n or4

Morning…welcome to autumn.

Here’s a rose for you…
n st kilda
St Kilda High Street.
n yosemite
n cat look into my eyes
You’ve doubtless heard of cats’ eyes.
n county antrim
County Antrim.
n sky
Endless wonders of cloud patterns and colours.
n red
I see someone has delivered my luncheon.
n skedeneshavn, norway
Stedeneshavn, Norway.
Munguin’s Garden.
More Munguin’s Garden.
The Acer has turned a pretty colour.
Munguin’s Rocks.
N Incredibly rare Red Admiral ab. klemensiewiczi (albo-punctura), photographed by Peter Andrews today, 22nd September in Swindon, Wiltshire.
A rare Red Admiral.
n orkney
Orkney Standing Stones.
n cow
n dean village
Edinburgh’s Dean Village.
n tram
Edinburgh Tram. (Again guess a date).
n or5
Guess what I’m drinking? Hic… Don’t tell! OK?


139 thoughts on “SOPPY SUNDAY”

  1. Red squirrels must be among the cutest of our indigenous species. Who’d have guessed that all it took was the return of the pine marten (another cutie) to sort out the invading grey from America and allow the reds to thrive once more.

    The decline in pine marten numbers was another one to thank the shooting fraternity for but thank fully they’re coming back.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So are the pine martens attacking the poor gray American squirrels but leaving the red squirrels alone? Anti-Americanism run amok it might seem. Or squirrel discrimination based on the color of their fur. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some beautiful landscapes. (Munguin must employ a small army of gardeners.)

    The story of the evacuation of St. Kilda in 1930 is sort of a strange story. Very interesting picture!

    Ever since I read about how Stonehenge was reconstructed with modern construction equipment in the 20th century and that they now charge money but won’t actually let you get near to it, I’ve been averse to standing stones which attract tourists. On the other hand, the Orkney Stones have an interesting look about them. Any chance that unlike Stonehenge, they’re more or less authentic? (I’m seriously PO’d about the Stonehenge scam.) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Danny, I remember when you could walk among the stones at Stonehenge, although you did have to pay to get access to the site, but the admission charge was reasonable. There are many stone circles in Scotland, none as huge as Stonehenge but many very impressive nonetheless and certainly authentic – particularly Orkney’s Stenness Stones and Ring of Brodgar and the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis. Some of the smaller circles, even tumbled or partial, are very evocative because of their antiquity and locations. I’m especially fond of another kind of ancient monument, the chambered cairn. These are usually pretty ruined, even little more than vestigial, but I always marvel at the determination, hard labour and ingenuity that our ancient ancestors showed in erecting these structures for their dead. They too are frequently sited in scenic surroundings and when I visit them, I always think about those people living there and looking out on the same landscape so long ago.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Andi……Thanks for the lovely descriptions! I was not familiar with the Chambered Cairn at all. I’ve always been fascinated by the megalithic sites. Surely being able to walk among the fallen stones and ruins of a stone circle or other megalithic structure would be evocative of the neolithic and early bronze ages in a way that viewing the manicured restoration (or reconstruction) of Stonehenge from a distance cannot possibly provide. I see the amazing photographs……not to mention the paintings by Turner and Constable…….of the ruins of Stonehenge in the 19th century before cranes and construction equipment were brought in to straighten and set in concrete the sarsen stones, lift the fallen lintel stones into place, and otherwise reconstruct and tidy up the place. Not the finest hour of English archaeology, and one which surely destroyed whatever evocative quality the ruins of Stonehenge once provided.

        Ironically, IMHO, the government of England run by an anachronistic family of royals, can’t even properly care for its really OLD stuff .

        Stonehenge 1877:



        Reconstruction started in 1901 and continued through 1963:

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah! Standing stones, now there is a very interesting story, contained in a book with a curious title. “Who Built the Moon” by Christopher Knight and Allan Butler. The first part is about Alexader Thom, a Scot from Harris no less ( a contemporary of the Donald’s mother perhaps) who surveyed the ancient monuments from Shetland down through France and came to a stunning conclusion….
    I won’t spoil the book for you. A few dollars on Kindle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A reminder of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence where a man asked his date to meet him under the big clock. She misunderstood and waited under the statue of David instead.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Cheers. I think we had the same thing here under the clock at H Samuel’s. Duffers Corner, the called it, from all the folk that turned up there and waited and waited … and then went home.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Tris! As a non-native Dundonian, when I heard that term used I hadn’t a clue what it meant, and by the time I had put my thoughts in order, which took a month or two, the person who said it was long gone…

        I suffer from “delayed Eh? syndrome” sometimes.

