Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Christmas in The Forge

Just a quick shot of Christmas as seen in the Forge Shopping Centre in Parkhead.

It’s really weird, I seem to be in such a hurry to get places this year I almost miss these things.

Then again, maybe it’s the lack of true frosty days we’ve had in past years, which means that my brain is not clicking fully into ‘Christmas Mode’.

And there are still no thronging crowds in the city centre. Busy, yes, but not the ‘sardine packing’ I’ve become used to.

Has online shopping now arrived for real?

It’s strange weather-wise – there have only been a few nights with light frost, clearing quickly, and I have seen days hit 11-15°C in the past week. While it is by no means warm, it’s nearly as cold as recent years at this time.

Even the high wind warning we have in place for today is being thwarted.

As I write as we head towards noon, the Sun is shining in a blue sky with clouds.

But an hour or so ago it was dull, there was a shower, and the wind was so strong it ripped a branch of a spruce tree, and it landed almost at my feet, complete with five cones still attached!

Christmas Forge

Christmas Forge


Dec 7, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Splitting Hairs

Another from the shutter mural collection (glad I never featured them all together, they come in handy when the weather is dire, or I have nothing current to hand, but that never happens now – TIME is the real limiting factor).

It’s another of those slightly weird concepts, a bit freaky and psychedelic.

A couple of observations…

That looks like TWO CCTV cameras on the façade – clearly, you can NEVER have too much CCTV!

I’m surprised the sign doesn’t have at least one apostrophe randomly thrown in somewhere – there are just so many opportunities.

And now I can add a new ‘find’ I made recently, when I discovered ‘Gents’ is not generally considered to be an acceptable abbreviation for ‘Gentlemen’, but refers to a public convenience, aka Public Lavvies, or even ‘bogs’.

I’m sure you can extend the list 😉

Splitting Hairs Shutter Mural

Splitting Hairs Shutter Mural

Nov 20, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

This is the BBC

This is the BBC, but not the one most of you know.

This is the Belvidere Bowling Club, somewhere between Parkhead and Dalmarnock.

The area is technically neither, since it was, or I should say still is Belvidere, but it’s a name rarely used nowadays, since Belvidere Hospital was closed and trashed to make way for some new houses in advance of the dopey 2014 Commonwealth Games staged in Glasgow.

Those houses were never finished – I was watching them being built.

Once about half the site had been developed, work seemed to stall.

After a while it looked as if it was about to restart, but it was just a final effort to landscape the ground that had been cleared, and partly prepared for foundations. The contractor probably had to restore, or get slapped with penalties for abandoning it.

Well, that’s my guess anyway.

The plots are still bare today, and can be seen from London Road, or via Google Earth.

I always think it’s kind of funny that it has ‘BBC’ in its wrought-iron gate.

Belvidere Bowling Club

Belvidere Bowling Club

Aug 14, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Parkhead bus garage

Sometimes, pics just don’t work.

I wasn’t going to use this pic, but that would have been wrong.

Parkhead bus garage wasn’t particularly noticeable. It certainly wasn’t busy, and I seldom met a bus going in or out, but to be fair, it did seem busier inside.

Being so quiet, it took a while for me to realise it was shut PERMANENTLY, and not just closed when I happened to pass.

Looking through the locked gates, all that could be seen was a wide yard with some fairly anonymous early 20th century industrial buildings – big enough for buses to drive in and out of.

Little to see through the viewfinder, as everything had been cleared away, and without any buses lying around, it could have been anywhere.

In the end, I took the pic below, just to mark the existence of the place.

Just as well.

Not long after this, the demolition experts moved in, and the place was razed, leaving no trace or evidence of the old place.

One of my route changes followed, so I haven’t seen the site for a while, but it looked as if the land was going to be developed. It looked as new access roads/routes were being laid towards it the last time I passed.

Parkhead Bus Garage

Parkhead Bus Garage

Jul 15, 2018 Posted by | Lost, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Big box of – NOTHING!

Wandering around as I do, the occasional ‘find’ turns up, but they really are occasional, and as for being worth the effort of bending down to look at, alone recover… the less said about the better.

With assorted debris scattered around the grassy verge, I didn’t expect much from a plastic toolbox I tripped over on some deserted grassland around Parkhead – and I wasn’t disappointed.

As you can see, probably not even worth the photons to take the pic, but at least worth the effort for a blog post.

It was a little intriguing, as the fan seen lying nearby was typical of anything else I found – whatever had been in this box had been completely dismantled, and I don’t mean by being smashed, and scattered around.

Big Box Of Nothing

Big Box Of Nothing

Even the box/case was useless.

Not evident from the pic, it was distorted, so didn’t even work as a case since it wouldn’t close, and none of the catches, or edges, lined up.

Apr 17, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Clyde Walkway Stepway

Just to make the break from Glasgow and the High Street area, a little further along towards Parkhead.

I’m not sure why I grabbed this view, but I do seem to have a vague memory that on the day I was there I was sure the handrail on these steps leading down to the Clyde Walkway (also cycle route 75) had been changed. But I don’t think I’ve got an earlier pic to prove it.

You don’t have to bump up and down if you do decide to exit or enter the cycle route here, as they’ve included a nice sloping path just out of sight, to the left.

It’s nice and quiet here, now that much of the assorted works and developments that were underway here a few years ago have finally come to an end. Across the river you’ll find the now not so new park opened on Cunningar Loop, made easier to access thanks to the new footbridge they eventually completed to provide access from this side of the river – instead of having to go most of the way to Rutherglen, through Dalmarnock, to get there.

