Soppy Sunday

n or6
Hello, you caught me giving my mummy a big kiss.
n nl ice
Northern lights in Iceland.
n happiness
n moooo
n echidna
n roo-ear-scratch
What? Everyone gets an itchy ear sometimes, you know.
n bertie
Bertie Blackbird.
n botswana
Elephants in Botswana.
n bus
It’s a bus… tell me more!
n cats
We’re off on an adventure.
n glencoe
n nepal
n Parkhead-X
Not in Edinburgh for a change…
n pups
See, I got a Baby Box from Nicola too!
AEbKVLqHn donkey
A great charity.
n road in china
Chinese roads… Not so much spaghetti junction, as prawn noodle junction?
n snow leop
Snow Leopard.
n who remembers
Does anyone remember this?
n satanic leaf-tailed gecko
I’m a Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko, but you can call me Fred.
n or4
I was hiding in this big tree when that strange looking bloke with the big ears and the inappropriate suit went past. So I missed him.


62 thoughts on “Soppy Sunday”

  1. Oh, I remember the coalman alright. 50’s and 60’s Glasgow,
    Hillhead across from the Uni near the Rubiyat. Cnr Lawrence & Byres rd. We also had a “leerie” a man who came along and lit the gas lamps in the close and put them out again in the morning. The onion seller on his pushbike was another familiar sight.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I still get my coal delivered like that, 5 bags a few weeks ago.
        Mind you they’re “only” 50kilos now. ;-), I’m glad I’m no lifting them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow. I bet they are in paper sacks too, sealed to that you don’t get filthy when you lift them, unlike these poor blokes. (I suppose it was always blokes?)


          1. Naw, real coal sacks, well plastic sacks, couped intae the bunker, but the coalman is the proper “black as the Earl o’ Haigs wes’coat”.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I heard that always as the Earl of Hell’s waistcoat. Also in Primary playground “Dae ye ken a dirty joke ?” “Aye, Jock the coalman”. (Jock and joke were homophones in my world). Our horse and cart coal delivery was run by one Cappy Oswald, Cappy apparently being short for captain – but I always wondered if this was just a nickname for the boss.

              The leeries disappeared when I was quite young but one of my very earliest memories is of looking out our street level window as he lit the gas lamp just outside.

              Eheu fugaces aa

              Liked by 1 person

              1. LOL Love it…

                Poor horses having to pull all that coal about.

                We’ve just been talking about how much things have changed int he last 20 years since we got out computers on dial up, and got chucked off 2 hours later.

                And the phone line was out of service all the time you were online.

                And now, out in the middle of nowhere, you can need to know some trivial information and Google it, where once you’d have had to go to the central library reference section…

                Where will we be in 10 years?


        2. Aye, me too. I got a couple of bags last week. He’ll round again this week. If I’m out, I leave the money on top of the bunker …and he leaves the coal and my change.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a whole area on the Hyndland / Broomhill area given over to Coalmen. Doubt they were plc’s, ahem. public limited companies, more just folk that worked hard, damned hard. for a living.

      Vast tracks of railways bringing in the coal, then the distributors. That flat area that was between Partick and Hyndland iirc. I think it is all housing now. Those yards gave us our energy before it damned near killed us.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I remember them too in Glasgow in the 50s. You shouted out the window how many bags and they bought them up the stairs (we were on the 2nd floor) and tipped them in the bunker under the counter in the kitchen.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Ann Rayner, trispw,

            Firstly, we must have been posh, or summat. Our close had been the victim of what we would now describe as an unexploded ordinance that completely demolished the building but, very, fortunately, didn’t go off. It was merely kinetic energy that destroyed the close. Kinetic energy is enough to demolish a single building but not enough to demolish a city. We needed the Americans and their friends. to invent that. Cycle forward to post WW2 and reconstruction.

            Anyway, we had a ‘bunker’ off the kitchen – on the top level of a reconstructed building. (If you are ever travelling up Clarence Drive, look to your left, thereabouts you will spot Polwarth Street and again, ladies and gentlemen, on your right-hand side you will spot a piece of post-war reconstruction that embarrasses the entire street. I lived there.

            It was exactly as Ann Rayner describes.

            Much later, I discovered that I could never afford to go back. Where I was, more or less brought up, became Yuppie Central, which is probably an exclusive and much cherished Post Code.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Interesting story, Douglas. Was anyone killed?

