UPDATE: Aberdeenshire Horror Story – Glen o’Dee Hospital, Banchory

Fire at Glen o’Dee hospital

A few months ago I visited an old abandoned hospital which looked like this…

Breaking news overnight now showed it looking like this which…

And today this…

According to reports two 13 year old boys have now been arrested…


Read the full story: Aberdeenshire Horror Story: Glen o’Dee Hospital, Banchory

This post has also been entered in the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge with the theme Local.

OMG! Parabens

A note on the feared ingredient “Paraben”. What is it? Why is it harmful? What are the alternative solutions.

Source: OMG! Parabens

If you would like a reblog on Steve Says…see the details here.

I’ve Been Trolled: Why Be An Internet Troll When You Can Be An Internet Moomin?

The Moomins

Internet Trolls

It’s a sad fact of life that there has always been vile people in the world making even more vile comments. In the days of social media it’s given these “trolls”  a much wider audience…

I have been blogging for almost three years and I guess I have been fortunate up to now that all my comments have been positive. However, that’s just changed.

For some reason I’ve just been targeted by some trolls leaving nasty comments which initially I took personally but I soon got over it. It was also quite timely that when I checked out the latest video on my favourite vocal coach extraordinaire’s You Tube channel, Fel, she too has suffered the trolls and has some great advice…

Events such as the George Square tragedy in Glasgow have also given these trolls the attention that they absolutely don’t deserve. When I was still quite new to the whole tweeting thing I hold my hand up and admit I have had jibes at celebrities. My poor excuse is “it’s just too easy to do these days” but I would hate to think I’d ever upset anyone. Twitter should come with a rulebook i.e. if you don’t have something nice to say – say nothing!

I want to now try and stick to my own Social Media rule…

“Don’t be an internet troll – be an internet Moomin”

What on Earth is a Moomin you might well ask. Well, they were a popular cartoon on the television when I was growing up and what they are is…

“The Moomins are the central characters in a series of books, and a comic strip by Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson, originally published inSwedish by Schildts[2] in Finland. They are a family of white, roundish fairy tale characters with large snouts that make them resemble hippopotamuses. The carefree and adventurous family live in their house in Moominvalley, though in the past, their temporary residences have included a lighthouse and a theatre. They have had many adventures along with their various friends.”

The Moomins

Basically trolls are nasty and Moomins are nice, I’m going to be nice on the internet so therefore I’m going to be an internet Moomin.

What’s even better is that there is a Moomin for everyone so you can decide which one you want to be. After you’ve had a look at the video – pick below from the character that best describes you…all together now “ba, ba, ba, bababa ba the Moomins…”

Moominpappa: Father of the family, but boyish and adventurous. He likes to be present when something unusual happens. He is philosophical at times and likes writing his memoirs.

Moominmamma: The calm mother, who takes care that Moominhouse is a safe place to be. She wants everyone to be happy, appreciates individuality, but settles things when someone is wronged. She always brings good food as well as whatever else may be necessary on a journey in her handbag.

Moomin: The little boy of the family, interested in and excited about everything he sees and finds, always trying to be good, but sometimes getting into trouble while doing so, he is very brave and always finds a way to make his friends happy.

The Hemulens: Creatures that believe in order and like to boss other people around, but find it difficult to listen to anyone and lack a sense of humor. Many hemulens like collecting stuff, and have little time to think about much else.

Sniff: A small creature, who lives in the Moomin house. He likes to take part in everything, but is afraid to do anything dangerous. Sniff appreciates all valuables and makes many plans to get rich, but does not succeed.

Snork Maiden: Moomin’s girlfriend. She is happy and energetic, but often suddenly changes her mind on things. She loves nice clothes and jewelry and is a little flirtatious.

The Snork: Snorkmaiden’s brother. He is an introvert by nature and is always inventing things. The residents of Moominvalley often ask Snork for help solving tricky problems and building machines. Snorks are like moomintrolls, but change colour according to their mood.

