Friday 3 June 2011

Gales and Gails

Yes, I am aware that in this blog I write quite a lot about two things that sound the same but are really rather different. And that some of you (especially those for whom spelling is not a strong point) might be in danger of becoming confused.

Gales and Gails.

Let me attempt to clarify.

Gales: these are very strong winds, and we have a lot of them in Scotland, especially on the tops of hills and by the sea. Gales occur more frequently in Scotland than down south in England. I tend to become extra specially bouncy when a gale is blowing. When I was a wee pup I found them scary, but now I just think of them as a good excuse to pretend I can't hear when I am being recalled. Gales can cause lots of damage, as I showed you last month when a car was crushed by a tree on our street during a gale. The shipping forecast on BBC Radio 4 issues 'gale warnings' for the sea areas around the British Isles - see map above. (Many humans who never go near a boat love listening to the soothing repetitive rhythms of the shipping forecast, a gentle reminder of our country's maritime heritage). One thing I like about gales is that they deter Gails from spending too much time on their bicycles.

Gails: these are also, I believe, more common in Scotland than England.  As you know, I live with one. A different Gail lives a few doors up the street from us; she known in this household as 'other Gail'. I tend to be excitable in the presence of Gails as well as gales, especially if I am about to be taken for a walk by one, or offered a treat. Yes, and, come to think about it, you can quite often find a Gail (mine, that is) on top of a hill or by the sea. Gails can also sometimes be scary, like when they have just found that you have chewed up their cashmere sweater. I am reliably informed that when my Gail was a little girl, and got in a bad temper, her brother Max would go round saying "warning, warning, Gail force 10 today!" (Gail certainly never enjoyed listening to this particular forecast....) My Gail can also blow very hard - she tells me she gets way high scores when she does those lung function tests at the doctors. Oh and there are loads of things I like about Gails.

To sum up then, if you live in Scotland, Gails and Gales are something you just have to get used to, and might as well learn to enjoy!

Hope that's all clear now.


  1. BOL oh Bertie, is one worse than the other
    Benny & Lily

  2. hey Bertie,

    What an excellent explanation of Gails and Gales! And very clever! I shall never confuse the two again!

    Gail's brother Max sounds very funny. I am sure little Gail did not appreciate that humor, though.

    Gale-force winds sound a bit nerve-racking. But I do see your point in how it is excellent cover to pretend we don't hear our human


  3. We think your Gail sounds the best!

    XXXOOO daisy, Kendra & Bella

  4. Bertie - Great photo of you with the tree . Hope it had nothing to do with you !

  5. Very clear thank you Bertie. Was your Gail named after a big storm I wonder? :)

  6. BOL!
    Bertie bud' give new meaning to 'Gailic',
    ps you still didn't answer me: Did you mark that tree? :)

  7. Bertie you did a very much GRRRREAT job of explainin' the difference between Gale and Gail.

  8. I thoughts you did a pawsome job of splain the diff between Gale and Gails!

    Alls I can say to you though Bertie is you is one BRAVE pup! BOL

    woos, Tessa

  9. Bertie? Are you saying that Gail is a bit of a 'blow-hard'?? Hopefully not. She seems lovely.

    -Rottie Kisses

  10. Thanks for clearing that one up, I'm always getting the wrong spelling for words!!! saw, sore, peace, peice, there their if I think of any more I'll let you know!!!
    Looks like someone else has got some clearing up to do in that last photo, you look hansome or is it hanson as ever ;)
    Have a good week
    See Yea George xxx

  11. And then, as if that's not confusing enough, there's GALE. Global Autonomous Language Exploitation ( ). And we wonder, do you s'pose one day computers will one day be able to analyze and interpret "dog"? Oh dear.

    Maybe it was easier in the "old days".

    Jake and Fergi

    Pee esS ... Ponca City.

  12. Excellent clarification! We always love reading your posts.

    Nubbin wiggles,

  13. Thanks, Bertie, for clearing that up. We were a bit confused!


  14. Thats one big, bad tree in your last pic there, Bertie! Did you feel the results of this Gail, uh, Gale at your home. Any roofing blow off or anything like that? My Mom has been in a couple of hurrycanes, and lived to tell the story (which she is always happy to do).


    Peeess, I think we are getting some enthusiastic providers of word verifications. Mine was cop hot for this blog!

  15. BOL, what an adorably cute post! We love you and your Gails/Gales. We hope you'll drop by our blog today. We confess that you are one of our blogger friends that came to mind when we posted the invitation :)

  16. Thanks for the difference on the gails/gales. I will never get it confused anymore!!

    Jazzi and Addy

  17. Most informative. We had no idea 'they' sectioned off clumps of the open water and actually named them. Guess we thought they just used GPS coordinates or something else purely mathmatical. So the North Sea is entirely subdivided; is the Atlantic Ocean also entirely subdivided? The Pacific?

    Jed & Abby

  18. That was kind of complicated, but I think I got it. Gails and Gales are things that live in Scotland and blow the strong wind. Right?


  19. HAHAHA Bertie. I wondered about using the term "blow hard." I guess it's pretty American.

    Just so you know, WE don't think of Gail as a 'blow hard' either :-)

    Enjou your weekend!!

  20. Well our heads are spinning... Archie doesn't think he truly has it 100%(well really that is a surprise) but on the whole.... One thing is for sure..Your Gail has the cookies.. Enough said....Love A+A

  21. Well hello Bouncin' Bertie....I can see that ya are very well informed and want ta teach us a bit of history about Scotland......ya know Gram tells me that a great uncle of hers married a Scotish lady who cultivated her accent fer years.....but Gram sure loved ta listen ta it.....

    May the winds be calm on yer side of the pond.

    Dewey Dewster here....

  22. Hey Bertie!
    Wow, that' My mom says maybe call the wind (gale) Mariah so you can just call Gail, Gail. I don't really understand that...something about an old musical. Anyway, as long as you know the difference, that's all that matters. BOL
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP