Friday 30 November 2018

FFF: Immortality?

Once again, we are delighted to be taking part in YAM-Aunty's Final Friday Fiction challenge. Our November book is 'The Great Soul of Siberia' by Sooyong Park, and on page 87 we find:

Line 8: Passing on the gene, in September even the creatures
Line 12: On Crow mountain would be good, and the wild walnut forest
Line 16: Bad either, the upstream region of Shauka River was probably

Bertie has been quite restrained this month, his piece is barely longer than the three lines from which the prompts are taken.

Bertie's Suggestion

When I have shuffled off
This canine mortal coil
You'll miss me, probably.

Passing on the genes
For perfection
Would be good, don’t you think?

So how about you have me cloned?
A snip at fifty thousand bucks these days.
Why stop at one?

Imagine a multitude of Berties,
Bringing bouncing bliss
To the many not the few.

Click here to link to the other FFF challenge entries. We can promise you an excellent read!

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Birthday celebration, as it happened

Sunday, 25 November 2018.

So Gail, it has come to my attention that today is your 60th birthday. Happy Birthday Gail! That is really quite old in human years, isn't it? I guess we will be going shopping today for a Zimmer frame and some incontinence pads. Provided you can remember where you have put your car keys of course...

Gail that is not nice language at all!

Oh, so the birthday plan is in fact to go to Glen Tanar for a walk with your friends, followed by tea and cake at the 'Black Faced Sheep' cafe in Aboyne. Well that doesn't sound too bad. And for the first time this week it is not actually raining. OK, so let's get ready.

I'd better go and wake up our house guests, Mark and YAM-Aunty.

Well, we have quite a big group assembled here at the Braeloine car park. I am so glad that wee Rosie Westie is joining us. Doesn't she smell nice!  I had been worried I would be lacking canine company when you told me how Jasper's owner got his dates confused and turned up in Glen Tanar yesterday...

So come on, let's get going. Now Gail, you are sure you'll manage the five miles aren't you? You are not as young as you used to be you know. At least the route is fairly flat, and there will be opportunities for rest breaks. And Praise the Lord it is still not raining!

Gosh those date slices you baked for everyone do look yummy. Where's mine? Oh, they're NFD*. Well, the 'doggy mince pie' YAM-Aunty bought for me will do nicely then, thank you very much.

Come on guys, chop chop! That's enough admiring the view. We need to move on.

Mark is taking a lot of photos, despite the rather dull weather. And I must say the results are pretty good.

OK, now we're on the home straight. Hurry up everyone, it's time for tea!

So we all made it safely back to the car park on schedule. Well done team! You really were quite well behaved (for humans). Now onwards to the 'Black Faced Sheep'.

WHAT? Dogs are not allowed in the tea room!!  Gail that is Very Bad Planning. Although, to be honest, I am quite ready for a wee snooze in the back of the car. I can look at Mark's photos later I guess.

Gosh it does look like there were some intense conversations going on in there. Please please please tell me no-one was discussing Brexit...

So did you enjoy your 60th birthday Gail? You did? I'm glad. It was nice that so many of your friends were prepared to brave the elements. And I gather that several of them are even older than you are. Perhaps there's hope yet....

*NFD = Not For Dogs

A big thank you to Mark and Max for all their lovely photos.

Sunday 25 November 2018

Leader of the pack

Gosh I had a very important task this Sunday, leading Gail and her friends on a walk in Glen Tanar.

Apparently this was a very special day for Gail, which is why she had gathered her friends all around her.

I shall tell you more about it later in the week, when I have overcome my disappointment at not being given any of Gail and Kirsty's picnic lunch...

PS Thanks to Mark for allowing me to use his wonderful photos!

Friday 23 November 2018

Nature Friday: Sea Scene

For any of my friends who've had a too busy week - why not stop and rest a moment and sniff the sea air with me?

Monday 19 November 2018

Mass disobedience

I am wondering, what is your stance on obeying rules and regulations, even when they seem inappropriate, or perhaps superfluous?

Why bring this up just now, you ask.

