Wednesday, 5 August 2015

A walk to the beach

It occurred to me the other day that, although we live less than two miles from the Aberdeen City Beach, whenever we visit it, we always go by car. So I suggested on Sunday that perhaps we could walk there just this once.

Gail raised an eyebrow, said this was hardly the most scenic of walks, and despite being August it wasn't exactly beach weather, but if I insisted, then it was OK by her.

I did insist. So off we went.

We headed north through Ferryhill,

Then down past (but thankfully not into) the Veterinary Surgery,

And eastwards across to the harbour.

OK I admit the tanks of drilling mud at Regents Quay are not picturesque,

But finally we made it to 'Fittie', Aberdeen's quaint old fishing settlement, which is...

….Right by the beach! 

Hooray. Time for a run! 

Here we see some Staffie owners sporting typical Aberdeen beachwear (if you zoom in you might spot the goose pimples on the bare calves...)

By the amusement arcades and cafes the gull are poised to swoop.

The funfair was in full swing as we set off back inland,

We returned via the City Centre, 

 To admire the Union Street's granite buildings (and ignore its derelict shops).

By the Music Hall we turned on to Crown Street and past the former Post Office building,

 Full marks to the Brentwood Hotel for their bright display of geraniums.

And finally it's onto the home straight.

Well I enjoyed the walk anyway. I hope you did too.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Meeting with Westie Puppy Rosie

The way Gail's been going on, anyone would think I have a reputation for behaving badly with tiny puppies…

"Er Bertie, you do have a reputation for behaving badly with the little pups. Remember how you bullied Daisy Dachshund at puppy class? And how you terrorised Bunty the Border terrier the first time she came round here when she was only three months old? As for the way you growled, really quite aggressively, at those two chihuahuas in the park the other day…."

Gail, please stop interrupting me when I am composing my blog post about my visit to your friend the Oil Man and his new Westie pup, nine week old Rosie.

Now as I was saying, it seems I have this reputation, so I want you to watch this video carefully (with the sound turned up) and count how many times words like "best behaviour", "good dog" and "impressed" are used with reference to myself. The voices are those of the Oil Man and Gail. Oh and cricket fans might pick up some background commentary from Test Match Special at the start.

For those readers who don't have time to watch a video, I have also posted some photos below. Although really, you should be rethinking your priorities in life shouldn't you, if you can't spare a mere ninety-five seconds to watch your favourite wire-haired fox terrier interacting with an indescribably cute Westie puppy?

It was such fun meeting Rosie. I do hope I see lots more of her in the future.

PS Gail, should we tell them about the emergency phone call from the Oil Man, half an hour before we were due there, asking if we had any newspaper?

Friday, 31 July 2015

FFHT July: My talents go unrecognised

And it's Murphy and Stanley's FFHT time again. As usual, this month's phrase is highlighted in red.

A Trip to the Office

Once upon a time, on a Thursday evening last month, Gail came home from work, gave me the customary head scratch and cheerfully asked:

"Well Bertie my dear wee chappie, do you want the Good News or the Bad News?".

Then, of course, she proceeded to give me both.

So the bad news was that Gail had to go into the office the next day, Friday, her usual day off. But the good news, she said, was that I was, "just this once" invited to accompany her.

Good news? British understatement there I think. I was so excited my tail started wagging back and forth like a nodding donkey on speed.

Gail tried to calm me down by following up with a lengthy and tedious list of the do's and don'ts of office etiquette for dogs.

Do keep out of people's way; don't bark; don't lick or nibble anyone's ankles; don't go rummaging in handbags; don't get under anyone's feet and trip them up; don't try jumping on desks; don't chew any cables; should anyone stop to give you a pat, do just sit there quietly and look appreciative.

Well I have to say all this was a little disappointing. I had secretly been hoping that Gail's colleagues, knowing about my role as Boffin to Blogville, had asked me in to solve some hitherto intractable technical problem relating to finding oil in the North Sea. Heaven knows, the petroleum industry in this part of the world is in need of some fresh ideas just now.

So I entered Gail's office, bright eyed and bushy tailed as any new recruit, all prepared to play my part but you know what?


There was I, head bursting with ideas on how to sniff out the North Sea's remaining oil reserves, happy to advise on gas production issues, ready to assist with any necessary excavation work, all set to help the marketing department by sharing my social media expertise, etc. etc.


I had the distinct impression these experienced and highly educated professionals from all over the world* somehow doubted my credentials. More fool them.

So after a while I got bored and wandered off. Fortunately I ran into Gail's boss, who made a big fuss of me and even took me for a little walk outside. I'll be honest with you, I was a bit wary of this lady at first, recalling how it was on her recommendation that I had Rescue Remedy squirted up my nose prior to boarding a train a couple of years ago. But I've decided to forgive her role in that unfortunate incident.

I'm pleased to report that after a few hours Gail announced we were done for the day and she took me for a nice stroll along the River Dee behind the office. 

And, my friends, that was the first time I ever visited Gail's current workplace. 

*Pictured hard at work are Hamed and Mehdi from Iran and Henk from Holland. Yes you've guessed it, Henk's the tall one.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Green with envy?

Here's a picture from a recent walk up Millstone Hill. It's one of Gail's favourite views and is presented here today especially for those of you who live in parts of the world where the summers are all brown and dusty.