Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Surprise mural in Elmbank Street and Sauchiehall Lane

Another of those little surprises that pops up when you happen to look in a different direction from usual.

I’ve no idea how long I might have been passing this without ever having noticed it.

Nor can I recall seeing it mentioned in any guides to murals which can be found in Glasgow – but I don’t look too closely at them, preferring to find these gems by chance, like this.

It’s maybe too new/recent to have been included.

As far as I can see from past pics of the lane, this was not there in 2017, but appeared in early 2018.

Also, that irritating street light only appeared on the wall recently.

Sauchiehall Lane Elmbank Street Mural

Sauchiehall Lane Elmbank Street Mural

Again, this is one you can’t see properly because of the restricted view into the lane, so I had a go at some perspective correction to see if I could improve the view.

I hope I haven’t made him too fat.

Straightened Sauchiehall Lane Mural

Straightened Sauchiehall Lane Mural


Jan 14, 2019 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

They killed the Hip Hop Marionettes

Well THAT wasn’t much good.

After clearing the view of the Hip Hop Marionettes mural…

They just knocked it down!

Spotted recently as I slipped through Glasgow and headed home via George Square one night.

Although I know there was a load of redevelopment underway at the top end of John Street, I hadn’t realised it stretched all the way down to George Street.

I guess that means an end to students getting grabbed in John Street to act as witnesses for weddings in the former John Street registry office. I remember getting the warning about that one – then carelessly letting myself get caught one day.

Well, there are worse things that can happen.

George Street Hip Hop Marionettes Gone

George Street Hip Hop Marionettes Gone

Jan 6, 2019 Posted by | Lost, photography, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

That Stan Lee mural

I missed a few chances to fly past this (for various reasons) when it was revealed, although I did make it across to the Gorbals a few nights ago and bagged it in the dark, in case I couldn’t get back.

That was really more of a route finder, so you’re not going to see that pic, despite it turning out surprisingly well.

A proper visit in daylight followed, which proved interesting as I bumped into a nice man who was even more serious about collection Glasgow’s various murals than me (I just catch them when, and if, mostly by chance rather than design).

That said, we were both at this one as it’s already known it is only temporary, and will be gone in a few weeks (to be replaced by… windows!)

There was also a little stream of people arriving to grab their pic too.

Interesting chat too, as we both notice how a number of murals around the city are already being lost, either to the slightly unfortunate progress of development around the city, and opening of businesses/shops in previously empty building or shops that provided wall space.

Or, something not so understandable and excusable, somebody deciding that the murals have to go, and destroying them, or painting them over.

Bear in mind these comments DON’T refer to graffiti vandalism or similar property damage, but decent murals, not painted on private property, people’s homes, or their doors or walls. Anything put up by scummy Banksy wannabes – I’m happy to see that exterminated a few nanoseconds after it appears. Same goes for the vandal behind it too.

I always wonder what eventually happened to an Australian student who decided to play this game few years ago, sprayed his crap on any clean wall/door he could find, then went crying to the media when he was caught and told he was going to be deported for his crime of repeated vandalism. Sad to say, the media never reported the end of that story (or he got a slap on the wrist – hardly good clickbait for a tired old hack to impress their editor with, and ask for bonus),

Stan Lee Mural

Stan Lee Mural

Dec 31, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The Red Mutant of Anderston is DEAD!

It took a while for this one to sink in, as I passed under an access ramp in Anderston, and thought things didn’t look quite ‘right’.

I was… right.

The Red Mutant of Anderston had been evicted!

All the ramp supports had been treated to the same coat of anonymous grey paint, removing any moronic graffiti and tagging of the local brain-dead, but unfortunately also evicting the rather nice and friendly looking Red Mutant I had recorded there a few weeks earlier.

It really was quite well executed, unlike most other unofficial offerings, and should have earned a place on Glasgow’s growing Mural Trail.

While we need an active clean-up team removing the disgusting rubbish that defaces many public spaces, similarly, we would seem to need some sort of rules or guidance to spot and retain material that is not offensive or illegal, or which causes distress to owners of private property if their walls and/or doors are vandalised by the disreputable cum side of this art.

No More Red Mutant Of  Anderston

No More Red Mutant Of Anderston

Goodbye, Red.

We will always remember you.

The Red Mutant Of Anderston

The Red Mutant Of Anderston

Dec 19, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

New Stan Lee mural… and weather

I try to avoid weather posts, they could be a daily event in Scotland, but sometimes…

The media carried news of a new mural in Glasgow, dedicated to Stan Lee, who finally passed away at 95.

