Monthly Archives: August 2010

Something beginning with…

When I first announced that this week’s theme would be “Something that begins with the same letter as your User Name”, little did I know what a maelstrom of confusion would result. What sort of thing? Who’s name? Are you sure it’s not YOUR name? Do you mean my REAL name? Fancy anal sex, Wombat? No hang on, delete that last one, that was something else entirely. Ah well, we seem to have got it right eventually, with one or two exceptions. Next week I’m going to make it something REALLY obvious.

33xkylet-X-factor fans This was a bobby-dazzler. You all showed stonkloads of initiative and imagination in your entries, but I have to give pride of place to @xkylet. Lumbered with finding something beginning with ‘X’ to photograph, he told me that he hoped to snap a xylophone at the concert he was attending. This tweet appeared a couple of hours later – “Damn! That’s a glockenspiel”. Undeterred, our hero left the concert, and on spotting these young ladies on the left, was struck by inspiration. They love Jedward! They must be X Factor fans! Well played, sir.

If you look closely, you can see the woman in the background thinking “Look at that randy old goat”.

02zevans23-It's noon GMT Therefore Sun is at ZENITH Ha Okeydokey, back to “I received them in this” order. First out of the traps was @zevans23, another tweeter with a difficult job. I would have just photographed a zebra-crossing, but not for him the obvious and the mundane. Oh no, he posted this moody shot, which I thought at first (before I put my glasses on) was a silhouette of Alfred Hitchcock. The consummate beard-wearer explained “It’s noon GMT, therefore the Sun is at ZENITH Ha”.

04ariadnes_web-That's a better one and you get a free butterfly in there too @ariadnes_web tweeted a photo of her Apple Tree, where the apples have just started to fall. They make fantastic apple crumbles, apparently. Can you spot the free bonus butterfly in her photograph?

05Miss_ripley On the right now is some sort of primate from @Miss_Ripley. What might the ‘M’ be? It’s certainly not a mandrill or macaque – maybe it’s a Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur? Heh, I’m just kidding, kiddies. It’s a Monkey, obv.

06johnrands_tmtl-I present Jugs (pair of) Hooookaaayyyy what do we have now? Time for something risqué, do you think? Yes, I tend to agree, it’s always time for something risqué, so here on the left is a pair of big jugs sent by @johnrands_tmtl.

07mooglemeg-meg the dog Awww, look what @mooglemeg has sent us – it’s Meg the really cute dog – she’s the one at the front, I assume. What are all those round things on the bed-head? My best guess – marshmallows placed handily for satisfying those middle-of-the-night munchies.

08rosamundi-robin Still on the ‘creatures we love’ theme – although you know, usually I can’t be arsed to group your entries into themes or, what is it the telly people say? Strands, that’s it. Far too much trouble. I’m no @captain_doodle with his nicely-grouped similarities and his Venn diagrams and his arranging all the parts of a face into a contiguous, yet strangely alluring, whole which then haunts you for several days so that you eventually have a REALLY scary sex-nightmare about it and can’t get back to sleep.

Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes – still on the ‘creatures we love’ theme. here’s a cute ickle robin from @rosamundi. As usual from her camera, it’s a stonking photo.

09matt_cochr-I present marshmallows NEXT! Ah now look, if I was Theme Guy, this would have gone up there with Meg the Marshmallow Dog. For tis a plate of diddy marshmallows from @matt_cochr. Nom. All we need now is a mug of hot chocolate. *looks eagerly for next submission*

53ameadey-A is for arse sundaypics Sorry for lowering the tone Oh, it’s just @ameadey’s arse. Although I’m sure that it’s just as tasty as hot chocolate, and like that most warming of sweet beverages, completely irresistible when dotted with tiny marshmallows.

10ironthighs-Fwd Ice Lolly Maker (unused until this morning) From the sublime to the ridiculous now, and from @ironthighs comes this Ice Lolly Maker , which apparently was unused until the #SUNDAYPICS. From this angle, it looks like a small pack of tablets prescribed to fight some unthinkable disease. But it isn’t.

11tweetfeetuk-Dont normally do SundayPics but couldn't resist T for Trainers gotta Run ;) Next up is an entry from someone who doesn’t normally do #SUNDAYPICS – @tweetfeetuk couldn’t resist supplying us with this pic of trainers before finishing with “gotta Run”. No wait, come back! Co…. too late. I was going to ask whether there was any significance in the cruciform layout of said footwear. It will remain forever a mystery.

12davidgilray-Dozing dog Ria caught napping on the furniture, again Aw look – tis a doggie! A dog that is dozing. So it’s a fair bet that the person who sent this begins with a ‘D’. Let’s have a look – aha! We were right! Tis @davidgilray, who caught Ria (the catnapping canine) napping like a cat on the furniture, again.

13thom_white-T is for Tomatoes We’ve come to expect good photography from @thom_white’s entries, and this week is no exception. Note the clarity and freshness of the moisture on those tomatoes. Lovely.

14julietims-J is for Juice (Not from concentrate) And here we have some juice from @julietims. She is also at pains to point out “Not from concentrate”, although whether that refers to the juice or to Julie herself is up for debate. Julie’s juice there, ladies & gentlemen. Yes, I know it sounds vaguely dirty, that’s why I keep repeating it. Julie’s juice – *snigger*.

15andromedababe “Andromeda Heights” – sounds like a Western film. “Five rode in to Andromeda Heights. Only one rode out… Starring Brad Pitt as Mike ‘One Bullet’ Wombat”.  In reality though, tis a nameplate (on the left, see?) posted for us by @andromedababe.

Back Camera Oh look, the next one’s clever, over on the right! Tis the #SUNDAYPICS blog, captured on a DVD by both @dai_bach and a little touch of Photoshop in order to get the image the right way round.

17macjude-meerkat baby taken at Burford Wildlife last year Are you going “Aw!” at the picture from @MacJude on the left, or have you just remembered that your car insurance is due for renewal? Yes, it’s a meerkat baby taken at Burford Wildlife Park last year – I assume that Jude means the photograph was taken, rather than that she smuggled the creature out. Nah, you’re wrong, it’d be easy. Just stuff it up your jumper and walk out. Simples.

18liam54-So This starts with my Twitter name, my real name, P from my surname and even sounds it too Do I win anything ‘Ere, ere – fancy a spicy photo, guvnor? Look here on the right – phwoar, eh? Tasty… @liam54 chose this because it starts with the same letter as his “Twitter name, my real name, P from my surname and even sounds it too”. Eh? Oh I see – Liam Perrons Worcester Sauce! “Do I win anything?” he asks. No, I respond. Once bitten twice shy – I once jokingly told @clairabellejp she’d won a yacht and now she keeps mithering me about it. Mind you, if anyone’s worth a yacht, it’s her.

19bundleberry-Heres Boff  hs my SUNDAYPICS *Wombat concentrates really hard on not making any pussy jokes* Aw, erm, look at the lovely puss… er, cat. I wouldn’t mind giving that a good stroke… er, piece of fish. I think I’m going to make it – @bundleberry tells us that this is Boff…. move on quickly, Wombat, move on quickly.

20ButMadNNW-B is for books (from whence came my username) Although @ButMadNNW posted photos of Board games, Brighton Beach and a Boat, I’ve chosen the one on the right for this blog – Books (specifically, the book from which comes her Twitter name). Partly I chose this one because it does reflect her name, but also cos The Wombat does love his books.

