BBC - Earth - Apes reveal secrets to good sleep
1. Do you mind? I’m not up yet. Come back later… or if you’re sticking around, at least shhhh, and let an Orangutan get her beauty sleep.
2. Gjirokaster, Albania. I remember going into a bookshop there and all they had were the works of Enver Hoxha in a variety of languages (why, I’m not sure as the country was closed to foreigners). None were in English! They really didn’t like America and many hadn’t even heard of England or Scotland.
3. Cruachan Corrie, Scotland.
4. Felix, who seems to have taken over the local hostelry in Srem. Mine Host?
5. What idiot left this stone here?
6. OK, who among you has tusks like this, eh… eh? Thought not!
7. Chloe wrapped up against the cold of a Bulgarian winter.
8. Now I’d like to play you Mozart’s Flûte Enchantée. Quiet in the cheap seats, if you please.
9. Khartoum, Sudan.
10. Who, me?
11. Hi Munguin, any chance of a job in your gardens… Look at the flowers I grow.
12. You’re the strangest looking dog I ever saw, but we could be pals, eh?
13. Tom and Jerry, who seem to be unaware that one of them is supposed to be a mouse. That said, Munguin has two mouses who are called Tom and Jerry, so I suppose that’s OK.
This is Nuuk, Greenland during the summer. | Greenland travel, Nuuk  greenland, Nuuk
14. Munguin has decided to buy a small place in Greenland. He thought this loch looked nice.
15. I wonder if I get half fare, seeing how small I am…
16. Boris Johnson and the Pritster coming to Scotland… You’re having a laugh…
17. Cuteness overload? Yeah, that what everyone says.
18. Cambridge.
GIANT ANACONDA!...Meet Anaconda Named Medusa - YouTube
19. Me and my pet human. She only little and quite house trained, but she likes a cuddle.
20. Well, that’s it for another week. If you’re not too busy, pop in same time, same place, but don’t wake animals up too early. We get cross.

Thanks to John, Claire, Kay and Dave.

132 thoughts on “SOPPY SUNDAY”

  1. Exceptionally life-reaffirming this week, Tris! Beautiful. No doubt Munguinites will be astonished to learn that my most favouritest, most life-affirmingest favourites are the ones with the orangutans.

    The rest aren’t half bad either, in fact lovely, but à chacun son goût, which is, as all Munguinites know, French for everyone has his own gout.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 7. One Christmas, my daughter thought it would be fun to dress up our Jack Russell terriers as “Santa’s Little Helpers”. The two pups took one look at each other and attacked without warning. No dressing up dogs in our household…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thought we might have had another Moira Anderson story from Beauregard this weekend, but so far disappointment. Meantime, the revelations about Moira’s career inspired me to find out if any other stars of Scottish entertainment had such extraordinary claims to fame beyond their stage persona.

    Andy Stewart seemed a good place to start, and by coincidence he featured in AOY yesterday so it seems an opportune moment to share some of what I’ve discovered so far. And it does pass as a soppy story for Sunday.

    My research has revealed that before becoming such a star of stage, screen, and radio Andy made his living by writing jingles for TV commercials. His turning point came when he was commissioned by a Glasgow advertising agency to write a jingle for their client, a welding business in Clydebank, then still the heartland of Scottish ship-building.

    The company was called Scottish Solder, and its unique selling proposition was Hillsa Foam, a patented catalyst in the welding process that produced extra strong bonds between the steel plates that were an integral part of bulkhead fabrication. Although Hillsa Foam was a very special product, it had several competitors, much cheaper but nowhere near as effective.

    Comparative advertising was banned, but Andy found an inspired way to distinguish Hillsa Foam from inferior substitutes, coming up with the Scottish Solder song and its crucial pay-off line “They are not THE Hillsa Foam!” The ad campaign was hugely successful, and as a result, Scottish Solder expanded into export markets and soldered far away in many a land.