Most of them latched on to the story, as it’s an obvious source of good clickbait for them, and bound to attract lots of clicks for them, with little effort by their hacks.

Here’s the top three that beckoned me.

Stan Lee tribute mural created in Glasgow’s Gorbals

11ft mural for comics legend Stan Lee unveiled in Glasgow

(Interesting to note the usual ‘Scotsman’ morons didn’t manage to come up with a single comment after this article.)

Marvel-lous mural of Stan Lee unveiled in Glasgow

Then our local source even managed TWO articles!

Stunning Stan Lee tribute mural appears in the Gorbals

The story behind Glasgow’s Stan Lee mural

How do you connect this to the weather?

I’ve been stuck indoors for a few days.

I dared venture out last night (since we’ve had reasonably dry days, of chilly), and almost crippled myself when I found one of those stupid cast iron fence supports in the dark, as I was leaving our local park. Painted black, of course, it reinforces the edge of the gate. Today, I’m limping.

This kept me up/awake, so I know that there wasn’t a drop of rain all night, but it was gusting wind.

I thought I MIGHT be able to nip across to the Gorbals and grab a pic of the Stan Lee mural.

How silly of me.

I fell asleep around 7 am, when I woke a couple of hours later – it was, of course, raining.

As if by magic, my weather station shows the rain didn’t start until I woke up, just before 9 am.

And that means no 2 hour trip to the mural, since I can’t jump in a nice, warm, dry car.

The mural was painted by Glasgow artist EJEK, who is also known for his work at Strathclyde University and the Clutha Vaults. I’ve collected quite a few of his murals in this blog, some of which are HUGE!

For the moment, you’ll have to make do with the pic he released.

Stan Lee Mural Credit Danny McDermott (AKA EJEK)

Stan Lee Mural Credit Danny McDermott (AKA EJEK)

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

Missed Mitchell Street mural

Not sure how I came to miss this mural in Mitchell Street.

I’ve been there often enough, and spotted the other ones (the taxi and the giant girl), but somehow never noticed it.

And it’s rather nice.

Mitchell Street Mural

Mitchell Street Mural

But, this pic came with a surprise extra.

Have you spotted it? I didn’t at the time.

Look at the window-ledge top left corner of the pic.

Unfortunately, although it looks like daylight, this was a late night pic, so there’s not a lot of detail.

Window ledge Oddness

Window ledge Oddness

Guess this is ANOTHER one I have to try to remember to revisit.

Dec 1, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Purrple Cat Cafe sign – (problems!)

I did say I would arrange to take pics of the sign over the door of the Purrple Cat Cafe when it got dark, and I did.

But I didn’t anticipate the problems it would bring.

I make no apologies for having processed the image below within an inch (2.54 cm) of its life.

Purrple Cat Cafe Sign Lit

Purrple Cat Cafe Sign Lit

In reality, it comes out GREEN!

Having seen it in the half-light for so long, I just didn’t think of the combined effect of a dark night, a white sign, and purple background illumination.

Plus, the amazing human eye hides all those effects, and you see it as a white sign with purple highlights – then you get home, and the shock sets in when you review your catches.

I don’t know if a stand-alone shot can be tweaked, or photographed in full manual (or RAW) to stop the camera from being confused. Even processing such a shot might prove impractical, and take way too much time.

I might try this if there again under similar circumstances.

This wider shot better shows the appearance of this sign, balanced by surroundings.

Purrple Cat Cafe Night

Purrple Cat Cafe Night

There’s another (brighter) sign to the left, but I didn’t even try for that one.

Such signs burn out to peak white, unless you are prepared to play with compensation, or just go manual (or trick the auto).

Creepy neighbour wants in (or out)

Actually one of Glasgow’s lesser known murals, the girl trapped in the derelict shop next door looks as if she wants to leave her ‘home’ and visit the cat cafe.

Creepy Cat Cafe Neighbour

Creepy Cat Cafe Neighbour

Another view shows the occasional crowd that can gather at the window if any of the resident cats decide it’s nap time, settles down there, and get noticed by a passer-by.

A crowd gathers

A crowd gathers

Nov 19, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Great directions – and an almost invisible long cat mural

“No problem, just head for Victoria’s, and you’ll see it on a wall”.

Remind me NEVER to go looking for something without at least a cursory check on its location.

Glasgow grew a new cat mural last week, but weather and other commitments meant I couldn’t whizz into Sauchiehall Street for a quick pic.

