Monthly Archives: August 2010
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.
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”.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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*
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.
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.
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.
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*.
“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.
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.
‘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.
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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…
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.
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.
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?
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.
“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!
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.
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-
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.
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?
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.
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.
@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.
@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.
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.
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.
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 –
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.
And 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.
@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.
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?
T 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?
Here’s some actually quite attractive amethyst from @avensarah. The name (amethyst, not Aven) comes from the Ancient Greek ἀ a- (“not”) and μέθυστος methustos (“intoxicated”), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness – does it work, Aven?
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.
L 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.
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.
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.
Time 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?
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!
@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.
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.
What 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!
Although 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…
Although 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.
Although 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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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. @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.
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”.
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?
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.
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?
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.
On 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?
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…..
OK, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 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.
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.
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.
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!
Liverpool features large in this next offering from @mallrat_uk – it 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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. He 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.
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…
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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 comedy–musical 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.
@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 😉
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!
@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
@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
@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 😉
@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.
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…
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. First 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.
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.
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.
I like this photo that Mary took, cos of the perspective.
Mary sur le pont.
A beck burbling into the loch.
Benromach 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). Because 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).
I 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.
Back 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.
I 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.
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, 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.
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.
Ben had some chips too….
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.
Seen 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.
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.
Eventually we made it down (or up?) to Ness Islands, in bright sunshine now. 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.
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.
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, scattering 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: After a steaming pastie from the local baker, we 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
From 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. She 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.
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.
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.
Fountains, 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’?