coffee and cupcakes

Morning Coffee | Security Risk

coffee and cakeIt’s been a strange kind of a week.

On Sunday, Terry and decided to head to Glasgow Fort – which is not, unfortunately, an actual fort, but an outdoor shopping mall, just outside Glasgow. We go there fairly often, mostly because there’s a pretty good Zara, which I like to visit, and, well, because we’re pretty much addicted to TFI Friday’s nachos, basically, so we like to pop in there, too.

On this particular occasion, we got to the Fort just as the sun came out after a full week of non-stop rain. There just so happens to be a pretty cool wall right next to Zara, and as we walked towards it, it occurred to me that hey, I could maybe just grab a quick photo of my outfit here, seeing as I haven’t been able to get any photos this week!


Terry had just started snapping away (When you’re a blogger, you carry a camera everywhere. Well, you never know when a decent wall is going to present itself, do you?) when a security guard approached us. At first, I thought it was going to be OK: we do get approached every so often when we’re out taking photos, and with the exception of that one time when someone called the police and reported Terry for “stalking” me, most of the time, people are just curious, and the interaction is a friendly one.

This was not to be one of those times.

I wouldn’t say this security guard’s manner was aggressive, exactly, but … well, he was NOT friendly, let’s put it that way – and he became even LESS friendly when I revealed that the photos Terry had been taking of me were destined for my fashion blog. “No they’re not,” the guard said, immediately: “That’s not allowed. It’s a security risk.”

Now, I’ll just say here that Terry and I had absolutely no intention of breaking any “rules” (If we’d known Glasgow Fort didn’t allow photography, we wouldn’t even have considered taking a quick photo against that damn wall…), and we have no problem whatsoever with someone politely pointing out to us that we’re unwittingly doing something wrong. The problem here, though, was that this security guard was NOT polite… and, well, we couldn’t really understand what it was that made a photo of me standing against a wall (Which, by the way, had absolutely nothing about it that would indicate its location: it was literally just a blank wall, and I was standing with my back to it, so there were no people or other buildings in the photo…) such a risk to the security of the mall. So we asked him.

“Don’t be cheeky,” was the answer.


The guard went on to tell us that if I’d been taking “family photos” to post on Facebook, THAT would be OK – even if I’d been right out in the open, surrounded by shops and people. A photo of me on my own, however, to go on my blog? HELL TO THE NO. SOUND THE DEFCON WARNING.

There was obviously no point in arguing with the guy (and, I mean, it wasn’t like we’d turned up with a photo crew, prepared to do a shoot for Vogue or anything: a quick outfit photo against a wall really wasn’t worth the hassle we were getting for it…), so we went on our way, and tried to enjoy the rest of the day. I have to admit, though, I was more upset by all of this than I probably should have been (I’m the kind of person who hates confrontation of any kind, and this guy had treated us like we were criminals preparing to rob the place or something. I felt a bit like a little kid being told off by the headmaster, and that’s the kind of thing that will generally make me burst into tears…), so I posted a quick tweet about it, and whadya know, The Fort’s PR person replied, and told me that actually, there was no rule about photography, and they had no problem whatsoever with me posting a photo on my blog. Which… was good to know, but now we just felt like we’d been harassed for NO reason, you know?

We did end up speaking with the head of security that day, who apologised, confirmed that we hadn’t done anything wrong, and generally made us feel a whole lot better about things. Let this be a warning to you all, though, people: DO NOT just assume it’s OK to take photos in a public place like a mall – or anywhere else that’s patrolled by security, basically. Obviously in this case it turned out that it WAS OK, and the security guard was just being a little over-zealous, but the whole episode has really made me re-think my habit of just pulling out a camera wherever I go, and snapping away with it. I think in these days of social media, when everyone has camera phones, and is busy Snapchatting, and Instagramming, or whatever, it can be really hard to know where to draw the line, or what’s OK to capture, and it’s not pleasant when someone decides to challenge you on it: trust me on this.

Oh, and the real kicker? I absolutely HATED those photos anyway: which is why I’m not posting them, even although I’ve been assured that national security will in no way be compromised by my doing so. GAH.

(I did get a new pair of jeans in Zara, though, so at least the day wasn’t a complete bust.)

Later in the week, this happened:

keyed carSo, yeah, someone keyed our car. (It also needs a wash, but that’s neither here nor there…) Again, this kind of thing upsets me more than it probably should. I mean, I know someone’s probably going to pop up and tell me about all of the children dying of cancer, or whatever (And guess what? I’m upset about that too, because it turns out you can care about sick children and STILL be annoyed when someone keys your car! It’s not an either/or kind of situation!), but I honestly wanted to cry when I saw it. This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in this post, and obviously it’s a kind of behaviour that’s not just confined to the internet. We can get the car fixed (Our insurance excess is much more than it’ll cost to just repair it, unfortunately, but either way, we’d be out of pocket, just because some idiot decided to mindlessly vandalise our property…), but I just can’t fathom the kind of mindset that makes someone think, “Oh, hey, there’s someone’s car: I think I’ll vandalise it!” I mean, seriously: WHY?! What’s WRONG with people?

Of course, there’s absolutely nothing we can do it about it now other than cough up the cash to get it fixed. It’s particularly annoying, because we’ve just had a ton of work done to the car this year, and spent a lot of money in the process, so it’s really galling to have someone do this to it. And also because, well, cars are like people to me, so now I feel like someone hurt MAH BEBE.

(Not really.)

(Yes, really.)

And so ends another week.

trees in autumnOther Things I Did This Week:

  • Dropped a full bottle of bright pink nail polish onto the tiled kitchen floor.
  • Dropped 9 – NINE – uncapped tubes of lipstick onto the cream carpet in the office.
  • Got one of the nine lipsticks on my top, too. Well, I couldn’t let the carpet have ALL the fun, could I?
  • Hit my ankle so hard against the leg of the bed that I seriously thought I’d broken it (the ankle, I mean, not the bed…), and would never walk again. I’m fine, though. Embarrassed, obviously, but fine.
  • Fell backwards off a chair I was standing on in order to reach something on a high shelf. Landed flat on my back, hurting my wrist and elbow in the process, but thankfully nothing else. This all seemed to happen in slow motion, so I was honestly just glad not to have broken my back, seriously. I spent the rest of the night worrying that I had a concussion, and would die in my sleep. I’m, er, not allowed to stand on chairs any more…

So, in other words, I may not be a security risk to malls, but it seems I AM a security risk to my own self. GOD.

After all of that, I’m thinking next week has to be better. I mean, it HAS to. Right?


  • Next week you should maybe sit on your ass and not move lady.. That’s a week and then some. Hope you’re ok and surely next week will be better!

    October 29, 2016
  • That absolutely sucks – what happened to your car, that is. What the hell possesses people to think this is okay? Is it because they don’t have a car and want to make a statement or are they just mindless sh*tes? I would be really upset if someone did this to my partner’s car because I know for a fact that after thirty-odd years hard graft it’s a reward to himself that he’s worked hard for. I hope you can get a reasonable quote for a decent repair (oh, and anyone who bleats that it’s not as serious as such-and-such or indulges in what-aboutery hasn’t had their own car keyed or property vandalised!).

    October 29, 2016
    • Moni


      It’s not only the fact that it’s going to take money and time to repair the damage. I can totally understand getting upset about people doing things to my stuff. I once had to park my bike on the street outside our house (because my landlord did not want to have bikes in our entry hallway or the backyard for some reason) and somebody stole the cap of the bell. That’s as minor a thing as can be, but I was mad, because it wasn’t their bike, it was mine! And they had no right to touch it or take parts from it for whatever reason. I get equally mad if people use bike baskets as rubbish bins. Why can’t people just let other people’s stuff be and go on their merry way??!! I don’t WANT to have to lock up everything I own.
      And how are starving children related to an intrusion into my privacy? Those are totally different subjects.
      Having my things taken or destroyed means that I obviously cannot live in peace in my home, and if that’s not important, I wonder what is???!!!

      October 30, 2016
  • Genevieve


    That security guard sounds like a total wank.

    October 29, 2016
  • I was in B&Q once and I was taking photos of some wallpaper so I could then text it to my husband, I was stopped by security and asked to delete the photos! I was like WTH!! I explained it was to show my husband – but they thought I was gonig to text to some big illegal gang. Ummm…I didn’t argued and since then refused to go back in.
    That security guard need to have some customer service knowledge, there was no need to treat you like that. How bloody rude. xx

    October 29, 2016
  • Myra Boyle


    I dislike Job’s worth officials anywhere. It is legal to take photos in a public place, which this was. The only difficulty you should have is in photographing children – that’s an absolute no no.
    What kind of people damage others’ personal property – I don’t get it either.

