Thursday, 19 September 2019

Please help with my wardrobe dilemma!



Friends, I have a favour to ask of you today.

As you know, next month I am chaperoning Gail on a big trip to visit Renate and Michael, our friends in Germany.

We shall be travelling by train and ferry, and so, although not subject to airline luggage weight restrictions, Gail says we'll have to pack light as everything we need for the two week holiday must fit in her backpack.

As a result, my holiday wardrobe is to be restricted to two bandanas.

Obviously, I shall be wearing my personalised European Union flag neckerchief most of the time. But even the most pro-EU pup needs a change of attire every once in a while, and gosh I am having a dilemma trying to decide which one of my half dozen other bandanas to take along.

Please help me choose! I know you are thinking that these wee cotton squares weigh almost nothing and surely Gail could fit all six in her rucksack, but believe me, she can be very firm when it comes to such issues, and so I really do need to settle on just the one.

Oh and perhaps you could also tell me why you think a particular colour or design would be most suitable. I really would appreciate your input...


PS Gail says fretting over what to pack weeks in advance of departure is a sure sign I am now a 'senior' dog. I am not sure this is meant nicely! 

Monday, 16 September 2019

At least somebody cares

It seems Gail had some explaining to do on Saturday morning!

A nosy concerned neighbour spotted her walking back up the street from the direction of the park, without me! The neighbour rushed to her front gate and in a panic cried:

"Where's Bertie? Where's Bertie?"

I have to tell you that my owner is pathologically honest, not tremendously imaginative, and in situations where a simple fib might make life easier all round she usually ends up giving a tediously truthful explanation.

It went like this:

"Don't worry, Bertie is safe at home. We went to the park earlier and on the way back I stopped off to buy a newspaper."

Gail pauses for a microsecond and the panicky neighbour, who clearly hadn't heard Gail's first sentence, interjects.

"Oh no! Don't tell me! Someone stole Bertie from outside the paper shop! There's a lot of it going on at the moment. A friend of a friend of mine in Cults who has a garden separated from a field by a low dry stane dyke had her dog taken just the other week, and then I heard this other story..."

Gail manages to interrupt the flow.

"No no, it's all OK. BERTIE IS SAFE AT HOME. It's just when I went to pay for my Guardian I realised I'd left my purse at home and so the cashier said don't worry, take the paper and come back later with the money. So I went back right away to settle up before I forgot all about it, but didn't take Bertie, which is why you now see me walking up the street without the dog."

The neighbour may or may not have taken this in, and resumes her lecture on the dangers of dog theft in the area. Gail keeps to herself the thought that the neighbour might be exaggerating based on limited data, and eventually escapes and arrives home a second time.

It would all have been so much simpler if Gail had just told the neighbour I'd decided to have a lie in ...

PS Gail is well aware that the whole concept of going to a paper shop and actually buying a weekend newspaper with real pound coins is making her these days sound like a prehistoric relic, but some lifetime habits are hard to break!

Friday, 13 September 2019

Butterflies on Nature Friday


Which Painted Lady do you prefer?

(1) The butterfly type seen in the front garden of a house on the Northumberland coast last weekend, or

(2) The 'holiday property decoration in dubious taste' type, seen in our AirBnB accommodation in Berwick-upon-Tweed that same weekend?

Wishing all our dear readers a Happy Nature Friday! And once again thank you to our lovely friends Arty, Jakey and Rosy for hosting the blog hop.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Beaches and cliffs, then ruined priory or cake?

Gosh, where to begin?

Gail and I have just returned from a truly splendiferous few days spent exploring the Northumberland coast with our Nottingham-based friends Janet and Sue.

(Geography note: Northumberland, in the northeast corner of England, is conveniently situated about half way between Nottingham and Aberdeen.)

Shall I first show you some of the beaches? There aren't many places in crowded little England that offer such open and expansive vistas.

If you like your seaside with a touch more human activity, then Coldingham Bay, just across the border in Scotland, might be the place for you.

I'll admit that, while Janet was striding ahead, Sue and I slowed down a little to consider which of the pretty painted beach huts we'd like to adopt.

Of course, when with Gail, you always end up visiting places of geological interest too.

I'm sure you've already spotted the St Abbs Head fault line, separating volcanic rocks of eastern headland from the Devonian and Silurian sediments to the landward side (!)

It's not so often that Gail and I head for religious sites, but one has to say that the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne, an important centre of early Christianity in England and only reachable via a tidal causeway, has a very, very special atmosphere all of its own.

I have promised not to let on that, after spending much of the afternoon wandering around the nature reserve in the north of Holy Isle, Gail and her philistine friends prioritised tea and cake (generous slices of Victoria sponge served with strawberries and cream). So our little group failed to make it to the ruins of the 12th century priory and adjacent museum until after the gates were closed for the day, and had to settle for taking photos from behind the fence.

Still, we did all have a fabulous time overall, and massive thanks to Janet for organising our accommodation in Berwick-upon-Tweed and planning such splendid outings. I want you to know that I walked at least twenty-five miles over the course of the weekend. I might be slowing down a bit but there is life in the old dog yet!