    This coincided with the decline in the ship-building industry but the new export markets enabled Scottish Solder to thrive while other companies were closing, with attendant loss of jobs and incomes. In his own way, Andy and his work for Hillsa Foam helped cushion the worst of the negative effects and made a very tangible contribution to Scotland’s economy.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hillsa Foam was not only a technically superior product, it had the advantage over its competitors of being much safer in use. With inferior products there was always the danger that inhalation, ingestion or even skin contact could result in painful inflammation of the joints and deep muscle tissue. It was a condition known as “flux ache” and as anyone familiar with work in the yards will attest it was as familiar as it was prevalent. This advance in occupational health and safety was not only recognised and appreciated but celebrated in the hogmanay toast heard in so many Scottish households before the bells “Andy Stewart and the Hillsa Foam, For Flux Ache!”

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Tris……..So it’s a pun on “hills of home”? I’d never heard the song, and Google was no help on “Hillsa Foam”…….LOL.

          I encountered him some time back on YouTube. “Roamin’ in the gloamin'” and Harry Lauder is more familiar territory. 😉


      1. At first, PP, I thought – anaconda – but looking again I realise it’s her sister, Wilma Conda, who’s always hanging around small people.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Boa constrictor, anaconda? Reminds of a story that will put me in the running for an Ed Groan Award. What do you call a snake that builds aeroplanes? A BOAC constructor.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. John, I am awarding both you and andimac Freeman Golden Groan (Lifetime Achievement) Awards (MNR edition) so’s I don’t have to hand out any more of the daily ones because, let’s face it, “bone idle” sounds like far too much work for me.

          Keep up the good work, both of you! I shall henceforth groan silently into my beard.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks, Ed. That will be cherished. Right up there on the mantelpiece alongside my autographed photie of Cyd and the book signed by Hilary.

            Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks, Tris. I searched for Python and Boa Constrictor but didn’t think of Anaconda.

        Searching for ‘python’ brings up lots of references to the programming language. When I added ‘snake’ I got lots of references to creating a snake game using python. I had to scroll down a bit to get snakes.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Dave…PPaws……I have some experience in this area, and I’m thinking this is one of the four species of Anaconda…..quite possibly “Eunectes murinus, the green anaconda – the largest species of Anaconda, found east of the Andes in Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago.” Anacondas are reported to reach 30 feet in length and up to 280 pounds.) About 17 ft is more common actually, and reports of 30 ft snakes should be taken with a grain of salt since people tend to go crazy when they report seeing a really big snake.

      When it comes to big snakes, you got your boa constrictors, your reticulated pythons, and your anacondas. “These are some of the biggest snakes in the world, and many people get confused about which is which. The first thing to note is that the anacondas are species [four species actually] of boa, not a separate type of snake. That leaves the boas and the pythons.” Eunectes murinus, the green anaconda, is a big boa.

      OK….I looked all this up. My personal experience in this area involved an unfortunate encounter with a pet snake while in college. I have no idea what kind of snake it was, but BIG! I didn’t think that my (former) friend Mike was any stranger than the usual university undergraduate, but when I and a group of friends walked into his apartment one evening we were confronted with a giant pet snake, more or less enveloping a floor lamp. I tuned around and left post haste. I’ll put up with a lot, but I don’t associate with sociopaths.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Tris……I lost track of Mike. I’d say it’s 50-50 that he was eaten.

          I assume that they lose the occasional tourist in Florida’s Everglades National Park that way. Thanks to keepers of pet snakes, Burmese Pythons and such invasive species have taken over the place. This report from 2012 puts the population of Pythons in south Florida between thousands and hundreds of thousands. Fortunately Florida has a telephone number citizens can call to receive removal assistance by trained handlers:


          Makes rattlesnakes and alligators seem like a piece of cake. 😉



      1. Danny, many years ago I had a job where we had a duty to protect the property of anyone who was admitted to hospital, or some kind of care, and there was nobody else to look after it. As this was in central London, we often encountered people involved in the more exotic side of life.

        I wasn’t involved but a colleague was called out to the flat of a stripper who had a snake involved in her act. He didn’t take any chances and called up the zoo for assistance. When they got to the flat they found the snake on the bed on top of an electric blanket. The guy from the zoo casually flipped the snake into a bag and removed it.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. LOL Dave……Great story! I tend to avoid strip shows that involve snakes, but I’ve heard of such things. What’s a stripper to do who can’t care for her snake?
          My former sociopathic friend Mike went on holiday and was successful in finding a friend to care for his snake while he was away. Clearly there are crazy people everywhere. 😉

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Tchah! “Crazy people”, sez he. And sociopaths. The cheek! My eye and Betty Martin!

            I once visited a snake sanctuary in Kenya where one of the star inmates was a very large African rock python – well, I say “very large”, I’d say about 3 metres long. Munguinites should know that snakes are taboo in some cultures, including among the Maasai, so my guys who were with me had some fairly strong feelings about this. So, after some conversation in Swahili and a fair amount of sniggering, the attendant was summoned and opened the snake’s large cage / habitat – the weather was quite cool, so the snake was quite torpid – and lifted the snake out.

            I knew something was coming – the sniggering is always a dead giveaway – so I was not surprised when the attendant made to drape the poor, innocent animal over my shoulders. I imagine that the expectation was that I would scream and run or otherwise embarrass myself, which would have much amused the onlookers, I’m sure. Now, when presented with a venomous snake or a small, unidentifiable one that I think might be venomous, I will leap six feet in the air like a cat surprised by a cucumber, but although that poor python was upset, I wasn’t, so set about calming it down. Eventually it snuggled up around me and went to sleep as I walked about visiting the rest of the place. It was a bit heavy for comfort, really, but I didn’t want to disturb it further.

            My guys looked a bit stunned at this, which was kinda gratifying, but there was nothing to it, really there wasn’t. I wouldn’t have minded having that snake as a pet at all. A snake doesn’t shed hair and dander, bark at postmen, scratch the hell out of the furniture, sick up in the kitchen, or get hairballs at 3 a.m. They eat rats and mice, and they never need you to take them for a walk. No nasty mammalian births to deal with either: eggs are so neat and clean in comparison…

            Here’s a nice picture of an African rock python. And no, I wouldn’t call any African rock python of mine Hissing Sid.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I’ve heard stories from Morocco about guys with snakes in the tourist areas. If you got too close they would whip one round your neck and then demand payment to remove it. No problem for you, Ed, but some people might be close to a coronary.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Ed…..Great story! Have you written a memoir of your African adventures? I would advance order a copy from Amazon. 😉

              My larger philosophical point is more about the crazy people who keep snakes as pets than about the snakes themselves. Like all other animals, they belong in the wild with the other non-human creatures, pursuing prey and being pursued AS prey, up and down the food chain.

              Your point about dogs and cats is very well taken. Domesticated dogs will bark at you, jump on you, and otherwise make nuisances of themselves, right up until they decide to bite you, which they often do. Cats on the other hand will usually just ignore you. So cats are better pets……quieter, less annoying and less dangerous……IMHO.

              Liked by 2 people

                1. My experience with pythons in Africa was somewhat different. A young lady called Glenda Kemp was a very popular entertainer and her pet python was an integral part of her act.


                  She was seldom out of the headlines and those of us in the hackery business got to know her well. As a result, she did a private show at my house for us (I was a born-again bachelor at the time) and much fun it was too. Although we were all risking getting locked up had the polis suddenly appeared.

                  Python discussion here prompted the memory, and checking with Mr Google to see if he had any news on what became of Glenda. Never have guessed that she’d be a happy-clapper and joined the Christians who used to condemn her so enthusiastically.

