Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Looks like I really do live down a cold hole

After a couple of years of noticing an odd weather (or is it local climate) effect, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m NOT imagining it.

This year in particular, with its apparently milder start to the winter season compared to recent years, has made this effect even more noticeable for me.

What I find is that I can either be at home, or wandering the local streets, and think the day is freezing (which it is, both by looking at the ground, and reading thermometers). But, if I have to go out, once I get about a mile away, it’s always warmer.

I used to think I was just imagining this, as walking a mile takes 15-20 minutes, so you should be warming up anyway. But, that wouldn’t explain the lack of ice/frost, or frozen ground, which I might just have walked through near home, but is not present once I’ve walked that mile.

Tonight, I found another confirmation after decided to cycle to the shops.

The road past my door is gritted regularly, and the gritters have been out, so it was fine.

Then I turned off it – and found myself being VERY cautious. There was a nice, sparkly, coating of ice on the road.

Yet when I was coming up to that first mile – all was well again, and there was no ice on the back streets near the shops.

At least I knew to be extra careful as I headed home.

Hydraulic disk brakes on bikes – absolute MAGIC!

I also note that Glasgow City council (you know, the council I suggest local people STOP slagging off, and actually LOOK at what it does) published its ‘Bad Weather’ policy statement a few weeks ago, and that included a commitment to have its gritters not only working on established critical roads, but also cycle paths and routes with them.

While they can’t clear EVERY road and route, it does mean that they are NOT ignoring cyclists, as perhaps the damned ‘cycling activists’ might want us to believe.

We even have an online Gritter Tracker

Apparently the tracker is worth looking at just for fun, as out gritters have names, such as ‘Gritty Gritty Bang Bang’.

But, we don’t have these though (as far as I know).

10/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Maps, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Early frost – Brrrrr…

A few days earlier than I’m used to, after a half-hearted attempt at frost two nights ago, we had proper frost to wake up to this morning.

This time it made it onto the roofs, grass, and paths, and even lasted for a couple hours.

No great surprise though, as the unsettled and wet weather we had recently means we have clear skies at the moment.

That means no heat retentions as there are no clouds, and although the Sun shines for a lot of the time, the heat is lost quickly, and while the frost survives, it acts much like a layer of white snow, so reflects most of the heat from the Sun.



This is the actual temperature for the past three nights.

It didn’t quite make it to freezing during the first night, then it tried, but something kicked the temperature back up for while, so it didn’t really become proper frost even though it fell below freezing for a while.

But, last night it fell, and stayed down there long enough to become the first proper frosty night of the year here.

I suspect the odd spike seen before noon is just the effect of a single very tall tree, which hides the low Sun for a while during the morning.

October Chills

October Chills

It’s remarkable how often this arrives so close to the end of October, something burned into my mind after the main fan motor on our central heating decided to give up completely on the night of October 31 some years ago. We woke up freezing as the day had been fairly nice, not even that cold. But the frost came down hard, with a vengeance, on November 1.

Somehow, I managed to find a suitable replacement the same day, and had it delivered that afternoon, and fitted by evening.

Big motor too (couldn’t lift it with one hand) for the oil-fired heating we had back then. Biggest bonus/surprise was the identical positioning of the mounting lugs, so it slotted straight into the burner body. Handy, since it stayed freezing that day, and I could hardly feel my fingers – cold motor, cold burner housing, cold air… everything damned cold!


29/10/2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Oops, there goes summer, here comes winter

I sometimes wonder if we should just cancel autumn – it seems to last no time at all.

I noticed this a few years ago, when I was setting up a work bench to process a huge amount of print/film images, with the intention of bring a few thousand examples into the digital age.

Thing were going fine until I found I needed some carriers to hold odd-sized strip of film and negatives, and a lot of small ‘contact’ prints – a lot of the material had come from a Glasgow photographic studio (long gone and demolished).

Unfortunately, it took me a few days to make the trip to buy these goodies, but that short delay led to the end of the project – which has yet to be revived, despite all the stuff still sitting on the same desk.

After buying the extra bits needed, the date changed from October to November… and that year, and just about every year since, I think it’s almost as if some McNastie weather god throws a switch and, over the course of only a few days, we go from “It’s a bit chilly, but I can still work in an unheated room” to “Who are you kidding? Work? I can’t even feel my fingers after a few minutes!”

It looks as if we’re heading rapidly towards the day that damned ‘Cold’ switch is thrown for this year.

The temperature is set to plummet over the weekend – but is it cold enough for snow in Glasgow?

The saying is winter is coming is true for the coming week as temperatures are set to dip to 1C overnight on Saturday and Sunday.

The Met Office is reporting Scotland is set for wintry showers – meaning frost and snow – towards the end of this week and into next.

Snow could hit Glasgow this weekend as temperatures plummet

It will be interesting to see if the usual whining travellers are already practicing their moaning about how the weather has upset their plans, and how the council was not prepared and didn’t do anything to keep THEIR personal routes cleared before everybody else’s.

Want to bet they haven’t read (or will choose to ignore) that Glasgow City Council has not only got its plans in order already, but that this year CYCLE PATHS will be given priority?

Specifically… (DAMN! They’re really only beginning the East City Way – but then again, most of the cycle paths here are on shared footways)

The cycle routes to be given priority status for the first time are the South West City Way and the West City Way and its link with Kelvingrove Park.

Under a pilot programme, the routes will be gritted or cleared alongside the city’s priority 1 footways.

Last year winter gritting began on 29 October and extended through to April after the arrival of the so-called “Beast from the East”.

The new winter plan will involve the clearance of 900km (559 miles) of roads, footpaths and now cycleways.

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “As ever, we always seek to refine and improve our plans and people can have faith that we are prepared in case the worst happens again.

“I am delighted there will be greater support for those who travel to and from the city centre by bike.

Gritters to ‘prioritise’ Glasgow cycle paths this winter

We really need to be more honest, and instead of pointing mockingly at the Council for traffic problems in cold/snowy weather (or worse, joking about what can be a killer), start pointing at the morons who think it is clever to go out and travel in weather condition that are just not safe. Darwin at least removes a few of them every year.

I wonder if they are the same people who go wandering in the hills and mountains wearing t-shirts and jeans at this time of year, then feign surprise when the Mountain Rescue teams have to risk their lives to go get them down before they die>

I really couldn’t find a good weather joke, but this is probably better.

Cold Grumpy Cat

Cold Grumpy Cat

25/10/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


So, first genuine frost hit last night.

I watched the temp fall below zero during the night, and bottom out at -2°C for a short period – it had made it to zero on previous nights, but hadn’t managed to cause frost to form. But, this time…

Chilly Morning

Chilly Morning

Oh well. I suppose that means summer really is over.

I might watch somewhere like Glasgow Green when I get the chance this year – it managed to surprise me last year.

This was the scene I found when I arrived there exactly a year ago (2016).

Glasgow Green Sports

Glasgow Green Sports

30/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment


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