So Munguin had me toiling in the fields today, despite the bitterly cold wind. He’s an animal of very little compassion. However, as he was supervising from the window of his penthouse apartment, I couldn’t slack and quickly warmed up by working double plus hard.

There were some pleasant early surprises so I thought I’d share them with you.






Most surprising of all was this rose. A rose in February? Only in Munguin’s grounds!


  1. Things are somewhat more advanced in the centre of England – trees started budding in late January.

    I’ll email some piccies taken in the woods where there’s swathes of snowdrops & crocus – in between the odd 5 or so grey squirrels Moose has killed this year, hence “woody” pics 😉

    *All* the trees are budding now. No exceptions.

    Not sure whether dog looking satisfied above dead squirrel counts for soppy sunday pics? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah please send some pics, just not the dead squirrels ones…


      I guess there are buds on the tress but they aren’t busting yet, except maybe the Magnolia, which looks very close.

      I must have a look at the others.


      1. I’m concerned that Moose is specifically targeting the grey squirrels. This seems to take the animus suffered by American grey squirrels in Scotland and England to quite another level. 😉

        Beautiful flowers in February! I’m sure Munguin must be pleased with his penthouse view. I wonder if the awfulness of Scottish winter weather is not overrated?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. LOL. It’s not just Grey squirrels, Danny.

          Anyone who is quite British is being hounded at the moment.

          Munguin, of Antarctican origin, is only saved for persecution by dint of his great fame, wealth and burly security men (stolen from Col. Ruth Davidson) at the entrances to Munguin Towers.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely pictures and great to be affirming that whatever mayhem (I use the term on purpose) is going on in politics, at least the seasons are continuing to function more or less as normal.
    However, on a totally different topic, I have been watching some of last week’s Question Time (recorded) from Aylesbury, England, and am appalled by the comments if the majority if panellists and audience on the case of the teenager who joined ISIS and now wants to return to the UK. Most if them wanted her not to be allowed, and it is on the news this evening that she is to be stripped of her UK citizenship. Surely this is against international law as she will be made stateless?
    Whatever she has done, expressed regret or not, she was underage, had been brainwashed and is still barely an adult, and has just given birth in a hostile environment.
    This is why we have have declarations of human rights. We do not have to approve of what she has done to afford her the basic right of returning home as a UK citizen and, of course, facing the consequences of her actions – something which the likes of a Tony Blair, George Bush etc who, by their warmongering caused the rise of organisations like ISIS, will never face.
    Sorry for the rant but this is also why we in Scotland must fight for or at least abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, even if the UK by leaving the EU, wants to abandon them. It is a mark of civilisation to treat those you do not agree with, or who have committed crimes, in a humane manner.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’ve been writing elsewhere that we need to make explicit in Scots Law that the international conventions to which the UK is signatory apply to us too, and in the event of a dispute, international law shall prevail. This is a general principle of international law, as it happens, but you’d never know it from the mouthings and maunderings of those Little Englander types – after all, it rather competes with their quaint notion that the Westminster Parliament has infinite and ultimate jurisdiction over absolutely everything for ever and ever amen.

      If you think about it, you can see why it is that way: there is no point in signing up to international conventions and treaties if you’re not going to abide by them. We know, of course, that the world is full of tinpot dictatorships who sign up to things for PR purposes and just for the look of the thing, but the Brits (in the late ’40s and through until about Margaret Thatcher) were supposed to be better than that.

      The German Constitution (Grundgesetz / Basic Law) says it out in clear in its article 25, entitled “Primacy of international law”; it reads as follows: “The general rules of international law shall be an integral part of federal law. They shall take precedence over the laws and directly create rights and duties for the inhabitants of the federal territory.” (http://t1p.de/pxlx)

      That’s pretty much what I want to see our Holyrood Parliament put into our domestic Scots law – and one of the things that tickles my fancy about that idea is the idea of the Westminster regime getting all bent out of shape over it, and entering a plea with the Supreme Court to penalize the Scottish Government and Parliament for stating something that is true anyway, and supposedly uncontroversial… Would the regime have the hubris or the chutzpah to say, in effect, “How dare you say that you are going to abide by the law in force! Whoever heard of such a thing? We shall stop you, and override the will of the democratically elected Government and Parliament of the people of Scotland, as we always do when you have the temerity to disobey us!”

      Not a very good look, eh? … And it would allow us to block actions by the Westminster regime in Scotland which violate international law, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to give it its full title, and also the various conventions on the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers.

      Readers who may have wondered why Germany acted as it did in taking in so many refugees from Syria (and elsewhere) need wonder no longer: in doing so, Germany was abiding by the laws in force. Unfortunately, unpleasant, racist, xenophobic and bigoted regimes such as the one at Westminster prefer to ignore such things whenever the fancy takes them…

      Liked by 5 people

        1. It is startling that the Vice President of the USA – and, presumably, his master – are so fecking unaware of international opinion, because anyone who is not blinded by parti pris, bonkers religiosity and sheer stupidity could have predicted that outcome, that reaction from the Europeans, in half a second, even with no intimate knowledge of NATO or the other institutions which were set up in the wake of WWII to try to prevent it happening again.

          Well, it is happening again, and as usual it’s the bloody short-sighted, insensitive and venal right wing who’re swallowing the hate-filled messages that bring out the absolute worst in people, with the home-grown cabals nourished by injections of laundered cash from dictatorial regimes such as Putin’s. It’s strange, isn’t it: those people are xenophobic in general as well as racist, but they don’t seem to mind foreigners at all when they supply them with dosh. Viz. Trump: poor Latinos, and Latinas with babes in arms, escaping the hellholes their countries have become, in which the USA played a major part – they are, we are told, a security threat to the USA; Russian oligarchs and friends of Putin are, however, most welcome, especially when laundering Russian Mafia money into top-notch condominiums in Trump Tower, or Saudis saving Trump’s hotels from financial ruin by booking whole floors and paying in advance. Cf. other Saudi investments in property, in the UK almost exclusively in London – and remember that the major property owners there are Conservative millionaires – something like 75% or more of Tory MPs are landlords in some way or other, I believe, so of course they recused themselves from voting on a law expanding tenants’ rights – not.

          Another few planes and bombs, Prince MSB? Yes, you can keep Crimea, no problem, Mr. Putin. And so it goes on. I understand that Trump’s latest wheeze is the death penalty for drug dealers. What a charmer the man is.

          Liked by 3 people

      1. Short answer to your erudite post is, I agree absolutely.

        When we sign up to international treaties, we must keep to their terms.

        It must be written into our law, if it is not already.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you never know.

      The climate here is even more unpredictable than it used to be.

      There could be snow next week.

      A few years ago in February, I was on the beach in St Andrew, in shorts, eating ice cream… and exactly a week later I was shovelling snow off the paths.


  3. Thank you for your patience in bearing with and/ or supporting my off topic comments about Shamina Begum. It was just a gut need to express my horror at the reaction of some people and if the British government. I like the idea of upholding international law against the wishes of the British Supreme Court. Ill try not to make a habit of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This removal of her British Citizenship is just pandering to the grass root englanders.
      The maybot professess to be a follower of Christ.
      Maybe a few verses from that book called the King James Bible should help.
      1 Peter 2:9
      But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
      Matthew 7:1
      “Judge not, that you be not judged.
      Job 5:19
      He will deliver you from six troubles; in seven no evil shall touch you.
      I don’t profess to be a follower of Christ but I consider myself more Christian than the maybot.
      Let the girl come home to her family, she may see that violence will not make the world a better place.
      We can but hope.
      Her child will be tainted with this and who can tell what he will do in the future.
      The maybot is behind this as she is the rUK prime minister, she can show a bit of common concern for a fellow resident on this planet, I’m sure plenty of other ex Isis supporters have returned already.
      He who is without sin should caste the first stone.
      Today’s lesson is over.
      What a wonderful planet we live on, I’ve got a wonderful spread of crocus’, all colours, beautiful to behold, yes spring has sprung but beware the snows of March.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Are snows colder or warmer than ides (of March)? Munguin would rather have snows of course, given that Ides involve payment of debt.

        It has always amazed me that people who trade so hard on their Christianity behave in ways so foreign to said principles.

        I suspect they pay scant regard to the Bible and much more attention to the writings of the Daily Mail and the Sun so beloved by their followers.


        1. Just listened to the little englanders in their parliament.
          A tory says 900 or so left the rUK to go to Syria, 40 have already returned, supports javid for removing the statehood from a wee lassie and her child.
          Funny that the speaker didn’t call any of the rebels are any real comment from either big party leaders on the subjest, yes subjest, they all know the principle of the squirrel, oh look, a labour councillor has defected to the tories, so what, there’s no real difference.
          We sure need to be out of this union, too many layers of corruption, deceit and verbal knockabout.
          The snow in MArch will be wet. I can’t ever remember a warmer February in my life.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, it’s time they stopped playing to their voters and started being sensible, if now lawful.

            The kid was 15 or thereby when she was “radicalised”.

            She, whether they like it or not, is English. They seem to think she can claim Bangladeshi citizenship, but I’m not sure if that’s true. She certainly has family in England.

            The people they should be going after are those who radicalised her and so many others.

            She sounds rather unpleasant, but at last glance, that wasn’t a crime…otherwise half of parliament and almost undoubtedly all of the cabinet would now be winging their way to destinations unknown.

            Still, I’m sure they know best. I mean, they usually do, right?


            1. NY Times:
              “In 2015, Ms. Begum, who is from the Bethnal Green area of East London and was then 15, made headlines when she traveled to Syria with two classmates at the height of the Islamic State’s power in the region. The three young women flew to Turkey from Gatwick Airport and then boarded a bus to the Syrian border. They soon became the poster girls for young Westerners looking to join the group.”

              “Ms. Begum has said she does not regret going to Syria. She told The Times of London that seeing a severed head there did not faze her because ‘it was from a captured fighter seized on the battlefield, an enemy of Islam.'”

              Tris: “She sounds rather unpleasant”

              Well YEA!!!

              Has anyone investigated what overt acts she may have undertaken in furtherance of Isis atrocities that she (now an adult woman) apparently has not a shred of remorse about?

              A matter for British law of course, but if she were an American citizen, the loss of citizenship would likely be among the very least of her worries. Westminster does famously make up new laws as they go along; so surely the statelessness issue can be gotten around in a case that seems to so richly deserve it. Christian forgiveness must have its limits, even in the UK.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Well, I’m not an apologist for her. She sounds , as I said (sarcastically) rather unpleasant.

                But I am mindful of two important facts.

                When she went she was a child radicalised by older people, if I remember rightly, online.

                And, that she sounds unrepentant, she is currently in a camp filled with ISIS people. What she is saying to the world may well be tempered by the fact that she isn’t totally free.

                International law appears to say that you cannot make a person stateless. I imagine that is because it would be easy to take away from every person who pissed off government, their right to live in the country. There are numerous people in Dundee I’d love to do that to, and quite a few politicians.

                But where would they go?

                The Brits have said that she should be entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship, but she’s never been there. And Bangladesh says that yes, she may be entitled to apply for citizenship, just as some of my friends may be entitled to apply for Polish or Irish citizenship.

                However, but rather like in the case the Brits who are processing applications for residency permits for Europeans… as she now has a criminal record for terrorist offences, they won’t entertain her application.

                So, and here I am in accord with Trump’s previous attitude, she has to go back to England and stand trial under English and international law.

                I note that while demanding that European countries do this, Trump has declined to do the same with some woman from Georgia (I think).

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Tris……Interesting comments!

                  Trump is in the process of trying to deport young people….the so-called “Dreamers”…..back to their native countries. These are people who were brought to the US as babies or small children and have never known any other country. (So far, Trump has been blocked on this by the federal courts.)

                  I can appreciate the citizenship issue as a matter of law, although I was surprised at the outpouring of sympathy for a very adult looking 15 year old who managed to travel on her own to Syria just fine, and now, as an 18 year old woman, declares no remorse whatever for Isis atrocities. Seems pretty OK with it in fact. I see your point that back in Britain she might be able to speak more freely and truthfully, but absent some credible expression of remorse at a minimum, I would save my sympathy for someone more deserving. I would certainly want to know if she committed any overt acts in furtherance of Isis atrocities, and if so, as you suggest, a British trial for those wrongful acts would seem appropriate.

                  That’s an American opinion of course, and America would not be the place to go if you’re seeking sympathy involving terrorist radicalization. Isis beheadings have not played well here of course, and as far as I know, being a juvenile is not likely to be considered much of an excuse……or much of a legal defense if wrongdoing is proved. BTW, as for sympathy for juvenile acts, it’s only been 14 years since the US Supreme Court declared execution of juveniles (under the age of 18) to be unconstitutional. Before that, juveniles could be executed in a number of states. A 14 year old boy was executed for murder in South Carolina as late as 1944. (A black kid of course.)

                  Anyway, after reading these comments, I do know who I want on my jury if I run seriously afoul of the law. Namely, the contributors of Munguin’s Republic! WHAT a bunch of softies! (Softhearted to a fault I might say. 😉 )

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I don’t feel sympathy for her…although I feel more disgust for those who radicalised her.