                  Liked by 3 people

  4. Lovely lovely lovely. What cute woolly jumpers but I think that owl might be broken 🙂 Are Tom and Jerry part of the Bulgarian crew? Loved the bunny and the puppy. However, I should have had a wash before getting the bamboo flute out, I’m manky – pandas are supposed to be black and white, not black, white and brown!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, PP, I wondered if the panda should have been orange 😄 As for yourself, I always thought you must be black, white and, well, red. Oops, well-read 🐼

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, PP. Tom and Jerry own our neighbours Kay and Martin. Like so many of our domestic cats, they just turned up and took over. Tom has featured in SS before, with a full frontal showing off his tache. That’s how he got his name as a wee kitten – from the Magnum actor Tom something (Shellack, Sillock?) who also has a splendid upper lip display.

      His pal turned up about the same time. Nothing mouse-like (not even a mouse-tache) but Jerry was the natural name to complete the pairing. While we’re at it, and from the department of useless information, did you know that the cartoon characters took their name from a best-selling Victorian novel, The Adventures of Tom and Jerry? They were pair of reprobates, given to wild sprees of carousing in London’s less salubrious hostelries,usually with calamitous consequences, much like the rampages of the cartoon duo.

      For a while, ‘tomandjerrying’ was a popular expression for going on the tear. Assuming that description is still extant in Scotland. Or is it an indication of my full-house in yesterday’s ‘Over he hills’ quiz?

      Liked by 3 people

          1. When I think on it, there used to be a bass instrument called the serpent.
            Woodwind, I think.
            It fell out of use in the 19th Century.
            Oops, I see eddjasfreeman beat me to it!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. The tuba is a far superior instrument, eddjasfreeman.
              After the tuba was introduced, a number of bass instruments fell by the wayside.
              The serpent and the helicon, for example.
              Even the sousaphone never became popular except in marching bands and New Orleans-style dixieland.

              Liked by 2 people

                1. Yes, eddjasfreeman, that’s a helicon alright. I’m sure I could get a few notes out of it.
                  Before my Granny destroyed the family archive, I saw a photo of an ancestor (great grandfather?), in uniform, on horseback, and playing a tuba. Must have been about the year 1900.
                  I don’t fancy playing a tuba on horseback.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. It’s hard enough to get music out of a tuba on the march.
                      On foot.
                      Speaking from experience.
                      Once, at the Gala Day in Denny, I collided with the wing mirror of a parked car.
                      The tuba was alright. Not a scratch.

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. The beautiful wildlife pictures especially the zebra remind me of the time Moira Anderson was on safari in Tanzania with some of the cast of Dick Whittington which she had been performing at La Scala in Greenock.
    They were in three open landrovers touring through the grasslands and admiring the scenery and wildlife. Moira of course was radiant in her glamorous outfit bought new at Watt Brothers, the crowning glory of which was her Cameron of Locheil hunting tartan toorie and scarf, presented to her at a function held in her honour at the Grand Hotel in Dalkeith by members of the Medicine Hat branch of the Clan Cameron Association of Canada.
    Moira was enthralled by the safari and especially captivated by the giraffes which she said always reminded her of her dear friend Sir Alec Douglas-Home.
    She had just loaded another 36 exposure reel into her highly prized instamatic when her landrover – the lead vehicle in the caravanserai – shuddered after receiving a hefty blow. Heavens above! What could have happened? The landrover continued on its way only to be battered by another heavy blow. The passengers in the landrover behind were shrieking and gesticulating wildly, pointing to the left where a rhinoceros was glowering at the lead vehicle, pawing the ground and preparing to charge again. Which he did, almost toppling it. Panic set in, except for Moira, who faced the danger with gallantry. A faithful Tanzanian retainer who had been jogging along at the side of the second landrover ran up and explained the problem. Moiras’s colourful toorie and scarf were as a red rag to a bull and had enraged the rhino. Could she please remove them? Moira was racked with indecision. How could she remove the garments gifted to her by admirers across the ocean?
    The problem was solved when the driver of the vehicle raised his sub-machine gun and felled the threatening beast with a single shot, solving Moira’s dilemma and saving his vehicle and guests.
    Back in the tree-top lodge over cocktails and goat curry, Moira and her friends laughed over the comic aspects of the incident, while grateful rhino horn poachers thanked their lucky stars for the windfall bonus.
    The Canadian Camerons were later told the story and had a hearty chuckle over the stushie their toorie had caused!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Beauregard.Wonderful stuff, and no disappointment after all. My Andy Stewart researches have yet to come across an overlapping story with Moira but perhaps you have something in your acchives. Meantime, I have discovered another of Andy’s little-known achievements. As a result of his work with Scottish Solder, he was commissioned to write music to commemorate the centenary of the Suez Canal in 1969.

