Friday, 16 April 2021

Freedom Friday !!!

M and J bursting through the gorse bushes in Warren Wood

Gosh I have exciting news this week! 

On Tuesday the Scottish government announced that they are, as of today and ten days ahead of the the previously announced schedule, relaxing the ban on venturing more than five miles from one's local authority (in our case Aberdeen City) boundary.

So far this year, we've had to content ourselves with gazing on mountains from afar while sticking to our local area. 

But as of today, we can go ANYWHERE IN SCOTLAND!

More exciting adventures to come for sure.

Oh and also, next week Gail will be getting her first professional haircut in six months, and there will be no more danger of her being mistaken for a Highland Coo...

The bad news is that ever since Tuesday's announcement Gail has been singing this song.


And believe me, Gail singing is always a regrettable occurrence.

Happy Nature Friday friends, and thanks once again to our LLB Gang friends for hosting this our favourite blog hop.


Wednesday, 14 April 2021

The 'Secret Gorge' Adventure


First we heard about it from Imogen.

"Did you know there's a secret gorge hidden away in the woods near Maryculter? It's such a special place. You access it via a tunnel under the road, and through a metal barrier. The route is quite steep and there's not really a proper path"

Then it turned out our friends M and J had also discovered the gorge and we heard more.

"The ground is rough and overgrown in places. Our Dutch friend Kees showed us the way. It was quite an adventure. Not suitable for Bertie, I think."

NOT SUITABLE FOR BERTIE!!!

Talk about a red rag to a bull...

So anyway, last Friday, Imogen had promised to show Gail what might be the one remaining piece of new (to Gail and me) untrodden territory within our currently permitted five mile limit. And when Gail heard that Muriel would also be joining us, and bringing some home-baked shortbread especially for me, it was inconceivable that I could be left at home.

And after such a build up, I was expecting at least the Grand Canyon!

[I admit I was a bit confused when Gail put on my harness as a "precaution". Long term readers will know that this is usually deployed in preparation for a train journey, ever since a particular incident at Newcastle station...]

It is fortunate that neither Gail nor I have piled on the pounds during lockdown, as the first part of the expedition involved a bit of a squeeze.

Can you see Gail in camouflage there?

Soon we reached the 'gorge'.

Er, not quite the Grand Canyon is it Gail? But a pretty enough spot, and that was only the start of the adventure.

We scrambled up through the woods, past what might be the remains of a Polish workers camp from WW2, and evidence of the area's more recent past as a children's play park.

Eventually we came down to the river and, not before time, Muriel broke out the shortbread.

All in all it was a grand little outing and I hope I get to go back there some day.

Oh and by the way, the harness was quite unnecessary for a roughty toughty and sure-pawed terrier like yours truly! 

Sunday, 11 April 2021

The Ballad of the Nordic Snowflake



The knitting pattern didn't look quite right,
The pictured dog not Bertie's shape one bit
But Gail thought, she surely could adapt
The size, and make a jumper just to fit.

Come late September, yarn and needles bought,
But then that fateful visit to the vet,
The bladder cancer diagnosis shock,
A poor prognosis for her precious pet. 

The pup of course went on his merry way,
As happy and as bouncy as before,
The tablet he was given once a day,
He thought of as a treat and nothing more. 

And Gail decided she should press ahead. 
And knit this Christmas jumper just as planned.
To not do so would be a breach of faith, 
The thought of Bertie's passing, more than she could stand.

So Christmas came and he was bouncing still,
For sure he knew how handsome he appeared
In his red sweater. Gail was thrilled,
And optimistic for the coming year.

In January, he's doing fine. He's such
A loving pup, so fond, so smart, so bright,
One might imagine that he knows how much
Gail needs him through these long dark Covid nights.

The weather worsens, ice and snow set in,
The Nordic snowflake sweater earns its keep,
And passers by see Bertie, stop and grin, 
And comment on his winter wear. "So chic!"

Six months now passed since Gail first was told
That Bertie likely would not live too long.
This jolly jumper represents her hopes, 
And she is full of joy he's fighting on.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Daffodil poses


Easter Sunday

Two days later

And the next day

One does not expect to endure a frozen bum while performing one's annual daffodil posing routine...

Happy Nature Friday friends!