22acumbrianvet-My name is Moria and that starts with an M and M can be for Misbehaviour Bit of a misunderstanding from @ACumbrianVet (see first paragraph) but I’m quite happy to let it stand not only in the name of fun, but also in the name of ‘I don’t care’. Her name is Moria and M can be for Misbehaviour – that’s an intriguing step up from the naughty chair. Not that I’d no, for I’m never a Naughty Wombat.

23djdarren-Dark Knight, innit Albeit a panda - What you can't see in the photo is his roller skates. This Dark Knight knows how to part Another disturbing image now from @djdarren – it’s The Dark Knight, innit? Or at least The Dark Panda. What you can’t see in the photograph, sadly, is his roller skates. This Dark Knight knows how to party.

24heidivodka-me in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon And now, if you look to the left you’ll see something thrilling. Something to raise the pulse and set the heart pounding with a barely controllable frisson of excitement. Yes, it’s a helicopter over the Grand Canyon. And yes, if I had the choice, rather than capturing the magnificence of the Grand Canyon from above, I too would have succumbed to the allure of @heidivodka.

25mikeybaer-Because wombat37 couldn't see inside my menu I've done another sundaypics Initially, @mikeybaer posted a photograph of a fairly tedious (brown) menu, but because I whinged about not being able to see inside, he heroically changed his entry to the photograph on the right. He knows that I can’t resist juicy melons.

26jingleby @jingleby took the theme most literally, and posted a ‘J’, which begins with itself. I’m assuming that’s a fridge that it’s clinging to in a rather lonely fashion, rather than the hull of a private yacht, say, or a white Rolls Royce. Or maybe I’m being too fanciful and it’s actually a monogrammed toilet bowl…

27kirtle-St Jacobs Kyrka Stockholm (am I allowed that) A trip abroad now (at least from where I’m standing), as @kirtle takes us on a visit to Sankt Jacobs Kyrka, Stockholm. “Am I allowed that?” she asks. You’re allowed anything, Flower, there aren’t many rules about here (as I’m sure you’ve noticed). It looks a beautiful building.

28mrsactive-M is for Mixer check out the piccie on the wall too I’ll bet that when you started reading this post you didn’t realise you’d be going ‘Wow!’ at a food mixer. Actually, perhaps you’re not doing that at all, but I did – it’s like the queen of mixers, reminiscent of a Fifties American car. It’s the sort of mixer that James Dean would have used. It came from the delectable @mrsactive – check out the piccie on the wall too.

29hastillonlyme-close one eye and squint to the right, it's a Hare Your eyes have probably strayed over to the right, and you’re thinking “What in the name of Lepus europaeus is that meant to be?” Well, if you close one eye and squint to the right, you’ll see that @hastillonlyme has showed us a Hare. At least, I’m told it’s a hare. If you tell me it’s a rabbit instead, or some strange sort of fish, then who am I to argue?

30fbishwife-F is for foot Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Cutest foot ever! It’s so tiny and wee and tiny and squeeeeeee! What’s that you say, dear reader? – oh shut up! The Wombat is not afraid to embrace his feminine side (in fact the oftener the betterer), and this entry from @FBishWife has brought it right out.

31citizennate-I've cheated for my sundaypics Im at Leicester Sky Ride and theres a C5 okay so full title is Sinclair C5 “I’ve cheated for my #sundaypics – I’m at Leicester Sky Ride and there’s a C5. Okay, so it’s full name is Sinclair C5” – I think you’re confusing me there with someone who gives a donkey’s doodah about how accurate these #SUNDAYPICS are. Fun is the name of the game, @citizennate, and your entry is a GREAT Sundaypic!

32talojo-take your pick Train Tunnel Track Toy When the Wombettes were but small children, eager to do the bidding of their beloved father, they often played with their Duplo train set fot five or six minutyes before getting bored. At that point, it was MINE for hours! I built some stonking layouts, some of which I still have the notes about to this day (all colour-coded, of course). This entry from @talojo took me right back to those blue remembered days. I suppose the ‘T’ is train. Or tunnel. Or track. Or toy. Make your own mind up.

34oldmotherriley-O is for oil jug Now I do believe that this next pic sent by @oldmotherriley might possibly be my favourite. The colours, the textures, the beautiful shape, the elegant lines of the oil jug, reminiscent as they are of the perfect curves of a woman’s body….

Excuse me, I need a quick lie down. We’ll just have a brief Intermission-











35scullyscully-S is for Steering wheel Were off out Aaaah, that’s better. Right now, where were we? Oh yeah – we have to be quick, as we have to catch @scullyscully cos they’re off out – look, there’s the steering wheel as if to prove it in some way. I see you have a Ford, and that your indicator lever is very dusty. You ought to indicate, you know, if you wish to be a Knight of the Road.

36sobster-And S is for South African Sunset Another ‘S’ now, as we bathe in a glorious South African sunset submitted by @sobster. Look at those clouds, and hills, and… stuff. Very pretty – it looks nearly as nice as Lancashire, doesn’t it readers?

37sianylou88-S is for sausages!My first ever From a magnificent African sunset to some Tesco sausages – you certainly get some odd juxtapositions in #SUNDAYPICS. The female pulchritude that is @sianylou88 says “S is for sausages! My first ever”. I find it hard to credit that she’s not had a good sausage before, so she probably means this is her first entry to #SUNDAYPICS. Let me check the archives…. ah yes, as I thought, a #SUNDAYPICS virgin.

38janinebetts-janines jail dogjail Oh look, this is interesting – it’s a #SUNDAYPICS entry from someone not on Twitter who nevertheless enjoys the blog. This is Janine’s dog jail – not sure whether she’s looking after them, or whether she’s like the baddie in a Disney film, capturing the dogs so that she can build a Doomsday Device out of their coats or something.

39bestoftimes-B is for bouldering this morning @bestoftimes posted this photograph, which apparently is the traditional Sunday activity of bouldering. Bouldering? Are you sure that’s a word? Well, if you say so. I did have my suspicions that this photo had been made Batman-style, but having rotated my head ninety degrees to the left, I’m convinced it’s real. Real and scary.

40snowgirl1972-Here's my Sunday pic, still tempted to do a sandwich with snowy sauce @snowgirl1972, instead of showing me a sandwich made with Snowy Sauce (TM), has gone all arty farty on my ass, and shows us this shadow pic instead. Actually, tis rather pleasing, although if you squint it looks like she’s doing something rude to a tiny man in a top hat.

41lucydoux3-legs Having too many ideas is a common #SUNDAYPICS affliction, and @lucydoux suffered from it this week, poting photographs of landscapes, lovehearts, lowtide, and legs. Being the sort of perverted pixie I am, I’ve gone for the leggy pic. Also, she’s wearing a wetsuit. Oh yeah, it’s how I roll.

42matronmim-M for malt, mushrooms, mint sauce n m'lady made of metal We have a positive plethora of M-rooted objects in this next exhibit from @matronmim – M for malt, mushrooms, mint sauce and a metal miss. Take four Wombat Points at once, go straight to the pub, and do not pass Go. I’ll be there when I’ve finished this blog – probably in about three days. Oh, and leave the Glenmorangie too, I’ll need it to finish this.

43sarahtregear-A snail in my garden after downpour about 10 mins ago Oh look – a pretty snail in @sarahtregear’s garden after a downpour. Stuck for something else to say now. It’s a snail. In a garden. People eat snails with butter and garlic, I believe. Oh thank God, she’s come to my rescue and posted a different pic, that I’m certain to be able to say more about –

43sarahtregear-Just noticed another S for sundaypics my striped socks Here are her stripey socks! What tiny little feet, and no holes at all! They look snuggly warm under those jeans that look like they’re well baggy. Nice settee, as well, unless it’s a railway carriage seat, which it could be at a stretch. Surely you wouldn’t be naughty enough to put your feet on a seat, though.