      It’s quite an amusing tale, and as tomorrow is another ‘laughs’ day, I’ll save it for then and let us carry on with Sunday soppiness.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure you heard the story about Andy, Moira and other stalwarts of the arts and culture scene and their peace-making mission to Vietnam whither they had been sent by the UN in an attempt to bring the conflict in that divided Indochinese country to an end.
        No doubt you remember Andy, Moira, Lex MacLean, Lulu and the Alexander Brothers presenting their report to the United Nations in musical format – the first and only time that happened. The Security Council were surprised but not as surprised as when the Thingummyjig Dancers presented the Executive Summary through the medium of modern interpretive dance.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I remember those dark days at the STV studios in Cowcaddens. Fran and Anna ruled the Thingummyjig franchise with a rod of iron – if you wanted on, you had to give them a wee “present” to their sockpuppet, the so called “Laird o’ Coocaddens”. It was usually a few ounces of coke, but see trying to get coke in Glasgow then? Irn Bru had the place sewn up tight, they had all the chippies in their poke.
          Lulu had the right idea – she got out of that den of iniquity and went off to Berlin with David Bowie.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. We all remember Lulu’s apparently jaunty number Boom Bang-a-Bang, don’t we. Wasnt it great! However, few people are aware that the song was Lulu’s scathing condemnation of the carpet-bombong of Laos and Cambodia.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. Superb! That must feature somewhere in the And Stewart files and I’m sue I’ll come across it eventually and perhaps be able to add some more details. What I have discovered is some very interesting stuff on Andy’s contribution the the Apollo XI moon landing and Munguin readers will be regaled with that story before long.


      1. PPaws……It is indeed the River Kelvin. As a student of physics, I knew about the Kelvin temperature scale and the great physicist, mathematician, and engineer William Thomson, before I learned that he took the name Lord Kelvin (1st Baron Kelvin) from the river that flows near his laboratory at the University of Glasgow. He was Professor of Natural Philosophy there for 53 years, and was the first British scientist to be elevated to the peerage.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Danny, I’ve taken photos of Glasgow Uni and the River Kelvin from that very spot – it’s on a bridge over the river. By the way, there’s a fine statue of Lord Kelvin not far from there.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Danny

      Here is your favourite Missourian Republican on the Alex Salmond show again. The look on the democrat Professor from Howard’s face, priceless!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. PPaws……Even though Alex seems to have an inexplicable attraction to the right wing Missouri attorney and politician who’s never won an election 😉 , I did enjoy the professor from Howard and the interview with Wade Davis. (Even though he had a kind word about a program of national service (slavery), and about the idio

        Liked by 1 person

        1. OOPS PPaws….pressed the wrong button……I’ll finish my thought:

          PPaws……Even though Alex seems to have an inexplicable attraction to the right wing Missouri attorney and politician who’s never won an election 😉 , I did enjoy the professor from Howard and the interview with Wade Davis…….Even though I think I heard a kind word from Davis about a program of national service (which would be slavery), and about the idiot Gerald Ford who pardoned Dick Nixon (who was a crook.) I must read Davis’s article in RollingStone:

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Picture 2. Gjirokastër in Albania.
    I’ve never seen a picture of this city before but I’ve just finished reading a novel about it by Ismail Kadare called “Chronicle in Stone”. It was hard to get into a first but turned out really interesting.
    My flatmates and used to listen to Radio Tirana every night when we were students. The Albanians all spoke English with Australian or NZ accents.
    I bought a phrasebook full of handy phrases like “How many new hospitals have the heroic Albanian people built this week under the wise guidance of Comrade Enver Hoxha?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha ha. Brilliant. I actually did an interview for Radio Tirana when I was there.

