Friday 30 October 2015

FFHT: Bertie's Halloween Nightmare

It's Murphy and Stanley's FFHT time again. This month's special phrase is highlighted in red in the tale below.
My sweetheart Addi

Addi and the Pies

Oh I was so excited. Gail had bought me a first class plane ticket to Illinois so I could visit my sweetheart Addi for Halloween.

Before I left, I had, of course, to buy Addi a present. I thought she might like something British. And meaty. What could be better than a steak and kidney pie?

So I persuaded Gail to take me to the pie shop. In the window, they had a special seasonal display of pumpkin pies. "Why not buy one of those for Addi," asked Gail, "after all she is American and they like that sort of thing".

But I was confident in my original idea, and strode on past, making a beeline for the steak and kidney pie shelf.

Gail still seemed worried.

"I do think you're taking a risk there Bertie. In my family we like offal, but girls can be a little sniffy about kidney and suchlike".

"Not my Addi," I proclaimed as I made my pie selection.

How wrong I was.

Really, I don't want to dwell on what happened upon my arrival in Illinois.

Addi was there to greet me at the airport. I could tell by the bead of slobber dangling from her magnificent jaw that she was expecting something truly awesome. With a flourish, I handed her the box containing the steak and kidney pie.

And her reaction?

"Bertie, what on earth is this? Oh yuck it's kidney! Eeeew. I mean kidney is JUST SO DISGUSTING. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT. And were you not aware that I had turned vegetarian? Don't you EVER read my peemails? The only sort of pie I like these days is pumpkin pie. If you had any imagination, that's what you would have bought me. Oh I am so disappointed, I really don't think this relationship can continue. I am going in search of a dog with better taste in pies."

And off she flounced.

Well my friends, as you can imagine, after that I never turned my back on another pumpkin pie.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Is it a sheep or a rock?

I am sure regular readers who saw my last post will be relieved to learn that Gail and I are not planning to abandon hill walking for mall walking any time soon.

On Sunday we summited (is that really a verb?) Clachnaben in Aberdeenshire. It was a grey day, and boy was it windy at the top, but the autumn colours were still looking pretty, especially when set against my own varicoloured furs.

However, in my opinion the photos below are somewhat disfigured by the fact that I am wearing my 'flexi' walking string. Gail deemed this necessary due to sheep grazing at random locations along the route.

I might add that many of the objects Gail thought were sheep turned out, on closer inspection, to be rocks.

Perhaps kind friends could remind a certain person that a visit to the optician is overdue.

Sunday 25 October 2015

My mall walking expedition

Yesterday evening Gail took me for a walk to Aberdeen railway station 'cos she needed to pick up some tickets. Yes, I know, very twentieth century behaviour… Anyway, then she said she wanted to go to Marks and Spencers to buy lamb chops and, rather insensitively I thought, added that it was a shame she'd brought me along because, me being a dog, we wouldn't be able to take the short cut through the Union Square shopping mall.

So, I huffed, show me the signs that say 'No Dogs Allowed in Union Square'. And you know what? Gail looked all around the mall entrance couldn't see any. None whatsoever.

So it was that I had my first ever experience of Mall Walking. I believe is a popular exercise activity across the Pond, but not so much in Scotland.

I would have liked to linger longer, but Gail seemed in a hurry. We didn't encounter any other dogs, but believe me, I was a good deal cleaner and smarter than certain of the humans waddling round the shops.

I even offered to pose for a photo as I strode confidently along the main concourse, but Gail thought it inadvisable to draw attention to my presence.

As if I was engaged in criminal behaviour or something!

I did at least manage to sneak into the corner of the shot when Gail paused to take a picture of the cakes on offer at Patisserie Valerie.

Thursday 22 October 2015

Special hugs from Scotland

Today we are joining all our friends in Blogville in sending special hugs to Butch and Deb (Mom and Dad to The Three Little Pugs).  We wish Butch the best possible recovery from his horrid accident.

I thought of doing something fancy and clever, but then I realised nothing beats a straightforward loving hug.

So here is me being hugged by Gail.

And here is me giving a hug to all my friends in Blogville.

