1. Hello everybody. Munguin’s sent me to welcome you to Soppy Sunday. Now I’m off to play. You have fun. Shout if you want anything.
2. Another smiley face. Loads of happy animals today…
3. Brrrrrrrr….
4. Even the roads look like spaghetti in Italy.
5. Did someone say “breakfast”?
6. Angus countryside must be among the nicest in the country.
7. Lions need a lot of sleep. And it’s not called beauty sleep for nothing. How else would we get so handsome?
8. I’m watching you…
How Thimphu became the capital of Bhutan | The story of Thimphu city
9. Thimphu, Bhutan.
10. That Andi bloke been out again with his camera. I’m wondering what he pays for sittings. Loads of grubs, I hope.
11. Who’s driving?
12. Munguin in his office doing a quality check on last week’s Soppy Sunday and negotiating a fee with that squirrel. How many nuts?
13. Who could ask for more.
14. You haven’t been flossing like we agreed at your last appointment, have you?
Manatees: Fact or Fiction Quiz | Britannica
15. I’m not really sad… that’s just how manatees’ faces are.
16. All dressed up in best finery for a night on the town.
17. The Blue Mosque, Mazar-i- Sharif, Afghanistan.
18. Winter in Finland.
Abortion in sheep - consider vaccination now to prevent losses | Agri-Food  and Biosciences Institute
19. This is our field. You need the password to get in.
20. This is one of our teachers. She’s a rather strange looking Orangutan, but she’s nice enough anyway. Oh, look… time up. You’ll have to go now. See you next week.

Thanks to Dave A, Dave S and Andimac.

72 thoughts on “SOPPY SUNDAY”

  1. Lovely, Tris! Very life-affirming, especially the orangutans!

    Angus countryside: I particularly love the view from the Cairn o’Mount. I shall see if I can find a good photie somewhere – otherwise, Munguinites, if you haven’t done so already, take an early opportunity to drive up the B974 Old Military Road from Fettercairn (or, of course, down it the other way).

    Pic. 14: Hippos are incredibly aggressive and bad-tempered animals. I’d be terrified to get that close to one. Give me a lion any day!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ach, what an eejit I am! Here’s how it looks from Google Street view, so you can rotate it; the view is better from the cairn itself, which you will see off to the right of the road looking down: Not the best weather, though.

      Here’s a nice one.

      I scattered my partner’s ashes there, because he loved it so.

      Liked by 5 people

        1. That was my thought too, Tris. The last time I got a friend to take me up there I noticed that a lot of people had had the same idea – there were little markers all over the place (I never put anything like that there myself). I swear that when I did it, there were no such markers present. I can’t believe I started a trend or anything, because I know there was no one else around at the time, so I guess it’s just, whatchacallit, synchronicity. Kinda odd and spooky, though.

          I didn’t think he’d appreciate having his ashes pigeonholed in some strange columbarium he had no connection with.

          Liked by 3 people

    2. Yes, Ed, the view from Cairn o’ Mount is very fine. My photo was taken 5-6 miles away from there, on the road between the Caterthuns (2 iron age hillforts on adjacent hills).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It looked kinda familiar, Dave!

        Munguinites from the further-flung chapters of our worldwide sodality may be interested to know that Scotland is one of those places where there is more archaeology lying around than we know what to do with. The B974 Old Military Road over the Cairn o’Mount has been a major route for traffic between Angus and Deeside for thousands of years, not just the few hundred since the road was used by the English / British troops occupying Highland Scotland in the wake of Culloden (I oversimplify grossly). Indeed, it’s been in use since the Iron Age – Dave mentions the nearby Iron Age duns / hill forts – and, I am quite sure, since humans first (re)occupied Scotland as the glaciers of the last Ice Age retreated around eleven and a half thousand years ago.

