Monday, 6 October 2014

Torridon dilemmas

Gail and I went over to the Torridon cottage for the weekend.

Although, as usual, I had a super time, I want to share with you a couple of serious dilemmas which are now troubling me.

The first concerns the Torridon General Store and Cafe.

As you can see in the pictures above, this is a quite magnificent establishment. Situated at the head of Loch Torridon, you can drink in the stunning mountain landscape along with your perfectly assembled cappuccino. That the cheese scones are quite delicious, I can verify, having been offered a morsel more than once. Liquid refreshments for dogs are even provided, and if you are in luck, biscuits too.

Now, by the most amazing coincidence, Gail and the friendly cafe owner Jo used to work for the same company based in Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, London, many eons ago. For once, on Saturday, Jo was not rushed off her feet and came outside for a chat. She mentioned that her business has been nominated for 'Best Café/Restaurant/Pub' award in the 'Great Outdoors' magazine, and, in exchange for taking our photos, she 'suggested' that Gail might like to log on to the magazine's website and vote.

So what's the dilemma, I hear you ask.

Well, consider this. When observing me through the camera lens Jo also said the following:

"Bertie's looking a bit more rotund around the rear end these days isn't he? Too many treats perhaps?"

The outrage!

Is a woman who clearly cannot distinguish between fluff on the haunches and genuine heft really deserving of a prestigious award?

Should I allow Gail to vote for her café?

What do you think?

The second dilemma concerns two balls of wool.

Readers may remember my post earlier this year about our lovely Torridon neighbour Julia, and her Shetland sheep. That's Julia in the black waterproof, enjoying a chat with me outside her croft at the weekend.

Anyway, these balls of wool, which Julia has kindly given to Gail, are from the very same sheep featured in my post back in June.

I now have to help Gail decide what she will knit with the wool.

Apparently she is thinking of a hat for herself. Do you not think this is a teeny weeny bit selfish? Surely, these natural sheep colours would look most splendid on yours truly. Perhaps Gail could knit me a wee sweater, with a simple Fair Isle pattern or something?

I will confess that I am not a fashion expert. I wonder if my friends can help me here and suggest a suitably masculine pattern for a two-toned garment to be worn by a rugged terrier type?

Or should I let Gail have her hat after all?

Again, your thoughts on this issue would be most welcome.

PS from Gail: You can learn more about the Shetland wool on Julia's blog 'Hand Knitted Things'.


  1. Well, she love our vote. AND you only got a morsel of the cheese scone...two strikes against her establishment.

    Hmmmmmm, we think a manly hiking jumper for you and maybe a matching headband/ear warmer for Gail.

  2. The outrage of it! I was just this how trim Bertie continues to look. Perhaps it's a matter of proportion. Following recent events your neck will be looking very slim compared to you, ehum, rear end, thereby giving the allusion you might have gained weight.
    I think it only fitting therefore that Gail knits you a snood. Harris has several for keeping chills at bay and they are easy peasy to knit on four needles or on the round. Lovely to see Torridon featured again. Looks amazing as ever.

  3. I'd vote but only after an additional bribe of cheese scone !
    Was looking on Hand Knitted Things the other day, what fantastic yarns they have, beautiful colours
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  4. Well Bertie you need to vote and demand payback in cheese scones and we think a swather would be just swell for the oncoming Winter months. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. Bertie, you say Jo was observing you through the camera lens. Does she need to wear glasses?! You are perfectly formed.

    I didn't know Gail was including me in that photo. Good job my hood was up, with all that rain, I was having a very bad hair day! Tell Gail if she runs out of wool whatever the project I have more available now from the production line.

    Best regards Julia

    P.S. Jo's Cafe will be getting my vote.

  6. I voted for your cafe&store, good luck! I don't think you look "rotund", that's just the winter fur, I'm sure. maybe your Gail can knit you a coat what you can wear in winter and the groomer can remove the "rotund" looking fur?

  7. Those are two dilemmas! I think you should let Gail vote only in exchange for a little lesson on your body - and some extra treats from the cafe as an apology for misreading it. As for the wool, well, if Gail gets to vote, how about you insist on that sweater? :-)

    1. Ah, it is clear that family life with young children, a pig, a cat, a puppy and a husband has made you into a skilled mediator Katie!

  8. Miss Jo was surely MISStaken... it was the camera lens that added an ounce or so to your SVELTE SELF. BUTT since we are aware of how OFTEN peeps are totally WRONG... and Two Wrongs do not make a Right turn... We say GO AHEAD AND VOTE FUR her...and then insist on an EXTRA morsel of goodness fur being a loyal customer.
    NOW Fur the Knitting pawjects... how about MATCHING Ear Warmers fur you and Miss Gail?

  9. Well really - that was rude - I mean to say Bertie - you have been on exercise restriction so of coarse your wonderful athletic form might not be quite 100% at the moment - but to imply you have porky paunches - definitely no vote would be forth coming from us ! Now as for the wool.....maybe he could make you your own little scarf?

  10. Bertie first of all that is one lovely location for a Cafe, amenities are over the top BUTT Miss Jo needs to have her eyes examined...Your derriere is not rotund....I TRULY BELIEVE MISS JO IS ENVIOUS OF YOUR WFT TAIL...