PS Thank you so much to Hailey and Zaphod for organising this event. You are stars.

Monday 19 October 2015

Eez zees where we seez zer Duerrl-fins?

It was only last week, wasn't it, when I complained to you about Gail impinging on MY walk time by stopping on the way to the park to talk to HER friends.

It gets worse. Quite often she talks to complete strangers too. And then blames me 'cos she says before she had a dog, everyone just ignored her!

Take yesterday's outing as an example.

There I was, with Gail, enjoying a stroll around the wee headland at the mouth of Aberdeen Harbour, when a couple carrying a map stopped beside us. Below I faithfully report the ensuing conversation.

(The lady to her husband:) "Regardez Gaston, c'est Milou!" (And then to Gail) "Oh, excusez moi, excuse me, is zat duerg zee same teep as Tintin's duerg? C'est un Fuerx Terrieur, n'est-ce pas?"

Gail: "This is Bertie, and you're right, he's a wire-haired fox terrier, like Milou. Although we call Tintin's dog Snowy over here."

"We av a duerg at ome too, and ah am meessing eem. But, pleez, can you tell me, is zees zer place where we seez zer Duerrl-fins?"

"Zer Duerrl-fins? Oh, (light dawns), the DOLPHINS. Yes it is. You can quite often see them playing at the harbour entrance.

"And av you seen zem today?"

"No, I haven't, the sea is a bit rough just now. The best time for dolphin spotting is in summer at high tide, especially when the water is calm."

The lady translates this to her husband, then proceeds to ask about the ruined building behind (was zees un chateau?) the boats in the harbour (are zey feeshing boats?) the structure in the water nearby (eez it an uerrl rig?) and Gail gets sucked into a lengthy explanation of the history of the Torry Battery, the difference between fishing boats and vessels for taking supplies to oil platforms, the need to dredge sediments from the mouth of the harbour and the fact that the oil fields are over 100 km offshore. All this is again translated to husband and elicits supplementary questions. Then Gail asks if they are visiting and lady says their daughter is studying in Aberdeen for a year so they came over from France to see her. Then Gail says she once had a French student lodging with her and what a lovely girl she was and, on and on it went...

I think you would have got bored too.

P.S.  Gail, who does not always appreciate the subtleties of my writing, has just asked if I am looking for a new career as Inspector Clouseau.

(Video clip included to bring a smile to any despondent Scottish rugby fans...)

Friday 16 October 2015

Is she teasing me about Donald Trump?

So there I was in the park early this morning, practicing my best terrier pose (the one that often earns me treats) when I suddenly spotted something new.

Of course I had to investigate.

What on earth are these green objects with holes in them? I had a good sniff around but was none the wiser so I looked to Gail for an explanation.

"Well Bertie I think it must be a new golf course. I did read in the newspaper that Donald Trump was planning to extend his existing horrible golf resort. You know, the one he built all over the beautiful, unique and supposedly protected area of sand dunes north of Aberdeen. I guess he has been forced to scale back his more grandiose plans, him being so busy campaigning to become president of the USA and all that, and this is the result".

Friends, please reassure me that none of what Gail said above is actually true.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

One law for them…..

Fellow pups, does this happen to you too?

Your human comes home from work and takes you out for your evening walk. On the way to the park, she runs into a neighbour. They stop for a blether. It goes on and on. You growl impatiently but are told to wait. Still they talk. As if there was all the time in the world. Your tugs on the lead are ignored.

After what seems like forever, the conversation comes to an end and you walk a few steps further, only for your human to encounter a second friend. And once again. Natter, natter, natter. Yak, yak, yak.

When there are trees to be sniffed, gate posts to christen, squirrels to chase, your own friends to greet, fox poo to roll in...

Finally, just as the daylight is fading, you reach the park and are let off your lead. You race over to your favourite bushes. Freedom at last.

You've been away, like, a nanosecond, before your human is calling you.

"Come on Bertie, hurry up, no dawdling please, we haven't got all day you know"….
The cheek of it.

Sunday 11 October 2015

The terrier who forgot how to dig..

