The first photos of the season. New phone with not very good camera. The garden’s looking a bit bare at the moment. Still, in a couple of weeks there will be leaves on the trees and the plants will have grown a bit and the new ones will look a little less “planted”



The other day there was a small demonstration on London’s river, the Thames. It involved a few middle-aged men and some dead fish. It seemed to get quite a bit of coverage in the media (including our own humble pages). Possibly because it involved Jacob Rees Mogg (the next UK prime minister, they say), Nigel Farage, the arch publicist, and much more interesting, the aforementioned dead fish.

Today there was a massive demonstration in Edinburgh involving thousands of protesters who joined arms around our parliament in a symbolic gesture telling the UK parliament to keep its hands off our powers.

I mean, we can be pretty certain that Westminster’s objectives in repatriating powers to THEIR parliament instead of OURS is NOT IN ANY WAY destined to be for the good of the Scottish people.

As if!

So thousands of people turned up and they joined hands and encircled our parliament, as you can see from photographs to be found all over the net.

As far as I can make out, however, the BBC didn’t bother mentioning it on the grown-up national news, and even BBC Shortbread had it so far down the pecking order it went almost unnoticed.

Indeed, according to the BBC… “news” under Scotland, a library book returned after 36 years, was considered to be more important. now Munguin’s Republic encourages people to return Library books timeously… or even late… (and we’re sure that will get Conan’s backing too) but come on… Thousands of people protesting at parliament in the capital and one library book!

So, if you aren’t internet savvy and you don’t live in fairly close proximity to parliament in the capital, you ain’t gonna know that it happened.

Well, of course, unless you live abroad… because the Chinese were there


The BBC seems determined not to report any news that is good for Scotland and in particular the independence movement, but you can bet that if only 4 people had turned up, Misreporting Scotland would have been over it like a particularly nasty rash.

I don’t know if they think they are doing Westminster a favour; I don’t know if they think there is a collection of Damehoods, Knighthoods and Peerages to be gained if they manage to keep news from us, but I tell you this, as a long-term strategy, this kinda thing rarely works.

You’ll be rumbled, BBC.

Anyway, Munguin wishes he’d been there (if only to take tea with Nicola afterwards) but to all the great folk who WERE there (and I know some Munguinites were), we say thank you for going and playing your part in telling London where to get off.

Let’s make “so called” Reporting Scotland an essential epithet.


I’m not sure I’ve ever used the blog for this before, but I’m fizzing, so bear with me, please!

chair 1

I was looking for a small chair for my meagre appointments in the attics at Munguin’s mansion when I spied the above fella online, and thought that it looked a pretty fair match for the room and other furniture therein.

So I tried to buy it. However, Dumhelm Mill’s website wouldn’t accept my address. (It seems to have to have a letter after your number, and “top left” just won’t do.) So, after a visit to the store, which proved fruitless, I phoned the company and asked if I could order it by phone.

I could!

And I did!

It was due to arrive by carrier (ArrowXL, of which more later) on the 22nd of February. And indeed it did… or rather something which looked like this, arrived.

chair 2

No, I’m not joking. And the picture doesn’t do justice to just how plastic it looks.

So I phoned them (it’s a bit of a palaver incidentally, pressing this number and that, none of which actually signify what you want. All made worse by the very loud music playing and the intermittent interruption assuring the customer that their call is important however much the evidence suggests the contrary.)

They agreed to take the chair back and said that they would send someone the following Tuesday to collect it.

They didn’t!

So I phoned them again, with the same palaver as before. (My call is very important, you see…just not important enough to answer!) “Oh”, they said, “ummm”, they said…”err” Well, to cut a long story short, they had forgotten to schedule the collection.  But they could reschedule for Thursday, and it would, for sure, be picked up… and then all I had to do was inform them and they would refund the money to my credit card.

So, come Thursday, the lads arrived and took the reboxed offending item away.

So I phoned them to claim my refund… and of course I was reminded how important my call was to them, but still not important enough to answer. Eventually, though, I got through but no, they couldn’t do a refund until they had proof that the chair had been collected. So I pointed out to them that I had signed the “online” docket and if they but checked, they would find that the collection had been made.

Oh yes, said their assistant, after some time away.

So what about some compensation for all my time wasted, I asked. Hum….

Well, in the end, they agreed that they would refund the carrier charge and after some further prompting would also send me a £20 gift voucher for their store.

Then I got an email asking me to review my purchase for their website. So I did.