        H. Samuels – jewellers – engagement and wedding rings in the windows – looked at wedding rings in there myself (awfy dear) … The Bairn (for it is she, all growed up – finally): “Noo that Ma an Pa ken ye’ve got me up the duff, Eck, kin we no gang an look at rings on Setterday afore Ma does ma heid in aboot it?” (bats mascara and makes sheep’s eyes). Eck the jiner’s apprentice: “Eh, aa richt ma bonnie wee jo, E’ll meet ye at Duffer’s Corner at twa, an dinna be late!” (kisses end of Bairn’s nose, and plans flight – are they still hiring on the rigs? – and change of name).

        My apologies. That was my evil twin Kevin. I disclaim all responsibility.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Well done, Conan – spot on, I’d say. At first, based on the woman’s suit or “costume” as they used to be called, and the black car, clearly a 40s model, I thought possibly late 1940s, but to the right of that car (and the foreground guy’s head), you can just make out a rather bulbous light-coloured car with squarish wheel arches. It’s almost certainly a Standard model, possibly a Vanguard, so 1950s it is. I also remember how lots of men and boys back then wore their shirt collars folded over their jacket collars in warm weather, just like the fellow in the foreground – typical 50s short back and sides hair too. So it’s not only early 50s, it’s probably summer (additional clue, bedding plants flowering on the raised beds) and according to the clock it’s just after ten past four. Do you think the young boy on the tram – first window behind the door – is on his way home from school?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Strange how things come around again. In the seventies putting your collar over your jacket was de rigour. Don’t get me started on kipper ties…

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Population crash in an invasive species following the recovery of a native predator: the case of the American grey squirrel and the European pine marten in Ireland

    You have to pay to see the article but this Guardian article
    explained it like this.

    Red squirrels have a simple adaptation to pine martens: they are small and light enough to get to the ends of the branches, where the martens can’t follow. But grey squirrels, which did not co-evolve with these predators, are, by comparison, lumps: slower and heavier than the native species. They are also more terrestrial than the reds – more dependent for their survival on foraging on the woodland floor. Meals on legs, in other words.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. bjsalba……..Very interesting! Clearly, future gray squirrel emigration from the states should favor lighter animals who are more fleet of foot, so that they at least have a fighting chance against those wily martens.

      Here in the states, the gray squirrel population in many areas is very large and seems to have few predators other than the occasional passing cat. While in college (university,) I parked my car out in the open, close to a wooded area with tons of gray squirrels. One morning my car wouldn’t start. It was totally dead. When I bent over and opened the hood (bonnet), my face was about a foot from a gray squirrel with big teeth. When I recovered my composure and the squirrel had bolted, I saw that he had made a very comfortable nest using the hood’s insulation pad which he had chewed and distributed comfortably. To make the needed space in the engine compartment, he had chewed off EVERY ONE of the spark plug wires and other random electrical connections. The repair bill was about $800. I never again felt quite the same way about the cute little squirrels. (A friend of mine calls them rats with big tails.)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi, Danny – if the grey squirrel population in the States is so big, I’m surprised that hordes of them haven’t migrated to the grounds of the White House – they’d see the biggest nut there they’re ever likely to.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. LOL Andi……..well said! I’m not at all sure that the squirrels haven’t in fact taken over the place. But maybe it’s worse than that. There has been front page news about a top secret attempt many years ago to clone a Dodo from DNA remains. Sadly, it was not a success and the outcome was hideous. It appeared human in every way while possessing only one attribute of a Dodo…..the intellect. The ironic outcome was that it went on to be elected President of the United States.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Brilliant Bjs,

      Of course that is what happens when you mess with nature.

      One day, when humans have dies out, the world will be able to return to something like nature intended.


  6. Munguin’s garden is lovely as befits a media mogul. They all have landscaped gardens in their stately homes. Unusual to see a cat given Tris feelings about them in the garden. So I might be pushing my luck to ask for a cheetah next SS. I do love a cheetah.

    Yosemite looked stunning and well what can I say about our beloved cousins the orangutans – lovely

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yosemite is a natural wonder (that I’ve never seen,) and I’m told that its waterfalls do not disappoint. The one Tris posted here is Yosemite Falls, which has a double cascade with a total height of 2,425 feet. All the falls of Yosemite are best seen in the spring when lots of water from the snow melt is flowing over them. Some can almost disappear in August after a dry summer. The falls of Yosemite may revive in the Autumn storms of California’s rainy season. This picture is beautiful in showing Yosemite Falls surrounded by Autumn leaves.

      The falls of Yosemite:

      There is Horsetail Fall which is in a position during a certain time of the year to reflect a shaft of light from the setting sun and appear to be a firefall. (Internet images of this seem to be heavily Photoshopped and should be taken with a grain of salt.)

      For almost 100 years, in the summer evenings of tourist season there was a private man-made 3,000 ft actual firefall off Glacier Point. The US Park Service ordered the practice stopped in 1968.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Panda Paws. There are quite a few big cheaters in Wastemonster. They’re apparently taking back control just like the pine martens, but as we say over here “l think they have a Roo loose in the top paddock” if they think that’s going to happen.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Tris……I can imagine! I was trying to figure out what the large structure in the picture might be. A public building, a single large house, a collection of flats (what we in the states would call an apartment house,) etc? In an odd way, that picture almost reminds me of a fascinating seventeenth century picture of the Palace of Whitehall. (Which seems to look more like a collection of individual small structures making up a village.)


    1. Why Niko….you clearly don’t understand. The last personnel leaving the roof of the American embassy in Saigon by helicopter was indication of an American VICTORY. After all, the helicopter was part of the biggest air force in the world and the Ambassador and his staff were airlifted out to the safety of ships in the harbor which were part of the biggest navy in the world. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Err ! The Americans still won
    The myth says but without the help of Donald 5 deferments
    Trump who says some football would not stand for national anthem. But would be willing to fight for said nation Trump neglects to say

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Niko…….The playing of the national anthem will be closely watched as the Sunday games of the National Football League are played today. There will be lots of defiance of the orange faced as****e on this ridiculous “standing for the national anthem” issue. Many league owners issued statements blasting Trump on this.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Danny

        I believe the term is Chickenhawk for Trump
        a F????ing yellow belly coward when asked to
        fight for his country he spat on the American
        flag and shite on the American constitution.
        What I do not understand is how the redneck
        deplorables actually support a Turd (translation
        shi?) like him….

        as Trump says Grab them by the pussies and
        the heartless and mindless will follow.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Niko…well said! The most warlike super patriotic flag wavers are always the people who never wore a uniform. The kids who had enough money to stay in college got student deferments and avoided the draft during the agony of Vietnam. Trump avoided the Vietnam meat grinder with 4 student deferments and then a 1-Y military draft disqualification for bad feet. Bellicose Dick Cheney avoided military service with student deferments as did Bill Clinton. Bush #43 got into the Texas Air National Guard which under Vietnam era rules kept him out of foreign combat. By contrast, his daddy Bush #41 joined the Navy the day after his graduation from a posh Prep School (high school) and became the youngest pilot in the US Navy. He was shot down in the South Pacific and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals. We’ve had presidents who served in the revolution, the Mexican War , the Civil War, and WWI and II, but as super patriotism has increased in the modern era of right wing rednecks, military service has grown unfashionable.

          The rescue of George H. W. Bush after being shot down in the South Pacific in 1944.

          Liked by 2 people

  8. When I was a child we were told that if you press your hands against the standing stones you can feel warmth and energy – a ‘remember us’ message from our ancestors. On the other hand …

    Liked by 3 people

  9. **WARNING: freedom of speech being exercised in order to BORE THE PANTS off people**

    On the subject of American NFL stars refusing to stand for the national anthem… I find it amusing as always that the Usual Suspects have all the freedom of expression in the world, and are using it to scream at other people for using theirs. Good on them – Kaepernick It’s obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that the Mango Mussolini is not just a racist, he’s a white supremacist KKK supporter as well – like his daddy before him.