And the “Head’s up” I got to its existence with friendly directions…

First, Victoria’s was a nightclub destroyed by a fairly major fire some time ago (almost taking Glasgow’s famous Pavilion Theatre with it). Victoria’s is no longer there, nor is the building, which was totally removed and became a gap site.

Second, since I don’t frequent nightclubs, those directions weren’t really great.

Third, turns out the new mural is not on a wall as such, but on a wooden fence placed in front of the gap site, presumably to stop the locals falling off Sauchiehall Street and into the gap (as they suck on their Buckie bottles).

There’s a fourth – turns out that the damned thing is currently almost hidden/lost behind some temporary fencing surrounding works in the middle of that particular part of Sauchiehall Street.

I went flying past it when I arrived there, and didn’t even spot in broad daylight.

Consequently, I spent the next two hours tramping along Sauchiehall Street, from end to end, and up and down all the side streets looking for it.

Back at Victoria’s gap site, I was about to give up and go home (it was getting dark, we’d reach around 17:00) when I turned around and looked through the blue netting strung around that temporary fencing in the middle of that part of Sauchiehall Street.

There were playful kittens looking back at me through it!

Yup, I was standing across the road from the new cat mural, and hadn’t even seen it.

The fencing made it impossible to get a clear view and a decent pic (not to mention the folk who stopped to take a pic of a tiny little bit of it with the phones), and when I suggested it was long above, I really meant it – this is one loooooooooooooooong mural.

I had to resort to a few tricks to get pics, in the fading light, so hope they’re not too bad.

These pics can all be clicked to expand them.

Long mural is… long.

Sauchiehall Cat Mural Wide

Sauchiehall Cat Mural Wide

The cats on the left, complete with Crazy Cat Lady’s fetching ankles and cat slippers.

Sauchiehall Cat Mural Left Detail

Sauchiehall Cat Mural Left Detail

And the ones on the right.

Sauchiehall Cat Mural Right Detail

Sauchiehall Cat Mural Right Detail

I tried a shot through the fence, but couldn’t even get in front of the cats thanks to cabins standing in the enclosed area, blocking the view.

Sauchiehall Cat Mural Fenced

Sauchiehall Cat Mural Fenced

Did you spot the Grumpy Cat Wallpaper?

Grumpy Pee

Well THAT was inevitable 🙂

Nov 5, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

St Enoch, St Mungo, and a robin

Continuing my current frustrating run of ‘wrong time, wrong place’ events, I was less than pleased to find I’d chosen a route that had me heading down High Street, one corner away from catching Glasgow’s newest mural just as it was being completed, which would have been the perfect match for its partner, on the other end of the same tenement block, which I did come across just before it was completed.

By the time I could get back to George Street, this one was completed.

St Enoch St Mungo Robin Mural George Street

St Enoch St Mungo Robin Mural George Street

Don’t know about that forearm though. Compare it to the wrist. Maybe a scaling slip?

The new mural’s older partner, at the other end of the block.

High Street Mural

High Street Mural

Pulling back a bit, to show the nearby High Street junction, reveals this to lie just across from one of my favourite buildings, the old Holroyd Art Gallery, which is set to be no longer as this corner is redeveloped as new student accommodation.

There’s nothing notable about this old survivor other than it is simply that, a survivor that has always been there, even it was closed and most of the building was abandoned. It’s a bit like the ‘comfy old shoes’ effect – they’re not great, but you like them.

Click for a little bigger.

St Enoch St Mungo George Street Mural

St Enoch St Mungo George Street Mural

Aug 28, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

The red mutant of Anderston

Just along from Anderston station there’s a red, triple-eyed and two-nosed mutant waiting to greet you, painted on one of the piers supporting a slip road.

Not exactly what you expect as you come down one of the handy walkways and cycle paths.

Makes you stop for a moment though.

And better than the graffiti, or worse, the ‘tagging’ of some morons.

The Red Mutant Of Anderston

The Red Mutant Of Anderston

Aug 26, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Vandalised mural in Greenfield Park

Greenfield Park isn’t really on any of my wandering routes, so if I ever get tos see what’s in there, I have to make a definite detour, and divert into the place.

I wandered along one of the paths that seemed to lead back to the houses, and found this mural on one of the perimeter walls, maybe backing onto some garages, but I’m not sure.

As I walked along, I spotted some sort of picture on the wall, and I’m guessing it was made by some kids from the nearby school.

Simple enough, out of the way, done by kids – but still no respect shown by the usual dross of taggers and vandals.

Click for slightly bigger.

Greenfield Park Vandalised Mural

Greenfield Park Vandalised Mural

Aug 4, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

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