44belli_button-This is me (in front) wearing one of my belly dance costumes sundaypics B is for belly danceAnd now, bring on the wall! I mean… bring on the dancing girls! See the rather lovely smiley belly dancer you see there on the right; the one in front of the serious lady who’s wondering if she left the gas on? That happy lass is @belli_button, and what’s more she’s wearing a costume made by herself. Talented.

45hebbie-Headstone for Hebbie or Helen @hebbie, bless her, has presented us with a tasteful headstone. It does have a Broadfoot on it – wonder if its one of Helen’s relations? She didn’t say. It looks good for sitting on of a sunny afternoon.

46iamamro-I is for ink I love these ink bottles – they’re beautiful. Mind you, I love all things stationery and arty anyway, but these are very pretty. “Empire Red” : excellent! Thank you, @iamamro. What’s that they’re sitting on?

47thatlauraknox-T is for TeddyT is for teddy of course, although given that it was posted by @thatlauraknox, part of me (the pervy part) wonders why it couldn’t have been that other sort of teddy – you know, the lingerie? Or as Wikipedia puts it, “A teddy is a form of bodysuit-like lingerie, often worn in the boudoir. It is an undergarment which combines a camisole and panty in one piece. Unlike a bodysuit, it is typically looser and more sheer, and may be designed to slip off from the shoulders, rather than to open at the crotch.” Thanks for that, Wiki, but “boudoir”? Any of you lot got a boudoir?

48daintyballerina-daisy Aw look! Tis a pretty dainty from @daisyballerina. Wait, hang on – reverse that: it’s a daisy from @daintyballerina. And that’s all I can come up with about that. Getting tired now, that’s why.


Here’s some actually quite attractive amethyst from @avensarah. The name (amethyst, not Aven) comes from the Ancient Greek a- (“not”) and μέθυστος methustos (“intoxicated”), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness – does it work, Aven?

50lizardsimpkins-Leonard Cohen's The Favourite Game (1970 edition) Another book, yay! This time it’s Leonard Cohen’s The Favourite Game (1970 edition). Not sure why @lizardsimpkins wanted us to know which edition it was, unless the 1970 vintage is a rare and valuable think, just like her.

51littlebit_bod-L is for lathe, a pole lathe in this instance because I like things old schoolL is for lathe, a pole lathe in this instance, because @littlebit_bod likes things old school. A pole lathe is a wood-turning lathe that you work by bouncing your foot up and down on a treadle. Let Wikipedia be your friend if you want to know more.

52tonihill79-You know when you have been Tangoed just like you know when you have been Toni'ed You know when you have been Tangoed just like you know when you have been Tonied – so sayeth @tonihill79. I’ve never been Tonied that I know of, but them Tangoes look well good. Could right quaff one now.

54mezzz- M is for money Smiley face! That’ll keep my spirits up! But wait, neither ‘smiley’ nor ‘face’ begins with ‘M’, and this photograph was posted by @mezzz. Of course it’s money really – three pounds and five pence I believe, glued to a wall somewhere to judge by the Sixties wallpaper.

55greythorne-Time for my sundaypics contribution I did have ambitions to find a gymkhana, but had to settle for a goatTime for my @greythorne’s #sundaypics contribution. “ I did have ambitions to find a gymkhana, but had to settle for a goat”. Huh, lightweight. Fancy giving up so easy on a gymkhana. Should’ve been DEAD easy to find one of those. What’s a gymkhana?

56catinabaglady-part 1 - C is for Catbells (in June)C is for Catbells in June and then Catbells on Christmas Day, according to @catinabaglady. Very pretty indeed, and for those with a puzzled expression, Catbells is a fell in the Lake District. So that must be Derwent Water in the foreground.

Fancy a video? Yeah, course you do – this is from @alliterative, and shows an allosaurus. He must have invented a time machine specially for #sundaypics to get this clip, so jolly well done him! Hope you didn’t step on a butterfly or something, or we’ll all have ended up with just the one nose instead of the usual three! Ha ha!

58davidtims-Dragon starts with a D, just like David Now, another monster – pretty cool this, although it must be a bugger to dust. Tis a dragon, and twas posted by @davidtims.

59kezza575-K is for knitting, perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon @kezza575 send us K for knitting, a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I used to be able to knit, you know. Knitted meself a Rotherham United scarf I did. Just saying. That’s not a scarf on the right – it’s either two baby hats or a pair of boob-warmers.

60gibbonarms-g for glass G is for glass, and also for @gibbonarms, who sent in this elegant set of windows. It’s actually in a pub garden in Bolton, but don’t tell anyone.

61BvO79-a lovely afternoon beer for BvO79A lovely afternoon beer now for @BvO79 – my word that looks tasty. Might get myself one in a minute, once I know I don’t have to drive down to pick up Wombette Major from Rangers.

62sarahpez-S is for Spongebob and me In the meantime, here’s a cup or something bearing the image of something called Spongebob. And that’s the sum total of my knowledge about that, save that it was sent by @sarahpez.

63hollylightly-here's mine... Hand Headache tablets I get the feeling @hollylightly was a bit under the weather when she sent in her pic – see, she’s taken two headache tablets already. Or it might be her hand, I suppose.

64toffeegirluk-Duh Might help if I added the picturetoomuchwine Tortillas @toffeegirluk must have been feeling fine if she was nomming this little lot – tortillas, of course. Her first post omitted the photograph, confusingly, and of course she’d been on the wine.


65doodledawne-D for Daughter Here comes another “Awww” photo – it’s from @doodledawne, and is a very good study of her daughter. I think we can assume this was taken towards the end of a special day which included face-painting, rather than that Dawne forces her offspring to live their lives as oddly psychedelic jungle denizens.

66obliviousbloke-offices to let glasgowFrom a pretty picture to a, well, unpretty one – offices to let in Glasgow, from @obliviousbloke.

67keithy73-Technically this is a bottle opener but it's hard to find summat starting with KTechnically this is a bottle opener, but @keithy73 tells us it’s hard to find summat starting with K, so here’s Krusty.

68thetiniestvole-Toadstool in the woodWhat the frakkety frak is this? It looks alien… let’s have a look. Ah! According to @thetiniestvole, it is a toadstool in the wood. That’s a belter! Yay! Wombette Major has arrived home under her own steam, so it’s beer time for Wombat!

69fraggle_red23-F is for fonsecaAlthough looking at this next photo I’m tempted to have a port for the first time in months – this is @fraggle_red23’s entry of Fonseca port. Tempting…

70louwiseman-Ooh Another SundayPics LanternsAlthough she also posted a picture of a lily, I’ve chosen these lanterns from  @louwiseman, as it is a far more interesting photo. Also, she must be scared of my Scrabble ability, since she has not been near our game for many days.


Here’s a right good painting from @watty62, entitled 71watty62-Weekend Workshop Wifie - my entry for the sundaypics challenge Weekend Workshop Wifie – it’s really extremely good.


72little_mavis-Substitute sundaypics as haven't got one of Lincoln limpetAnd here’s a pretty entry from my beloved, the finest woman in the world, it’s a limpet from @little_mavis. Shame she forgot to take the camera to Lincoln with her.