Clyde Walkway Stepway

Clyde Walkway Stepway

Apr 7, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Shiny heffalump spotted at The Forge

While I’m a bit of a stickler for adhering to the few laws and restrictions we have on photography in this country – especially because some sheriffs seem to think they can (and do) get away with inventing their own to suit themselves – if there’s a way around them, or someone has invented their own (probably enforced not by legal means, but by threats), then that something of an invitation.

While it’s perfectly legitimate, I was a little surprised to see ‘NO PHOTOGRAPHY’ signs distributed amongst some goods on sale in the Forge Market (as distinct from the nearby Forge shopping centre).

I suppose I should have, but since my cameras might have been spotted I felt it was safer not to ask why stalls selling sparkly mirrored ornaments were deemed out of bound by the stallholders – seems like free advertising to me.

But maybe the curse of the mobile phone and its ever-present inbuilt camera meant more people wanted a selfie or pic taken with the flashy tat as a background, and were making a nuisance of themselves.

Still, I’d be curious to know where someone who puts up such a sign draws the line if, for example, someone takes a pic and their stall is in the background, or caught in a corner.

I happened to be passing through The Forge, where there are shops selling the same stuff, so when I spotted a handy heffalump sitting in one of their windows, and was looking for suitable subjects to test a lens, I managed a handy test shot, AND circumvented the ‘ban’.

Nice lens, easily knocked the background out of focus as intended.

Shiny Heffalump

Shiny Heffalump

Feb 3, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Sculpture at The Forge

I’d forgotten about this pic, taken originally as a test when evaluating a new lens.

Having had it drummed into my head that fixed lenses are so much better than zooms, the idea was to audition a 35 mm standard lens to see the difference compared to my usual zooms.

Frankly, at least for handheld working outside a studio… fixed lenses are a disaster. Something I can state after a few days of misery after trying to live with such things.

All of a sudden everywhere shrinks, and you can’t stand far enough back from anything to get it fitted into the frame.

By the same token, anything in the distance is suddenly too far away to reach.

Possibly the most irritating thing revealed by this is that the arrival of well-developed zoom designs in recent years, sensors that exceed the resolution of most lenses, and signal processing and editing that makes ‘wet’ darkroom processing look archaic, means that going fixed is really just masochism.

While there’s nothing wrong with this sculpture pic, I couldn’t get it all in frame, or would have odd geometry and distortion from tilting the lens.

With my usual zoom, I could quickly have stood at the right distance to avoid tilting the camera and introducing unnecessary distortion.

And I haven’t even touched on the lack of vibration reduction or anti-shake with many fixed lenses.

Memory fade has set in already, but I think there is an explanation of the story behind this sculpture nearby, but I haven’t been nearby since that day, so haven’t managed any reminders to help my memory along.

Forge Sculpture

Forge Sculpture

Bonus test pic

This was another pic that sealed the fate of the fixed lens.

I tried taking a pic of a single windowed shop front, and below you can see as much as could capture with a ‘standard’ lens, with my back against a car parked next to the kerb.

Not even close, I’d have to go stand in traffic to capture something that I regularly photograph either from the pavement in front, or more usually by zooming in from the opposite side of the road – all in perfect safety.

Shop Window

Shop Window (almost)

I found another downside – the fast lens means it tends to work at wide aperture in low light, which means narrow depth of field, unless care is taken to control that before taking the shot. And there’s more. Without vibration reduction, stopping down the aperture leads to camera shake risk.

Often cited as a disadvantage by ‘armchair experts’, the smaller maximum aperture of most zooms means these problems can usually be forgotten, and take care of themselves.

Feb 1, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

The Legacy Hub at night

This is unusual. Evidence of life here.

I generally walk past this – The Legacy Hub – during daylight hours, but must do so on the wrong days as it always seems to be closed and deserted. Which is odd, given it houses the area’s Medical Centre.

While that appears to be open (the section to the right), I still don’t see anybody using the seated area to the left, signed as a café.

I’ve read that this smaller building/extension was part of a deal done to be allowed to parachute the big empty Emirate Arena that lies behind. I guess the name is a sop to the once often repeated ‘Lasting Legacy’ promised to residents in the wake of the silly 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Legacy Hub Night

Legacy Hub Night

Apart from taking this shot just to see if I could (remember, I don’t use a tripod, all shots are handheld), and test a lesson.

The night shot part is interesting in this case, as the sky, almost black when the pic was taken, is almost a match for the façade.

I did knock back the brightness in the café area, as it was so bright it almost blew out the internal detail.

The lesson?

Normally I insist on catching whole buildings, and avoiding cut-off roofs, corners, or ends.

That usually means having to correct the perspective later, as the camera has to be tilted.

This time, I tried to avoid my natural instinct and hold the camera level (almost – that missing upper vertex was killing me).

Well, what do you know? It works, and no perspective post-processing needed.

I left in a little converging perspective.

I see many pics that have had ALL the perspective edited out, and have perfectly vertical building edges.

I think these look horribly unnatural, as the human eye is used to seeing buildings with at least some perspective, and all natural views (what you see for real with your eyes) demonstrate converging perspective as verticals lead up to a natural vanishing point.

Dec 14, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, 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

Oct 13, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport, Uncategorized | , , , , | 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

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

%d bloggers like this: