Friday, 22 March 2019

Urban wildlife

So the other night, on my pre-bedtime 'comfort walk' around our Aberdeen neighbourhood, Gail and I spotted a fox, strolling down the street in front of us, bold as you like.

It was the second time we'd seen him in as many weeks.

As you know, we live in inner city area, albeit one with parks and green spaces nearby.

Can you believe that Gail criticised my reaction to this sighting, implying that what she described as my "ear splitting high pitched barking and frenzied straining at the leash" was somehow not acceptable behaviour.

Pray, what part of FOX terrier does she not understand?

photo from internet
Once again we are delighted to take part in the LLB Gang's Nature Friday blog hop.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Not quite 87 hours in Torridon

The March weather has gone a bit bonkers in Scotland - lions and lambs flying in and out and in and out again like nobody's business. So I trust you appreciate the amount of rain, hail, sleet and wind endured to capture on camera the occasional moments of brightness in the Torridon area last weekend.

And I do hope you liked the picture of the Highland Coos searching for the pot of gold. I rarely approve of including photos of non-dog species on this blog, but having first successfully negotiated extra treats, I decided to allow Gail just the one.

Yes, I know what you're thinking. Thank goodness this country has at least one canny negotiator...

Sunday, 17 March 2019

WFT photography 101

It is important not to position your terrier in front of a splodge of similarly coloured lichen. No matter how fine and alert his stance.

That's a bit better.

To be honest, it hasn't so far been a great weekend for photography in Torridon, being mostly overcast and damp. This remnant rainbow picture does at least give you a realistic idea of the prevailing conditions. 

Oh yes, and this is the point on our Saturday walk when I decided I'd had enough of tramping around on a slippery mountain path in the sleet.

Thankfully my owner was of the same mind, and so we retreated to the warmth of the cottage where I allowed Gail to practice her Pilates balance work while simultaneously rubbing my belly with her loose foot and listening to the rugby on the radio (and of course taking a photo), thus displaying her hitherto well-concealed multi-tasking capabilities...

PS England 38: Scotland 38. This WFT says WTF !!!

Friday, 15 March 2019

...And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And bounces with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth (nearly).

Oh the joys of spring! 

It is spring isn't it? Gail took her car to the garage yesterday to have the winter tyres removed and the regular ones put back on. The old mechanic looked surprised at the request and, clearly deeming it premature, asked "Ye're nae fae Scotland? D'ye ken fit month it is? "

Do wish us luck for the drive across the Highlands to our Torridon cottage this weekend...

Hoping you too are celebrating Nature Friday with Arty, Rosy and Jakey.

PS Our thoughts this morning are with all the families affected by the terrible terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

An excellent Brexit decision...

Does your human ever tease you in a manner that is SO TOTALLY NOT FUNNY?

Mine does.

For example, on Sunday morning after breakfast, Gail said this to me:

"You know what Bertie? There are some very important Brexit decisions being debated in Parliament this week. It is a matter of great national importance, so I suggest that, instead of our usual Sunday outing, it would be a good idea if we stayed indoors and spent all day reading all the papers and watching our 'commentariat' pontificating on TV about the likely outcomes of Tuesday's vote at Westminster. What do you think Bertie?"

Gail watched my fuzzy little face fall as fast as the pound sterling will in the event of "No Deal", then laughed and said:

"Only kidding Bertie. I think a brisk walk in Glen Tanar is just the pick-me-up we need at this time of political turmoil."

So we put aside the newspaper and headed to Glen Tanar, and this turned out to be an excellent decision.

Although I admit I was a tiny bit miffed to find out that some Capercaillie has apparently taken up residence in my favourite part of the forest and put up a 'do not enter' sign.

So anyway, we diverted to a path across farmland, where Gail insisted on stopping to admire four handsome horses and a procession of very orderly sheep.

All in all, so much better than thinking about Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg...

Sunday, 10 March 2019

I blame Crufts

Apparently this is the 'picture to go by'. 

Please someone, tell my owner IT'S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Spotty Dog admires Spotty Neckerchief

Taking a break from woofing today...

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Auld Reekie - not smelly but windy

Gosh I was so excited when I learned that Gail and I would be spending the weekend with our dear blogging friend YAM-Aunty and her father in the fine city of Edinburgh.

Did you know that the Scottish capital is sometimes referred to as 'Auld Reekie'? And that this translates into standard English as 'Old Smelly'...