        The Roman legions used the road in their forays north of the Antonine Wall as they attempted to conquer the whole island of Britain. The Roman historian Tacitus says they did conquer the tribes in CE 83 at the battle of Mons Graupius (actual location disputed, possibly Bennachie, near modern-day Inverurie) under the generalship of Julius Agricola, but they gave up on the deal almost immediately as more trouble than it was worth (I grossly oversimplify).

        Tacitus called the opposing tribes the Caledonii, though they were only one of the tribes involved; there were more Pictii knocking around modern Aberdeenshire at the time, as far as I can make out (which may not be very far, not that it matters all that much a couple of thousand years later). The uncertainty about who the Romans’ opponents actually were strikes me as somewhat redolent of European attitudes toward the locals in colonial-era Africa, which can be summed up with the sentence “Well, they’re all black, aren’t they?” Though I suppose the ancestors of us modern-day Scots, whether cultural or genetic, would have been more likely blue, if not from woad, then from the bitter cold of the Scottish summer (which is – ahem – the origin of the blue colour in the national flag).

        Tacitus, you might think, would have known all about it as Agricola was his father-in-law, but then again and on the other hand, he was Agricola’s son-in-law and there’s a good chance he would have wanted to keep in with his wife’s dad for the sake of conjugal harmony (and, no doubt, a spot of patronage). Either way, it wouldn’t do to get on the wrong side of the Governor of Britain. The Emperor at the time, Domitian, evidently believed Agricola had won a resounding victor against the hairy-kneed wee Jockanese of the time, because he awarded him a Triumph back in Rome. (Oversimplify grossly I do.)

        Here’s an (archived) article about Mons Graupius in the online Ancient History Encyclopedia:

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Not an over-simplification at all.
          A history group I belong to has transcribed documents held in the library of the military museum at Edinburgh Castle, written by British Generals detailing the Army movements over several years following 1746.
          There is often information about where they stopped overnight and the purpose of the expedition, often to aid customs officers in preventing smuggling or catching ‘cattle thieves’. Other transcribed documents describe Courts Martial, often for desertion, or detail those hospitalised.
          For more information look up the Stennis Historical Society website which gives information about our work and includes an interactive map of the British Army Cantonment sites.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Thanks, AR! I didn’t point out, for the benefit of Munguinites who’re outwith Scotland and possibly less familiar with it, that the name “Old Military Road” for the B974 refers to that post-Culloden period.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. As far as I know, nobody has suggested the Bin of Cullen as the site of Mons Graupius.
          But it is a prominent hill in sight of the sea, and there there are Roman marching camps in the area.
          Of course, as far as the East coast is concerned, Stonehaven is the equivalent of Thermopylae.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure you would have no end of trouble at borders if you gave that as your occupation, Tris. If it were me, I’d put “veterinary dental surgeon (charismatic megafauna)”, just to be on the safe side.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I would say it makes a pleasant change from Tris having to do all the work, Danny, except I wouldn’t like to offend the most commendable Mr. Munguin, praise be upon his name, so I’m not going to.

      Of course, the workload involved in running the many tentacles of Mr. Munguin’s global enterprise, Munguin Worldwide Multimedia Print and Broadcasting Enterprises Megacorp. (incorporated in Belize), aka Munguin Multimedia Megacorp (3M Corporation) – MNR being but a small cog in that great wheel – must be truly crushing. Lord Gnome, Viscount Rothermere, the Barclay Brothers, and Rupert Murdoch himself have it easy in comparison, and nary a one of them can hold a candle to Munguin, and would be ill-advised to try.

      After all, who among the world’s great press barons but Munguin can call upon writers such enormous talent as Beau[Everyone can see exactly where you’re going with this, you smug and self-satisfied genital organ, so I’m going to nip you in the bud right now.-Ed. So there.]

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Indeed, Danny. Few people do – I’m sure Tris would agree.

          Have I said Happy New Year yet (to one and all)? If I haven’t, I have now, and although we all know what we mean is actually “Less Dismal New Year”, that’s still what I want to say.