    I’m sure Danny is more familiar with it than I am, of course, but I do feel moved to say that I really liked some of the responses of the NFL players to Trump’s disinviting them to the White House. My prize goes to LeBron James, who gave us the most succinct, and highly accurate, description of the POTUS-In-Name-Only. He did so in a tweet, of course, which is the only truly appropriate medium for communicating anything at all to the POTUSINO (can I copyright that?) LeBron began his twee with “U bum”, and ended with “Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” As I delved deeper, I discovered that this guy is well worth listening to. I take my hat off to him.

    Can’t find the article I originally read it in, but here’s one, URL shortened for your convenience:

    On a somewhat different tack, I was doing a bit of background research prompted by an exchange of e-mails with a Moroccan friend of mine – if anyone is looking for an IT specialist / telecoms engineer he’d love to get out of Morocco for a bit – and delved into the background of the saying “know thyself”. Turns out that there are a fair number of interpretations of it that I didn’t know about, but here’s one I’m as sure as anyone can be that a certain orange-hued personage in Washington DC has never seen unless to ignore it: “The Suda, a 10th-century encyclopedia of Greek knowledge, says: “the proverb is applied to those whose boasts exceed what they are”, and that “know thyself” is a warning to pay no attention to the opinion of the multitude.”

    With thanks to Wikipedia, home of all that is good and true in the world – shortened URL, for your browsing delight.

    Those two words are a fascinating concept, really: we humans are the only animals on earth who are capable of doing it. Maybe the only animals? Anyway – out of sheer badness, I’m going to stick it in in Greek, just to see what WordPress does to it: γνῶθι σεαυτόν. If it comes through – I never bothered with the twiddly bits over the letters because I never had a clue what they meant anyway – either no one ever told me or I just happened to miss that class – and of course I was too d*mn lazy to bother finding out for myself.

    Where was I? Oh yes. I need more coffee.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As one who sees no reason to stand when they play GSTQ, I can’t criticise the players. But my reason is different from theirs.

      I guess what they are saying in their protest is that they still respect America but they wish that people were indeed equal in the land of the free.

      I love the line “You can’t be uninvited to something you weren’t going to anyway.”

      I see that “know thyself” can be translated as “be temperate”. Jeez, if ever someone needed that advice it’s the orange faced moron.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. ED…I can’t add much of substance to what you said, so I’ll just use the familiar phrase from Congress: “I would like to associate myself with the remarks of my good friend the gentleman (or gentle lady or Senator) from the state of [insert name of state.]”

      Yes, the first amendment to the American constitution (Item I of the Bill of Rights)… expansively interpreted by two centuries of Supreme Court case law……confers upon Americans the broadest freedom of speech and expression enjoyed by any people on earth. THEN, as Ed so eloquently points out, Americans spend all their time screaming at each other for USING that freedom of speech and expression. Notably, you get to freely insult the president and call him any name in the book. “Mango Mussolini” is so perfect for His Orangeness Trumpy, that I may simply have to start using it without attribution. Then it will be up to Ed to prove a prior copyright claim, and……well…….so sue me! This is America and I can say whatever I god**** please. 😉

      As for the substance of the thing as Ed outlined, it goes back to last season when Kaepernick lost his football job, and it seems to be because he made a protest during the playing of the national anthem (of dropping to his knee instead of standing respectfully) of cops killing innocent black people and then always being acquitted of murder charges by juries. The furor was reignited last Friday night when Trumpy was in right wing redneck Alabama to advance the candidacy of a mainstream Republican against a right wing crazy man. The sort of thing that might not actually go over very well with his right wing redneck base. So he did what he always does and diverted attention by throwing some political red meat to his base about spoiled well-paid black athletes who don’t respect the flag and the national anthem.

