I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
Lonely? A cloud, lonely? Clearly William Wordsworth was not in Aberdeen. The whole sky has been covered in clouds all week.. That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
And they are very low clouds too. When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils;
Well yes we certainly have plenty of them here. Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
But you know what, for the first time in about six months, there is in fact NO WIND here this morning. And no sign of even the gentlest fluttering.
Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way,
Hmmm. Astronomy. Nice touch there Bill. They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
A cab driver once told Gail there were ten million daffodils in Aberdeen…
The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company:
This is so true. Sort of like being with a wire-haired fox terrier actually. I gazed--and gazed--but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood,
I wouldn't say I do vacant. They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.
Ah yes, I get what he means now :-)
I guess my readers in drier parts of the world don't have to deal with these sorts of problems.
Have you any idea how scary it is to negotiate an agility course in the rain and mud?
So I was down in Dundee on Saturday, taking part in my first outdoor competition of the new season.
I have blogged before about my relatively high centre of gravity and associated 'stability issues'. Imagine now encountering a seesaw covered in a thin film of mud, dampened by a persistent East Coast haar, near the start of an eighteen obstacle run.
You know, I did so well not to fall right over when I slipped and stumbled just at the point when the seesaw tipped. And for sure, a less plucky pup would have jumped straight off and headed for home. Not me though! Despite being quite frightened, I bravely continued round the course, a bit more cautiously usual, I admit, but not missing any of my contacts. I did knock down one of the later hurdles as my wee paws skidded again in the mire on a tight turn. This too was unnerving as, unlike certain other dogs in my agility club (I'll name no names) I rarely mistime my jumps and so am not well accustomed to the clattering sound of a falling pole at close range. But still I carried on, undaunted.
Can you believe that after such an awesome display of courage in the competition ring, I left the show with nothing but a "well done Bertie" from Gail and a couple of extra gravy bones.
In Dundee harbour, just down the road from the agility show, rests a famous ship, 'The Discovery'. It was used in Captain Robert Scott's first Antarctic expedition in 1901-4. I don't think I am overstating things when I compare my feats on Saturday, heroic although ultimately unsuccessful, to those of the great but flawed British Antarctic explorer.
Oh. Gail says I am (overstating things that is). Just a wee bit.
As my readers who follow Scottish affairs will of course have realised, the poster above refers to the forthcoming referendum, in which voters will be asked "do you want Scotland to be an independent country?"
Now this blog aims for political balance (Gail raises eyebrows here) so I have been looking for a NO, or rather a BETTER TOGETHER poster in someone's front window so I can pose beside that too.
I have searched far and wide, but there are none to be seen.
So I asked Gail, do we conclude from this that everybody in Scotland, apart from her, is going to vote YES?
Then I asked why she does not put a BETTER TOGETHER poster in our window.
And Gail said something about fearing an expensive bill from the glazier…
There you are, out on a walk near the river, happily bouncing around enjoying the freedom of being off the lead, when a fox crosses your path in broad daylight, right to left, and heads off into a thicket.
Obedience training forgotten, the prey instinct kicks in and before Gail can shout "come Bertie, COME, BERTIE NO NO NO!" you have disappeared into the bushes in hot pursuit.
And then caught up in the excitement of the moment, you race around in random directions, barking joyfully, and .... you lose the scent.
For half a tail wag, you feel frustrated that Mister Fox has evaded your clutches. (Later Gail tells you he ran back across the track, left to right, slap bang in front of her, how could you have missed him?)
But soon you relax and return to Gail, thankful that you have a superior evolutionary strategy. You are a pet, not a working dog, and most definitely not wild creature dependent on your hunting skill to survive, and back home awaits a fire, a cosy cushion, and a full bowl of tasty kibble.
Hi, I'm Bertie, a wire-haired fox terrier pup. I live with Gail in Aberdeen, Scotland. An old Westie called Hamish used to live here but he died on 18th February 2010 (exactly the same day I was born). People tell me that he used to have a blog and that I have big pawprints to fill. That's a bit too much responsibility for a very young puppy - and anyway, I intend to make my own mark!
(Gail says that Hamish could certainly have taught me a thing or two about marking stuff....)