Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Was it really that nice on Monday? (Nope)

Looking at the pics I collected this week I was going to do a weather related series, but various problems have eaten the time not only for that, but some other goodies I collected during a week of travelling. Most of the material isn’t time sensitive, so I’ll be able to get around to it.

The weather was (almost) amusing, since I seemed to leave Glasgow in rotten weather, and arrive in Ayr in nice weather – but in reality, the rotten Glasgow weather was just moving slowly south, and by Thursday, Glasgow’s rain had arrived in Ayr, but not nearly as bad.

I couldn’t make the last day (Friday) so don’t know if it did get as bad as Glasgow by then, but do know it was wet (as in very wet) in Glasgow – as I was out in it later in the day.

Back to Monday (which was the day the weather started going downhill), I was toying with the idea of catching a mural near Kelvingrove, when a girl who had been on the bus decided to get off and walk through my shot. I’d seen her running for the bus, and had been impressed by… how she didn’t seem to feel the cold. The chap that can be seen walking behind, with what looks like a heavy coat on, was more suitably dressed for the day.

Nice Monday

Nice Monday

The weather really is nuts at times.

While I was out and about suffering from a constantly running nose in the cold at the start of the week, by Friday I was finding myself overdressed and bursting into a sweat as I wore a rainproof jacket, and decent shoes as the streets around here are almost flooded in places, as the rate of rainfall is pretty high at times, and paddling through large puddles is sometimes unavoidable.

There are some huge puddles at the side of the road, and they need to be avoided, or timed to pass when there is no traffic, unless you want a bath!



01/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Ayr may have been windy, but at least it was dry

I thought I might have made a mistake after jumping on a bus headed for Ayr yesterday, but when I got back and saw the big puddles and wet roads in Glasgow in the evening, reckoned I had made the right choice after all.

That said, on the sea front it was blowing a mini gale, and my nose wouldn’t stop running – it was noticeably colder than a previous visit a few weeks ago.

Even so, as we are only a few days from June, there were already people whose mindset was already set on ‘summer’.

While I was glad I’d packed a fleece to shove on under my windproof jacket, a few were already wandering the esplanade in shorts and bare feet!

Although none were braving the water (I remember how cold it was when I was a kid, and have never gone back in since), a few were already in ‘holiday mode’ and playing in the sand.

Ayr beach 28 May

Ayr beach 28 May

Since I was suitably ‘well wrapped’ I decided to wander out to the end of the pier, and the lighthouse.

Ayr Pier Lighthouse

Ayr Pier Lighthouse

It was pretty windy out there.

But – the locals had recently had a wee party in the sheltered area below the light.

Sardines and beer. Lovely 🙂

Ayr pier sardines and beer

Ayr pier sardines and beer

The coastguard observation tower was abandoned years ago, I’m almost surprised it has survived to this day and not been demolished by some local councillor wanting to score a few ‘Brownie Point’ for being brave, and removing a poor, defenceless ‘eyesore’.

As a tiny, I always wanted to see inside that tower – not happening now.

Believe it or not, you will find this structure described online as a ‘lighthouse’ on web sites selling stock photos!

I was out of circulation when the black rectangle was installed near the tower, so don’t know how old it is.

The oldest pic I’ve dug up so far dates from 2006, when it looked smarter than it does today. It’s some sort of coal monument or marker (I should have read the story given nearby, but didn’t as my runny nose was getting to be too irritating in the wind off the sea), made of coal dust mixed with resin.

It’s beginning to show its age, and is breaking up. Salty sea air and coastal weather is good at doing that.

Old observation tower and coal art

Old observation tower and coal art

I came back with a surprising haul of pics, so there may be more posts from this ‘chance’ outing.

28/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

I should apologise for wasting everybody’s nice days

While I’m always being told I’, “Imagining it”, I really am jinxed when it comes to picking the right time to go out and avoid downpours.

I think the problem is that I wait for so long before deciding the time to head out is ‘Right’, that the rain I would have avoided had I gone out earlier just comes to a head when I finally make the decision to go out, since it’s been dry, so I nearly always get soaked when I eventually do go out.

Today was a classic example.

After watching it stay nice and dry, and even see the temperature climb from about 6°C to 9°C when I did finally head out…

It not only rained after I was a mile from home (so no turning back), it was an absolute downpour, then…

It turned into a nice little hailstorm too!

