The Pagoda Mercedes began with 230 SL back around 1963, known as the W113 under the company’s system.

All given a straight six with fuel injection, these advanced cars had aluminium bonnet, boot, door skins, and tonneau cover to bring their weight down. A good idea since a roofless convertible will always be heavier thanks to chassis reinforcement needed to stiffen the body, and the short and wide wheelbase combined with excellent suspension gave it great handling.

The W 113 was the first sports car with a safety body, based on Bela Barényi’s extensive work on vehicle safety. It had a rigid passenger cell with crumple zones and impact-absorbing front and rear sections built into the vehicle structure. The interior was rounded, with all hard corners and edges removed. It was also the first Mercedes to be fitted with radial tires (as opposed to the common cross-ply type of the day).

Stay alert – you never know what’s hiding out there!

Pagoda Mercedes 230SL

Pagoda Mercedes 230SL

I caught the same car a few years earlier, but on that occasion I was testing a small camera, and the image was the subject, not the car, and I forgot all about until seeing this. I’d really just wanted something handy that I knew how it SHOULD have looked as compared to what I captured.

Obviously, not as good as my usual kit, even with filtering to try to restore some detail.

Pagoda Mercedes 230SL

Pagoda Mercedes 230SL

Not sure where this car is now, or even if it is on the road, or stored.


July 16, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Weekly Round-up – 15 July 2018

Hysterical start to the week as forgotten nobody celebrity gardener blames water companies for water shortage as drought/heatwave develops after… yup, you guessed it… just after water companies asked customers to use water ‘responsibly’. He’d already lost credibility by pointing at the water systems leaks as if they excused wasteful use, but then stepped over the line by reinterpreting the request for responsible use as ‘blaming gardeners’. Celebrity should be in the dictionary as ‘waste of skin’ nowadays.

Alan Titchmarsh blames companies for Britain’s water shortage

Interesting – moves to reduce an uncontrolled deer population on a small island are met with protest, and claims that the owners have no idea what they are doing. Yet the whining voices produce no plan or evidence, while the estate has stated its numbers and aims. Sounds more like concern for cute little Bambi, than a realistic understanding of deer management on a restricted resource like a small island.

New Ulva island owners under fire for deer slaughter plans

Not really sure what the point of these things are, if anyone expects great change, or considers that the info is seven years behind whatever the present-day situation is. But on the upside, article like this are great, as the moron-filled comment area is a joy to behold, with almost nothing worth the effort of reading since nearly all the commenter just express biased and pre-conceived views – assuming they are not paid shills or activists using the area for political tripe they can’t promote elsewhere.

Research finds ten most deprived areas in Britain are in Glasgow

No surprise. The wonder is a disabled 62-year old woman in a wheelchair didn’t die of shock.

Woman ‘lost consciousness after hand was cut off by man’

This story seems to omit any reference or blame for this infestation being levelled at the activists who attacked mink farms and just released the animals to fend for themselves. They do their ‘stuff’ and leave everyone else to pick up the mess they leave behind.

Seabirds return to Outer Hebrides after mink ‘eradication’

Better animal story with success in Scottish wildlife park. BUT… I think the animal rights loonies would want all the animals in the park set free.

Rare Amur leopard cub born in Highland Wildlife Park

Isn’t it great how many lists Scotland (and Glasgow) can make claim to being top?

Darren McGarvey: How can ‘world’s best small country’ be Europe’s drug-death capital?

I don’t care if you found somebody who said they liked it – they probably just said it because they found it so disgusting that they wanted to be sure it gave others the boak as well.

Square sausage ice-cream goes on Edinburgh hotel menu

This would be a funny story but for the cynical nature of the company behind it. Did they REALLY NOT EXPECT to be mobbed when they offered to sell their overpriced tat (eg a £27 bear for £1 to a one-year-old)? They got EXACTLY what they paid for – loads of cut-price publicity across all media.

Build-A-Bear chaos: Police called to store during sale

Interesting week for our ‘local’ bus builder – Alexander Dennis says they are the largest manufacturer of double-decker buses in the world.

I see Los Angles will put the first all-electric double-decker bus into service later this year on the Foothill Transit’s Silver Line route, which runs a little more than 35 miles from downtown LA to Montclair, in the east valley. The Silver Streak runs 24 hours a day, every 15 minutes through the day, with six stops along the way, and every hour overnight. The double-decker ADL bus will be outfitted with up to 600 kWh batteries. The bus seats 86, about as many as could cram into a standard bus with many standing, and will offer wi-fi and storage space.

Nearer to home – ADL reported an 11% rise in international vehicle sales, to £207m, following a “record” year for the company in North America.  Sales in the USA were “at their strongest for a number of years”, with increased volume being met by its new vehicle manufacturing facility in Indiana.

Bus firm Alexander Dennis reports fall in turnover

Interesting (doesn’t get enough publicity). The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership helped local authorities and others bring 742 long-term empty private homes back into use – more than two every day. Since 2010/11, 3,216 of these properties have been brought back into use through the partnership, with an average total market value of around £500 million.

More than 700 empty Scottish homes brought back into use

And finally… Do not mimic the stair. BE the stair!



July 15, 2018 Posted by | Weekly round-up | | Leave a comment

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