      The right wing rednecks went crazy with cheers, and his right wing base erupted with fury about not standing for the anthem….exactly as he planned. Then the Trump-hating redneck-hating left wing liberals erupted in fury at the right wing radicals……exactly as he planned. He is Pavlov and we are ALL the dogs. Trump is not intellectually brilliant, but he has the low cunning of a con-man and populist demagogue.

      This is Mussolini in all his glory…..right down to the facial expressions and body language as he basks in the applause of the Alabama rednecks.

      The rest is history. All eyes were on England yesterday as the first game of the American football season was played at Wembley. So with the transatlantic time difference, it was the first test of whether the black athletes had been cowed into submission by the “Mango Mussolini.” They hadn’t! And the same thing happened at all the Sunday games in America. Most of the NFL team owners have issued statements of condemnation aimed at Trump for his self-serving demagogic power play.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I would also like to associate myself with Ed’s comments about “know thyself.” As one whose profession is the field of engineering and science, my patience for the finer points of Greek philosophy is usually pretty limited. But the detail in Ed’s referenced Wikipedia article is just about right.

      I also would like to applaud Ed’s disdain for the “twiddly bits” that various languages place over and under and around their letters. The French do it, the Germans do it, and the Greeks make an absolute fetish of it. Chinese and Japanese is nothing BUT twiddly bits of course. The English may even do it a little bit for all I know, but you sure won’t find AMERICANS doing it. If a letter can’t stand on it own in America then SCREW IT. (I’m not even entirely happy about crossing t’s and dotting i’s.)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Danny, I am, as the French, might say desolé at your disdain for the “twiddly bits”. Surely, you cannot be so naïve as to think these “twiddly bits” unimportant. Take a word like Führer – I’m sure it will be coming into fashion again soon, it’s much more snappy than President, don’t you think? If we don’t spell it with the umlaut over the u, we have to resort to the clumsy device of adding an extra e to make Fuehrer. The umlaut denotes how the u should be pronounced (something like “ew” as opposed to “oo”). Anyway, I had to spend years at school learning all these “twiddly bits” in a couple of languages. It was hard work and I don’t see why you Americans should get off with not using these diacritical marks (“twiddly bits”). 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Andi…….I enjoyed your comments on my critical view of diacritical marks……henceforth and forever (thanks to Ed) to be thought of by me as twiddly bits. 🙂

          I see that you have spotted the trick of throwing in an extra letter or two to force people to pronounce the word correctly. With His Orangeness in the White House, I think a lot about Nazi names and words these days. Apart from Fuehrer, Hitler’s propaganda minister is a problem. I always thought there was an umlaut o in Goebbels, but now I see that it might actually BE “oe” in modern German. I then encounter discussions about when and why the umlaut came into use in the German language. (Even American kids are are occasionally forced to acknowledge that countries exist beyond American borders……and so I studied a couple of semesters of German in college.)

          The point being that if the people who USE twiddly bits can’t precisely sort them out, then how do they expect Americans to? (Americans not being known for embracing very much subtlety and nuance.)

          At this point, perhaps I should come clean and actually admit WHY I am so averse to twiddly bits. It’s this goddamn American keyboard on my computer. There are punctuation marks galore, but not one of them that you can easily combine with a letter to make a twiddly bit. My keyboard doesn’t even have a pound sign for Her Majesty’s money. So I have to copy and paste a…….. £ …….when I need it and it REALLY slows down my keyboard speed.

          So I might try to learn a few twiddly bits if my keyboard would give me a chance to use them. Yes, there’s probably a way to change the keyboard options with software or settings……..after all, it PRINTS a “£” OK, it just won’t let me type it. But if the twiddly bit is not painted on the keys……then screw it! Did I mention a certain impatience with subtlety and nuance? 😉

          Thanks for the fun discussion, and thanks to Ed for “twiddly bits.”

          Liked by 2 people

                1. Damned foreigners with twiddly bits telling you how to pronounce letters or showing a distinction between one meaning of a word and another…or once tense and another.

                  I’m not sure why they can’t all be decent chaps like the English speakers of the world and dispense with that nonsense. Twiddly bits be damned. We don’t need them. Mind you, we do have extra silent letters to confuse people.

                  Though, through thorough investigation, I have found that it’s not an exaggeration to say that, too often people get two or more words mixed up. There, they’re often stumped for lack of knowledge of their own orthography.

