Monday 28 April 2014

All's well that ends well

Life can be quite an emotional roller coaster sometimes, can't it?

Oh how excited I was when Gail told me we were going over to Torridon for the weekend, and that her nice friends from Holland, Angela and Florian and their boys Alexander and Sebastian, would also be staying at the cottage.

It got even better when I heard that a big hill walk was planned.

Imagine my dismay on arriving at the cottage. The visitors were out, but they'd left so much stuff lying around, and all of it indicating interests other than hillwalking with yours truly.

First I spot a musical instrument case.

And this kit is surely shouting 'sea kayak'?

And oh dear, a fishing rod...

Then there's a bag of books.

Oh, what a relief, finally I see some hiking boots.

When our friends showed up, it turned out they had already been sea kayaking and crab fishing and were now ready for a relaxing evening, noses buried in books, and I decided to join them.

In the morning they played their musical instruments (quite pleasing to the flappy little ears, actually).

But I was beginning to wonder if the promised expedition into the mountains would ever take place.

Oh the tension. ….

Well I am totally thrilled to tell you that on Sunday we all climbed MY mountain, Beinn Alligin. (You did know that my posh Kennel Club name is Granddach Beinn Alligin, didn't you?)

And look what a splendid day we had.

Friday 25 April 2014

Negotiation and compromise

So I am cross with Gail 'cos of the lack of presents from France. Given her lamentable record in this department, I guess you could say I should not have raised my hopes, but we WFT's are incurable optimists.

And Gail is cross with me because, in a fit of post-prison pique, I did not allow her to post any more of her holiday photos (those featuring a certain famous Bicontinental Dachshund) earlier in the week.

Readers will be pleased that Gail and I have decided to honour the spirit of Human Grandad, who was known for his quiet diplomacy and his skills in conflict resolution, and we have reached a compromise.

In exchange for a chunk of Sainsbury's best saucisson sec, I have decided to allow not just one but TWO photos of Gail with my godmother Tootsie and her lovely Mom.

OK, and one more of Tootsie then. She is totally adorable, for sure. 

PS Many, many thanks to Dachshund Daddy for saving the day with his camera, after Gail's ceased to function just hours before the rendezvous with Tootsie.

Tuesday 22 April 2014


A certain person had better not even think about going anywhere on her bicycle again any time soon.

Yes I have been in prison camp.

Yes I barked so long and loud I lost my voice but did anyone come to rescue me?

They did not.

You know, Gail, I am not interested in hearing any more about your bicycling holiday in the Jura mountains, about the glorious sunny weather, the spectacular limestone gorges, the delicious fondues, the smoothly surfaced and almost traffic free roads, the fresh green meadows resplendent with wildflowers, the endlessly fascinating conversations about the shortcomings of algorithms used in software to calculate elevation gain on cycle computer apps…

At least now I have regained access to my blog I can tell the world how unbelievably hurt I was to miss out on Gail's end of trip rendezvous with my Swiss godmother Tootsie (aka Bicontinental Dachshund). The fact that Tootsie is apparently so cute and well behaved yet also full of character only makes things worse doesn't it? If Gail thinks that I am going to post a whole bunch of Tootsie photos today, then let me tell you, she has another think coming.

And another thing.

How hard can it really be, to find a suitable terrier-friendly present to fit in one of those bicycle panniers?

Friday 11 April 2014

Please take me with you. PLEASE?

Yes it is that time of year again. Gail is going cycling in France with her friends, and heartlessly confining me to 'camp' for ten days.

Rumour has it she has also arranged a rendezvous with a certain Bicontinental Dachshund and her family at the end of the trip, which I am also going to miss.


Normal service will resume on this blog in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Bertie's musings on Wordsworth...