                    But I’m aware that she is not at liberty , where she is, to start criticising ISIS, so I reserve judgement on that.

                    It’s a matter of international law (although, of course the UK is above all that nonsense) that she be returned to face trial in the UK.

                    LOL. You Americans are a hard assed lot!

                    As for Trump

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Tris…..yes, the USA is a tough country…..LOL. No wonder we elected Trump. 😉

                      A sentiment more commonly rendered as ” is a tough town.” As in, “Chicago’s a tough town. ” Or “New York’s a tough town” is also popular. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                2. Alabama. “Hoda Muthana, an Alabama woman who joined ISIS but now says she regrets aligning herself with the terrorist group”.That a quote from an NBC story entitled “Trump says he will not readmit Alabama woman who joined ISIS”: http://t1p.de/pb3e. She was born in Hackensack in New Jersey, and her dad was a diplomat from Yemen, so he was likely in the Yemeni Permanent Mission to the UN.

                  I can imagine that Saudi Arabia’s treatment of Yemen, with the support of the US and the UK, might have radicalized her somewhat…

                  Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes – how dare anyone do this to an innocent child? If there is a case for her to answer, let her come to the UK and face prosecution. Whether she’s innocent or guilty of any crime – which she got into when she was a minor – taking her passport away and leaving her, presumably, stateless, is petty, vindictive and stupid. And her baby deserves absolutely none of it.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Indeed. If you hear a strange thwacking noise round about now, it’ll be me flogging a dead hobbyhorse: we really, really must affirm the primacy of international law over our domestic Scots Law, because it would be another check on the worst instincts of overweening governments whose members believe that human rights are wasted on most people.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. It is *supposed* to. However, unless you put it into your domestic law *explicitly*, you do not give your courts anything to work with, and you can’t go to the court and say “This DWP policy of sanctioning housebound, disabled, mentally ill and diabetic ex-soldiers so they starve and die as they can’t afford food and their insulin goes off in their fridges because their electricity has been cut off is illegal” because there’s nothing in the law to say that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – or any other convention – has the force of law.

                …so jealously does the Mother of Parliaments guard her infinite sovereignty, on which the Law depends, that she retains the right to decide just how much international law it wishes to domesticate, and how.

                The Westminster regime treats us subjects of Her Majesty worse than it would be obliged to treat prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.

                Other jurisdictions have constitutional courts: so you put your primacy of international law into your constitution (as the Germans did, or were obliged to do by the Western Allies after WWII), and the Constitutional Court becomes the highest authority on whether existing domestic law and practice are consonant with the applicable international legislation.

                I stand ready to be corrected on any of this, by the way: although I worked in the field of international law, my experience was not from the legal end so much as the linguistic. If someone has grounds for shooting me down in flames, please go right ahead, because I’m not wedded to my misconceptions.

                Liked by 1 person

      1. As you know, Tris, I never (cough) write anything off topic, but I like it when others do. Sajid Javid, like his predecessors Amber Rudd and Theresa May. I notice that he is a former Managing Director of Deutsche Bank, and organization currently under investigation for laundering billions upon billions of dollars for the Russian Mafia / oligarchs, including by lending that nice Mr. Trump immense amounts of dosh even after he’d been blacklisted by every bank in New York because of his repeated bankruptcies and failures to pay back loans.

        I wonder how much prime real estate Mr. Javid owns? It would not in the least astonish me if it’s rather a lot. It’s odd how much dark and dirty money seems to flow through Tory hands these days, really it is… but the whole party is close to being a criminal enterprise these days, it seems to me.

        There, that’s your Freeman conspiracy for today.


  4. Nice fotos.

    I knew tortoises were slow but that poor thing seems to have become petrified or whatever the stone equivalent is. I saw an orang utan sculpture at a garden centre – was tempted but cost nearly £40 and well isn’t indigenous to my garden…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ah, Tris, such a profusion of horticultural delight! However, it inspired a wee ode –

    An Ode to a Springtime Garden

    Now Winter’s frosts are gone away
    and snowdrops nod their heads in play.
    The crocus turns to warming sun
    and daffodils join the floral fun.
    But seize their beauty while you may,
    soon others will come out to play –
    whitefly, greenfly, countless bugs,
    as well as snails and slimy slugs.
    They’ll all infest your garden plot
    and soon will eat the bloody lot!

    Liked by 2 people

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