73captain_doodle-And my entire twitter name Oh yesAlthough I was extremely tempted to use the photo of @captain_doodle looking all cool in his cricketing gear, the cleverness of this one on the left won me over in the end. Geddit? It’s a cap-tin-doodle. FTW.

74alicestronaut I’m so tired I could just rest my head on this ‘A’ pillow from @alicestronaut. It looks really comfy. Really really really really… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzz z zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

75sportology-sock on the end of my foot So tiredWHA?I’mDROWNINGINFOOTWEAR! … um, sorry. Dreaming. Erm, what’s left… oh yes, here’s a nother comfy thing – a sock from @sportology.



76jamerz3294-Jeans, Jams and Jellies (homemade) and jammies (no it's not a kilt, yes, it's Black Watch Plaid)@jamerz3294 – Jeans, Jams and Jellies (homemade) and jammies (no it’s not a kilt, yes, it’s Black Watch Plaid)That’s what Jay says. I like jelly.


77flossietp-Can this be my late entry for sundaypics please wombat37 Fabulous Edinburgh Festival Sorry No Knockers xx @flossietp sent me an NSFW photo early on, which I have withheld from your innocent eyes. Instead, her entry shall be this representative pic of fabulous Edinburgh Festival

wombat37whisky And finally, thank fuck, my own little photo of something beginning with ‘W’. I’m sure you all knew what was coming.





An Announcement

Since #SUNDAYPICS started, it has grown hugely, with the result that this blog now takes an impossibly long time to write – collecting all the photos, logging who they’re from, laying out the blog, and actually typing it. This post took over 9 hours of work altogether. Too much for little me to do each and every week, so there are going to be some changes. Not sure what yet, but probably some weeks the blog will be written by volunteer contributors. If you fancy a go, and want to volunteer to collate the pics and write the blog occasionally, please let me know.

Also, if you have any other ideas for speeding up the production of the blog without undermining the fun of it all, then let me know about that too. I’m really pleased you all love it so much; don’t worry, it won’t be disappearing.


I tried to find a quote about mugs to start this blog off, but the closest I could manage was “The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true!” You’ll have to decide which of these is the vessel with the pestle, and which the chalice from the palace. Yeah I know, a bit naff as an introduction that. Better just get on with the pics eh? (I didn’t even mention the flagon with the dragon).

00jody-s-I don't know how but if I could I would probably send a picture of Craig Fergusons snake mug

We break new ground to kick off with our first ever non-Twitter #SUNDAYPICS, from Jody-S over on Sparkpeople. She says “I don’t know how, but if I could I would send my picture of Craig Fergusons snake mug”. Not to worry, Jody, you seem to have managed just fine.

01johnrands_tmtl-mug bought by bro and shows daughter Kara_TGTL Next up, @JohnRands_TMTL shows us his mug, bought by his bro (which may mean ‘brother’, but equally may indicate his ‘wingman’ who helps him pick up ‘chicks’ in bars). The mug shows his daughter @Kara_TGTL aaaaaah!

02jingleby-My favourite work mug nightshifts coffeekeepsmegoing


Next we have what is @jingleby’s (and perhaps my) favourite work mug, which is ideal on night shifts when one needs coffee to keep one going.

03ironthighs-must contain milk


On the right is a very weird mug from @ironthighs. What’s that odd blob above the creatures eyes? A second nose? And what sort of creature is it anyway? (What? You think so? Oh, OK). The wombat with the halo on my right shoulder (I call him Trevor) tells me that I should be nice about people’s mugs, lest they become offended. So this mug from @ironthighs – it’s lovely, isn’t it?

If this was a gameshow, the next sentence could become a famous catchphrase, like “Bring on the wall!”. Ready? “Here we go with three in a row!”. Bound to catch on.04greythorne-Tea tastes better from bone china Rats by Anita Jeram 06macjude-has to be my morning coffee with soy in a le creuset 05ameadet-best mug complete with favourite (and rarely had) drink @greythorne says of the mug on the left, that tea always tastes better from bone china. The design, apparently, is ‘Rats’, by Anita Jeram. Despite appearances, the contents of the middle mug ARE a drink – @ameadey’s favourite (though rarely had) drink at that, although she also said “Was considering putting gin and tonic in but I’d have to drink it. And I have a not before 9am rule”. Strange woman that. I do like the mug tthough. And a real classic on the right – le Creuset – containing @MacJude’s morning coffee.

07lottedh-my new favourite mug a present from my mom 08mrsactive-left coz reminds me of when I lived 1 mile away right coz its huge matches kitchen @lottedh’s favourite mug, on the left, is a new one – a present from her Mom. I do like the grumpy looking cat.

On the right, @mrsactive gives us two for the price of one – the mug on the left reminds her of when she a mile away – presumably that’s a mile away from Moscow, rather than a mile from Sutton Coldfield. She likes her right-hand mug because “its huge & matches the kitchen”.

What shall we do now, readers? “Here we go with……?” Well done!13fbishwife1 13fbishwife3 13fbishwife2These three shots were posted by @FBishWife of her Tinkerbell mug – see what she did there? Mugshots of a mug. Geddit?

09thom_white-The original blog is gone and the mug has seen better day, but here is my Fake Steve Jobs mug The original blog is gone, says @thom_white, and the mug has seen better days, but here is his Fake Steve Jobs mug on the right. 10sammartin58I must be seriously uncool, for it means nothing to me. 

Time for a pretty artistic entry now – lovely shadows and light on @sammartin58’s musical mug.

I’ll whack in another rank of three in a minute, once I’ve managed to get the cursor down below Thom and Sam’s mugs. Not much further… are we nearly there yet?

Ah, here we are…14michlan-You cant go wrong if you live by this motto The indecisive amongst us mighthowever run out of tea

12dai_bach-My favourite mug is my Twitter mug

11vagueness-Bought by wife as apparently Im a robot and therefore would like to drink out of a robot mug 

On the left, @dai_bach’s favourite is his Twitter mug – well worth clicking on to investigate the bigger version. Apparently, @vagueness received this mug from his wife as apparently he’s a robot and therefore would like to drink out of a robot mug. There’s nothing like a bit of liberalism. On the right, a fine motto to live by from @michlan – however, the indecisive amongst us might run out of tea.

16snowgirl1972-i found my favourite mug it was collecting radiator drips numpty Of the picture on the right, @thom_white originally spluttered “Stupid #sundaypics – @Snowgirl1972 is pulling the kitchen apart looking for her favourite mug!” She eventually found it collecting radiator drips. Helen says “In case you can’t tell, my #sundaypics mug is from Heavenly, Lake Tahoe, from my snowboarding days #beforekids #whenmybackwasgood” This implies that she now has a naughty back. How does that work, I wonder?

15citizen_nate2 Here’s another “two sides at once” shot from @citizennate of a West Wing mug – sort of Sundaypics 3D. Sort of. A bit.

17oldmotherriley-I love this mug so much this is my third one And on the right is cuddlesome @OldMotherRiley’s mug. She loves this mug so much this is her third one. Why is the pig so happy, that’s what I want to know. It’s not natural. Also, he’ll get sunburn standing there.

18mrchambers-This is my favourite mug because it had chalkboard sides Im about to put some coffee in itOn the left we have a couple from @mrchambers – his, which is his favourite mug because it has chalkboard sides (and thanks for the #SUNDAYPICS message), and ‘The Boy’s. The Boy likes Postman Pat. Who doesn’t?

