Saturday, 9 December 2017


No-one likes to think they are getting old and unadventurous do they?

When Gail and I woke up to a snowy street scene in Aberdeen on Friday morning, I could tell she was having second thoughts about our plan to drive across the Highlands to Torridon this weekend.

Well we went for the usual walk in the park ...

... then checked the weather forecast about 87 zillion times, and I bounced around the house reminding Gail of the importance of staying young at heart, and to my great relief she flipped into girl scout 'be prepared' mode and announced: "Ok Bertie let's put the shovel in the car, and a thermos of coffee, and charge the phone, pack loads of warm clothes (including your hot-off-the-knitting-needles new jumper) and head out west".

Five hours and only one minor skid later, just before dark, we arrived in Torridon.

I regard it as totally unimportant that come this morning the steep road leading down to the cottage is now too icy for Gail's car, even with its winter tyres, to ascend.

We have food and fuel for several days, books to read, a so-called broadband internet connection and a blog to write, and the world will not end if Gail fails to make it to that work meeting in Aberdeen on Tuesday...

Oh yes and later today we shall be calling round to visit our nice neighbour and expert knitter Julia. Do you think she'll approve of my sweater?

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Winter grooming challenges...

Did I mention that it's rather muddy here now the snow is gone?

And to think Gail sometimes complains that I look a mess after my winter walks ...

Last Sunday I was on best behaviour and (mostly) stuck to the footpath during our walk from  Doonie's Rare Breeds Farm to Cove Harbour and back.

But I still had to have my paws washed in the kitchen sink when we got home.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Such fun while it lasted.

Sadly last week's snow melted away too soon into a mess of muddy sludge, so the focus chez Bertie has turned to domestic matters. 

Did I mention already that Gail is knitting me a new jumper for Christmas? I am pleased to report that, unlike the sweater worn by one of Gail's colleagues to the work Xmas lunch, mine will not feature mating reindeer, nor indeed any other symbols of dubiously tasteful seasonal 'fun'. I offer you a sneak preview of the work in progress.

Oh and talking of fun, I have to say I did enjoy seeing Gail's friends Margaret and Jeffrey, who came round to our place on Saturday night. Not only did Margaret bring me some delicious biscuits, but she left her handbag open so I was able to excavate a treasure trove of tissues while everyone else was distracted by the pork fillet with homemade stuffing which Gail served up for dinner.

Although I was not offered any of the pork at the time, I have high hopes that some of the leftovers pictured below might make their way into my food bowl very soon. 

Toodle pip!
Bertie (ever the optimist).

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Rescued by Meghan?

Amidst all the hullaballoo following certain unhelpful* tweets emanating from the President of the USA last night, I want to make it quite clear how much Gail and I admire and respect our many friends across the Pond.

And let's not forget about the happier news concerning UK/US relations announced earlier this week. Although I, Bertie, am not yet personally acquainted with the fiancée of our very own Prince Harry, I would also like it to be known that this is one American whom I am very pleased to welcome to our shores.

Not only has Ms Markle already received the rare accolade of a positive vetting by the Queen's notoriously snooty corgis, but, even better, we learn that she is the adoring owner of two rescue dogs, Bogart and Guy.

Sadly, it seems that Bogart is too old to fly and so cannot come to live with Meghan and Harry in the UK.

I hope you will not think me heartless if I confess my first thought on hearing this news was: "Gosh, I guess that creates a vacancy then"...

Who would not want to be adopted by a lovely Princess and join Team Royal Family?

What fun one could have with all those splendid palaces to explore, and corgis to chase. (Although it might be wise, I understand, to steer clear of Princess Anne's Staffies...)

So anyway, I asked Gail, just out of interest you understand, totally theoretically etc, how one might go about putting oneself forward for the position of Bogart replacement?

I had better not publish Gail's response in full. It did contain phrases like 'world's most ungrateful dog', 'hurt feelings', 'no supper tonight', along with many other less nice words.

Well I'll be honest with you I backtracked faster than you could say empty food bowl. Peace was restored, and we agreed there are many other dogs in the UK whose circumstances are much less favourable than my own. And anyway, as part of her forthcoming UK citizenship classes, Meghan will surely be made aware of the canine adoption opportunities offered by Battersea Dogs Home and suchlike?

*That's an example of  British understatement, BTW.