Monday, 31 January 2011

An unsatisfactory start to a Sunday...

So yesterday morning, instead of the usual walk, Gail plonked me down on my big towel, said, "now Bertie, smile please" and "wish Andy the best of luck".

I can tell you I was not impressed.

Apparently I was supposed to stay there with Gail in her bedroom and, on her teeny weeny little telly,  watch some tennis match taking place on the other side of the world.

At least I do now know why Gail didn't want to be alone. It can be a painful experience, I learned, watching a Scottish sporting hero perform on a world stage..

At first I just howled...

After a while I could stand it no longer and tried to make a getaway...

And finally, drained of all emotion, I fell asleep.

Luckily (for everyone except Andy) the game did not last long, and there was still time for a splendid afternoon walk in the hills with my friend Jake.

(And if anyone tries to tell you that I had a big tantrum in the car with Jake and his owners as we drove out of Aberdeen, which resulted in Gail borrowing a tissue to wipe the blood from her lips, well, all I can say is that some people do make a BIG FUSS about the most minor of wounds....)

Thursday, 27 January 2011


If that Julian Assange chappie can post private emails on the internet, then so can I!

A 'source' has shown me a certain communication between Gail and her friend Françoise.

I am so hurt and offended.

It is in the public interest to expose lies and hypocrisy, is it not? I mean she's always telling me that I'm totally adorable and the whole world thinks so. And then she goes and writes this.

Hi Françoise 

Thanks very much for the lovely roast dinner - a relatively rare treat for me. 

Thanks also for in inviting me to the Highland Weekend. Yes, I would be interested. But I would first like to be reassured that the rest of the group are 'dog tolerant'. Bertie does tend to get over-excited when there are lots of new people about. When I had my friend Angela and her fellow musicians - a Dutch wind quintet - staying at the cottage in Torridon for a few days, it all worked fine, and he eventually calmed down, but this was an exceptionally relaxed and dog loving group! I don't want to spend my time worrying that he's annoying everyone, nor would I leave him at home.

On another subject. King Lear at the Belmont is on 3rd February. I am going to ask a couple of other friends and book tickets. Would you like to be included?



Monday, 24 January 2011

WANTED! A new modelling partner...

Where was Kate Moss when I needed her most?

So, there's me, a natural in front of the lens, if I might say so myself.  But when I asked Gail to pose with me, to show off her absolutely magnificent, beautifully designed and really very flattering new tee shirt*, well, this was the best she could do.

Tragic.  Hasn't she even heard of fake tan?

Better stick to being a scientist eh, Gail?

* Tee shirt available from Uncle Eric's Mum's website,

Friday, 21 January 2011

A quick visit the Scottish Riviera

Sunshine on the beach at Nairn - rain to the west, as usual

I bet you didn't know that Scotland has a 'Riviera'!  Well in fact it has two seaside areas which lay claim to unusual amounts of sunshine (for Scotland), thus the riviera tag.  One is in Galloway in the southwest of the country, and is the other around the little town of Nairn the northeast.

Last weekend, after a quick trip over to our cottage in the northwest (hope you've got your compass handy today folks!), Gail was all smiles.  Something about 'no burst pipes'.  But Torridon was all horizontal rain, so we headed back east on Sunday morning in search of better walking weather.
Which of course took us to Nairn.  What a smashing place!  You can romp on the beach, and if you get tired of that, there's a fine wood to explore too.

Nairn has a famous resident, Oscar winning film actress Tilda Swinton.  Gail was disappointed we didn't see her.  I wasn't really bothered either way until I learned that this Tilda once ran a film festival in the town, at which entry was free if you brought along a tray of cakes, the audience sat on bean bags or deck chairs, and... 

... LOOK AT THIS.... They even allowed dogs in! 

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Relaxation time with Bertie

And wasn't it nice of Marie-Thérèse, to let me decorate her smart black dress with a few of my extra-special wiry fox terrier hairs....?

(Not that we WFT's shed much, I hasten to add. Oh no. We are very nearly perfect.)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Cracker Dog, honestly!

I would like to enter myself in the Insane Cracker Dog category of the famous Mango Minster competition.

Thing is, I've taught my human that I am prepared to cease any cracker dog activities for just as long as she will pick me up and give me a loving hug.

I get ever so many cuddles.

Clever, huh!