                  Hmmmm. I heard that when Kim called Trump a “dotard” he assumed it was a compliment. He probably thinks he’s at least twice the dotard that Obama ever was.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. LOL Tris………I can’t imagine what a French keyboard must look like. Quite a few twiddly bits there as I recall. I tried (and failed) to find something I read once about Noel Coward and the London Times. He insisted that his name was spelled with two dots over the “e”, but the Times said that there was no such thing in their style manual. At least for use in the name “Noel.” So the Times decided that whatever he thinks his name is, it would be spelled the “proper” way when it appeared in the Times.

                    With his very limited vocabulary of huge, gigantic, beautiful, wonderful, amazing, SAD!, BAD!, and Loser!, I imagine “dotard” was new to Trumpy and he took it as a compliment. I do like the idea that he probably decided that he’s twice the dotard that Obama is. 🙂

                    Then while I was feeling superior to Trump in vocabulary, I had to go to the dictionary for “orthography.” Win some, lose some! 😉

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Oh heavens, Danny. With some of the discussions that take place here, I spend a lot of time looking stuff up!

                      The Times Style Book, was very strict in the old days when it was a proper paper, that is to say before Rupe got his hands on it and dumbed it down.

                      Even a figure as great and popular as Mr Coward had absolutely zero impact on how they did things.

                      French keyboards aren’t “qwerty” (although many of the letters are in the same place). When I worked there I frequently typed utter gibberish… a bit like when I’m in Scotland really!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Wow Tris……that AZERTY keyboard is a revelation. I guess I thought that every keyboard in the 26 letter Latin alphabet world was a QWERTY. With that top row of keys I could twiddly bit with the best of them. But then I wouldn’t be able to type any recognizable words because the letters are in the “wrong” place. I liked your comment about gibberish. I would do that for sure……LOL.

                      Liked by 2 people

                2. Nah, Andi’s not mad, Tris, he’s hilarious! And I am very glad that I seem to have added to the gaiety of nations. Danny, for £££ on a US keyboard, have you tried Alt-right+Shift+4 (in other words, Alt-right $$$)? I make no guarantees.

                  Very odd that a whole nasty and bonkers political movement should have named themselves after a key on computer keyboard. Very odd indeed.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Thanks Ed…….Alt-right+Shift+4 didn’t give me a pound sign, but as you implied it might, gave me a nice picture of Hitler on the screen. 😉

                    Google suggests several different keystroke combinations to wring a……wait for it……. £ ………sign out of my computer, but none seem to work. I’ll research this further.

                    In the meantime, Copy and Paste is slow, but it ALWAYS works. 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Or you could just write “pounds” or GBP (although it the currency of much more than GB!)

                      Also it has been known to use a plain capital L = Libra, from whence the symbol probably comes… L15 instead of £15.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Yes Tris, I’ve just written out “pounds” a lot, but it looks a little awkward. I didn’t think of GBP. “L” just doesn’t look right really. Nothing like the real thing….LOL.

                      I don’t have much keyboard information Ed. It’s just whatever came in my old Dell Studio 17 laptop. Using Windows 7 OS and usually either Chrome or Firefox browser. Not much info really. And mostly too lazy to delve very deeply into computer and software detail.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. € =4 control alt
                      $ = 4 shift
                      £ = 3 shift here

                      I suppose in fairness in the USA you have little need of £ or € symbols. We need $ because so much is priced in $

                      Anyway, we’ll understand if you use GPB… it’s quicker than messing about with copy and paste.

                      Although I do that when I’m writing in French, which I have to do quite a bit. I discovered that I can get é, which is probably the most used by control alt e, but for the rest of the accents, I’ve to write the word in English in google translate and get it with the appropriate accent, and then copy and past for the rest of the article or email or tweet..

