Sunday, 28 August 2016

Variety is the spice of life

Gail and I hiked the 'Loch Lee and waterfalls' circuit in the Angus Glens this weekend.

I thought it was a super route, although Gail said more sun and fewer midges would have been an improvement.

It's always fun to walk on lots of different surfaces, don't you agree?

First there was a gravel track beside the loch,

Then a wooden bridge to cross,

Here I am doing the traditional Scottish 'dog in heather' pose (Westie™)

Now you see me walking across some micaceous schist (if it had been sunny, you'd be able to see the sparkle of mirror-like mica crystals),

Although a dull day, it was quite warm (for Scotland) so I enjoyed a wee paddle in the cool, clear mountain stream. But not, please note, a swim.  NO WAY!

The path was soft and grassy as we approached the plateau...

Where I was thrilled to find lots of squelchy bogs (Gail less so).

Oh yes, and finally a nice view down to the loch where the walk began.

And then, with tiresome inevitability, the rain arrived. So Gail put away her camera and concentrated on navigating us through the rapidly descending cloud and back to the car park.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Plans afoot?

Hmmm. I wonder why Gail has been showing me Human Granny's photos from trips to Switzerland in the 1940s and 50s?

Oh yes, and she has lately been spending a lot of her spare time poring over train timetables too. And last night I spotted her googling "dogs + ferry routes" while tunelessly humming 'Climb Every Mountain' and 'Edelweiss'…

Might I soon be needing this?

Monday, 22 August 2016

A misunderstanding about a gift...

So Gail, you went swanning off to the Edinburgh Festival for a couple of nights with your 'book group', leaving me behind with someone who is confused about what breed I am, and forgetting to give her my bedding. No doubt you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself and have bought me a whole sackful of treats in compensation?

Er, well, not exactly Bertie, but I did bring you this. 

This? A postcard purchased from the National Gallery of Scotland shop, depicting a painting of a Glen of Imaal terrier called Callum? Gail, I must say, even judged against your own abysmal present giving record, you have reached a new low this time. What on earth am I supposed to do with a postcard?

Well Bertie, the painting has a story behind it and I thought you might be interested. You see in 1895 Callum's owner James Cowan Smith commissioned this portrait from well known animal artist John Emms. Upon his - that is James Cowan Smith's - death in 1919,  he bequeathed the large sum of £55,000 to the National Gallery of Scotland, on condition that the painting of Callum was put on permanent display. And you can still see it there today, in among all the Monets, Titians, Poussins, Rubens etc. 

Oh, I see, I get it Gail. You are telling me that this is not just about the postcard. You are going to have some famous artist paint me, and then when you die you too will leave a large sum of money to our National Gallery and I will be on permanent display and remembered for ever and ever. Well Gail I must say I am most touched. That is a lovely present indeed, even if it does involve a rather strong element of deferred gratification…

Um, Bertie, to be strictly truthful, that wasn't actually quite what I meant… Perhaps we should change the subject and I'll tell you about the shows we saw at the Festival. Oh and I know, you would like to see a picture of Edinburgh in the rain wouldn't you?

Frankly Gail, I am so totally not interested.
Look. Here the sun is shining and it is time for my walk.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Dog lover and Olympic champion: Laura Trott

So with my human spending her evenings in front of the telly, transfixed by the exploits of the British Olympic track cycling team, I decided to do some background research on my rivals for Gail's attention, multiple gold medallists, Laura Trott and her fiancĂ© Jason Kenney. 

And you know what? I am beginning to think maybe cyclists are not so bad after all.

Look, here are Laura and Jason earlier this year,  taking time out of their strenuous training schedule to visit the Dogs Trust Manchester, a charity caring for homeless pups. 

Awww. You can see Laura's a genuine dog lover. Clutching this adorable fellow, she looks as happy as if she's just won yet another gold medal.

Here's Laura back home with one of her own two Sproodles.

You can feel the love can't you? (I hope Jason's not jealous).

 This is what our world-beating cyclist said to a reporter before she left for Rio. 

I wonder if she's heard about the Pawlympics?