Snufkin: Moomin’s best friend. The lonesome philosophical traveller, who likes to play the harmonica and wanders around the world with only a few things, so as not to make his life complicated. He always comes and goes as he pleases, is carefree and has lots of admirers in Moominvalley. He is also shown to be quite fearless and calm in even the most dire situations, which has proven to be a great help to Moomintroll and the others when in danger.

Little My: A mischievous tomboyish little girl, who lives in the Moomin house and has a brave, spunky personality. She likes adventure, but loves catastrophes, and often does mean things on purpose. She finds messiness and untidiness exciting and is very down to earth, when others aren’t.

The younger Mymble, also referred to as “the Mymble’s daughter”: Little My’s amiable and helpful big sister, and half-sister of Snufkin. She often has romantic daydreams about the love of her life, particularly policemen.

Too-Ticky: A wise woman, and good friend of the family. She has a boyish look, with a blue hat and a red-striped shirt. She dives straight into action to solve dilemmas in a practical way. Too Ticky is the one of the people in Moominvalley, who does not hibernate, instead spending the winter in the cozy sauna building of the Moominhouse.

Mrs Fillyjonk: A female rodent-like being who believes order and principle are vital to life, and she does not want her three children to learn bad habits. She easily loses her temper and even the slightest misfortune depresses her. She is often seen cleaning the house.

The Hattifatteners Mushroom-like silent creatures, that wander around the world eternally, often in large groups, wanting to reach the horizon. They travel by boat and get attracted by lightning, when they become electric and quite dangerous.

Thingumy and Bob: Inseparable twins, with their own funny language, which a Hemulen deciphers, consisting largely of spoonerisms and similar inversions of words and syllables. Moomin eventually gets the hang of it, while Sniff thinks they are speaking a foreign language. They like to hide in small places, but to others it is not always clear what they are up to. They do not know what is theirs and steal Moominmama’s handbag to live in, which they soon return when they realise how much she needs it. The ruby they stole is, however not returned to the groke at all. They swap the ruby for another ruby with the Hobgoblin (Finn Family Moomintroll).

The Groke: A ghost-shaped creature that scares everyone, she says nothing (she growls) and the ground freezes below her. The other characters are afraid of her, but she is just simply very lonely. The Groke is also attracted to fire, but when she sees it and sits on it, the fire will extinguish.

Stinky: A small furry creature that always plays jokes on the family in the house, where he sometimes lives. He likes pinching things, is proud of his reputation as a crook, but always gets found out. He is simple and only thinks of himself.

The Muddler (Moomins): Living in a coffee tin, this anxious collector stores away all the buttons he finds, but his carelessness with the collection makes him lose and forget things. The Fuzzy is the Muddler’s wife, whom he met on an adventure with Moominpappa. Sniff is their child, but he lives with the Moomins.

Have you chosen? Let me know which one you are in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014 and, remember…

“Don’t be an internet troll – be an internet Moomin”

Travelling By Bus Advice

Stagecoach claim ‘fragile economy’ to blame for bus cuts

National bus chain Stagecoach are citing a “fragile economy” as one of the main reasons behind controversial cuts to bus services.



I only recently passed my driving test so this won’t affect me but I used to travel by bus fairly often and I actually quite enjoyed it.

For those of us who still travel frequently by bus here’s some of my advice.

Be prepared…

Okay, so you’ve checked the timetable and you now know when the bus is due to arrive. You’ve checked where the nearest bus stop is and worked out what time you should leave so you can get to the bus stop in plenty time and you’ve then walked all the way to the bus stop.  It’s safe to assume that by now you know you will be getting on a bus quite soon so why, oh why, do some people still wait until they are standing in front of the driver to get their money/ticket ready.

Come on people, don’t hold up all the prepared people standing behind you in the pouring rain and BE READY TO BOARD!

Learn from air travellers – they practically wave their boarding passes above their heads like Olympic flags as soon as they enter the airport.