19andymcf-tea in bed Well in a mug Readers of a nervous disposition may wish to avoid clicking the picture over on the right in order to see a larger version, for it features naked flesh. @andymcf calls this shot “Tea in bed. Well in a mug.” The mug actually looks interesting….

Well, it’s about time for the #SUNDAYPICS catchphrase again – are you ready? All together now…. “HERE WE GO WITH BRING ON THE DOORS!” …. no, hang on, that’s not right…..


20scullyscully-L best tea R best coffee  never mix them as your drink tastes funny 25dutch_bitch-Almost forgot that I was going to enter SUNDAYPICS for the first time today Almost My fav mug Cos its funny 21nessgoddess-my favourite mug its only for tea thoughOK, we’ve got @ScullyScully’s best tea and coffee mugs there – never mix them as your drink tastes funny apparently. @nessgoddess appears to heed that advice, for she is at pains to tell us that her mug (in the middle there) is only for tea. Although I suppose that might be a euphemism. I’ve just noticed that Sundaypics-Virgin @Dutch_Bitch’s mug on the right is RUDE. Quite funny though. What? Oh for goodness sake, I meant that this was the first time she’d played with us, not that I knew anything about her sexual proclivities or prowess. I’d better skip to the next pictures quickly before I say something that will lead to a spanking.

22catinabaglady-My magic mug for sundaypics Empty its a normal mug23flossietp-Fave mug for sundaypics I know theres 2 and one isnt a mug but they were gifts from my sons On the left, @catinabaglady shows off her magic mug, which when filled with hot coffee turns a tedious nag into an exciting zebra!

And on the right, @flossietp shows us a cup AND a mug, which were gifts from her sons. Aw! I really like the mug. Very cool.

God, there’s a lot of these…. Bring On The … I mean HERE WE GO WITH THREE IN A ROW!24exnavygirl-This is my mug for the Sundaypic taken today Its inside a Morgan Plus 8 27spacebarf-two fav mugs French n Saunders and Tidza church organ appeal 26mikeybaer-My new favourite mug bought especially for today

First, nestling snugly inside a Morgan Plus 8, is an oily offering from @exnavygirl. Then we have @mikeybaer with another one that will have to be explained to poor old me, and finally a couple from @spacebarf – French & Saunders, and a mug I desperately covet.

28lizardsimpkins-Im at work so its work mug with obligatory chip and peppermint tea 29citizennate-This is my fave mug when I wake up ready to kick ass Left: @lizardsimpkins was at work (on a Sunday??), so posted her work mug, complete with obligatory chip and peppermint tea.

Right: OH MY GOD that’s brilliant! Want! Ahem, sorry… erm, this is @citizennate’s favourite mug when he wakes up ready to kick “ass”. I believe he means ‘arse’, but has been affected by colonial influences.

30leebf-I dont drink coffee Now let’s see if we can get a ‘slalom’ going, by introducing on the left the favourite mug of someone who doesn’t drink coffee – @leebf. Nice one, but you don’t have to drink coffee to have a mug. There’s a whole universe of beverages out there! Ovaltine, for instance, that’s nice.

32_00spiltmilk00-My Favourite Mug a sort of Construcktion Affaire And on the right is a sort of ‘Construcktion Affaire’ from @00spiltmilk00. There’s something going on with coffee-filtering there, isn’t there?


Back to the left as we get into the swing of it – sway those metaphorical hips, dear reader, as you swish by the photographs with a graceful elegance! 33crofty-My favourit mug is any filled with tea after gardening Can you guess which is mine It was a present This is from @crofty, who yells us as we speed past that his favourite mug is any mug filled with tea after he’s been gardening. However, can you guess which of the two in his pic is actually his? It was a present.

35intruth-Had to buy this partly cos Id just climbed the Pass but mainly cos it was so delightfully tedious Whoo, getting up some speed now so the pic on the right might be a bit of a blur, but the mug is from @intruth, who says “Had to buy this partly cos Id just climbed the Pass but mainly cos it was so delightfully tedious”. Click on the pic for a larger version that you can read. It is very dry.

34shelley279-this is my favourite mug The mug on the moggles What’s this one now? Oh it’s @shelley279 having a little joke with us – her favourite mug is the mug on the “moggles” see? Actually, although a little grumpy in the pic, that’s quite an attractive cat, don’t you think? I’m a sucker for a good-looking pussy.

34shelley279-and another fave mug Shell brings us down from hilarity, though, by showing us her REAL favourite mug and oh look! It’s Grommit or Grommet or however the hell he’s spelt or spelled. It occurs to me that, if you’re left-handed, he’ll look right down your top every time you take a sip. Pervy Grommitt!

36mallrat_uk-I have to have two my Liverpool one that says de do don't de do  Liverpool features large in this next offering from @mallrat_uk – 36mallrat_uk3it says “de do don’t de do” which apparently is Scouse for…. something or other. She also has another little favourite which is this cutesie wutesie elephant. Aw! Not sure Grommmitttt approves, mind.

37ajonesie-Beverage of choice black coffee Our Colonial Cutie, @ajonesie, shows us her favourite mug from her sister (left). It isn’t clear whether this was a gift, or whether Jonesie half-inched it while Sibling wasn’t looking. I DO know, however, that her beverage of choice is black coffee. The mug message is quite amusing.


“HERE WE GO WITH THREE IN A ROW!” yes, I got it right!38binarydad-My fave mug Bought on Screamadelica tour Best Mug Ever 40looshine-I rarely use it though as its too big I prefer mine little and often 39craigthompson_-entry - the graffiti mug complete with cock scribble


Firstly, @binarydad’s offering was bought on the Screamadelica Tour, and is, he informs us, the – “Best. Mug. Ever.” Pretty poor sentence construction there, Liam. He also neglects to tell us the name of the band, but luckily for you, dear readers, I’m a pretty modern sort of guy and therefore KNEW exactly how to Google ‘Screamadelica’ to find out it was something called Primal Scream. In the middle, @craigthompson_ (I’m intrigued by the trailing underscore) shows us his graffiti mug, complete with (drawn especially for us) a ‘cock scribble’. I’d have preferred a nice bunch of flowers, or a pretty bird, or some big tits myself. Love the one on the right, from @looshine, who rarely uses it as it is too big, and she prefers hers little and often… restrain yourself, Wombat.41fraggle_red23-I give this to visitors as a warning43andromedababe-I favour a large mug of tea42davidtims-My two daily tea mugs with a special guest appearance by the kettle

Above, we have first a scary threat from @fraggle_red23 – she gives it to visitors as a warning. Yikes! Two daily mugs are used by @davidtims in the middle. How prolific. His bladder must get a decent work out then. And @andromedababe is also a tea=drinker, but favours what is quite possibly the tallest mug in the entire world.45lilianlouvaine-Favourite mug is big and full of tea46annaleeb-My favourite mug - before and after hot water44avensarah-My favourite mug with appropriate beverage and bonus self-portrait look close  

Over to the left there, in an arty shot, @lilianlouvaine shows us that her favourite mug is big, and full of tea. Also that she took the photo at ten past five. The teapot in the middle shot has got its own little stand, look! It belongs to @avensarah who, if you look closely enough to see, makes a guest appearance in the photograph. Another magic mug on the right from @annaleeb, which shows us that Elvis indeed DOES live, if only we knew where to pour the hot water. Uh-huh.47watty62 49ingridk 48jamerz3294-My favorite mug and who I usually have coffee with in the morning

I really like the mug on the left here, which is from @watty62. The one in the middle is from @jamerz3294, and shows his mug and his normal coffee break companions. On the right, an extremely pretty mug from @ingridk – that looks like a fruity tea to me, possibly cranberry.

