n oo
Hello everyone. Welcome to Soppy Sunday.
n banff canda
Banff, Canada.
n mates
They don’t make Vaporetti like they used to…
n dundee, dave
Dave tells me this was taken in Dundee recently. I’m trying to work out where… Anyone?
n guoliang tunnel in taihang mountains china
Guoliang Tunnel, China. 
n bathtime
n jaanese garden
Japanese garden.
n bat
No smart Alex remarks about me being batty…
n cat1
Well… some of you like cats.
n black
One overheated blackbird. If you can, make sure the birds in your garden have somewhere to drink, and to bathe if possible. They find the heat exhausting too.
n cherry
That made me want some cherries… at half past ten on a Saturday night… Fat chance.
n garden
The garden at Munguin Towers.
Say AHHHHH!  I’ve no idea how Frank got this shot, but I think you’d agree it is brilliant.
N finland derek,
Derek took this one in at around midnight a couple of days before midsummer in Oulu, Northern Finland.
n hamish (roaming junketeers)
Hamish, the chief Roaming Junketeer.
n grass
n cote d'Argyll frank.
You might have assumed Côte d’Azur; in fact Côte d’Argyll. (Frank)
n moon
La lune.
n hens
Anyone for a boiled egg?
n harris
Another Côte d’Azur, this time on Harris.
n hofskirkja ice
Hofskirkja, Iceland.
n ire
If you can see yourself, wave. Don’t often get such a clear view of our countries
n o
OK. That’s your lot for today. Come back next week and we’ll find some more nature for you to behold.

56 thoughts on “SOPPY SUNDAY”

  1. Photo 1 is perticklerly life-affirming. The rest are beautiful too – well, maybe not the seagull’s tonsils so much – but I was particularly struck by that hummocky, tummocky kirkyard in Iceland. It would make a triffic set for a zombie or a vampire movie… they’re definitely not pingos, so what are they? (No, nothing to do with bingo either.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Munguin Towers gardens looking very nice indeed. Nice kitties – did anyone see on twitter the video of people coming off an escalator and having to slink off to the side to avoid a kitty plonked in the middle of the exit! Costa Scotland looks marvelous- would love to go to Harris but not cheap!

    Hamish looked braw and spare a thought for Hamish the baby polar bear who is overheating in the Highlands! Anyway I have to disagree with Ed – I though the last picture was particularly life-affirming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Since RET came in a few years ago, my wife and I go regularly, ferry prices are very reasonable. Accommodation not so much. Get the tent out, you’ll enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Tents, midges, mmmm I wouldn’t & I come from Lewis 🙂

          Hotels are expensive May-September, B&Bs the same. Outside that period its dirt cheap.

          What pushes the costs up are bus tours of (mainly) aged English tourists. Most of the big hotels (Caberfeidh, Seaforth etc) have a couple of busloads a week which will usually fill half their rooms during the week. Thursday & Friday nights are usually busy with wedding receptions in summer although the bride/groom normally lay buses on if they’re from the country.

          As an aside I really can’t think of anything more soul-destroying than bus tours. English pensioners seem to love them to bits however, possibly because they don’t actually have to come in contact with any locals other than hotel staff?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, a bus tour seems like the kind of thing I would pay good money to miss.

            My elderly neighbours went on a bus tour all the way to Italy. JEEEEEZ. I’d rather eat my own foot.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. What I found wierd about the Lewis/Harris bus tours was that these people would come rolling off the ferry on the bus to the hotel on the edge of Stornoway (Caberfeidh is about a 20 minute walk from the narrows); check-in, eat a cheap Table’d’Hote menu, get up the next day & go on the bus to Callanish/Carloway/Bragar/Arnol etc. Eat another sameish meal etc etc.

              As I said they were almost always English – the French/Germans on bus tours to same hotels always got out & about to meet locals.

              Never really thought about it until now. Makes sense in a sad sort of way.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. Have been on a number of holidays in Europe, of the pensioners – on – buses type, and to be fair we have usually met a lot of nice people, Scots and English. It is true however that they tend to stick together,which of course may be the language barrier. I usually had one day to go off on my own ploys, which usually led to my wife being quizzed on whether she was worried about me, or enquiries about how I knew about trains, buses and local football etc.