Be courteous…

If there is someone less secure on their feet than yourself waiting in the queue then please let them get on the bus first. Bus drivers are not usually the most considerate people in the world and they never wait until everyone is sitting comfortably before moving off. This is normally fine for people with a secure footing, however, for those not so steady on their feet, if they are not seated in plenty time they could end up kissing the back window in no time as the driver speeds off.

Give up your seat for....men with stick weilding penises, giant babies, hemorrhoid sufferers, armless ladies & ladies with lollipop breasts...

Give up your seat for….men with stick wielding penises, giant babies, haemorrhoid sufferers, armless ladies & ladies with lollipop breasts…

Always give up your seat for priority travellers. If you can’t grasp that concept then don’t sit in those seats in the first instance.

Choose your seat wisely…

If the bus is not too busy then keep at least one empty seat between you and the nearest passenger. Don’t invade their space unnecessarily.

If the bus is almost full then sit next to the first person with an en empty seat next to them. If you don’t then that person will be left wondering why no one will sit next to them…”Do I smell?”…”Do I look mean?” etc.

Once you have found your seat and are ready for your journey, don’t put your rucksack/suitcase/purse/kitchen sink on the seat next to you so that no one else can sit there – this is not a Forrest Gump movie  and that seat is not “taken”.

Your fellow passengers…

By all means listen to your iPod but don’t have it blaring. I don’t force people to listen to my taste in music so why should others be forced to listen to yours.

If you sit next to someone with headphones on – don’t speak to them. THEY CAN’T HEAR YOU!

If you must chew gum then just chew it. No one wants to see it so keep your mouth shut and don’t show it off. Don’t crack it and definitely don’t stick it under the seat when you are done with it.

What other people do on their phones is private so don’t try to look at the text message they are currently reading or writing however tempting it might be…

Don’t be gross!

What I mean by that is don’t pick your spots, your ears or your nose and most certainly don’t perform any other bodily function that most people consider an “indoor” activity and absolutely not appropriate for public transport.

Ssssshhhh – use your “inside voice”. No one else wants to hear how boring your conversation is so just take it down a notch or two, okay?

Have a pleasant onward journey…

If you know exactly where your end stop is then don’t press the “dinger” a micro-second after it’s left the stop before yours. Travelling by bus is not a quiz show. The fastest finger won’t get the opportunity to become a millionaire and everyone will still get off the bus safely even if you just sit on your ass and wait a few more minutes.

This is not a quiz show buzzer...

This is not a quiz show buzzer…

Never get out of your seat whilst the bus is turning around a corner. This will only ever end up with you falling over and most likely landing in some other passenger’s lap. Other passengers do not appreciate unwelcome lap dancers.

Thank the driver…

After all, they have provided you with a service.

On the buses...

On the buses…

Plastic Bags: Remember Me And Save 5p


5p charge sees six billion fewer single-use plastic bags

The plastic bag charge is a huge success in the UK despite initial reactions against it…

In the UK, Scotland are always the trendsetters and England follow. England have just introduced the “plastic bag rule” but since October 20th 2014 in Scotland every retailer charged 5p for every new carrier bag issued.

The post that follows is what I thought at the time and let’s just say that a year or two on I have enough “bags for life” to last me a hundred lifetimes!

Why the charge? Didn’t the ozone layer grow back? Surely now we can be cut some slack on the “save the environment” nonsense? I for one will NOT be paying 5p for a carrier bag even if that means I have to juggle my shopping all the way home…

However, my supermarket circus skills are not what they should be so that’s not an option. What will I do? Well, I’m going to take my trustworthy holiday suitcase with me every time I go shopping…

It only gets used once a year at the moment so I really will be getting my money’s worth from it!

What about the all those shiny 5p’s that I will be saving? What will I do with them?

Thinking back to those days when my Gran would give me a 5p and seriously advise me “don’t spend it all in one shop” what did I do with it?