          Liked by 5 people

          1. And Happy New Year to you too Ed.

            Americans were anticipating a much happier and more peaceful New Year. Seventeen days into the year, we’ve already had an attempted coup d’etat involving a violent attack on the Congress by the President, and a presidential impeachment. So we may have to dial back the happy expectations a bit. 😉

            Liked by 2 people

                1. There’s a saying that goes something like “The louder he spoke of his honour, the faster we counted the spoons”. Silver spoons, we assume, and a kleptomaniac house guest.

                  Trump is a lying, thieving, conniving bastard – and I know that saying that may upset some people, but that’s not my intent – it’s a statement of the truth.

                  Liked by 2 people

              1. Conan et al: After his people ransacked the Capitol, I suppose a little looting from the White House collections was inevitable. Maybe the artifacts can later be recovered from Mar-a-Lago. Actually, it’s a custom for a departing president to ADD to the White House collections. A president traditionally donates a set of china and a portrait of himself and the First Lady. I’d be OK though, if he’d just leave most of the stuff that’s already there.

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. Tris……..I’m thinking that Trump might combine his picture with the china. His face on the plate, and TRUMP in big gold letters around the edge. 😉

                    For me, a highlight of the White House tour was the china room, with cabinets all around the room containing pieces of china from every president back to George Washington. The gift of a big set of china (usually 3,000 to 4,000 pieces these days) designed by each president (and paid for by private funds) is a recent tradition first observed by Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson in 1968. Earlier White House china services are named for the president who bought them as needed for regular White House use, and were purchased with appropriated federal funds from the White House budget.

                    Early examples are from no longer complete sets, but there is enough of the Lincoln china still on hand to set a dinner of eight (the tour guide said.) The Lyndon Johnson china combines the eagle from the James Monroe service of 1817, with wildflowers of America (some sources say wildflowers of Texas) around the edge, and individually on smaller pieces.

                    The DubYa set was about 4500 pieces and cost close to half a million dollars. The Obama set was about 3500 pieces and only cost $367,000.

                    China Room:

                    Lyndon Johnson china:

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. They must have a massive storage facility to keep the rest of the pieces, Danny.

                      I can’t say I’m nuts about painted dishes with a pattern. Plain white for me.

                      The last time I bought any they cost £15 for a box and are plain white with a black rim.

                      Don’t tell Munguin about posh ones like these presidential ones. He’ll want some.

                      Yes, Trump on the dinner plates, Melania on the sweet plates, and Don Jr. on the chuck bucket.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Tris……I found this article that provides more detail about the currently used presidential china. The latest sets have had 320 place settings, but old sets of 120 settings go back to the time of Woodrow Wilson. Older pieces, including a few from the time of Washington and Adams, are in the White House collection, some of them on public display in the China Room. The article says that the White House doesn’t divulge where the working china is stored. There is a warehouse in Maryland where large White House items are stored, but that probably wouldn’t be used for the china frequently used at state dinners. The big ugly old building immediately west of the White House is the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and is the location of executive department offices of people not important enough to have an office in the West Wing of the White House itself. Maybe it has a basement storage area that might be used for china. It’s conveniently close.


                      Eisenhower Executive office Building: (Some of the White House can be seen behind trees at the far left.)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. You’re right, Danny. It’s not a pretty building, but in fairness, by comparison with some of the crap they have here, it’s not altogether bad.

                      I liked some of the designs on the china… DubYa’s and Obama’s were both tasteful.

                      I’m for simplicity in these patters… You have to eat food off this stuff. It really doesn’t want too much pattern.

                      If this is Donny’s taste, all I can suggest is it might be better if he didn’t have any china made.

                      Liked by 1 person

                  2. At other times and in other places, posterity might have chosen to expunge the likes of #45 from history. Donald John “Hatshepsut” Trump… Erasing the name “Trump” from everything his tiny, grubby paws touched seems only fitting, as one of his major missions in life seems to be to have his name emblazoned on things (and to make money out of doing so).