  11. I say ignore the butt comment. I have heard it myself a couple of times lately and sometimes people are just WRONG. Vote for the cafe -- DO NOT RISK GETTING CUT OFF FROM MORSELS OF CHEESY SCONES. As for the knitting? Matching scarves!

  12. Bertie that cage is fantastic. Rotund? Maybe she is getting rotund and merely jealous of your beautiful figure. Yes. Those colors would look marvelous on YOU
    Lily & Edward

  13. What a stunning spot, Bertie! Ignore that comment - we'll show her big butts!! - and keep going for the scones... Knitting? We have to agree with HER - sweater for you, ear warmer for Gail! Those colors of yarn are YOU!!

    -Bart, Ruby and Otto

  14. Hi there BB! Glad to see you are on the mend. We voted but just guessed on all the other categories...we did pick the Two Blondes we are...two blonde Scottie's walking/running and jumping....we felt it was the appropriate choice. We voted for Gail's friends cafe, on your recommendation that they are generous to the 4 legged outdoor enthusiast too. We are of the opinion that no establishment should even be on the list unless they welcome the shorter legged hiking set. As to your posterior proportions, we need to see a piccie of her rear before we can tell if she is qualified to speak about it. We have been accused of being square bottomed ourselves by persons of ample posteriors. We maintain if a person is able to use their rear muscles to jump 3 or 4 times their shoulder height, then they may speak of our well muscled backsides. Now, on to knitting....let Gail have the hat. Ask instead for a nice wool blankie made up of the leftover bits. We love our small blankies and mush them about into warm doggies size nests. Sometimes Kenzie burrows under hers and looks like a Scottie burrito in the morning.
    We believe your career as a travel agent for dog friendly establishments is really taking off. We have enjoyed your excursions on trains, trips and hotels. Maybe a biking trip with a dog carrier/trailer can be featured. She is looking for one that will accommodate 2 Scottie's and would be easy to manage. See if you can encourage Gail to give it a go.

    Bonnie n Kenzie...two wee blonde Scottie dogs

  15. We think, in spite of the comment, voting should occur. Perhaps Jo just needs glasses. As for hats, we say let the people wear them - just keep them off our heads!

  16. As your dog-god mother, I say:

    You must vote.
    Gail must knit you a neck warmer.



    P.s. Your haunch is beautiful and fluffy. :)

  17. Hari OM
    Now Bertie, you must forgive Jo for it seems that she may not have grasped the nature of your intelligence and language skills. One thing is clear in that she cared enough to comment! Do not withhold your vote, dear fellow, for without doubt that is a very wonderful establishment.

    Oh my word, I envy Gail the working of that wool; am in the middle of using homespun inherited from mother now and nothing beats it. Given the generous hint of more available, I would certainly be encouraging dual use; beanies are soon going to be req'd and a change for your gurnsey would not be a bad idea at all...perhaps in a houndstooth check? Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

    1. Houndstooth? I like that idea! Very suitable (and within Gail's capability, I believe).
      Toodle pip! Bertie.

  18. Well firstly if your friends gives you treats at her establishment maybe she should consider she was the cause of that extra fluff. Treats definitely vote for her.
    Secondly I can solve that dilemma. My Lee has a big head and she needs a big droopy tam to go over all of her hair. Neither of you get what Gail makes. Send it to me.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

    1. I was so excited about the yarn I forgot to say what a lovely rainbow just exquisite.

  19. Whoa! She said your butt looked big? That is just terrible! Then after insulting you she asked for a vote? Oh, for the love . . .

    After you were insulted and likely NOT defended, now you find out that you are not the recipient of a lovely knitted vest? The cruelty! How can you stand it?

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  20. Crikey Bertie ...... I reckon you should vote. I wouldn't risk missing out on being offered one of those delicious lookin' cheesy scones just because of a stupid remark about my big butt. She must be on drugs or something. Your butts not big, mate?? What was she thinking? Not much obviously!!
    I'm with Aunty on the design for your knitted whatever. HOUNDStooth. Got no idea what that is but if it looks like a hound's tooth it's got to be pretty good, aye??
    AND that rainbow!!!!! OMD!! Very beautiful, mate!!

    1. Crikey ..... I forgot!! I voted all the way from downunder. How good is that??

  21. Opt for a zig zag pattern.

  22. Oh Bertie I think a lovely argyle patern would be very macho I do recall your name sake Bertie Wooster wearing an argyle vest on more then one occasion on the tv series. As for looking pudy around the haunches its clearly fluff
    retro rover

  23. On the first, I think you should vote honestly and not be swayed by personal opinions. If the cafe is yummy and welcoming, then it deserves a vote. THEN you get extra scones out of the owner!

    On the second, obviously a sweater would look incredibly dashing -- as well as helping cover up the areas where your fur is still growing back after your terrible accident that Gail should still be feeling SO guilty over. That earns you a sweater, right?! I think cable-knit is a very masculine look.

  24. Howdy Bertie. We think you should vote for her because you do want the cafe to continue thus ensuring more of the cheese scones. As for the quite offensive comment about your rotund bottom, perhaps it was a trick of the light making your rear end appear larger when compared to your short hair cut from your accident. We're sure she wouldn't be rude on purpose. We both agree you and your Gail should wear matching beanies with pom poms but then again we have absolutely no fashion sense hehehe.
    No worries, and love, Stella and Rory