Oh and did I ever mention the cashmere sweater....

See also my Review of the Year

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Excluded, rejected, abandoned...

Everything is NOT right with the world today!

Can you believe that Gail is going to see a film about my namesake* and is refusing to take me along?

Several exceptionally feeble reasons have been given:

1. Dogs are not allowed in the cinema.
2. My attention span does not stretch to 118 mins.
3. I have supposedly nothing in common with the 'Bertie' in the film, King George VI, who is described by one commentator as having been 'dry as dust... remote and unnatural communicator with very little to communicate...'

First off, is it really true that dogs can't go to the cinema? I have been checking out the brochure and noticed that the Belmont has special showings for parents with babies (the 'Big Scream'), it has 'autism friendly' evenings, it even lets students in!  So why not 'The Big Bark?'  And anyway, in this weather, surely Gail could smuggle me in under that huge and unflattering jacket that she wears for early morning walks in the park? (Yes, I mean the one she was given for free about a decade ago, designed for XXL oil men working on North Sea rigs in winter).

Secondly, I would like to remind Gail of who won the 'longest sit' contest at our final puppy class party. Proof, obviously, of exceptional powers of concentration.

Thirdly, being a terrier, by nature independent minded, I would appreciate the chance to judge the movie for myself. I know that I was named after a different, and fictional, Bertie (Wooster) but since other folk sometimes wonder if Gail chose my name out of admiration for our Royal Family (highly improbable, admittedly) I feel I should be allowed the opportunity to learn a bit more about this other Bertie chappie.

Don't you agree?

*The King's Speech.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The right kind of everything in Glen Tanar

I was a bit miffed to hear that Gail had gone gallivanting off to London for a couple of days with Flat George (click here if you really want to read about that).

So anyway, to make up, she took me for a long and perfect Sunday walk in Glen Tanar.

We had the right kind of snow (freshly fallen, and just enough to make everything look beautiful but not so much as to impede my customary bounciness)

It was just the right temperature, an invigorating 1 degree C and, for once, no wind.

We went at the right time of day, so the sun was high enough in the sky to peep out from behind the hills every now and then.

Glen Tanar has the right kind of trees (native Caledonian pine forest, not just boring plantation conifers).

We encountered the right amount of traffic on the forest tracks (i.e. none)

There was just the right amount of water for the stream to look its most pretty.

And, best of all, Gail remembered to bring along the right number of bribes so there weren't any rows about her making me do all this ridiculous posing....

Friday, 7 January 2011

My friend Wilf

Every morning, over breakfast (sadly not croissants) Gail turns on the laptop and together we read about what Wilf and his family in SW France have been up to over the past twenty-four hours.  Wilfy, I know you are sick, and I just want to tell you how much pleasure you give us and to send you some love.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A brief sense of humour failure...

Gail, I haven't talked to anyone about this 'cos it's a bit of a sensitive issue, but now that we're alone together, back in Aberdeen, can I have a word with you about, you know, er, girls?

Girls, Bertie?

Well actually, one girl in particular, I mean Izzy.

Izzy the poodle, who lives with my brother and his family?  It was fun meeting them all on Boxing Day wasn't it? 

Oh isn't Izzy just the most adorable creature?  So tall and long-limbed, graceful, soft and gentle....
Well yes Bertie I think she's nice too (although perhaps a surprising choice of dog for a family where the menfolk had previously only been interested in playing rugby...)

I can't see anything surprising at all!  She has such a beautiful, shapely, rear end, it smells lovely, and that pom-pom on her tail is most impressive isn't it? 
Er, yes, Bertie, if you say so...

But Gail, I don't think Izzy even noticed me.  And I'm wondering, could you perhaps fashion my tail into a pom-pom like Izzy's, I think that might catch her eye?

Now Bertie, you come here and have a cuddle.  That's better.  Bertie, I am truly delighted that you like Izzy.  I'm afraid that Hamish didn't have much time for her at all.  But it might be a while before we see her again as she lives in Sheffield, nearly 400 miles away.  So I'll tell you what, how about we go down for a run on the city beach?  Exercise and bracing North Sea air is what you need just now, my dear laddie! 

The beach?  OK. Come on then!  What are we waiting for? 
Well Gail, on reflection, maybe the pom-pom wasn't such a great idea after all.  I guess other dogs in Aberdeen might have laughed at me too ....