Friday 30 September 2011

The tension mounts (a house divided)

So, now that I am back from my morning walk with my friend Sheila, I am going to explain to those of you unfamiliar with certain aspects of British culture, why tomorrow will be a tense day in the Bertie-Gail household.

It's all because of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Scotland are playing England for a place in the quarter finals at 8:30 am, our time.

Now of course, being a typical Scot, my sporting interest revolves around a passionate desire to see England beaten. By absolutely anyone, anywhere, any time. But especially of course by Scotland.

Well, as you all know, the English are arrogant, smug, over-bearing, uptight, need I go on?

The tricky thing is that Gail is actually English. So long as she keeps her mouth shut, I can pretend otherwise. After all, she is pale-skinned and a bit freckly, not that arrogant, and the longer she stays in Aberdeen the more moths fly out on the rare occasions she opens her purse to buy me a treat... She fits in quite well here. But then she gives it all away the minute she calls out "Buh-tie", not "Bearrr-tie" when I am running around in the park. The shame.

And you know what REALLY GETS MY GOAT!!!

To hear Gail going round saying, in those oh so patronising English tones, things like "well I do like to see the Scotland team do well, on the whole, even though I basically support England".

Grrrrhhh. Can you hear me gnashing my teeth?

So Saturday morning could turn into a right stramash. Forget about being nice to the convalescent.

PS From Gail: 
Q: How do you spot a well-balanced Scotsman/dog? 
A: They'll have a chip on both shoulders.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

So happy that things are back to normal ...

Well nearly, anyway.

I was let out of 'camp' this morning. I have to tell you I was ever so slightly miffed to learn that Gail had been back from hospital since Saturday, but I was so pleased to be home too I wasn't going to make a big deal about it.

She keeps singing the praises of something called 'keyhole surgery'. I don't know about that but I can tell you she has a bruise around her belly button more colourful than the fall foliage in a New England forest.

Oh, I am being told to change the subject, as some of my readers may be of sensitive disposition....

Well let me tell you, we are gearing up for Saturday's big Rugby World Cup game, Scotland versus England!

Meanwhile, I am going for walks in the park with a nice lady called Sheila, 'cos, can you believe, Gail has suddenly turned all lazy. (She is pretending it has something to do with the belly button thing).

Sunday 18 September 2011

A wee chat and a nice walk

What's that Gail, you want a wee chat? Then here I am, bounce bounce, on your lap, all (exceptionally cute) ears.

Well Bertie, the thing is, I'm going to have to go into hospital for a few days next week, it's all happened very suddenly and I only just found out, but don't worry, I'll be right as rain again before too long.

Oh dear Gail, what's the matter, it's not my fault is it?

Silly billy Bertie, of course it's not not your fault. It's one of those women's problems you see...

[Bertie looks very alarmed and quick as a flash puts his paws over his (exceptionally cute) ears.]
No, no, that's OK Gail, I quite understand, I really don't need to hear any more details, us males are very sensitive about these matters you know. Let's talk about something else shall we? Like, what's going to happen to me while you're away?

You're going to be going camping Bertie! No it's not the 'prison' it's somewhere you've not been before. It's a lovely camp, run by that nice Kevin at the agility club. You know, the instructor who said you were 'a fantastic dog'. Believe me you'll be having a lot more fun than me.

I s'pose. But how long until I can come home?

You'll be away about a week I think. But Bertie, now do listen to me, I'm afraid that when I come out of hospital I'll be feeling a bit delicate, and there certainly won't be any of this bouncing up on my lap for a good while. You do understand that don't you? And I won't have as much energy as usual and will only be able to take you for very short trots round the block. But Jake's owners have kindly promised to take you for some 'proper' walks too, so that'll be fun won't it?

Walks with Jake? Yippee!  Oh. And what about my blog?

Perhaps you'd better tell your readers that you won't be able to blog very much for the next week or so. But remember to say that you'll miss everyone and will be back as soon as possible.

Oh I will miss my bloggie pals. But hey, Gail, this is all a bit boring, can we post some pictures of the nice walk we had by the River Dee yesterday afternoon? After all, my readers don't come by this blog to read about horrid hospitals do they?


So. Here I am by the River Dee, just upstream from Banchory. It's been raining so much lately that the banks were on the verge of bursting, and the rapids were very, well, rapid.

We normally see men in waders standing in the water fly fishing on this stretch of the river, but I think today they'd have been swept away.

We did encounter one fishing party, but they were concentrating on the party side of things (I saw wine, whisky, yummy looking sandwiches and cakes on the picnic table).

I went inside to inspect their little hut. No-one seemed to mind. Gail said the man in the wellies looked like something out of 'Monarch of the Glen', which I believe was a BBC TV series best watched with the sound turned down so you could enjoy the scenery without bothering about the lame plots.

We saw another bigger cabin later.

But this one said 'private' so Gail didn't let me go and inspect it. I did at least get a close look at the Land Rover. So much more impressive than our puny little Mini.......

Yes it was a jolly nice walk, all in all.

Missing you already.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Absolutely not the thin end of the wedge

OK now I want to make things quite clear here. I agreed JUST THIS ONCE to wear a bandana to show my support for Scotland in their remaining Rugby World Cup fixtures.

This is not a precedent, the thin end of the wedge, the slippery slope to wearing a tutu, no sir!

But oh I am so excited about this rugby tournament. If fact I am quite prepared to fly out to New Zealand and offer my services to the Scotland team. I have been practicing my tackling and rucking and scrummaging skills on the back lawn and would be ready and willing to bite any opponent if required. What I lack in bulk and paw-to-eye co-ordination I make up for in spades with terrier attitude.

PS Gail assures me that the bandana doesn't look at all girlie. She is telling the truth isn't she? Don't laugh.

Monday 12 September 2011

The thistle, the sheep and the flexi-lead...

Does your human ever suffer from the disease 'brightideasitis'?

It never comes to any good does it? 

For example, let me tell you about what happened last week.

First you have to know that Gail's holiday cottage by Loch Torridon is near a croft and there are sheep wandering about all over the place, making all sorts of stupid baa-ing noises and generally asking to be chased by a spirited little wire-haired fox terrier. 

But apparently the crofter, for some reason, is less than enthusiastic about the idea of yours truly trying to make friends with his precious flock. And he owns a shotgun. 

So anyway, a couple of weeks ago Gail had the 'bright idea' to buy me a flexi-lead for use over at Torridon. She said that way I could have a bit more freedom than with my short city lead, but not be tempted into any naughtiness around the sheep. 

Personally, I was never convinced.

For starters, have you ever tried one of these flexi-lead thingies? SO confusing. You think you can race around to your heart's content then suddenly, just as you're reaching full speed, aaarghhh!!! Then there's the problem that, seemingly at random, you find the lead is locked short and you might as well be on the non-flexi one, where at least you know where you stand.

Well anyway, there we were, walking up just past the croft, me dashing to and fro and generally trying to figure out this new walking regime when all of a sudden a sheep ran right in front of me and I just couldn't help but try to follow.  It's in my nature. But then when I realised the lead was fully extended and the sheep beyond reach, I went, I admit, a little crazy and ran around in a circle. It just so happens, not my fault at all, that I had encircled a big prickly old thistle. I really don't want to repeat some of the words Gail was coming out with as she tried to disentangle the lead from the thistle. Let's just say "ow ow ow!' was the least of it! Then the sheep started baa-ing like it was making fun of me so of course I decided to show the world that a little terrier can make much a better noise than some big lumbering woolly lump that's destined to keep company with mint sauce on the dinner table .....

You know what? The good thing is, I do believe Gail is having second thoughts about her 'bright idea'.

Friday 9 September 2011

Un Poseur? Moi?

I can't believe that Gail has just accused me of being "a bit of a poser these days". After all the time and energy she's devoted to cajoling me into standing or sitting still in front of the camera in suitably scenic spots.

There's just no pleasing some folk.

So, what do you think, based on these pictures mostly taken last weekend over at Loch Torridon?
Me, standing proud in front of Beinn Dearg
Me, the first Autumn crocus and Hamish's memorial stone
Me, besides the exuberant waters of Abhainn Coire Mhic NĂ²buil
Me, admiring the ever splendid view of Loch Torridon from the cottage garden
Me, lit by a shaft of sunlight, waiting to be taken outside to do more posing
Me, showing my appreciation of the Torridonian Sandstone
Me, in reflective mood in the cottage garden
Me, in guard dog pose (scared, aren't you, sheep?)
Me, the centrepiece of a stereotypical Scottish composition involving heather and mountains

Me, in the heather again (eat your heart out, Westies!)
You have to admit, I'm getting rather good at this posing lark, even though I say so myself.

Oh what's this? Gail is saying perhaps I might consider modelling some cute wee outfits then, like so many of my bloggie pals.


Quelle horreur.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

The Torridon Echo

Gail loves the garden of our cottage on Loch Torridon 'cos of the ever changing view over the sea loch and mountains, the colourful tangle of unkempt flowers, the fond memories of Hamish the Westie (whose ashes are buried here), the fresh salt-scented breeze, the, er, serenity...

I love it 'cos when I bark I can hear my own voice echoing back!

Can you hear me? Twice! (You may have to turn up the volume). The echo works better in some parts of the garden than in others - the acoustics experts amongst you will understand why.

Don't I sound great?

Oh. Gail is saying after all that row, I have to let her show you this tranquil photo of Loch Torridon, which she rushed outside to take at about 8:30 pm on Sunday evening, braving the clouds of wee midgies.

You can have too much peace and quiet Gail.

Saturday 3 September 2011

A worthy heir to 'Fred the Shred' ...

I want to complain to the advertising standards watchdog!

How dare the Royal Bank of Scotland exploit a dear cute little pup in order to sell its products. And how dare they besmirch the good name of dogs in general in order to perpetrate myths that we cause problems for our humans.

As if!

Oh. Is that a chewed card you've found there Gail?

Absolutely nothing to do with me ....

PS from Gail for non-UK readers: 'Fred the Shred' is the nickname given to Fred Goodwin, former CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who in 2008 presided over the biggest annual loss in British corporate history (£24 billion).