Ben Lomond

 

A friend and I managed a walk up Ben Lomond a couple of weekends ago, one of the more popular peaks in the Scottish Highlands. We were not short of fellow travellers, with the mountain being quite busy.

I managed a couple of nice shots on the way up and on the way back down, but sadly the top was just cloud! Ah well, an excuse to do it again in better weather (although I’m not sure there is such a thing as ‘better weather’ in the Scottish highlands…) This shot was my favourite from the day, I think it captures the drama of being up there in the clouds pretty well.

Slow Worm 

This is a Slow Worm – which is neither a snake or a worm… 

It’s actually a type of legless lizard common to the British Isles. A friend and I found this little fella – it is apparently a male by its markings – on the way back down Ben Lomond a couple of Sundays ago. We originally thought we’d found an Adder, but some Googling put us right. 

He’s a wee cracker, and was quite happy to pose for some pictures before slithering away under a rock (not that slowly, either).

Thanks for visiting 🙂 

K

Alcohol, Drugs and Media Cognitive Dissonance 

I spotted this article in a tabloid newspaper. It follows the same formula as most articles about young women dying from taking ecstasy (the media don’t seem to care as much about young men – or anyone else part from young women – dying from taking ecstasy, curiously).

To put it in context, in Scotland in 2015 there were:

  • 15 deaths from ecstasy-type drugs – this being one of the highest rates ever recorded
  • 1,150 alcohol-related deaths

If the newspapers were to report alcohol-related deaths the same way, they would have to print three front pages for each alcohol-related death EVERY DAY.

While this is undoubtedly a tragedy, in the context of drug and alcohol-related deaths you have to wonder why this one tragedy warrants a front cover story. Perhaps because the publishers cynically know that people care more about a young women dying than the scores of older men dying of alcohol-related deaths each year.

Also, the article fails to mention that many ecstasy-related deaths result from the nature of our drug policies. Ecstasy is illegal, therefore we cannot control it’s strength, it’s purity, whom it is sold to or where it is sold; the best we can do is tell people not to take it – when we know for absolute fact that asking somebody not to do something greatly increases the likelihood that they will do it. It’s called reverse psychology – people have a negative reaction to being persuaded or convinced out of a belief, and thus rebel against persuasion. Likewise, deterrence through threat of punishment doesn’t work either, and we’ve known this for decades. But that’s another rant…

Why don’t tabloids report deaths related to alcohol in the same sensationalist way they do ecstasy-related deaths? Perhaps it’s a case of mass cognitive dissonance, with two conflicting opinions about two drugs, despite both being drugs. Conflicting opinions about the dangers of one over the other, despite the evidence showing that it is the legal drug that is most dangerous.

Perhaps it’s because alcohol is the drug of choice for the elite, the media included and ecstasy is the drug of choice for the young and increasingly marginalised?

(not to say they don’t enjoy some Cocaine between friends after a long hard misreporting drug-related deaths to sell more papers – more cognitive dissonance, coupled with corporate greed)
There’s a drug policy debate in Parliament today, several years after the government’s own report finds that decriminalisation is a better approach than the current one, that punishment does not deter use, and that decades of punitive drug policy have failed outright, with drug use and drug-related harm, including deaths, practically rising year on year.

This isn’t because drugs are inherently dangerous – it’s because our drug policies are inherently dangerous, and the corporate media are party to perpetuating anti-drug myths that in turn maintain our current approach – patently the wrong approach – cognitive dissonance and all.

Ben Arthur & Arthur’s Seat

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The weekend before last a friend and I climbed The Cobbler in the Western Scottish Highlands – believe it or not, this stunning view from the highest point on The cobbler – Ben Arthur and Arthur’s Seat – is only an hour and ten minute journey from Glasgow by train to Arrochar and Tarbet station (plus a few hours climb uphill).

The prominent rock in the picture is Arthur’s Seat, not to be confused with the peak of the same name in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Many places in the UK are named after the Mythical King Arthur, whose existence is the subject of debate, as most of the information we have about Arthur comes from folklore.

The loch on the right of the picture is Loch Long, a sea loch which filters out into the Firth of Clyde, south past the Ayrshire Bay and out into the Irish Sea or the Atlantic Ocean, depending on which direction it travels.

More photos from this trip to come!

As always, thanks for visiting 🙂

Double Exposure Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I posted a double exposure shot of some rhodedendron in Rosshall Park, and wanted to share another double exposure shot today.
This one is a bit different – definite ‘goth’ vibe about it I think… My 14 year old mosher self would have loved this, I’m sure.

I put this image together from a shot of the front door in the disused cottage that sits next to one of the gates into Rosshall, overlayed with some bluebells that I came across while wandering about.

Sadly, the soup I tried to make from some wild garlic I picked in the park that day didn’t turn out so well!

Thanks for visiting!

K 🙂

Double Exposure (pt1)

Rhodedendron / Lilley Pond, Rosshall Park, Glasgow.

The Snapseed app, which is a fantastic photo editing app for smart phones, has a new double exposure feature that I thought I’d have a play about with – and was very impressed with the results!

I combined two photos I took in Rosshall Park, Glasgow (a beautiful Park – if you live in Glasgow but haven’t been I reccomended checking it out). The background is of the lilley pond in the park, and I overlayed an image of a rhododendron taken on the same day. I think it looks pretty cool! What do you think?

Thanks for visiting,

K 🙂

Clydeside Sunset 

Oh how I do love the Clyde on a sunny evening in May. Really enjoying the new River walkway the council have built – you can now stroll along the river all the way from the gravings docks to the BAE Shipyard, and it’s lovely 🙂 

Thanks for reading! 

Govan Graving Docks

Govan Graving Docks, Glasgow UK

(click image for more detailed version)

This is one of my quiet places, a big space to wander about in with little chance of bumping into other people. A space to wander in alone with my thoughts. The site is totally unique in Scotland, and a reminder of Govan, and Glasgow’s, shipbuilding heritage. The term ‘graving’ refers to the process of coating the bottom of boats with pitch to prepare them for long sea journeys, and this was the main purpose of the docks as well as ship repairs.

Sadly there are plans to turn the space into flats, probably flats that nobody in Govan can afford (queue the gentrification of Govan?). Developments on the site were originally touted to be around the idea of promoting the heritage of the site and perhaps building a museum or something similar that the community could access and enjoy, but as always it comes down to money and so they’ll wreck this historically significant site to build some bland luxury apartments so the middle classes can enjoy a shorter commute to their tax-avoiding city jobs.

I’ll be enjoying the space as much as I can until then.

Thanks for visiting and taking the time to read 🙂

Glasgow Dental Hospital

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Via Wikipedia:

The Glasgow Dental Hospital and School is a dental teaching hospital, situated in the Garnethill area of the city centre of Glasgow, Scotland. Dental students have been educated in Glasgow since 1879, and the Dental School began issuing the Bachelor of Dental Surgery Degree of the University of Glasgow in 1948. The current hospital is based in a 1931 Art Deco building on Renfrew Street. Designed by Wylie, Wright, and Wylie, is protected as a category B listed building. There is also a larger extension fronting Sauchiehall Street built in the brutalist style by Melville Dundas & Whitson in 1970. The West of Scotland Postgraduate Dental Centre is located adjacent to the Dental School and provides post-graduate and distance dental education.