Thanks to John

1. Morning, we’re just having a laugh here. You go on with your tour, we’ll catch up when we’ve stopped laughing.

jh lizard
3. What a big tail you have. All the better to whack you with!
4. Safe to give me a cuddle. Lil cows like me don’t get Covid.
5. It’s a bit perplexing. I’m trying to find out what time it is, but I have to wait till this flower turns to seed, by which time it will be too late.
6. This kind human rescued me.
katoomba australia
7. Katoomba, Australia.
8. That lot are laughing at my attempts to dye my hair. Rotten animals!
cat and cup
9. How did I get in here? And more to the point, how do I get out?
wolf and pup
10. Domestic bliss waiting for dad to come home with the grub!
11. How to be cute in one easy lesson.
12. Ulan Bator, Mongolia.
13. We’re Rabbit’s friends and relations.
14. Daddy’s favourite.
ss romania
15. Romania.
16. So, what did you learn at puppy school today?
17. What? You think a goat can’t be a reverend?
18. Boris is still prime minister? You are kidding me?
19. King of Lewis.


20. Well, that’s another Sunday tour over and done with. Do you think Munguin would consider double time for us tour guides or is that a silly question?

60 thoughts on “SOPPY SUNDAY”

    1. That’s good to hear. It’s the whole reason for Soppy Sunday.

      However, I’ve been asked to point out, by a certain small animal, who shall remain anonymous, that it’s Munguin’s Soppy Sunday!



  1. #19 “King of Lewis”…..Interesting!

    This description and comment are appended to a picture posted on Flickr:

    “Chessman Sculpture at Uig Beach Isle of Lewis Outer Hebrides , Scotland”

    “I find the story of the Lewis Chessmen a great story, there is so much mystery about it, I was delighted to come across this statue, the inscription reads thus: ‘This sculpture, carved in oak by Stephen Hayward was commissioned in 2006 by Uig Community Council with the co-operation of Ardroil Grazings Committee.
    It is based on one of the Kings in the famous collection of walrus ivory chess pieces which were discovered near here in 1831. They were found by Malcolm MacLeod of Pennydonald hidden inside a small stone structure in a sand dune but the exact find spot is not known.
    Eleven of the exquisitely carved figures are in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh and 82 in the British Museum in London. They were probably made in Norway in the 12th century during the 450 year period when the Norse ruled the Western Isles.
    Much more information about the chessmen, the Vikings and the Norse period in Uig can be found in the local museum situated in the Uig Community Hall and Heritage Centre'”.

    Very little descriptive information about the statue is found by Googling. However, there’s lots of info about the 12th century “Lewis chessmen”or “Uig chessmen”, named after the island or the bay where they were unearthed in 1831. Wiki: “Today, 82 pieces are owned and usually exhibited by the British Museum in London, and the remaining 11 are at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.”

    King and Queen pieces exhibited at the British museum:

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Marconatrix …….Wiki says that among 93 carved ivory artifacts, 78 are chess pieces, 14 are pieces from a different board game, and one is a belt buckle. The chess pieces originally made up four (or maybe five) different sets, with several major pieces (one knight and four “warders”) and many pawns missing. So it might not be possible to assemble one complete set from the large group at the British Museum today. The British Museum shelled out £84 for 82 artifacts from the hoard that it now owns. Eleven of the chess pieces are in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Wiki: In 2019, “a warder, a man with helmet, shield and sword and the equivalent of a rook on a modern chess board emerged in Edinburgh, and was purchased at a Sotheby’s auction for £735,000 … by an undisclosed buyer.” It’s apparently one of the previously missing warder pieces.

        The sets include “berserkers.” “Madden [of the British Museum] was the first person to understand that the pieces showing warriors biting their shields were representing berserkers – warriors who fought in a frenzied fury, possibly in a drug-induced trance. From his scholarship in paleography Madden knew that the Norse sagas tell that berserkers were known for biting their shields.”

        There’s an interesting article posted on the History website. It talks about how the pieces came to be, the name of the woman who might have carved them, “Marget the Adroit.” and about the association of the Western Isles and Scandinavia during the Viking Age and beyond.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. And I’m still chuckling at the name they gave the master carver lady who might have made them…..“Marget the Adroit.” Kings and Czars may be “the Great” or “the Terrible.” But carvers are “the Adroit.” 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    1. “Today, 82 pieces are owned and usually exhibited by the British Museum in London, and the remaining 11 are at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.”

      Sorry to mess up Soppy Sunday with politics, but does that not tell you something about Scotland’s place in this Union of nations (sic)? A find that is Scottish and they let us have 11 pieces! Enjoy 4th July when it comes Danny…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Panda Paws! I’ve always liked fireworks, which can be enjoyed outdoors with social distancing. I liked the Fourth of July before I even knew what was being “solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”…..John Adams. The modern version of the celebration being heavy on illuminations!

        I hope that Scotland can soon enjoy the same celebration.

        Convincing the British Museum to send back everything they have that properly belongs to others might be tricky however. From the “History” article in 2016:

        “Most of the Lewis Chessmen reside in the British Museum, while 11 are kept at Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland. The rise of Scottish nationalism in the previous two decades has brought with it cries to return what some consider Scotland’s greatest archaeological treasure back to the place of its discovery. Through a loan agreement with the British Museum, the new Museum of the Western Isles in Stornoway will receive six of the chess pieces when it opens later this year.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. PS…..Panda Paws:

        More about the discovery on Lewis, and pictures of all eleven chess pieces in the Scottish History and Archaeology collection of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. (Including a cool view in virtual 3-D.)

        The Edinburgh collection has two warders (rooks), in both the berserker (shield-biting) and non-berserker styles.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Obviously wrongly, I always thought of Ulan Bator as a kind of super yurt. Thanks for correcting my stupidity. Obviously, Western Architects get everywhere!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The first time my wife and I were able to get away together after birth of our first child , we went to Vienna for a weekend but I was tempted by an offer in same Thomson’s brochure of 7 days in Ulan Bator for £284. Obviously a pipe dream since we cd only have a weekend away. But with Vienna prices, might not have cost us much more in the end.
      These pics do not reflect the image I had of Ulan Bator. Assume it didn’t look like that in 1977 !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, 7 days for £284… sounds good till you work out that that would be over £1500 today.

        No, I don’t think it would have looked like like. I’ve searched the net for pics of it, but I can’t find any that definitely say that they were taken in the ’70s.

        My brother has been there a few times. Once on the railway journey from Moscow to Beijing. Wish I’d gone.


      1. I’m yet another Munguiite with preconceived misconceptions of Ulan Bator. Apologies, Outer Mongolians, if any of you reading this. At first glance, I thought Middle East city – Dubai, Doha, Riyadh with which I’m so familiar. Second glance dismissed that idea, although the avant garde architecture is in much the same vein. Hope there will still be a yurt to be had when I eventually get there.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Tris…..I posted the picture before I saw that it’s an architect’s drawing. But the real thing doesn’t look any better.

        Seems like a building should have some windows somewhere. One big auditorium apparently.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It looks hideous.

          I’m pretty sure that some of these architects make the building look outrageous for purposes of notoriety.

          I wonder what the acoustics are like.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The acoustics might be pretty good. Acoustic science is well advanced now, and acoustic engineering is a big part of the design of concert halls these days. A 2400 seat “Music Hall” was built as a part of the big Art Deco design Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City in 1935. The acoustics were a disaster. People in Kansas City have been complaining about the Music Hall for 85 years now. No “improvements” ever seem to work. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah, there are places like that here too. Indeed, Dundee’s Caird Hall has terrible acoustics.

              I went to a few Petula gigs in Scotland a few years ago. The first night I went to was in the modern concert all in Perth; the next night was in the Music Hall in Aberdeen, an old venue. I met her musical director before the show and he was saying that the acoustics there weren’t a patch on the night before. It hadn’t really occurred to me that MDs have to take that into account.

              I think they tried to do something about the Caird Hall, but it didn’t work. As a result almost no one comes to Dundee on tours.

              Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Perth, but not Dundee.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Interesting about the differing acoustics a touring show encounters! I’ve read that from time to time they’ve tried to do things electronically with the Kansas City Music Hall …..with microphones and speakers, even when a full sized symphony orchestra appears…..but it’s never turned out to be really satisfactory.

                I don’t know if this article in the local Kansas City Star newspaper will open in Scotland, but it’s a discussion of local venues, and whether or not they are suitable for touring productions from the Broadway stage. It mentions the size and acoustics of the Music Hall, but then talks about the issues with the larger venues generally encountered by touring Broadway productions, compared with the smaller more intimate theaters they play in on Broadway in New York.


                Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely photos – loved the coo and the lamb and the rabbit plus friends. Great to see a gorilla – so cute and even more closely related to us than the orangs who were as ever adorable. I’m a but concerned about that kitty though. I’m sure s/he was in that cup last week. Someone needs to rescue them now and indeed clean the cup then have some tea!

    Ulan Bator looks very swish. Did no-one tell them they were too poor to have a nice capital. PP – no more politics, enough!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh dear… another repetition..

      Looks I’ll be asking Mickey and Gerry if I can have some of their seed and cake again.

      Munguin will not tolerate errors.

      I found the coo when I was looking for a picture to send to my French friend Claudine, who was rushed to hospital a few days ago.

      She loves “vaches écossaises”.


      1. Easy done so tell Munguin not to punish you too much. I mean its very cute so in a way I’m happy to see it again but worried the poor thing will get cramp if it doesn’t get out soon 🙂

        Anyway you may remember some time ago I alerted MNR to the fact that a new orang utan species had been identified. Tapanuli orangs are smaller, lighter in colour and hairier than the others as they live at very high altitudes and need the extra “fur”. There are only 800 of them though and their habitat is been eyed up by that most pestilent of Great Apes, Homo Sapiens. Anyway there are cute so have a bonus picture.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Cute indeed.

          I was going to say that it would be good if we could find a way of discouraging these other apes from doing so much damage to the world.

          Then I remembered Covid.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely photos.

    8 – just like a lot of hairstyles at the moment.
    18 – Do you remember David Cameron?

    This week’s relaxing video is of the worlds’s highest waterfall in Venezuela.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for that, it is amazing. What does he say about trees? Around 2:40. I kind of get it that trees can’t grow up there but he says a bit more. Listened to him a few times and none the wiser.

      Anyway, beautiful and inspirational.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. yeah, it says that you can’t find a tree that is undamaged, because of lightning strikes. I’m not sure it would be a very safe place to be… but maybe in the dry season.

          600 km away from civilisation sounds like a plan to me.

          Thanks, Marcia. Absolutely beautiful.


  5. No one’s mentioned the Bulgarian beasties, so I’d better thow in some background anyway. Especially as the Resident Sassenach picked up the giant frog/toad so I could get a photie. It refused to pose for long enough to get a ground shot. It first came to attention because our cats had found something of interest. Puddock must have got lost from the long grass in the back paddock and was making its way along the gravel border next to the RS’s botanical plantations – with Minnie and Numbi (the cats) taking great interest.

    I was summoned to inspect as it was the biggest specimen she had ever seen, and sure enough it was the size of my fist instead of the ‘normal’ amphibians we have known elsewhere. After my failed photographic attempts, she just picked it up – and the result is evident above. Pic done, she returned it to the long grass, much to the disappointment of the cats. Aw, we were having such fun with that thing.

    Earlier in the day she had disposed of a whip-snake, even if she didn’t at the time that’s what it was. A snake turned up while she was gardening, a long thin bugger about two and a bit metres long, so she just picked it up and put in her weeding bucket , fetched her tablet to take a photie, and chucked it over the fence to another patch of long-grass paddock. (Extensive grounds at MacMansions, although we cannot compete with Munguin Towers for horticultural splendour). I was able to identify the whip-snake from ger pic, very common in our part of the world, and totally harmless. But handling it – even wit her garden gloves on? In our Africa days, she’d have ru for cover. Every snake was a venomousmamba and to her mind the only god snake was a dead snake.

    Meantime, neighbour Kay had a visit from the ‘glass lizard’ you also see above. Looks like a snake, but isn’t and very pretty and colourful as well. Protected species here and supposedly very rare, but we see them all the time. Unless it’s the same one who keeps visiting, knowing it will come to no harm. Kay was also quick to bring the ‘giant frog’ down to size. She has several in her garden pond and they’re nothing more special than ‘Common European frog’ (or toad). Can’t remember which. At least it keeps us going with SS material. ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought they were lovely, particularly the big frog who was the source of so much entertainment for Minnie and Numbi.

      I too was surprised that not one Munguinite mentioned them.

      Please thank the RS and Kay for the pictures.

      Munguin was very keen on the lizard. He said he like a collection for the grounds.


    2. John, your amphibian looks like a large example of the common European Toad (bufo bufo – I love that name!). Ugly though they may be, I like toads.

      Liked by 1 person

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