      It was a strange but magical place back in 1990. Totally untouched by Western society. It was sort of like we stepped off the plane and moved back 40 years.

      There were no cars, apart from government ones and there was only one set of traffic lights in Tirana.

      Another thing I remember from when we arrived at the airport. They checked out luggage for anything religious !!! So I was safe there.

      But they confiscated one of the women’s magazines because it had advertisements for underwear and was thus classified as pornography.

      I can’t remember the woman’s name but she had a PhD in European languages and must have been well into middle age.

      A likely pornography fan she was not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I’d been Enver Hoxha, I’d have sanctioned just one western writer but would have deliberately chosen something with limited appeal to the Albanian reader, like those Dick Francis mysteries set in the world of English horse racing. This way, I’d give the illusion of choice and still see my turgid books of political theory outsell the very best literature the west has to offer.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Ah, how cunning. Look… I’m still the best selling author in the country …even WITH competition.


          Enver was sneaky too, but it wasn’t a clever sort of sneaky.

          The story goes that one of his ministers was causing him problems so he invited him to the presidential residence, a very very modest house tiny by the standards of other European heads of state (and obviously a fraction of the size of Munguin Towers) for discussions.

          He suggested that they take a walk in the grounds and discuss their differences… and whilst out there, he shot the bloke dead and in a stroke solved the problems between them.

          Another thing I remember reading was that The Albanian tv station announcer used to say, at the close of programmes for the day.. “Goodnight, Mr President”, because no one else could afford a tv.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It would be hilarious if Enver Hoxha had been the only Albanian with a VCR and had actually been watching Dynasty just as Albanian TV was closing down for the night.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I just got a vision of Blake Carrington playing Enver Hoxha with Joan Collins as Mrs H.
              Instead of running Denver Carrington in Colorado, he could be running Enver Carrington in Tirana.
              And when the Carrington clan all trotted off for the wedding in Moldavia, they could have gone by bus. So much nearer than from Colorado.

              Liked by 2 people

          1. Who knows what sort of videos he purchased, under an assumed name, from the evil West? (All for research purposes, of course. Know thine enemy sorta stuff)


                1. Trump prefers TV to movies, as far as we know, but that’s probably because he has the attention span of a gnat.

                  Johnson, now… hmm. Sword-and-sandal beefcake movies? One of the Oedipus Rex movies? Who knows what he and Carrie watch on Netflix after a hard day’s quarantining … and who cares?

                  Liked by 1 person

              1. Stalin was a film fanatic too. I won’t swear to everything in the article I’ve archived here, but it seems pretty much as I recall from my misspent youth:

                Hitler too liked his films: if I recall correctly, his favourite film was Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”.

                Yeah, that was my reaction too.

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. Lord… Imagine you misjudged his mood….eeeeek.

                    I read that they were all terrified of him.

                    So much so that, in the last week of his life, he had retired very late (and very drunk) to bed instructing that he was not to be disturbed in the morning until he indicated that he had awoken.

                    Despite the fact that they were worried, they were terrified to disobey him when he didn’t call them at all.

                    Eventually his housekeeper went in in the evening and found him unconscious, having suffered a stroke.

                    I suppose the lesson is that we should not be too grumpy, lest we are left alone to die.

                    Munguin will bear witness to the fact that I, unlike Stalin, am never grumpy.

                    Liked by 1 person

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