              There’s not much gentrification in Dundee. They just knock everything down and start again… or let it out to students.


  2. I sometimes as a boy got the job of counting the bags as they were tipped into our coal box to make sure they tallied with what had been ordered.

    Some coalmen it was said, would give you one or two bags less and charge the full price if you weren’t paying attention. Allegedly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Anent the bus – it’s an “Edinburgh Corporation 801 ESF 801C taken in 1967, 801 was the corporation’s first Atlantean with Alexander H74F bodywork delivered in February 1966,it was I think the first double deck body with panoramic windows and may have been exhibited at the 1965 Scottish motor show at Kelvin Hall which could explain it’s 1966 delivery. The next batch 802-825 EWS 802-825D with identical Alexander bodies were delivered in October 1966 had the then normal short window bays and these were delivered shortly after 826-850 EWS 826-850 which were Leyland PD3A/2’s with Alexander H70F bodies, canny Scots hedging their bets perhaps.” Well, so says the website I looked it up on. I know that’s cheating but, it’s an Enbra bus – it’s only a matter of time before Conan tells us how he remembers being on it when the clippie delivered a wean by ceasarean section, when a guy frae the Gorgie announced himself as the Second Coming and when Greyfriars Bobby bit the driver – or am I thinking of the number 53?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Andimac, My father-in-law an Edinburgh bus driver was pulled off his bus in Princes Street in 1940 by the army he was to spend the war years driving ambulances etc. When the war finished he went straight back on the busses ’til he retired.
      I wonder what the passengers thought.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I remember the coalmen well. We lived on the third floor of a “modern” tenement and these guys would carry the bags (1 hundredweight – 112 lbs) all the way up and dump the coal in our cellar. If no-one was in they’d carry the 2 bags up and leave them at the front door – we were good customers. I can still remember shifting the lumps of coal from the stairheid into the cellar. I can also remember when coal was running low how we took shovelfuls of coal dust from the near empty cellar and mixed the dust with water to make a sort of briquette to burn in the fireplace. Austerity – ye couldnae spell it, folks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Apologies.

      My comment, failed joke, was about the bus, not the coal! On the coal your experiences and mine are identical.

      Perhaps we are all very odd in our own ways.

      For you sir, it is buses, for me, it is a couple of industrial steam locomotives that ran around the Glasgow tram network and who’s exact details elude me.

      Chacun a son gout as we seem to say around here. The amount of detail you provided on the buses was utterly incredible.

      OK. I am probably digging a deeper hole for myself and ought to stop.

      Respect for your knowledge.



      1. Posh, Jake – nae chance! I wrote “briquettes” because I think it was like that on the hand-written sign on the lorry of the guys who sold them to us – when we could afford them. They (two brothers) used to shout “Coooaaalll breeckets!” by way of crying their wares but I don’t know where they picked up the Frenchified pronunciation as I’m sure they were practically illiterate – I suspect somebody else wrote their sign. They lived in the street behind ours and had a little yard at the local hen runs but some unkind neighbours said they made the brickets in the bath because” they obviously don’t use it for washin’ in.” I remember that they used to carry a dozen brickets up to our top=floor flat on a plank with small uprights at each end, a bit like a bookshelf.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL

        I was in an era of smokeless fuel so it was a variety of different cokes for me.

        I vaguely remember having the water heater/central heating attached to the back boiler.

        And I can remember that sometimes the water in the tank over heated and, if no one wanted or needed a bath, we had to go run it off. All that hot water thrown away.


  5. Am I the only one young enough not to remember the coal man? I wasn’t around in the 50s. Anyhoo, brill photos again Tris. Munguin – give him an hour off, he deserves it.

    Loved the snow leopard and the little kitties were so cute. Not quite as sure about Fred but we can’t all be cute and fluffy. Clever idea to give the puppies different coloured collars for id. Glencoe looked stunning – must visit it. And topped and tailed by cute, furry animals. That one looks as if he he seen something were perplexing – probably was Chuck and Cammy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Munguin says, maybe half an hour, once he’s done the washing!

      I think Fred is as cute as a button.

      If you are going to Glencoe, try for a bright sunny day. It’s pretty scary on a damp overcast one.

      You’d look perplexed if you saw that couple up close. I think it was probably relief that (s)he’d got away without having to be presented!


  6. Mind if I dump this comment here?


    “I am not at all impressed with the UK media.