           I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
Lonely? A cloud, lonely? Clearly William Wordsworth was not in Aberdeen. The whole sky has been covered in clouds all week..
          That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
And they are very low clouds too.
          When all at once I saw a crowd,
          A host, of golden daffodils;
Well yes we certainly have plenty of them here.
          Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
          Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
But you know what, for the first time in about six months, there is in fact NO WIND here this morning. And no sign of even the gentlest fluttering.
          Continuous as the stars that shine
          And twinkle on the milky way,
Hmmm. Astronomy. Nice touch there Bill.
          They stretched in never-ending line
          Along the margin of a bay:                                  
          Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
          Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
A cab driver once told Gail there were ten million daffodils in Aberdeen…

          The waves beside them danced; but they
          Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
          A poet could not but be gay,
         In such a jocund company:
This is so true. Sort of like being with a wire-haired fox terrier actually.
          I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
          What wealth the show to me had brought:

          For oft, when on my couch I lie
          In vacant or in pensive mood,  
I wouldn't say I do vacant.                             
          They flash upon that inward eye
          Which is the bliss of solitude;
          And then my heart with pleasure fills,
          And dances with the daffodils.
Ah yes, I get what he means now :-)

Sunday 6 April 2014

What, no bravery award?

I guess my readers in drier parts of the world don't have to deal with these sorts of problems.

Have you any idea how scary it is to negotiate an agility course in the rain and mud?

So I was down in Dundee on Saturday, taking part in my first outdoor competition of the new season.

I have blogged before about my relatively high centre of gravity and associated 'stability issues'. Imagine now encountering a seesaw covered in a thin film of mud, dampened by a persistent East Coast haar, near the start of an eighteen obstacle run.

You know, I did so well not to fall right over when I slipped and stumbled just at the point when the seesaw tipped. And for sure, a less plucky pup would have jumped straight off and headed for home. Not me though! Despite being quite frightened, I bravely continued round the course, a bit more cautiously usual, I admit, but not missing any of my contacts. I did knock down one of the later hurdles as my wee paws skidded again in the mire on a tight turn. This too was unnerving as, unlike certain other dogs in my agility club (I'll name no names) I rarely mistime my jumps and so am not well accustomed to the clattering sound of a falling pole at close range. But still I carried on, undaunted.

Can you believe that after such an awesome display of courage in the competition ring, I left the show with nothing but a "well done Bertie" from Gail and a couple of extra gravy bones.

In Dundee harbour, just down the road from the agility show, rests a famous ship, 'The Discovery'. It was used in Captain Robert Scott's first Antarctic expedition in 1901-4. I don't think I am overstating things when I compare my feats on Saturday, heroic although ultimately unsuccessful, to those of the great but flawed British Antarctic explorer.

Oh. Gail says I am (overstating things that is). Just a wee bit.
The 'Discovery'

Thursday 3 April 2014

Why I loved my HGD

My Human Grandad, Gail's Dad,
Was modest, true and kind.
For four years our lives overlapped,
He'll stay for ever in my mind.

He always loved to be outdoors,
And thoroughly believed
That walks with me were only fun
If I were off the lead.

He saved lamb shank bones in the fridge
For when I came to stay.
He loved to watch me on the lawn
Gnawing contentedly.

He could have been a dog, you know,
So loyal, trusty, steadfast.
Devoted to family,
In affections, uncomplicated.

He always smiled his special smile
On seeing Gail and me.
His deep blue eyes lit up
And sparkled curiosity.

I never heard him angry once.
Even towards the end.
His carers all used the same words,
"He is a lovely gentleman".

He rests now in the soil near home,
As peaceful as he lived.
And thinking of him, there is joy
Dancing beside the grief.

The worms will now be gentle too,
Nourished on his gentle flesh.
The grass will thrive, the blackbirds sing.
Even the badgers will show respect.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

YES we are back in Scotland

As my readers who follow Scottish affairs will of course have realised, the poster above refers to the forthcoming referendum, in which voters will be asked "do you want Scotland to be an independent country?"

Now this blog aims for political balance (Gail raises eyebrows here) so I have been looking for a NO, or rather a BETTER TOGETHER poster in someone's front window so I can pose beside that too.

I have searched far and wide, but there are none to be seen.

So I asked Gail, do we conclude from this that everybody in Scotland, apart from her, is going to vote YES?

Then I asked why she does not put a BETTER TOGETHER poster in our window.

And Gail said something about fearing an expensive bill from the glazier…