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Here at Schloss Freeman we have decreed, of our own sovereign will, that in past eras Trump might well have decided to deify himself – the Egyptian Pharaohs did it, Roman emperors did it, quite a few French kings would have done it if they’d thought the Pope would let them, and English monarchs put themselves in charge of their own national churches to give the Pope a blood nose for not doing as he was told, so they might as well have done it. After all, you would look like a poor excuse for a font of all one’s nation’s sovereignty who embodies the State itself in your own person if couldn’t manage to cock a snook at your feudal inferiors (and of course nobody who was anybody ever gave an airborne act of intercourse about the serfs, the plebs, the vulgus and the great unwashed) and perform a quick act of autoapotheosis at a time of your own choosing! Or at least claim that the one true God appointed you to the position, in defiance of all genetic science and logical analysis but in service of a higher, revealed Truth which passeth all understanding!

                      Let it not be forgotten that Trump was decreed by an overwhelming majority of the American electorate to be not just a god, but an Executive, democratically elected god, which is, as everyone knows, the best kind of god that’s ever been seen in the history of the world! That is what Trump has decreed, so it is therefore true, especially to those who worship at his altar, or are at least arse-kissers by Royal Appointment to His Majesty. All those evil senators and congresspersons who deny Trump’s divinely inspired and therefore untrammelled powers are not just traitorous enemies of the people, purveyors of fake news and just plain nasty, they are heretics! Time for a final solution for them all, and their minions! Caligula was a god too!

                      Nowadays, of course, if you go around claiming you’re a god (as opposed to bigly claiming that you have the best words, such as covfefe, that only you can fix it, or that murderous North Korean dictators have fallen in love with you), the funny farm awaits, so those of us who are at all sensible keep our divine natures under wraps, or bruit it abroad that we are merely demiurges – or, modestly and in all humility, just that we are just Very Grand and deserve to be treated with Utmost Respect.

                      What was that someone was saying about the Divine Right of Kings and the omnipotence and universal sovereignty (as decreed by God) of the English monarch and parliament? The man must be a real piece of work, that’s all we can say, much more deserving of prostration, genuflection or genuine adoration than any auld birkie named after piddling, past and perished Ernestine duchies such as Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, especially when they never sweat! A plague on both their houses, say we of House Freeman!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Uch, your gif didn’t show the first time I looked at it, Tris, so the URL in my post above is otiose, redundant, superfluous, surplus to requirements, supererogatory and uncalled-for.

                      Liked by 1 person

          2. Munguin keeps a tight hold of all operations, mainly because he’s a tad suspicious of money going missing if he looks away for long.

            Even when he takes the jet to faraway places, he has spy cameras everywhere.

            He takes his responsibilities very very seriously, as I know to my cost!

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely stuff. What a colourful thing in No16. I want to say spider but couldn’t see 8 legs. That Mosque in Afghanistan is stunning. A couple of years back Joanna Lumley did one of her travelogues on the Silk Road. It’s no longer available of STV player sadly. The Silk Road covers a few of the ‘Stans and they have some gorgeous building. Iran had some that took your breath away.

    Nice to see a mantee, I’ve seen real ones in Florida. Munguin working flat out, there’s a rarity, he usually works Tris flat out. Yes shush cousins, I’m about to mention you. The orangs were, as ever, smashing.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Aww… reject such a beauty?? Welcome here any time. Loved the tree stump with the Halloween face. Was that all nature or a helping hand to what began that way?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. He or she is a spider, PP. I’m imagining that the two short side legs on the off side just can’t be seen. It’s either that or the wee soul is an amputee.

      The buildings are indeed amazing. That blue!

      Munguin says that he is nearly always working his butt off for your enjoyment and delectation.

      He disappeared into his private appartements with a face like thunder. I’d avoid him until he calms down if I were you. 🙂

      Also, he wants to know what Trises are for if not for working flat out?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a species of peacock spider from India and is believed to be the world’s most colourful spider. It’s tiny – only 0.75 cm (0.3 in) long and it’s harmless to humans.🕷

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I used to be scared of spiders too, but one day I decided not to be.