                  Best fun was on a Saga holiday about 20 years ago, a group of elderly, mostly Mail and Torygraph, types with a marked suspicion of J foreigner Esq. The rep issued seat numbered tickets everyday since she told me that otherwise, there would be daily squabbles. . At dinner, we were in a table of 8 and my wife, a born agent provocateur, would drop a penny in the slot, eg gypsies, immigrants, asylum seekers, then sit back impassively as middle England unleashed its existential angst. Unforgettable. Great trips and great fun, but never again !

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Oh lordy, a bunch of Mail and Telegraph readers… on a bus….for a fortnight… ARGH. I’d be suicidal.


                    I’m not very sociable to be honest.

                    A coach trip with others, or a cruise, is like a total nightmare for me.

                    My preference is for a place I’ve never been, hopefully a language I know nothing of but can learn enough to get a coffee or a beer, and either one good mate, or alone.

                    Obviously Munguin should be there.


                    1. My own ultimate delight is a solo trip, to which my wife is agreeable for the odd weekend away in an Italian or Spanish city. When I do go off on a solo day in group holiday, I seem be regarded sometimes as a cross between Marco Polo and Wilfred Thesiger, venturing off among alien tribes who speak strange languages. A guy on the Saga tour told me he admired how I go off on my own as if I were embarking on some great adventure. Wife shrugs shoulders and just says that “he does that all the time.”

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. It begins to make sense, if the Saga holidaymakers are so scared of being somewhere foreign without a guide, that they should be so afraid of foreigners coming here, or us being a part of Europe.

                      I wonder what they make of people who do their education is a series of foreign European cities, like my mate Dani, from Budapest.

                      Bachelors degree in Scotland; Masters in Sweden, PhD in Ireland.

                      Imagine having to learn another language….they say.


    2. Munguin employs a team of highly skilled gardeners, equal in skill only to those employed at Balmoral. He pays them almost as much as he pays the people who write articles for his Republic.

      Have you got a link to the video?

      I feel really sorry for the wee polar bear. … and all the polar bears in the Arctic who are suffering in the heat.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. don’t say I never give you anything!

        The gardeners should ask for the pay rise. They’ll not get it but it annoys Munguin to have to hear about money”

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Garden looks good. I remember green grass, that’s what we had before global warming isn’t it? 😉

      Down here in Leics all the grass is dying – 14 days since we had any rain and that was 1mm; 15 days prior to that we had 0.6mm. Gritters were out last night spreading dust/whatever onto melting roads.

      Unbelievable June, pretty much no clouds at all just day after day of blue skies. Still Wimbledon/school holidays are coming so that’s bound to trigger the rain gods anger 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        1. We can still use hoses here too so back (NE-facing) lawn is mainly green, given up on the front 🙂

          Our water company is Severn Trent who I believe still hold the record of appearing at the Old Bailey for corporate fraud – twice, guilty both times. They lose twice as much water as they supply so imagine how much I care about their problems 🙂

          Anyway “hosepipe bans” are virtually unenforceable in legal terms as it would involve the water company having to admit to failing to provide a service “with reasonable care & skill” – clearly impossible when you lose more water than you supply. That opens them to millions of “breach of contract” claims.

          Drought orders are a different matter and are rare as rocking horse sh….. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Indeed it is. Long may that last.

              Current “Vestas patio” temps are 32.7C in shade, 56C in sun (where tomatoes are 😦 ).

              The worrying thing is I seem to be getting used to 30-35C temps over the last few years – every window we have now has some form of blackout blinds which are deployed early in the day 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Tris, if you want cherries on a Saturday night or any other time look for a Gean, they’re just starting to redden up here. Not a lot of flesh, but so sweet. Last year, the one I normally raid the birds beat me to it, so I didn’t get much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. I’ve got a red current bush like that. Always end up with nothing, thanks to the birds. Same with teh strawberries.

      In the years I’ve had them, I’ve never had one berry.

      I think the birds expect them now.


      1. My redcurrants trained up a trellis and is currantly (see what I did there) weighed down with fruit. The wood pigeons however, like to eat them just before they’re ripe so I never get any either. Netting bushes are just unsightly hassle

        There’s a wood pigeon nest in my Rowan and the magpies and jackdaws are just waiting their chance. I don’t give the chick very good odds on survival when the parents are both off getting food for it.