                      To leave them out is a misspelling… and I do enough of that without compounding it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Danny, what you need is the US International keyboard. I could have thought of that sooner because that’s what I used myself in Windows, because at the UN we needed the diacritics rather a lot, obviously. That keyboard layout gives you the £££ on AltRight+Shift+4. Microsoft call it RightAlt but hey, what do they know. It also gives you a fairly comprehensive selection of of the most widely used European diacritics, but the Slavic languages have their own keyboard layouts because they really, really need them. Link to Microsoft’s howto about the US International keyboard:


                      I am using a US International keyboard layout right now, actually, but I’m on Linux so it’s got some extra bells and whistles – I can easily type ḿ or ś or ź, say, not that my life is ever likely to depend on being able to do that thing! I keep a Russian keyboard layout available too, but I really can’t touch-type in Russian, so it’s a bit of a pain when I have to use it.

                      The fact that I’m using all this on a keyboard that’s actually UK hardware with the UK key legends is simply because I set out deliberately to confuse and annoy anyone else who tries to use this machine – as I have a left-handed mouse as well, I can have hours of harmless fun sniggering at my hapless friends behind their backs as they curse and swear. Next time I must try setting it to the Russian layout first…

                      I am very careful not to let them catch me sniggering at them, of course, because then they might think that I’m not a very nice person.

                      I was going to say something of vital importance, but I’m tired and have forgotten. Toodle-pip!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    5. Ed……Very interesting information about your various keyboards! Mine is probably as provincially American as any other mass produced American machine I guess, and I’m sure that software is available…..(maybe software already loaded on the laptop)…….that would reassign various keys to provide needed symbols for European use at least. My only consistent annoyance is the lack of a pound symbol, which is not really a problem, and I thankfully have no need (or personal ability) to communicate in eastern European or Russian languages. Given the limitations of my high school French, those French markings are not an issue either. Don’t know why I chose French for my high school language instead of Spanish, since Spanish is the “foreign” language spoken here in the states a lot……especially in Southern California and all along the southern border with Mexico. (Canadians speak English as far as I can tell, although they say “eh” a lot for some reason.)

                      Liked by 1 person

                  2. My favourite European languages for twiddly bits are Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Romanian, and of course I always like anything where /r/ can be used as a vowel, as in Serbian / Croat / Bosnian. Here’s the Polish alphabet: The greyed-out letters are used only in furrin words like “taxi” and “vademecum” and “quiz”. However, the alphabet alone doesn’t tell you that those letters do weird and wonderful things in combination, or that rz and ż sound the same, and not quite like the famous Czech r háček (ř), as in the sentence “Třista třicet tři stříbrných stříkaček stříkalo přes třista třicet tři stříbrných střech”. No. Not like the rz sounds in the Polish “W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie, i Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie” (full text at

                    – What’s that you say? “Shut it, you’re boring the pants off people again?” Oh.

                    Right, here’s a better description of the Polish alphabet – – and if you don’t believe it, your incredulity is quite natural. However, you can always Czech with the nearest Pole, who will probably tell you that it’s oversimplified and the English equivalents are definitely not really quite right. It’s got some fun youtube links to the sounds, though. I rather like the one for the Si combination… nice bit of onomatopoeia at the end…

                    I won’t delve into Hungarian or Romanian at all – I know nothing at all, really, about Hungarian beyond the fact that they call it Magyar, and as for Romanian – suffice it to say that back in the day I translated a treaty between Romania and the then Czechoslovakia that was available in both those languages and nuffink else – well, Romanian and Czech, strictly speaking, but not Slovakian (which is just a bit different). However – this was many years ago, and the thing had been printed out on an early dot matrix printer that had your actual original IBM diacritic-free character set – so Someone had to put all the diacritics in in both languages before it could go into the UN Treaty Series. I left strict instructions that they should be proofread by actual Czech and Romanian native speakers, but They seldom did anything I suggested, so if Romania suddenly declares war on the Czech Republic for some unknown reason, or vice versa, you’ll know that it wasn’t my fault exactly!

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. LOL Ed.

                      The stuff you know!!!!

                      I was in Hungary last year and for the first time in a long time, I was really completely lost. Fortunately, my friend is Hungarian and he or one of his friends came everywhere with us, but absolutely NOTHING seemed to resemble anything I’d ever seen before.

                      I’m told the language is related to Finnish, which is quite likely the truth as it too, is unfathomable to my ears and eyes.