Well what could be more appealing to us canines than a few days in a famously odiferous metropolis? 

And so I must confess to being a tad disappointed when I sniffed the air outside the home of YAM's father, and failed to detect anything other than the normal city aroma. 

However, early on Saturday morning it was impossible not to notice that the air molecules were rushing past one's nose at an unusually high velocity, ruffling one's beard and leg 'furnishings', and lifting one's ear flaps to a streamlined position.

It was perhaps optimistic to imagine that on top of nearby Blackford Hill, weather conditions would be calmer.

In a sheltered spot away from the summit I had the rare pleasure of an encounter with a pretty wee foxy lass called Saffy.

I even allowed her to give me a quick kiss. Mmmm. Nice.

The next day, YAM-Aunty kindly drove Gail and me out to the quaint little town of North Berwick. (I must say her car is a lot cleaner than Gail's*.)

After a trot around the harbour we paused to admire a memorial commemorating the role of the RAF's Coastal Command in defending our country in World War Two. (You might already know that Gail's late father was a pilot in 248 Squadron, part of Coastal Command's 'Banff Strike Wing', in 1944-5.) 

The wind was still blowing mightily. Nevertheless, Gail and YAM-Aunty were apparently both in perfect agreement that if the sun is shining, and one is beside the seaside, and a van selling excellent quality local ice cream is parked on the promenade, then one is obliged to partake of the goods on offer.

And you know what? The nice man in the 'Luca's Ice Cream' van even gave me a wee taster. Yum! 

Back at base, I had a fine time getting to know YAM-Aunty's father better, and was rewarded by some most satisfactory head scritches before we sadly had to depart and return to Aberdeen.

You know, I had such a lovely weekend that I have decided to forgive Gail and YAM-Aunty for their terrible decision on Sunday afternoon to visit Aberlady Nature Reserve, one of the very few places in Scotland where dogs are NOT ALLOWED!!! Despite the fact that I was left shut up in the car for at least 87 HOURS. (Gail says more like 87 minutes).

Oh and finally, I suspect that YAM-Aunty will be posting her usual superior quality photos of our adventures on her blog at some point in the near future, and so suggest you watch that space.

*Er, Gail claims this is only because YAM-Aunty herself does not currently own a dog....

Friday, 1 March 2019

Nature Friday (sort of)

Well it's been one of those weeks.

Glorious sunshine and unheard of February warmth on the days when Gail was too busy at work to find time for a 'Nature Friday' photoshoot. The when finally she had a free afternoon, thick grey cloud had descended on Aberdeen, and the best we could manage was this picture of me posing in Tolohill Wood on the outskirts of the city, moss and ferns providing the only sign of greenery.

Absent anything else more interesting to report, I hacked into Gail's employer's 'intranet' and found some recent photos posted on a page titled 'The View from my Office Window'.

It seems that there is wildlife a plenty in the fields around Gail's office - a badger was reported early this morning but no-one managed to catch it on camera - and the big picture windows afford excellent viewing opportunities (only in the brief moments when the workers are not 100% focussed on their day jobs, obviously...)

All the more frustrating then, that the workplace has a strict 'no dogs' rule...

From around the world, it is clear that some of Gail's colleagues get to enjoy more nature...
View from office in Northern Norway

...than do others.
View from office in Shanghai

PS I am promised a very special adventure this coming weekend. Watch this space...

Tuesday, 26 February 2019


Long time readers of this blog will be aware that by and large us pups are treated pretty handsomely when we travel by train in the UK.

Many a time has a train attendant, in the course of ticket checking duties, slipped me a morsel or two of shortbread along with a fond pat on the head.

So when travelling back to Aberdeen yesterday, I read the sign above the thoughtfully provided water bowl at Newark North Gate station, and I said to myself yes, that seems fair enough (although Gail did raise her eyebrows at the 'all our customers" bit).

Well I have to tell you that the standard of service on the 10:46 am LNER train to Edinburgh on Monday morning actually exceeded my already high expectations.

Yes really!

No soon as Gail and I had  settled comfortably into carriage L than a fairy dogmother steward appeared bearing what looked (but did not smell) like a cup of coffee and said to Gail "Here's something for the dog".

And this is what we found inside.

Warm slices of sausage, glistening with fat, which Gail says were probably left overs from the First Class breakfast service, but I like to think had been specially prepared in anticipation of my distinguished presence on the train.

Oh those sausages smelled divine and tasted even better.

I was a most contented chappie for the rest of the long journey home.