    October 29, 2016
  • Miss Kitty


    Wow sounds like a s****y week all round! I would be FURIOUS if someone did that to my car. It would be bad enough to damage it by scraping on something, but for someone to do it intentionally is just really terrible. And that awful security guard. It kind of makes you lose faith in people a little bit. There seems to be only awful things happening whenever you look at the news – and most of it comes back to people being horrible to other people. Why can’t everyone just get on together?

    Sorry that turned into a bit of a rant. I think I need a picture of Rubin to cheer me up – I’m off to find a Rubin post now!

    October 30, 2016
  • Maria


    That is a most unfortunate week!

    Honestly the lengths some will go to for a smidge of self importance !!! Sounds to me THEY were stalking you two !!

    I’m sorry ! Hoping you have an extraordinary wonderful week now to even things out xxx

    October 30, 2016
  • Just read this post to my partner as we’re close to Glasgow Fort. He said you could’ve asked for the CCTV film to be removed and handed over as that’s a risk to your personal security. He’s not impressed with the security guy’s lack of social skills.

    October 30, 2016
  • I am so sorry to hear about your encounter with the Blog Photo Police! I get that the security guard was just doing his job, but maybe before approaching you and Terry he could have conferred with the Head of Security first? I mean what’s the point of those walkie talkies mall cops always carry – or are they just ornamental and intended to make them feel like the real cop they wish they were but aren’t…Either way sounds like someone was having a bad day and decided to bully you to try and feel like a Big Man. I mean why else such a rude and pathetic responses to your question?

    I had my first encounter with the Blog Photo Police earlier this year and I still get mad thinking about it. I was invited to blog about an exhibition and decided to get some quick outfit photos outside of the venue which was a beautiful historic building. I mean I was there after all for the sole reason of posting about it on my blog afterwards! So we are taking photos and two burly security guards come along and tell us off, very much in the same manner as what happened to you and Terry. I was so mortified! Yes I could have fished out my phone, opened up my email and showed them that actually I had every right to be there but the indignity of being treated like a criminal left me in too much of a huff to speak. So while I did end up blogging about the exhibition as expected of me, I decided against promoting it on any of my other social media accounts 🙂

    October 31, 2016
  • This happened to me once! Back in the very early days of my blog I decided to review a lovely little restaurant in our shopping mall in Newcastle. I stepped outside of the cafe to take a few external shots and this horrible security guard came over and shouted at me. He was SO rude and it was really really embarrassing, there was no need for it! He told me that I could be stealing design ideas …. WTF! I spent the rest of the day crying and feeling like I never wanted to blog again. I’ve since spoken to the main security centre in the shopping mall and they apologised on his behalf. It seems some of them need better social skills!

    October 31, 2016
  • That security person was way over the top! Even if it was an issue, all he needed to do was talk with you politely about it. I don’t even understand why he would be anything other than polite unless he asked you to stop and you ignored him. Ugh. People sometimes. <3

    October 31, 2016
  • This is my pet peeve. When you ask questions and people come back with ‘its policy’, ‘it’s a rule’, ‘don’t be cheeky’ etc. Its a rule for a reason right? So either you don’t know why – which is really silly because then why are you bothering to go about implementing when you don’t know why it exists? It makes you look silly… (Sorry about that rant – obviously I have my own issues…)

    October 31, 2016
  • Lee


    What a week! The only thing I was happy to read in this post is that I may have identified somebody else on the planet who shares my (self) diagnosis of “conflictophobia”. I have previously hunted on the internet to see if there were any support/meet-up groups for people with similar challenges. Maybe we are just all too afraid to get together, in case we don’t get along? Wishing you a bump/fall/injury/conflict free week. Cheers!

    November 1, 2016
  • D. J.


    Here in Maine, USA, I really should go to the lengths to find the exact statutes and such that would cover taking public photos. I’ve been on both sides of this as a photographer at an outdoor concert creeped me out by singling me out for a photo, and I have worked to keep children out of even the crowd shots I’ve taken of fairs. Just to give a point-of-view, I worry for victims of abuse who may be stalked by their abusers, so, like you, I keep others out of my shots. Congratulations on surviving this week!

    November 15, 2016