Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Scotland, Guernsey, Sana'a or Dubai?

Oh it's been ages since I met up with my Westie friends Florrie and Lucy. Yes, I know, yet more girl friends, well what's a handsome wee chappie to do?

Last weekend Gail and her friend the Oil Man (the Westies' owner) finally got themselves organised so we all went out for a leisurely walk around Loch Kinnord, the pace dictated by Florrie's twelve year old hips, and we had a chance for a good chat.

Florrie and Lucy spent much of the last year or so on Guernsey* with the Oil Man's son and daughter-in-law. Florrie confided to me that she really was happy to be back in her homeland, she admitted she felt a bit depressed away from Scotland and had lost her enthusiasm for walks, despite all the Channel Island sunshine and pretty beaches. Happily, now she's back, she's regained some of her former zest for life, even to the extent of voluntarily wading into the Loch despite the thin films of ice evident on the more sheltered stretches of water.

Lucy, it seems, adapted better to life amongst the rich Guernsey tax exiles. Gail tells me that this is because Lucy is five years Florrie's junior, and one is more flexible when younger, in all sorts of ways. Well anyway, Lucy loyally claims also to be content to be home, as she knows the Oil Man is very fond of her, and if he's happy, she's happy.

Florrie and Lucy's absence was, as some readers might remember, prompted by the Oil Man being away working in the Middle East. He's been dividing his time between Dubai and Sana'a, Yemen, and I was of course curious to learn if these would be interesting and dog-friendly places to visit.

Well I don't think I'll manage to convince Gail to take me to Dubai any time soon. It seems the main attractions there are hot weather and shopping and she's not a big fan of either, and come to think of it, neither am I.

Sana'a sounds altogether more appealing. Did you know the old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Look at this picture I just found in the internet.

Lots of fascinating places to sniff there, for sure. And at an altitude of 7500 ft, it has pleasantly cool climate too. OK so the terrorist threat means you have to go everywhere with heavily armed guards - on arrival at the airport they even escort you across the tarmac from the plane to the terminal it's so dangerous - but I don't see that should be a problem given my tank driving experiences...

Once again, Gail is not convinced. "Bertie, look at the beautiful, clean and safe environment we enjoy here in Scotland, especially attractive when bathed in soft winter sunlight isn't it? Why would you want to be anywhere else?" she says.

You know, on reflection, I'm inclined to agree with her.

Oh and if you're wondering why the 'Oil Man'...

*For readers from abroad, Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands, a small and wealthy archipelago belonging to the UK (albeit with a lower tax regime) but located closer to NW France.


  1. We think you should stay right where you are.

    Today is a good day!!!

    Wirey love,

    Jake and Just Harry

  2. We think Scotland is better.....we don't like heat or shopping either. We don't really want to be escorted everywhere with heavily armed men. Glad Lucy and Florrie are back in their native environment.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  3. Love the license plate! Sometimes we dream of exotic trips too, but there is no place like home!

  4. You certainly are handsome and you look like you had a lovely time

    urban hounds

  5. Exotic places are great but Bertie you have beautiful Scotland. Nice for you that Lucy and Florrie are back. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  6. I am cheered to learn that Florrie has some of her zest back. Of course that could also be from sharing a nice walkie with you.


  7. WOW... I can leave comments this morning...
    I have REALLY MISSED being able to do that. Hope it continues.

    Grrrrreat pics of YOU with your furends.

  8. How nice to have your friends back home. We hope you can enjoy lots of walkies with them in the future.

    Molly, Taffy, Monty and Winnie

  9. Clearly, wealthy tax havens aren't all they crack up to be for sweet Westies, are they? I'm glad your friends are happy to be home in Scotland, Bertie. I'm also glad you decided to agree with Gail -- I know I'd pick your nice cool climate over heat or armed guards, too!

  10. Hi Bertie
    What a great informative post...Mom loves learning new things about places far away.
    Lovely pictures, lovely time with great friends.

    Thank you for you kind platform as Mayor is to bring all the varieties of 2 and 4 leggers together. I'm even practicing my
    Hugs Madi

  11. We're with Gail on this one. In addition to the points you made, did you know that Middle Eastern cultures are NOT dog friendly?! We don't think they actually eat dogs like some appalling cultures do, but still - much safer and more comfortable to stay in GB. Oh, you can take a trip to France with Gail the next time she goes, if she gets you a pet passport, but that's about as far as you really need to travel, little buddy.

  12. Bertie, looks like that was loads of fun. As for the trip abroad, Why would you Leave such a great country. We would love to visit our ancestral home.

    Your Furiends
    Susie & Bites

    Pees; if you have not read our post, we talk about us & Mom & Dad's families all came from Scotland.

  13. Bertie, I am going to agree that you have such a beautiful place to live. I love seeing it through your eyes. Florrie and Lucy are beautiful, I take it Addi doesn't mind the friendship. I don't know how I would feel about my sweet Remington having all these girls around.

    Loveys Sasha

  14. I kind of see Gail's point. Don't get me wrong, Sana'a does sound interesting, but think about it, you would need to be escorted by armed guards every time you go out to pee. BTW, your girl friends are adorable! You lucky dog :)

  15. Oh more westies is always a good thing!! And while the amazingness cannot be denied I have to say that I LOVED my year in Dubai but I was a wee young thing then and far less set in my ways so I think Scotland is indeed a better option!


  16. Hi!! We're back home!! We've missed you all so much. We can't wait to get back in the swing of commenting again. We'll be back soon.

    snif ya later....Weenie

  17. Hey Bertie (and Gail),
    I just loved this post, as well as your previous post about your agility training. (When are we gonna get an update about that?) Hope you enjoyed your agility fun day.
    Yes, we remember the Oil Man and especially Florrie (She must miss Hamish, I am sure). Thank you for telling us about the Oil man's adventures. He sounds like an extremely interesting man, with many tales to tell.
    I've not been to Dubai either (& I , too, steer clear of the shops). Sana, however, sounds fascinating and scary at the same time.
    As for Guernsey; I read a book, recently, called "THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY" a while back, and it forced me to go onto Google world to check the small island out....its SO tiny! I can't imagine one can walk very far there.
    BTW, thanks for your wonderful email...and thanks, too, for your friendship.
    Lotsaluv from your friends in South Africa

  18. Hi there,
    Just popped back to give you the link to a book review about "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society":
    (I am sure you'll find the review interesting - particularly if you've not read the book 0 :)

  19. That's funny. My westie friend went walking there in the tattie holidays!