          There was, you see, this rather large specimen in the bath … and I wanted to bathe, so I either had to drown him, or I had to get him out and put him somewhere safe.

          There was no question of drowning him, obviously. so I called him Sidney (the Spider) and we came to an accommodation…ie that he could live down the back to the washing machine while I had a bath.

          I think giving him a name and talking to him helped.

          Now I’m not in the last scared of spiders.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. I suppose given the enormous size of Mongolia, we shouldn’t be surprised at the vast variety of scenery. Some of it is fantastically beautiful and not that unlike Scotland.

      That statue though, eeeek.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My memories of Slovenia are as one of the most beautiful places I’d ever been.

      I wish they wouldn’t stand of top of cliffs for these films though… I have to look away!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tris, my Yugoslav pal Željko (the best equivalents of which that I’ve been able to come up with are Désiré and Erasmus) spent some of his year of military service in Slovenia in and around the Triglav national park. Triglav (whose name means Three Heads or Peaks) is the highest mountain in Slovenia and is kinda symbolic of the nation; it was also the highest mountain in the former Yugoslavia. It’s beautiful, as you say, Tris; one of those places on Earth which make us sigh wistfully with nostalgia and longing when we think back on them (which, by the way, is the meaning of the Portuguese word “saudade”, as in Darius Milhaud’s “Saudades do Brasil”, Op. 67, of 1920. Here’s a link to a performance of the original piano version of the suite:

        Here’s a picture of Triglav.

        The mountain also symbolizes something like the fusion of three pre-Christian Slavic gods, though which three apparently depends on which tribe of Slavs you ask. Pretty much lost in the mists of time, I think, and of suppression by the Orthodox churches, Communism, and our civilizations’ obsession with the material.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Beautiful… the mountains and indeed the whole of the bits of the country I’ve seen.

          The music is interesting, but a little bit too discordant for easy listening… at least in places.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like a jumping spider, going by the eyes – but their legs are usually more out than forwards. I’ve been to Finland in the winter fairly often. The temperature change from being in a roasty sauna to rolling in the snow at -30 is quite something.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s really weird, because your skin gets very cold very quickly. Then, when you go back to the sauna, your skin heats up again – but there’s still a layer of coldness underneath, and that slowly dissipates. I have friends there, about 100km south of the Arctic Circle.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. We had Finnish friends in Dar es Salaam who built a sauna on their roof (they brought someone over from Finland especially to do this!). We often went round for a sauna. Unfortunately no snow for after.
          In fact Dar es Salaam weather is pretty much like a sauna most of the time. So was a bit odd, but good fun as they’d also built a bar on their roof (and you had to climb a ladder and go through a hole in the ceiling of one of the balconies to get up there. Luckily the Building Regulations were pretty much non existent)

          Liked by 1 person

  4. How poignant to see the photograph of Thimphu, the capital of the Realm of the Dragon. I will never forget standing at the airport waiting to welcome the daily flight from Delhi one bright fresh April afternoon. Upon landing, the aircraft taxied along, coming to a halt just outside the charming traditionally built terminal building. The door of the aeroplane opened once the steps were in position and the stewardess bade farewell to the passengers. You can imagine my joy upon seeing Moira Anderson appearing at the top of the steps, extending her arms in greeting and bursting into “For these are my mountains”. The normally reserved and formal Bhutanese were enraptured by the sight and sound of this unprecedented arrival at the generally sedate international airport. The stadium in the picture shows the scene of Moira’s triumphant concert attended by almost half of the city’s population. The King himself attended and gifted Moira a golden statuette of Lord Buddha and asked her to convey his best wishes to Princess Alexandra. There is a plaque at Thimphu stadium marking the event of the concert given my Maw Man Tan as Moira is known in Bhutan which is their quaint way of pronouncing Moira Mountain. A charming accolade.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Pity Andy wasn’t there in his kilt. I have a feeling the king would have liked the bright colours of his tartan… He’s a pretty showy dresser himself.


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