50captain_doodle I’m going “slalom again now, starting on the right with a wibbly wobbly mug from a wibbly wobbly character – my beloved @captain_doodle. Note the special guests in the second pic,looking like a fruity football crowd. Wednesday fans then.

51louwiseman-Before - just an old black conference freebie of a mug On the left here is just an old black conference freebie of a mug from @louwiseman, but filled with a hot beverage…TADAAA It becomes the best conference freebie she’s ever had. I could tell you about the best conference freebie *I* ever had, but I’m not sure the lady involved would appreciate that.

52widget53 Next, to your right, is @widget53’s mug, which daughter Em and she made for J for his first Fathers day. Ahhh, talk about your sentimental values – lookit the little hand print!

54toffeegirlUK And here on your left is @toffeegirluk’s favourite. I can tell you nothing about it at all, save what’s obvious from the photo. WYSIWYG here.

55kirtle To the right of the blog (don’t all rush at once, you’ll have the boat over) is @kirtle’s submission – again one shrouded in mystery, and which I can tell you little about. Its an attractive piece, though.


56BvO79 Below Mickey, on the left, is yet another about which I have been given no information at all – this time from @BvO79.



57littlebit_bod-Our everyday favourite mugsSure as day follows night, we look to the right again, and this time spot @littlebit_bod’s normal, everyday favourite mugs – is that Honk Kong Phooey? He’s a supersonic guy!

57littlebit_bod-Too fragile for everyday my graduation mug from Mom @littlebit_bod is not content with everyday mugs though, she also has a mug that is far too fragile for everyday use (rather like me) – and that is pictured on the left. It’s her graduation mug from her Mum. Pleasing design, that.

Guess where we’re going now? Correct! To the right, where @petejcullen has sent a mug that I can’t make head nor tail of. 58petejcullenHe tells me nothing about it, either, so we shall have to remain ignorant. I can tell you, though, that I really like the Mr. Potato Head in the background, who looks remarkably like the Maths teacher I had back in school. Ye Gods, she was an ugly woman.

59butmadnnw This one on the left now is from @ButMadNNW and was a gift (from a mystery person) – tis a fine bone china mug, hand decorated in Wales. Hence Y Ddraig Goch, obviously.

59butmadnnw-My other favorite mug, bought in London 2002 at a reduced performance The mug on the right bears a sentiment I can whole-heartedly agree with, for I love my willy too. This one is also from @ButMadNNW, and was bought in London 2002 at a Reduced Shakespeare Company performance.

Getting close to the finish line now (thank God!), so let’s go back to three abreast for the remaining few. See how I didn’t make a smutty joke then, when I said “three abreast”? Sure sign I’m getting tired. OK, here we go with three in a row…60alicemartha 63canuckuk-Had the dinosaur pose with my coffee mug to provide a sense of scale 61sarahpez-Here's my favourite mug, one from my childhood

The left mug from @alicemartha is a bit dark to see, but they are ballet dancers and chickens. Pretty, actually. In the middle, @sarahpez shoiws us her favourite mug from her childhood – an entrepreneurial rabbit selling ice cream. And @canuckuk helpfully had a dinosaur pose with his coffee mug to provide a sense of scale. Rowr.62bestoftimes-Not hair trimming for sundaypics but a break from hedge trimming My favourite mug - a Wemyss Ware reproduction 64lucyhg-In first place of favourite mugs sundaypics  this was given to me 11yrs ago

Whoa, this is a gorgeous one on the left! @BestOfTimes posted it during a break from hedge-trimming – it is a Wemyss Ware reproduction.

On the right, @Lucyhg says “In first place of favourite mugs –  this was given to me 11yrs ago”. Go on then gang, do the maths 🙂


64lucyhg-I'm a designer at heart cant help it 65thom_white-A joint one from me and Snowgirl1972 Designer mugs I’ve put the two pics together on the right because – well you can see why. The shot on the left, of “designer” mugs, is a joint effort from @thom_white and @snowgirl1972. The yellow one is another from @Lucyhg who tells us that she is a designer at heart.

31alliterative-As you can see I'm quite a Beatles fan 31alliterative-Btw, my beverage of choice is tea King Cole in this case brewed in a proper very large brown betty Who doesn’t love The Beatles? These mugs are presented to us by @alliterative, and I want them all. ALL, I tell you. Mwahahahaha!

Mark says that his my beverage of choice is tea – King Cole in this case – brewed in a proper very large brown betty. I have no idea what a brown betty is, but it sounds a bit rude to my innocent English ears.


 66davidgilray-For the serious coffee addict, size matters wombat-tartsWhich leaves two – on the left, @davidgilray tells us that for the serious coffee addict, size matters: he either has a huge mug, os a teeny tiny kettle.

And the one on the right is mine, I was tempted to go for a weird mug (“Hot Shot Bobby, goals are my hobby”). but that wouldn’t have been my favourite. THIS is my favourite. It also features some nice jam tarts that I made.


Little Mavis’s Little Corner of Educational Delight


Good Morning students,

In his introduction. Mr. Wombat used the quote beginning “The pellet with the poison…”. This quote is from The Court Jester, a 1956 comedymusical film starring Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone, and Angela Lansbury. The movie was co-written, co-directed, and co-produced by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama. The film was released by Paramount Pictures in Technicolor and in the VistaVision widescreen format. You can see the quote in action to your right.

Thank you for the apple, Mr. Doodle.

5 Things From My Junk Drawer

Greetings, Alpha Squadron. And welcome back for a second helping of #sundaypics, lovingly spooned onto your plate by yours truly… hmm, this intro’s all over the shop. One minute I’m a luxuriantly bushy-mustachioed commander, the next some kind of chef. OK, scrap that, let’s start again…

Hello everyone! Yes, it’s me again, back with the second, and final, of my #sundaypics blogs, deputising for the splendid @wombat37. The task for this particular Sunday was to have a good ol’ rummage in your drawers (insert own racy @wombat37 erotic innuendo), and photograph five of the finest pieces of junk type stuff therein, for our viewing pleasure. The kinda stuff that you hold onto for no real reason and dump in a drawer/cupboard/tin with all the string and batteries and candles n stuff. These bad boys are comin’ atcha in no particular order, as I can’t remember who sent what when (again). There aren’t enough hours in the day to go through every object in your pics, but I’ll select the odd one to comment on. Feel free to sift through the rest of the junk at your leisure! As the erstwhile host of Catchphrase, Roy Walker, was so fond of saying, I’ll ‘say what I see’ in lieu of an accurate description of the aforementioned bric-a-brac. Right, away we go…
From memory, first out of the blocks was @Nortoner with these two sets of five objects, nailing, with his first one, exactly the sort of eclectic mix I was after. Where else but a junk drawer could one find chickens, Coke lorries, magnifying glasses, plastic fish, and miniature top hats!

@wombat37’s fez was the eye-catching centrepiece of his collection, as well as a cool airfix kit, a bunch of geek dice, blue flubber in a jar, and clearly some kind of kinky sex toy 😉

@lizard simpkins’ playing cards were apparently too erotic to be shown, but she’s happy enough to corrupt an innocent duck. @watty62 also has a creature in his five items, a rather evil-looking rat, combined with that all-important airbed repair kit. You just never know when you’re gonna suffer an airbed blowout, so it’s best to be ready for such a nightmare scenario. Talking of well-prepared, @mrsactive has all manner of screws and bendy metal things to hand, as well as the all-important takeaway menu.

Another duck pops up in the collection of @Snowgirl1972, along with a bra for a mouse and a smiley torture device. Also going the torture device route are @CymraesCoch and @louwiseman, with several scary looking objects including knuckle dusters and strangle wire. Look out for @louwiseman’s teeny tiny little mug in amongst the wire though!

Next up it’s @flossieTP’s scorpion, some salty bears from twisted firestarter @greythorne, and @zebedee40’s weird pencil/stick thing. Nice fan.

Ah, where would we be without comedy moustaches. @Ironthighs leads the way with her pirate set, @captain_doodle follows up with the classic Groucho specs n moustache combo. And here’s @Crofty to finish up the batch of three. No moustache, just stuff he’s clearly stolen from hotels 😉

@Underbundle has an unpopped popper and one of those rubbish compasses you get with shoes, but that fancy drawing pins box is rather lovely. Get it out of the junk drawer! Also coming under the ‘not rubbish enough for junk’ category is @lottedh’s lovely cluster of objects she found under her bed, and @intruth’s Jack Skellington thing

A-ha! Sellotape! I’d have been disappointed had some not popped up somewhere. It’s in the drawer of @talojo, along with a bunch of nice jugs (fnar fnar) and some smashing Postman Pat crayons. Ooh, another unused party popper from @ThatLauraKnox. C’mon, get popping! Maybe she could set it off it to celebrate @little_mavis’ 18th birthday! 😉

@davidtims has kept one of those Ikea tape measures for some reason. Perhaps it’s to measure his Morning Glory (that’s the name of the packet of seeds, in case you can’t make it out! 😉 @fraggle_red23 also has some seeds ready for sowing, and ooh, @mikeybaer has a zip disk! Blimey, that’s a blast from the past

@kirtle always keeps a headless figurine to hand, @spacebarf has a very utilitarian set of objects, including obligatory mystery lead, and @FBishWife has a glow-in-the-dark turtle!

Loving @thom_white’s Russian watch and old graphics tablet, @xkylet’s banana, and pin from Spandau Ballet’s ‘World Parade’! and @JohnRands_TMTL’s safe sex, erm, medallion. Perhaps it’s an award for services to safe sex? I dunno what that googly finger monster was doing in the @captain_doodle junk drawer. It’s ace. Parma Violets (the dirty, granny-perfumed sweeties of satan), on the other hand, should stay locked up forever with no hope of release.

@catinabaglady has a very sewingy flava to her drawer. And batteries finally make an appearance. @jingleby has some too, in very attractive Norwich City style packaging (his most favouritist team of all 😉

@ScullyScully likes a spot of badminton by the look of it, @Dawgbelly has a slightly scary Russian doll thing, @00spiltmilk00 wants us to get behind the Robins, and @SarahTregear has cruelly covered up the Thomas The Tank Engine quiz with her collection – now I’ll never find out which engine Thomas woke up!

@vagueness seems to have a Jason Bourne tin full of his secret identities, @Mezzz has the severed head of Scooby Doo, and @BestofTimes has another mystery key and a nice camera.

Phew, nearly there. Finally, we come to detention corner, for all the naughty boys n girls who can’t count to five 😉 @jamerz3294_1, with his two pics of messy drawers, @Janegoth, with her excess scissors, and @Littlebit_Bod, with her gameboy and random leads n keys, all see me after class for extra maths homework!

Right then, thanks very much to @wombat37 for having me as guest host. It’s been fun. And now back to Wombat in the #sundaypics studio…

Scotland – Millbuies Loch

Friday was our last full day in Speyside, and we had yet to investigate the Loch that was just five mintues awat from the cottage. DSCF2025First though, we had a last trip into Elgin to see the town centre NOT on a Sunday. Big improvement. There are several thousand charity shops, which we investigated, and a geeky comic-SF type one where I bought the goodies on the right. The Four Marys FTW! We also found the exact jacket for which Ellie had been searching for weeks.

Dscf1922 We’d probably never have noticed Millbuies Loch if our Twitter chum @edinburghjo hadn’t told us about it. This secluded little treasure gave us a relaxing and peaceful stroll. Except when I fell over, obviously, and bruised my right buttock.

DSCF1932 Buzzards “skee”-ed above, and water-boatmen “ski”-ed on the placid waters (ha ha, see what I did there?), surrounded by towering trees. The loch is well-stocked with fish, as evidenced by the anglers in the boat there.


Dscf1953This is the view I was turning to look at when I fell over. There should have been a warning sign – “Danger, these trees have roots that you can trip over”. But there wasn’t.





I like this photo that Mary took, cos of the perspective.








Mary sur le pont.







A beck burbling into the loch.













Scotland – Benromach Distillery

DSC01030Benromach is the smallest distillery in Speyside, operated by just two men, and uses only two stills  – in stark comparison to Glenfiddich, which I visited earlier.  I’m not going to teach you the minutiae of whisky- making (hurray, you say?), but the wash still produces the low wines,  which are then distilled a second time in the spirit still (the one that has a ‘bubble’ half way up the neck to further cycle the alcohol). benromach-stills-250Because it would not be wise to photograph in the possibly explosive atmosphere during distillation (the smells were GORGEOUS), the photograph of the stills here is taken from the Benromach website. (Copyright to this particular photo rests with them, therefore, and I’ll remove it if they ask). 

DSC01034I learned all of these things and more from the lovely Katrina, who gave me a personal tour of the distillery. Katrina was extremely informative in a gorgeous accent, and taught me quite a few things that I didn’t know already.

The tour began in the museum containing several historic artefacts used in whisky-making as well as a facility to bottle your own ten-year-old. Katrina took me clearly through the process of manufacture including a look below the stills where coal fires  used to be burned to heat the liquids above. The cask warehouse held row upon row of casks of the various sizes used at Benromach (see behind Katrina up there? That’s the three sizes they use). Different head colours show how often each cask had been used; they are retired after three uses. When the distillery re-opened in 1998, Prince Charles signed a cask, which was to the forefront. Katrina whacked his signature with a wooden mallet to demonstrate how they test for leakages. Black stains at the top of the walls showed where the Angel’s Share had condensed over the years, and would not be cleaned off in case the fumes from cleaning products contaminated the whisky being stored there.

DSC01042Back to the Visitors Centre after I had exhausted my questions, for a tasting of the Benromach ten-year-old. Those of you who know me well will be aware of my prediliction for the Islay whisky Laphroaig, a peaty spirit. The Benromach whiskies are nowhere near as peaty, although the ten-year-old did have a delicate peat-smoke influence. The nose put me in mind of biscuits.

benromach-organic-special-edition-whiskyI also tried two other whiskies, but the one which won me over was the Organic Special Edition. The nose is fruity with a dash of toffee, and the taste is malty, slightly smoky, and again with that subtle hint of toffee. That’s what I bought.

To sum up – Benromach: Best. Tour. Ever. Thank you Katrina. Dear Reader, if you’re in Speyside ever, make sure you go there.

Scotland – I do love a nice groyne

DSCF1861 And so to Thursday in our Scottish sojourn. In the afternoon I planned to visit Benromach Distillery, Speyside’s smallest, but that will be the subject of a separate post. In the morning, then, we headed to the small village of Findhorn, DSCF1870 which lies on a spit of land jutting out to form Findhorn Bay. It is a pleasant old town, but of course Ben’s favourite area, and mine, was the beach and dunes. Ben loves dunes.