        There’ll still be woodies aplenty to eat my red currants though. And pak choi, I just gave up on that completely. I used to have these cute but extremely thick collar doves instead but now the woodies have moved in, not so much. Not that woodies would win any intelligence competitions but they survive through their capacity to polish off loads of food. Mine are almost spherical, like footballs with wings.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There used to be a maltings right next door to my house and there was always a flock of feral pigeons feeding off of the spilt barley (let’s not mention the rats). Now there are rows of expensive rabbit hutches there, the flock seems to have moved on or died off and the cushets are back.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the photo of my Harris, before I emigrated, and the seagull Boris look-a-like. Looks as if the yacht is called “The sea”?


    1. The beach is (I think) Luskintyre and the bay after that is Seilebost. You can just about see the edge of Taransay in the far right of the photo.

      Of course I could be well off the mark, been 27 years since I drove that road. ISTR that road ultimately led to the (at the time) only C road in the UK, near Rodel IIRC.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re going to regret asking that 🙂

          No is the short answer.

          Longer answer would involve things like :

          1) Climate – winter is fairly brutal, ambient temps might look OK but wind/rain chill can kill you really fast. Been there myself once, missed last bus & had to walk 7 miles, winds at 60+ knots temp 5C (allegedly), rain falling horizontally 🙂 Luckily some kind soul gave me a lift 3 miles out of their way or I wouldn’t have been bothering you with my writing;

          2) Lack of opportunity – virtually everyone young leaves the island. Out of my S4 “class” 13 people out of 31 were still on the island 2 years later. Once you get to Highers nobody who passes them stays. There’s no jobs and no affordable housing – more on that in 3) ;

          3) Housing – there isn’t anything affordable. Seriously there’s people I know who have been living in caravans for years as there’s no chance of a council house inside 5 years unless you’re a single mum. Buying – its a poisoned chalice. Lets say you built a 3 bed house for £125k + planning/building/architect fees (there are no big builders up there) today. In a years time there’s a good chance it’d be worth less than you paid to build it.

          4) Health care is frankly appalling – dentistry being an ongoing issue after decades; if you have a doctor within 10 miles then well done.

          5) Council is a load of amateurs even by council standards. They’re the guys who made BCCI famous. They’re probably in the council for life should they choose.

          Its a poor place, probably one of the poorest in Europe once fuel costs are taken into account. Things are only going to get worse there I’m afraid – an indy Scotland might ameliorate that but (even with things like RET) I rather think Lewis is going to be bottom of the heap as usual 😦

          Liked by 1 person

          1. If I could comment on just one aspect – that of health care which you refer to as appalling . If you are looking for a doctor’s appointment you can usually get one the next day and I was able to see a consultant for my medical condition within weeks and subsequent follow-up appointments in a month. I’m not sure how that measures up with appointments on the mainland but a consultant I know tells me that she expects to see referrals in that time scale.

            I imagine that you must have left some time ago as I really do not recognise the picture you paint.

            Sorry for going off topic Munguinites!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Provided of course you can get to the doctor John and not vice-versa which is the case for many. Often hard/impossible to get buses to surgeries and back in many areas.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh and I “left” in 1990 but still have family/friends up there. Dad died in 2008 after long illness so I guess that’s the last time I was engaged with the NHS there. Doesn’t seem any better since then to people I know?

                Liked by 1 person

            2. You know that going off topic here is standard practice.

              I’m really interested in this.

              And it’s a good subject because we should be seriously concerned about all our communities.

              No use complaining that we feel neglected by Westminster, if Edinburgh neglects areas of Scotland.

              Great to be able to get different views.


          2. That is a dismal picture…

            I hope independence will do something… and the fact that, if we ever got round to getting good internet there, people could live in clean air, in good housing, away from the terrible rat race of the dirty towns, and run their business online from there.

            But I guess it’s a dream.


  5. The garden at Munguin Towers is beautiful. I suppose the public tours are already fully booked for the summer?
    Did the people get out of the house in Iceland before it sank all the way to the roof line?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL….

      Maybe it’s a good idea to have the roof down low in high winds…

      As for the garden, I’ll have to ask the assistant under gardener’s deputy for that information. But I’m sure Munguin will fit you in should you decide to drop by. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. On that subject…….Have the Tories reinstated fox hunting yet?
        I don’t like the fact that Scotland allows the royals to hunt stags and other wildlife critters there either. Or are hunting regulations not devolved?

        Liked by 1 person

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