I didn’t have any more illustrations, but I thought you might like a picture of Willie Rennie being attacked by, presumably, one of his voters.

Here is what I said:

“This is the chair that I ordered and the one that arrived (the two above photographs included).

“The first looked great.

“The second was cheap, nasty, plastic.

“I was so horrified I put it back in the box right away and asked the company to take it back.

“That would have been fine if they hadn’t forgotten to do that, and I hadn’t wasted a second day waiting for someone to collect it.

“Eventually it was collected on yet another day. The only saving grace is that the people who delivered and collected were absolutely great. Arrow XL and their team made the whole thing less awful.”

Still, they got their own back by telling me (in an email with no return address) that they couldn’t put my review up:

Thank you for taking the time to write a review.

On this occasion, our moderators have decided your comment does not adhere to our guidelines and therefore will not be displayed online.


I imagine the guidelines dictate that you have to say something nice about them.

So, here’s a wee warning to people who are buying online.

Be prepared for the fact that your purchase may not be what it looked like on the website and secondly, remember that the company may have a policy of only printing reasonably good reviews and binning the bad ones, so they may not be entirely reliable.

In all of this, however, I’d like to say that the people from the delivery company Arrow XL, were superb, polite and efficient, and I have written to them to let them know how much I appreciated their service:

I’m writing to praise the service I got from your company, and most specifically your delivery guys on two occasions over the past week.
I bought a chair online from the Dunhelm Mill, and it was delivered (exactly when you texted me and phoned me to say it would be). The lads had to carry it upstairs (top floor). Both guys were cheery, polite and friendly.
The chair was awful. It wasn’t in the least like it was advertised, nasty plastic thing. So I told the company to take it back.
Today the same ‘lead’ guy turned up with another lad to help him and took the offending piece of rubbish away.
Once again, nothing was too much trouble for him, and despite the snow and cold, and horrible conditions in my street, he was helpful and cheery.
I believe in complaining about bad service… and I do it (I certainly did to Dunhelm).
But by the same token, when I get GOOD service (which tends to be not so often), I like to make sure that the people concerned are praised.
So, I don’t know the names of the three guys who have been here over the last week, but I would like management to know how good they were, and what a credit to the company I thought them to be.
I’d be grateful if you would find out who the delivery guys were and pass on my thanks to them.
I shall recommend your company wherever I can.
Thank you again.

to which I received this reply:

Good morning,

 Thank you so much for your e mail. your comments are very much appreciated.  I have made sure they are passed onto the transport management team, and fed back to this delivery crew.

 Thank you once again  


ar ees1
Here’s one of your lords and masters in a lum hat. Maybe it will catch on?

So, that’s Munguin and Tris getting the info out there somehow.




Well, that’s “another year over… and a new one just begun” (as John Lennon would remind us, although I’m sure Monica will claim it as hers).

Munguin and I would like to thank all of you for your support during 2017 and we’re looking forward to another year of blogging. Most of all we look forward to reading what you say. The comments make the blog. We never forget that.

Here to celebrate 2018 are some lovely pictures of Devil’s Bridge in the Azalea and Rhododendron park at Kromlau in Saxony in various seasons.

x bridgex bridge 2x bridge3x bridge 4x bridge5x bridge7x bridge 8



It seems that this time, even his young minder friend couldn’t get him out of the mess.

With a reputation for getting seriously drunk and making an ass of himself, he probably wasn’t the best candidate for defence secretary. Of course, it’s not like he had access to the firing codes for nukes or anything (an arguably even more incompetent man had them), but it was a responsible job.

OK, I apologise in advance. I just couldn’t resist it.

He certainly made some embarrassing statements in his time. He seemed to have a talent for getting it wrong. And tact wasn’t one of his qualities when he’d had a few.

And he had a talent for making statements which showed how completely out of touch he was with any kind of reality.

So after Maybot’s spokesman was unwilling to express the prime minister’s confidence in him, despite him having owned up to touching up Mrs Hartley Brewer, he appears to have “fallon” on his sword and limped off into the sunset to spend more time with his wine cellar, in the hopes that no one will now bother finding out what else he was up to.


Resigning seems to be one of the main duties of a defence secretary… eh Liam?


To happier things…

Munguin’s Republic Halloween staff party took place today:


A good time, it is said, was had by all. (Tris was in the kitchen!) Suffice to say that Munguin will have a sore head tomorrow!