Well, Gail took me down to the Aberdeen City beach yesterday. Although dogs are allowed to run free on most of the two mile long stretch of sand, there is a section in the centre, in front of the cafés and amusement arcades, where we are excluded, year round.

Rather to my irritation, Gail always makes me obey these signs.

However, I couldn't help but notice that, on this chilly grey November afternoon, all of the human visitors to the 'no dogs' bit of the beach were accompanied by their pups! 

And those pups were having a fine old time, and no-one seemed to object.

Look, why else would anyone visit a beach in the Northeast of Scotland at this time of year, if not to give Rover and Fido a chance for some bracing exercise? And for the humans, the nearer to the cafés the better!

What do my readers think?

Friday 16 November 2018

Nature Friday: Spotty Sycamore

Did you enjoy all last week's Nature Friday posts?

I did too. Thank you so much to Arty and the LLB gang for such a great idea!

Today I am going to don my Bouncing Bertie Boffin hat and tell you about spotty sycamore leaves.

We have loads of sycamore trees in Aberdeen - including one in the street right outside my house. At this time of year the ground is covered with their large leaves, often daubed with black splodges of tar spot fungus.

Sounds bad doesn't it? I mean, how would you like to be infected with a fungus and end up covered in black spots? 

Of course if you were a Dalmatian you might not notice the difference... 

I digress.

But you know what? The fungus really doesn't harm the trees, and for the rest of us it's a welcome sight.

You see tar spot fungus only grows where the air is clean and free of sulphur dioxide. In the bad old days when the UK's many coal-fired power stations were belching out sulphurous pollution you rarely saw spotty sycamore leaves. 

But now they're a common sight, thanks to clean air legislation.

A timely reminder folks, that governments (and the EU) sometimes pass good and necessary laws!

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Borderline inappropriate...

Gosh as if it wasn't bad enough, putting up with my Aberdeen home being invaded by two giant poodles a short while back...

So last weekend Gail took me over to the Torridon cottage, a place where a chap can normally look forward to a bit of peace and quiet. Imagine my surprise and consternation then, when I arrived to find two strangers - and their associated humans - already occupying my living room!

The big fellow is Jasper, a labradoodle apparently (although it seems he never got the memo about doodle types being 'non-shedding').

The wee schnauzer is Frankie, or Mr Goody Two-Shoes as I now think of him. To be honest, one can hear the words "my, he is such a perfectly behaved dog, isn't he just?" once too often when those words are not directed towards oneself...

Jasper seems a decent enough chap, although on Saturday I did notice him getting a bit frisky in the closing stages of our hike through Coire Dubh and Coire Mhic Nobuil, and trying to jump on Gail is a manner that I later told him I considered borderline inappropriate...

Finally, I would like to point out that, of the three of us, I was the only pup brave enough to bark at the stag whom we found hanging around in the Glen Torridon car park at the start of our walk. I was most disappointed when Gail hastily removed me from the scene after the stag made as if to head butt us with his antlers. Even though it was certainly not me who was acting all scared...

Monday 12 November 2018

Friday 9 November 2018

Nature Friday: Woodland Walk at Drum Castle

Today I am delighted to join the LLB gang's new Nature Friday blog hop, and take you on a late autumn stroll through an ancient woodland in the grounds of Drum Castle.

Do please come and enjoy the walk with me. Humans will need a stout pair of shoes, as the path is a wee bit muddy in places. But it is not a long distance, just over a mile I believe, and any inclines are quite gentle, so most of my friends, even those of more senior years, should manage it.

Let's get going!

Or should that be sniffing? 

Do you like a yellow and golden carpet of birch leaves?

Or maybe you prefer a more monochrome bed of beech?

Myself, I think the grass dappled with wobbly edged oak leaves is the prettiest ground covering!

The walk ends in a small pine plantation

With a fine view over the Aberdeenshire countryside.

Fortunately I think we will make it back to the car before it starts to rain!

I do hope you enjoyed my outing today. I am now looking forward to reading all the other Nature Friday posts.