Don't you think it odd, and a tad unfair, how humans will make sweeping generalisations about different dog breeds, while often strongly disapproving of anyone doing the same with their own species?

For example, I am a terrier. (Did you know?) Terriers supposedly like to dig, and in fact it is a skill I mastered at a very early age, as described in a post from my puppyhood (Work, rest and play, 4 May 2010).

But the truth is, I very soon tired of the whole digging thing, and anyway, who wants to be stereotyped like this?

I think Gail could be more sensitive about such issues. You know what she said in the park this morning when we stopped by one of the ponds to inspect some excavation work?

"Bertie, I don't know what kind of terrier you think you are. You seem to have completely forgotten one of the signature traits. Let's just watch how a real digger operates, and perhaps you might be inspired to act more true to type again".

You know, I soon got bored and wandered across to sniff around the base of a tree.
Now that is something I really am good at.

PS Some readers might be wondering why I have been quiet on the subject of the Rugby World Cup tournament, currently taking place South of the Border. Well I am a tactful wee laddie, and would hate anyone to think I was gloating if I mentioned that Scotland, however shakily, are through to the quarter finals and, er, England are not...

Wednesday 7 October 2015

And then it was autumn

A treat most unexpected,
But welcome as a bone,
A week of sun, blue skies, still air,
When summer should be gone.

It could not last, it felt
So undeserved. And yet
When normal service weatherwise
Resumed today, and wet,

Cool, blustery, and dour,
The world o'ernight transformed,
I thought it quite unfair,
And for the sunshine mourned.

Then Gail cried "Chin up Bertie,
Remember what they say,
There's no bad weather just bad clothes.
Put on your coat, and seize the day!"

Sunday 4 October 2015

The five year wait for a REAL TACO

Stop Press! Hold the front page!

The five year long wait is over.

But first let me backtrack...

Here in Aberdeen, we are not blessed with an abundance of Mexican food outlets. So when it comes to celebrating Taco Day with our dear (now departed) friend Jazzi, a soup├žon of creative improvisation has been required.

I wonder if any of you remember our 2011 effort, the Aberdeen MacTaco? (Haggis and oatcakes were involved and actually, it was rather good).

In 2012, my Human Grandad was in hospital and we missed the event entirely.

The situation was not much better in 2013 - in fact some might say worse - when Gail forgot until the last minute and I ended up with a photo of a taco, printed from the internet…

Last year things just got weird, when a certain human decided we should celebrate Jazzi's favourite colour and, with the aid of some food dye, fashioned a taco out of 100% pink ingredients.

Well this year I opted to take matters into my own paws.

A short session on Google and I discovered that Uncle Sabino's Mexican Restaurant & Takeaway  is now open on Little Belmont Street, only a mile away from our house.

So I suggested that Gail might like to bicycle into town and pick up a REAL taco for me.

You know, sometimes she is surprisingly obedient.

Mmm these tacos are yummy. Wee Jazzi had good taste, for sure.

And didn't Gail do well too?  If the oil price continues to drop, I'd say she has a promising future as a taco delivery lady...

Thursday 1 October 2015

Waiting for Addi

Oh my, I am all of a flutter and I don't mind admitting it.

My gorgeous girl Addi has invited me to Dory's 'Sadie Hawkins Dance' and will be arriving to pick me up any minute now.

I never can quite believe how lucky I am to have such a splendid, strapping lass like Addi for a partner, a girl who is confident enough to ignore boring and outmoded dating conventions. Between you and me, it is quite a relief not always to be the one who makes the first move. (I don't think I am compromising my masculinity in saying this, am I?)

I hope you think I am looking suitably handsome?

You know that neither Addi nor I are big into getting all dressed up, but I have had a thorough brushing and a paw wash. Also, although I am not a vain fellow, I am aware that my markings draw admiration in certain quarters and I feel it would be a shame to cover them up.

Oh oh oh, what is that I see descending through the Scottish mist?

I am barkless (almost). This is like a dream come true! And, given Addi's chosen mode of transport, I confess to being somewhat relieved I did not chose to wear a kilt…..

Click here to see what happens next.