    I have been following the US media which is divided around issues that matter to them, such as whether investigations against the President’s closest friends and family should proceed, whether an alleged paedophile should be allowed to run for a national position, whether the USA should go to nuclear war over North Korea or not.

    Whatever your perspective on any of that, they all, both sides of the debate, appear to have teams of investigatory journalists tasked with finding out facts.

    Our newspapers, which I sadly include ‘The Herald’ are so poor, so bereft of journalists, that they cannot do proper investigation.

    When was the last time that The Herald actually did a proper investigation – I demur at stuff they picked up from t’internet. It seems to me that their newsrooms, over a period of time are denuded of talent and resources.

    Why is that?

    Poverty comes to mind.”


    Just assuming that the Herald won’t like it and will delete it. Hopefully, I am wrong. I’d just like to preserve it for posteritory.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Our press is pretty grim.

      In Scotland it is almost all owned elsewhere and has no real interest in the country.

      In the Uk it is still mainly owned elsewhere, France, America, Russia (odd that), Sark, and places where no one pays any tax… (eh, Viscount Rothermere?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Believe it or not some of the old miners used to suck a wee bit of coal like a lozenge.My grandad had the same bit that he used for many years and it was as smooth as a pebble. It was a habit he continued after he retired and he was really miffed when it went missing. I think he was well into his 80s by then.

        He said it sorted his heartburn. Who knows it’s not a remedy I’ve tried.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. I make ginger tea myself, it works a treat for all sorts of indigestioney stuff

            The coal as a remedy thing caused me to go off on a tangent and do a google search. As a wee aside I found this:


            It’s quite interesting if like me you like reading about times gone by. Particularly with reference to your locality. Which for me it is.

            It takes a bit of perseverance though.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Dear Dan and Tris,

        I had always thought of you as male(s). These are the sort of things women, bless them, etc, do when they are pregnant!

        As a less than alpha male, (zeta?), I am quite curious about the both of you. My grandchildren, who are both male and female, and I love them to bits, will lick anything.

        I’d always assumed that it was a sort of selection process, or immunisation or summat. Thinking a bit more about it, the interesting bit is that parents may have already immunised their offspring, on their own, for instance, by the licking of the coal.

        You, Dan and Tris, may be fulfilling a duty you never even knew you had!


        Nurture / Nature discussions?

        This is a fascinating website.

        Love it to bits.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I used to crawl over to the coal while no one was looking and try to get some…

          Eventually, after endless attempts to stop me, my father gave me a piece of coal and made he eat it. (Well obviously I didn’t actually eat it, but I put it in my mouth.)

          Mine was a very short relationship with coal. I never went near it again.

          That said I’ve never really had much wrong with me, so maybe that one encounter with the black stuff was enough.

          As my grandmother was wont to say ” Ye mun eat a peck a dirt afore ye dee”.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. One coalman was immortalised in Scottish letters – Duffy, the neighbour and drinking buddy of Erchie, the eponymous waiter and beadle of Neil Munro’s short stories, these being less famous than his Para Handy but possessing a distinctive charm of their own.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well worth a read, especially in the Berlin diction for which the late Ronnie Armstrong and Brian Osborne unearthed a number of stories not included in the 1931 Omnibus edition of Para Handy, Erchie and Jimmy Swan (tales of a Glasgow “commercial traveller” around the same period.

        The Erchie and Swan stories also give a lively picture of Glasgow life and customs of the time (although Ronnie always thought that Munro, as a native of Kintyre, never quite caught the full rhythms of Glasgow speech in his dialogue). If you find Erchie, hope you enjoy. Erchie is sub titled as “My Droll Friend”, which gives a clue as to the nature of the stories. And, by the way, Hurricane Jack appears in one !


          1. Mea culpa – Erchie crops up in the Para Handy collection, in “The Disappointment of Erchie’s Niece.” Jack is only incidental to the story, having been parked in “a discreet public bar” by the name of The Hot Blast, leaving Para Handy and Dougie to advance his courtship.

            If Ronnie or Brian were still alive, I would have to deny authorship of this egregious error…😒..

            Liked by 1 person

  8. The Echidna is named after a creature from Greek mythology that was half woman and half snake. It was perceived to have traits of both mammals and reptiles. Being in the monotreme order of mammals it lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young. There are only two extant species of monotremes today, both indigenous to Australia, the other being the Platypus!

    Liked by 1 person

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