                      Fortunately, most people we met spoke German, French or English.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Ed…….Very interesting! I really had no idea about what the eastern European languages are like. And it certainly reaffirms for me my utter incompetence at learning languages. I would certainly be hopeless in pronouncing those “no equivalent in English” sounds in Polish. It’s amazing to see in Polish such copious use of the diacritical marks. I can understand the serious problem with the early dot matrix printer, but I’d say you’re probably covered if war breaks out between Romania and the Czech Republic. 😉

                      Liked by 2 people

              1. We teleport them here from the home planet, Danny. We’re in the process of colonising Earth, as you call it, as our own world CedillaCircumflex is overheating and will soon reach diacritical mass. The situation is grave, acute even.

                Liked by 3 people

      1. Err, look at the picture. Would you want your High Street to look like that? That is the result of neglect. Which Westminster and the Scottish Office were (are?) quite willing to inflict on any High Street in Scotland.

        I hate explaining satire 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        1. dc……..In my case there was a transatlantic problem. In the USA……at least in my region of the USA…….the common term for the principal street of a town or city is usually “Main Street”. You commonly hear rhetoric about whether a particular bill before Congress is better for Main Street or Wall Street. So I get it now. I was probably a small minority……LOL.

          Liked by 2 people

  10. Alas, missed this interchange. Out getting pished with other old reprobates.

    *Tris* There is talk of a jolly boys day out in Dunfermline. You may have to drink beer though, instead of the finest Magyar wines that Munguin lets you taste.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I am fairly fond of Magyar wines, but their beer is rather good too.

      Thing is you’re going to have to lay on something a bit more “select” for Munguin.

      Let’s know when Conan. Can’t guarantee to be able to come but will try. There are trains that go there, non?


      1. Magyar beer? (“Magyar” is pronounced “Mojor”, by the way, with the /o/ far back in the mouth and not sounding like an /a/ at all.) Where was I? I don’t remember actually tasting Hungarian beer ever, strange to relate, but possibly because I used to stick to the original Czech Budvar / Budweiser beer when I lived in that part of the world. It’s much, much nicer than the American stuff of the same name, Danny.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Vaguely… (googles frantically) oh yes, I do remember now. The last time I had it was in Morocco, on which note my young pal there, the IT / telecoms guy, just got his first Schengen visa and is going to be able to travel outside the Maghreb for the first time in his life. I expect he’s feeling not unhappy about that.

            I see it’s owned by Heineken now – la trente-trois, not my pal’s visa.


              1. Well no, not everywhere – I spent a while in Morocco teaching English and translating, after I retired – one of my oldest pals teaches English at the Hassan II University in Casablanca. Runs a translation agency, among other things.

                Young Marouane was one of our IT go-to guys. Likes climbing mountains and then riding back down them again on the mountain bike he’s hauled up there with him. Takes all kinds, I always say… He swears he sticks to the marked trails, so I suppose that’s something.

                Liked by 1 person

  11. Tris, I can vouch for the fact that trains go to Dunfermline. I once took one there from Edinburgh. I usually say I did it just to cross the Forth Bridge but really I just wanted to get out of Enbra. Only joking, I do like going to Enbra: it always reminds me of why I love Glasgow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL… well, I can say in honesty, I love them both. And to be fair, I actually quite like Dundee. Our council’s parks department must be the best in Europe. Everywhere in Dundee is so green. And it’s small enough that you’re in the country within minutes. I’m not sure I could live in a place where there was no “countryside”

      Even in Grenoble I travelled a fair distance each day so I could live right at the foot of the Alpes.

      I just wish the weather was a little less inclement here though…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To be honest, Tris, I like cities: I can’t think of one I haven’t found interesting (including Enbra :-)) but, like yourself, I love the “countryside”. I’m glad you put it in inverted commas, mind you: it’s a terribly tame word, isn’t it? I somehow never think of places like Glencoe, Knoydart, Skye, etc., as the “countryside” – that sounds too pastoral – not that pastoral doesn’t have its place.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ye s, I agree Andi. But I can only take the city for a short time. The thought of not being able to get out into the trees and fields and hills and see birds and beasts is horrific….

          I can’t imagine how awful it must be to have to live in the middle of a big city, with no easy escape…


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