Tuesday 6 August 2019

A corgi cushion: adventures at Balmoral

I'll be honest with you. I was a bit alarmed when Gail suggested yesterday that we take our lovely young (but camera shy) visitor Helen, who is up from England for a few days holiday, for a walk around Ballochbuie Forest.

Why the alarm?

Let me explain.

Ballochbuie Forest is part of the Balmoral Estate, and it is well known that through August our Royal Family take up residence at their Scottish home. And although we understand that the Duke of Edinburgh, age 98, has finally agreed to turn in his driving licence, one suspects he might still have access to his Land Rover keys, and be tempted to go for the occasional wee spin around the forest tracks on his private territory.

But it was a pleasantly warm day, and the threatened rain never materialised, and so despite the danger of near-centenarian drivers, we three all headed up through the forest, past the waterfalls, aiming for Gail's favourite lunch spot on the front steps of a secluded wooden chalet, hidden in a hollow among ancient Scots pines and heather.

In retrospect we should have realised the game was up when we approached the usually deserted chalet and saw smoke rising from the chimney. And even more so when we passed by a 4WD vehicle in which was sat a hefty chap wearing a suit and tie and shades, and a stony faced young lady in 'country tweeds'.

But ignoring all this, Gail and Helen made for the chalet steps and started unpacking their picnic lunch (in which of course I took a close interest). But no soon as the squashed cheese sandwiches had seen the light of day than the tweedy lady approached and, awfully politely but quite firmly (us pups recognise these nuances of human communication) said we all had to move away from the chalet, as "visitors" were about to arrive. Oh yes, and could we please eat our lunch somewhere out of sight?

As Gail, ever the obedient subject(!) made to move, the lady opened the chalet door, and I seized the opportunity to enter. What did I see inside? A table laid for four, logs glowing in the wood-burning stove, and on the sofa a cushion decorated with a picture of a corgi.

I was politely but firmly ejected before I had time to investigate further.

As we ate our lunch a discreet distance away up this hill - I was given a pig's ear to chew - we spotted another large black 4WD vehicle heading towards the chalet.

A few minutes later, we heard a dog barking.

I'll swear it was a corgi.

The walk ended with a refreshing sip from the River Dee, and relief that we had arrived back safely...


  1. Oh I say, was that a near close encounter of the ROYAL kind?????
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  2. Hari OM
    OMD Bertie, you nearly had the opportunity of picnicing with VIPs (very important paws)!!! Really, the bloke wore shades? In a Scottish forest? **schniggers** Hope Helen was none the worse for the excitement. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  3. Oh Bertie an ever so slight brush with Royalty!!
    Ummmp the firm speaking lady who insisted you move your picnic, out of sight OBVIOUSLY did not know recognize the status of your Royal self.

    Hugs and what a pretty place to picnic.

    1. Regarding my status, my thoughts exactly!
      Toodle pip!

  4. I can't believe that they shooed you away instead of welcoming you in to eat lunch with the visitors! If they like corgis, they'd LOVE to meet a WFT, right??

  5. Good for you for sneaking inside, Bertie, but darn - you missed the Queen!

  6. What quick thinking to dash in and take a quick peek at how the official Royals picnic....we bet your pig ear was much better than anything they were going to eat!
    Rosy, Jakey & Arty

  7. Bertie was a wonderful day you had. The River Dee looks so beautiful. Yummy pig's ear for you sounds delicious. Thanks for the share. Have a wonderful day.
    World of Animals

  8. What an exciting outing you all had. It's too bad you didn't have a pair of binoculars so you could spy who came out of the large black 4WD vehicle.

  9. OH, Bertie, we wish you and Gail and Helen had been able to hide out in the forest and get a peek at the guests at the chalet - what an exciting day you all had!!!

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  10. Obviously Tweed lady didn't recognise the furry celebrity she was sending away! Hope you got a bit of cheese....

  11. I am sure the Queen would have loved to have met you.

  12. OMD! did you almost meet the queen???
    Mabel & Hilda

  13. Alaskan sail boat. We said the very same thing.
    whew made my dermatology w/o an incidents. You comment made me giggle
    Hugs Cecilia

  14. What a lovely adventure, even if you had to move! Too bad they didn't invite you to stay.

  15. Why did they not use to imprison poachers who enter the royal land. But I guess cheese sandwiches don't apply. Why the news was the Queen gave a tea party for Meghan Markle birthday on the 4th that was quite low key at Balmoral.
    Your Friend
    Sweet William The Scot

  16. My MY! What an interesting day for you! And they should have invited you to stay! The more the merrier, right?

    Your friend Kiki