I have been sneaking a look at some of the post-holiday emails Gail has been exchanging with her cycling friends in London.
You won't believe the things they've been saying about me and my blog.
Just two examples:
SELWYN: "I say Woof Woof to Bertie (because in reality it is probably all he will understand)"
CHRISTINE: "I may even deem to have a look at Bertie's blog but.......I will have to consider that carefully, I mean it's a dog!!!"
I can only think that the combination of sunshine, cycling and a steady intake of too much vin rouge fried their brains.
It has certainly fried Gail's.
Yesterday, she had this 'bright idea'. For, yes you've guessed it, a bicyle ride with me!
There is a disused railway line just by the entrance to Duthie Park, a five minute walk from my house. It's been converted into a bicycle path. Sometimes we go for a walk there, although from my perspective it's all a bit straight and flat and not nearly so much fun as the park itself.
Now can you really imagine that I would happily trot besides Gail as she pedalled along on her old sit-up-and-beg bike?
Let me tell you I did not co-operate. Instead, I came over all 'Hamish' for the afternoon and decided to stop and sniff everything. I absolutely refused to come within twenty yards of Gail when she was sat on that scary black monster.
It is no coincidence that Gail did not once manage to capture me and the bicycle in the same shot...
On the way home, we ran into neighbour Mike, also on his bicycle. He observed my behaviour for a minute and had a little gloat. Mike has two dogs, Bonnie (border terrier) and Jack ('apricot' coloured toy poodle).
You would expect a man who knows his dogs - his wife Kirsty is after all a vet - to be telling Gail what a ridiculous idea, expecting me to keep up with her on a bike ride, would you not?
Instead of which, to my utter horror, I heard him saying,
"Oh yes, I once rode with Bonnie and Jack all the way out to Drumoak*. You have to go on the road for two miles so I stuffed them in my panniers, one on each side, their heads poking out of the flaps. They were fine."
Someone, PLEASE convince Gail that her leg was being pulled....
PS A bit of history: The railway used to be called the Royal Deeside Line, and was projected to run sixty miles inland from Aberdeen to Braemar, just past Balmoral Castle. However, Queen Victoria was afraid her privacy would be disturbed by hordes of tourists so she bought the land around Balmoral to prevent this and the line stopped at Ballater, well short of the originally planned end point. Just thought I'd point this out, this week, in case any friends were getting the impression that a monarchy is always a good thing.....
*Drumoak is about 10 miles away!
Cyclamens - and very late by nature
1 hour ago