I. Bought. Sweets.

That’s exactly what I will do with the 5p that I am saving by not succumbing to the “paying for a plastic carrier bag scandal” that is about to sweep Scotland. The big question is, what five “penny sweets” would I buy? Let’s find out…

5 – Fruit Salad or Black Jack

This may seem like I’m spending 2p but I’m not really as these two delightful chews were part of a double act. If you wanted to be a bit posh and healthy by eating something that was a chemical combination of pineapple and raspberry you would have a Fruit Salad but if you wanted your tongue, mouth and teeth to literally turn black while enjoying the taste of coal then you would have a Black Jack.

A healthy gamble…

Nowadays these two terms mean completely different things to me – a black jack is something that doubles my money and a fruit salad is an option I would avoid at all costs on a menu in favour of the cheesecake!

4 – Jazzles

I had no idea what these were even called until two years ago (thanks to Poundland) and even then I thought they were called Jazzies for a further year because I didn’t have the packet long enough to realize it was an “L” rather than an “I”. I’m pretty sure that when I used to get a “10p mix up” from the “ice cream man” who if I asked for these I would just point and call it “one of those”. Either that or he got so fed up with me that these were quite often used as a filler to make me up to my 10p quota…

Jazz hands…

They also came in both white and milk chocolate flavours which was always an added excitement. Sometimes you even got two stuck together and to this day I haven’t worked out if I was actually charged for one or two in those particular cases. If it turned out I was charged for two then I will be seeking legal advice on how to reclaim all my lost pennies from said ice cream man (who just happened to be called Jazz but I think that was coincidence rather than the fact he made the sweeties himself).

3 – Tattoo Bubblegum

Some kids weren’t allowed bubblegum. Most kids weren’t allowed tattoos. Every kid wasn’t allowed to talk to strangers . All kids I knew went to “the ice cream man” to buy bubble gum that came with a free “tattoo”.

Well blow me…

Everyone thought they were so cool blowing bubbles and at the same time had a tattoo on the back of their hands. Whereas, back in reality, what they really did have was the ability to get some sticky pink gunk popping all over their face and a blob of ink on their skin that eventually had to be rubbed off with a scrubbing-brush by their mums (sometimes the skin came off too) before they went to bed!

2 – Sweet Peanuts

This particular sweet could not be purchased from the ice cream man and you had to go to the sweetie shop for this as it was one of those “can I get a quarter of” type sweets. I had totally forgotten about these until just now and have decided that tomorrow I am going on a “sweet peanut search“.

Sweet and savoury…

Perhaps this is where my love of mixing sweet and savoury comes from. I have always loved having crisps, then chocolate then back to crisps. Everybody used to think I was weird for that but it’s the “in thing” now with products like chocolate pretzels, caramel popcorn and Ritz Dairy Milk

1- Cola Bottles

Number one couldn’t have been anything else but cola bottles for me. There are the standard jelly types which I do like but the fizzy ones are my favourite by far.

Feel the fizz…

As far as I’m concerned the fizzier and more bitter the better! If it doesn’t draw your cheeks in and make your face sweat at the same time then it’s just not worth the penny. I guess it doesn’t have to be just cola bottles that do it for me but any fizzy sweet. I’ve recently started buying Haribo Tangfastic mini packs and will quite happily empty an entire pack in my mouth at once and trust me – you feel the fizz!

What about you – what sweets do you remember? What do you think of the plastic carrier bag charge? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014



IMG_4621I’m Steve and I am from Scotland which is currently part of the United Kingdom.

This is a photo of my recent visit to Stockholm, Sweden. It was taken near the Royal Palace and I am walking towards it – embracing the sights, sounds and culture of this wonderfully amazing European country.

Notice how I am choosing to walk towards what my European neighbour has to offer me.

Notice how my back is turned as I am walking towards this European capital.

Europe – I’m coming to get you!

UK – I turn my back on you!

I’m Steve and I am from Scotland!

#SOS #SaveOurScotland #CheckOutMyBaldSpot


What about you? What do you think of the EU Referendum results? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @stevesays2014

This post was also part of the weekly photo challenge with the theme Partners