Monday 7 March 2022

Patiently waiting - and a message of hope

On Saturday morning, Gail and I met our friends M and J in Duthie Park. Dogs are not allowed in the park café and so I was left outside and told to wait patiently and quietly. 

Which I did, because I am a Good Boy. Through the window I could see Gail and her friends deep in conversation over their coffee and scones (or in Gail's case a croissant, score 7/10). 

You would never guess this from the pictures you've seen of M and J, and all you've heard about their intrepid exploits, but they are both quite a bit older even than Gail. The three humans were rather a long time in the café and later Gail explained that M, who is originally from Germany, had been talking of her experiences at the close of WW2 and how the appalling news from Ukraine had this week been prompting flashbacks. 

M and her Austrian mother had spent most of the war sheltering at her grandparents' remote mountain farm in Austria. As the Red Army approached, and tales of atrocities inflicted on the defeated civilian population spread, nine year old M and her mother fled west through an area of active conflict, eventually reaching the relatively safety of the American controlled part of southern Germany. There were no German men of military age to be seen. It was all women, children and old folk left to fend for themselves. 

This particular story has a happy ending as M saw peace return to her homeland. Later she moved to Scotland, enjoyed a fulfilling career lecturing at the University of Aberdeen, met and married a nice Scottish lecturer, J, and raised a lovely, talented daughter. Now there are two fine grandsons too. And M and J still have loads of energy for accompanying Gail and me on our weekly walks. 

Gail and I hope against hope that all those traumatised women and children currently fleeing from the Russian onslaught in Ukraine will likewise live to see happier days. 


  1. You are good Bertie, I wouldn't have waited (but I'm a bad cat. F has just been telling me so for trying to sneak off the balcony. Human have such srange boundaries (and then they fight over them). We share your hope for the blighted people of Ukraine. Mr T

  2. that's what we hope too Bertie... and we hope that all can go back to their homes... and that they still have a home ... and that all people help now and after the war to bring back a good life for all...

  3. What a good boy you are Bertie.
    I wouldn't have waited patiently outside, but as my human says, she wouldn't have gone into any café that doesn't allow us doggies! She says that we are usually much better behaved than children!
    It will be fun to hear how you get on when you have Nobby with you, too. A long time ago my human had three dogs - two yellow Labs and a Spaniel cross, and she could take them all into most of the cafés here.

    Inca xx

  4. You are a good boy for sure and I am happy to know you could see your Mama and she could see you. There are so many having flashbacks like M, we are seeing some of them on TV. last night they had 3 women who survived the Holocaust . I am glad Gail could have time to listen because I am sure they needed to talk about it

  5. Hari OM
    I second all the comments about what a Good Boy you are indeed, Bertie lad... and the sentiments of solidarity and support for those under stresses we cannot begin to imagine. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

    1. pee ess - your new header lifts the spirits no end! Yxx

  6. Bertie I too send apaws for your new and spring header. Perfect of a Bouncy Bertie.
    We here in NC send send the ladies and children living in fear our prayers. And we hope and pray the men of their families remain safe and strong.
    Hugs Cecilia

  7. Hmmm...Bertie, I note that the cafe accepts babies and toddlers, but I admire your stiff upper lip....I was happy to find the positive this morning in Gail's post, as there is much to worry about and many to worry for. Not to make Bertie's blog a polemic, but the Ukrainian Red Cross remains active and is a safe place to donate.

  8. We have our paws crossed that all those displaced in Ukraine can go back to the lives they knew before all this mess.

  9. We agree with Millie and Walter and we pray for the safety and welfare of all of the Ukrainian people. We love your header with all of the beautiful spring crocuses, Bertie!

  10. You are a good and patient pup Bertie. We are so upset as to what is happening in Ukraine, it is terrible to imagine.

  11. What a stirring memory, and we also hope and pray for the people of the Ukraine....

    We also would have made quite a racket if left outside, you are a very patient pup Bertie...and we hope you were well rewarded!!
    Jakey,Rosy and Sunny

  12. You are quite incredible, Bertie, waiting outside so very patiently. I agree with Gail and her friends. I hope that better times are ahead for the people of Ukraine.

  13. The news of the invasion of Ukraine has been so terrible and scary. We hope it ends soon, and peacefully.