It was great watching the water run down my waterproof jacket, then soak into my trousers (I could have wrung the water out of them), and then onto my shoes, which just happened to have fabric uppers since I’d decided to exercise my running shoes which have lain unused for weeks.

This clip simply doesn’t do it justice – I had to dry the camera off before I switched it on (the heavy rain had run into my pocket!) and the worst had passed by the time I got it dry.

The only good thing?

I almost decided to cycle!


06/02/2019 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Scotland’s weather in 2107 so far – glum and damp

I don’t usually stoop so low as to use the weather as inspiration (it’s too soft a target to be fair in Scotland – favourite joke: “Don’t like the weather, just give it ten minutes and something different will arrive“), but when I saw the pic below, well, it just seemed to sum up 2017 so far.

Actually, it sums up quite a few recent years.

Something over ten years ago, a change in my job meant I could walk to work instead of having to take the car every day, in case I was called out to a site. I’d wanted to walk, just for the exercise, but being expected to shoot off to visit clients meant it wasn’t an option.

Back then, although I didn’t notice it at the time, I was able to walk there and back at the start and end of the day wearing a suit, and seldom needed a showerproof jacket or even had to carry an umbrella.

More recently, I don’t dare leave without one or both, or find I come home soaked to the skin, and this year has been a pain. Not only does it often rain once I’m out, we now also seem to get heavy showers which feel as if someone is standing over you and chucking buckets of water at you.

This is in marked contrast to what I used to think of as ‘wet weather’ a few, when it may have rained fairly constantly at times, but the rain was NOT coming down as if it was attacking. I often went out walking, and even if out for an hour could come home and find the falling rain had not actually penetrated what I was wearing. Nowadays, if I get caught out in the rain I often find everything is soaked through (yes, including the skimpies).

No wonder somebody looks lost.

Nessie In Glasgow

Nessie In Glasgow

19/08/2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Beware the Fool’s Autumn

Autumnal farm

Never heard of a Fool’s Autumn before, so when it hit the news headlines being delivered to my desktop I had to have a look.

Turns out it’s a witty reference to a phenomenon said to be arising from a dry summer and lack of rainfall, resulting in trees having their leaves turn autumnal in colour and fall, as they suffer from lack of water. According to records, this is the driest summer in Scotland since 2003.

As an aside, it will be interesting to see if this is followed by dreadful wailing from the farmers with poor crops, who were wailing last year, as it was so wet the crops were reported to be rotting in the fields (cue compensation.)

It has been notably wet in recent years, something I noticed as I walk to and from work. Ten years ago I was doing this wearing a jacket or suit, and seldom needed to wear a waterproof jacket or carry an umbrella. I never really noticed until more recent years, when the roads deteriorated and I found I was regularly having to dodge showers thrown up as traffic hammered through water-filled potholes.

Things have been much more pleasant this year, as the rain has let up. That’s not to say it hasn’t been raining, it has, but unlike previous years, this has been what I would refer to as ‘normal’ rain, by which it mean the rain has not been coming down as if someone was standing overhead and throwing bucket of water on me. I can make it to the shops (around 2 miles or so) without arriving soaked through and dripping, and with the water seeping through my clothes. Under ‘normal’ rain, I might be wet, but will not have had the weight of the rain driving through my clothes, and what I have collected can be shaken off, even if I’ve been walking through it for 40 minutes or so. It’s a nice change.

Over the past few weeks, I had already noticed how the leaves were already beginning to collect in the verges, even though it was only August, which has to be early for autumn, not considered to start  until September 21, according to the calendar. The discarding of leaves at this early stage is the tree’s method of saving water. A proper fall of leaves to mark autumn follows fading sunlight and cold temperatures, a combination which sees leaves lose their chlorophyll, the source of their green pigmentation, leaving the yellow and red pigments.

The Woodland Trust Scotland is asking for people to help record the effect by recording the colours of the leaves on the trees in local parks. Data recorded by the Trust over the past ten years suggests that trees across Scotland on average show the first signs of genuine autumnal colouring during late September, with the full effect appearing in mid-late October.

The Trust is asking the public to use its VisitWoods website to find their nearest wood and record dates of true autumn colour – vivid reds, golds and browns.

See also Nature’s Calendar

Via ‘Fool’s autumn’ for Scotland after dry summer

14/09/2013 Posted by | Appeal | , , , , | Leave a comment


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