The beach was striped with proper wooden groynes, and gave us marvellous views out into the North Sea and across to Cromarty.

DSCF1885  On the way out we stopped at Findhorn Foundation Community, DSCF1886all eco-houses and turf rooves and artistic endeavours. Had a wee there.

After my distillery visit, we stopped at a farm shop to buy some chard (no, we didn’t know either), and then briefly into Forres. This is a lovely little town with many churches. We had ourselves a bag of salty vinegary chips.DSCF1903DSCF1906





Ben had some chips too….

Scotland – Inverness

DSCF1818 So, on to Wednesday, and a fairly long drive out to Inverness in a frigging deluge. Twitter friend @hardyduncan had told us we would be able to park “down by the castle”. Well OK, but when we reached the city, we could see no sign of anything remotely resembling a castle. We did see, for a very long time, the back of a white van carrying sausages, as we inched into the city via a mega traffic jam.  Finally, though – AHA! – a car park sign! After a lot of pratting about going round and round looking for a space, still in pouring rain, I managed to get us parked. Aaaaand relax.

As we explored, the rain stopped and the weather brightened up, as you can see in the photos. The city itself? Somewhat meh to be honest, and completely interchangeable with almost any other city centre, except for two things. One, EVERYBODY seemed to be smoking. Them Scots, eh, with their battered Mars Bars and the smoking? Tsk tsk. And Two, the river.

DSCF1829Seen from up near the castle (oh aye, we eventually found it, although it didn’t look incredibly castley – that’s it, the brown thing on the right there), the sweep of the river is a delightful thing, and tis most pleasantly bordered by soft green banks and verdant trees.

DSCF1822 Crossing the water by means of a footbridge that swayed and bounced disconcertingly to the rhythm of our footsteps (Ben hated that!), we walked upstream (again, as recommended by @hardyduncan) to Ness Islands, a series of small wooded islands in the middle of the river.

DSCF1830 On the way, we passed several bewadered fishermen angling in the fast flowing currents, although there were also quiet areas so that Ben could enjoy a paddle.

Eventually we made it down (or up?) to Ness Islands, in bright sunshine now. DSCF1838 These little islands are  joined to each other, and the banks, by a series of well-made bridges. The islands boast plenty of British native trees, as well as a fascinating collection of sculpted tables and benches.


In one place, an imaginative sculptor had carved a fallen tree trunk into something slightly more interesting.




DSCF1847 As you can see, some of the bridges on the islands are incredibly ornate.

To sum up then, a fine day at Ness Islands, but you can keep the city thanks. Oh yes, and on the way home we stopped in the small town of Nairn. It was closed, and is best forgotten, I think, although perhaps it might have made a better impression if we had headed down to the beach.

Scotland – Moray Coast

DSCF1712 OK, on to the Tuesday of our Scottish week. So there’s Ben on the left, making his careful, delicate way across the footbridge which crosses the Lossie as it reaches the sea at Lossiemouth. He doesn’t like bridges with gaps, not at all.

When we got across, though, he was in Ben heaven. The dunes you can see there separated the river, which we had just crossed, from the sea. As we left the bridge, he scampered off and around, DSCF1716scattering soft sand around, pelting into the water and bouncing delightedly. Mary threw sticks for him which, surprisingly, he actually retrieved for once.  He disappeared up a dune, then minutes later as he crashed out of the scrub at the top and plummeted down, I swear he had a smile on his face.

I too wandered the dunes, and emerged with this pleasing photograph:DSCF1740 After a steaming pastie from the local baker, DSCF1765we dragged a reluctant Ben back to the car and drove down to Spey Bay.  The environment here is mind-boggling – almost alien to look at. Smooth pebbles and rocks, bleached driftwood, scudding stormclouds, crashing waves, dead trees. The big selling point up at Spey Bay is dolphin-spotting. We DSCF1782 saw none, but that didn’t matter because the surroundings were so impressive.


I could fill this blog with photographs, but will limit myself to just an evocative few. Less is more, and so on.




Scotland – Whisky!

DSCF1660 Oh my God how rainy was this day?!! VERY, that’s how. Pissed down, it did. But this was MY day to visit MY places, so I didn’t much care.

First stop, Speyside Cooperage, to find out all about the work done by those for whom I am named. No, not wombats – coopers. First surprise? Barrels are not all barrels, if you see what I mean. A ‘barrel’ is but one size of cask, as they are more correctly called. T’other sizes are (rising in size after Barrel) Hogshead, Puncheon and Butt. Yes, it does sound like a firm of solicitors.

DSCF1661 It truly was fascinating to see the coopers working hard to turn out up to twenty casks a day – they’re on piece work, so they don’t half move – gathering the staves into a hoop, adding more hoops to hold them together, steaming the half-made cask so that the wood can be bent, adding the ends and sealing them. The bloke in the photo is just about to fit the head of the cask he’s working on – note the steam. Also, you can see the collection of water reeds that he taps into the perimeter of the head to form a seal. When wet, the reeds expand, you see.

DSCF1678 Sorry, got a bit cask-geeky there. Sorry, but I enjoyed myself immensely… although not as much as at my next stop. I moved on a few miles down the road to Glenfiddich Distillery.

I was treated to an excellent tour of the place, and quel domage that I am unable to photograph smells, for the various aromas at different places around the site were exquisite.

DSCF1697From the mash tuns to the stills (above), and then on into the warehouse where stack upon stack of casks, dating from the Nineties, filled the air with a glorious whisky smell, our guide (a Gemma apparently), entertained and informed us. DSCF1687She peppered her talk with questions – asking us to smell casks and decide which used to hold bourbon and which sherry; asking if we knew why a sculpture of angels was significant (I did); before finally taking us for a tasting of three whiskies – the 12 year old, the 18 year old, and a new bottling just out – Rich Oak. I was dead chuffed that I identified ‘pear’ as the fruit in the flavour-mix of the new whisky.

In the shop I treated myself to a bottle of the 15 year old Glenfiddich, in rather a special bottle – click the picture there to see a larger version if you can’t quite read it.DSCF1702

Scotland – Elgin


Oh yes, THAT’s the way to start a day! Note the fried fruit pudding, which is a Scottish delicacy that I’m amazed can’t be bought South of the border.

After yesterday’s drive-fest, I didn’t want to do too much more of that, so we travelled just a few miles North into Elgin.

Now, it seems that the requirement of possessing a cathedral in order for a community to be called “city” does not require said cathedral to be a working place of worship, or even ‘whole’. Elgin Cathedral is a ruin, to which visitors are charged £4.75 entry. We did not enter.DSCF1652

DSCF1641 It being a Sunday, there weren’t too many people about, but I did spot this fine example of Scottish fashion. Disappointingly, the camera failed to capture the day-glo quality of her lippie which even outshone those tights.



Ben also was interested in the Elgin citizens, but in his case he was more interested in making friends, as he is here with the young lady volunteering at the charity shop. Nice boobs.



DSCF1642zoomFountains, statues and churches dot the city centre – the statue in this case is actually the war memorial. Note the care with which the good folk of Elgin have decorated their fountain with old chip paper, empty cans and plastic bottles.

I was also extremely impressed by the attractive and tempting frontage for Clancy’s His and Hers Hair and Beauty Salon (below). I think it’s that word “salon” – can you think of anything looking less like a ‘salon’?Dscf1646

Finally today, I thought you might enjoy a quick pic of Ben attempting to make friends with the raggedy cat that turns up at the cottage door from time to time to shout at us.DSCF1658

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