Sunday, 6 July 2014

Local Hero in waiting?

So I was expecting to spend the weekend in intensive training at the agility field, commencing the mammoth task of bringing Gail up to scratch in time for the big team relay event in late August.

It was not to be.

On Friday afternoon my dear owner pointed the car northwards and said, as if without a care in the world, come on Bertie, hey ho, we're invited to a party at Molly's in Macduff.

Do you suppose Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer prepared for Wimbledon by swanning off to the Moray Firth to visit old university friends for a summer barbecue? Would Lionel Messi improve his dribbling skills by staying out late emptying bottles of rosé and scoffing sausage rolls, burgers and strawberry gateau?

I'm telling you, with Gail's attitude to training, Chris Froome would struggle to pedal up Holme Moss, much less La Planche des Belles Filles or the Tourmalet.

What is a pup to do?

Well OK, we had a nice enough time at the party, even if torrential rain forced the barbecue indoors. And I did get a chance to practice both being admired (by the other partygoers) and being tolerant of uppity dogs - yes I mean you, Maisie the Lurcher with your glossy black coat and your Suarez-like teeth baring tendencies.

You will already have guessed we did not rush back to Aberdeen that night so as to be up bright and early rehearsing baton changes.

But even I was surprised when next morning Gail insisted on taking me to visit a phone box…

Yes, you read that right. We drove east a few miles along the coast from Macduff and ended up in the village of Pennan…

…all so Gail could take a photograph of me in front of a traditional red telephone box.

As if Apple and Samsung had never existed.

I'll grant you that Pennan is a cute wee place, really just a row of cottages sandwiched between sea and cliff,  with the only landward access via a narrow and precipitous road.

And whilst I was wholly unimpressed by the phone box (after all, there are plenty still around in the UK), Gail assures me that fans of the 1983 film 'Local Hero' will understand  why this particular one is so special.


  1. Well at least da bein admired part are good. And ya look cute by da phone box, in only da plutotonical ways of course.

  2. THE phonebox. Was it still ringing?

    Sounds like you're going to have to take Gail in paw and do some training--though we think a barbecue IS a good reason to put it off a bit.

    XXXOOO Bella Roxy & dui

  3. Hari Om
    OMD you got touch THE BOX??? And sniff it and walk the street...did the local car 'buzz' ya??? Funny thing is I had not seen the movie for years, then one of the first things I did when I returned to the soil was look it up on the tubular.

    All-in-all Bertie, I think you can cut Gail a bit of slack on this one. But back to it now you two!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  4. we hope you left some pee mail on the phone box at is there for ending messages after all

  5. It's a good idea to start training with visiting a party, I like that :o) We are pondering if we still have telephone boxes here. I haven't seen during the last time. Mom said she remembers that time, where you had to find a telephone box first, then you had to search for shrapnel and in worst case it was a phone box what only worked with a card ( what no one had). crazy, huh? Bertie you live in a wonderful country, that's for sure and I hope I can visit it once too.

  6. Oh my! It is indeed a charming place. Made particularly so by your presence at the traditional phone booth.

    gus n teka

  7. What a lovely place! I have never seen that phone but you look darling with that old telephone box!

    retro rover

  8. Bertie we know that you are a SERIOUS contender and very Focused on your Training of Gail.... butt you know that all work and no BARBECUE does get a bit dull.
    OMD the REAL Phone Booth!!! OMD

    Dear boy you have your paws full with might need to forget agility training until Gail has graduated from obedience classes. MOL MOL

    Mom is really glad you took the side trip what a beautiful village and soooooo green. As for the phone booth...I expect it will soon be encased in glass to preserve this classic icon.

    Hugs madi your bfff
    PS your tail is still looking good

  10. Great photos, Bertie! Thanks for the tour, we luv seeing all the places our furiends visit!

  11. Bertie, we don't know that movie, but we do know that you will work hard to make up for Gail's lax attitude. Back to it!!

    -Bart, Ruby and Otto

  12. Sorry you didn't get your training it, however, it looks like a lovely little spot to visit. Perhaps Gail is trying to prepare you for some sort of history test instead of an agility one.

  13. Crikey Bertie .... you sure live in a beautiful part of the world. Shame about the weather, aye?? Don't know anything about that movie so the phone box means nothing to me but the Gail thing and the training. WHAT"S SHE THINKING!!! My Mum wants to go to Crufts to see you, SO BAD!!!!!!!!! Start barking Bertie and don't stop till she takes you training.

  14. Bertie we don't know that movie but those phone boxes are pretty fascinating even if you weren't impressed. We agree with you though, better push that training!

  15. Wonderful photos! I love seeing the scenery in your area.

    Now get out there and get busy practicing that agility. Those weave poles aren't going to weave themselves!

  16. What a conundrum. ... to train or taste and travel? Looks like it turned out OK this time. Maybe Gail was just trying to recharge her batteries before she starts the hard core training!

  17. Bertie Bertie Bertie you just don't have your priorities straight. The village of Pennan looks like a wonderful out of the way place to visit. Why my city has film crews often. Right now Don Cheadle is filming "Miles Ahead" here and Cate Blanchett last month was filming "Carol". I wish I had a red phone booth.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot