Being out in the countryside with my dogs gives me time to think. I’ve learnt the pleasure of solitude without being lonely, and that’s a good feeling for me.

Welcome to "Man with two dogs" - the family website for dog owners and dog walkers.

This is my countryside diary which appears each Saturday in the Dundee Courier newspaper.

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Archive for 2005

Old fashioned

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

OLD FASHIONED often means being out of fashion these days, but there's nothing unfashionable about Smalls sweetie shop in Forfar's Castle Street. I can't believe it's been there since 1955 and I only discovered it a week ago. I'm not a regular visitor to my county town, but in the course of three score years and a smidgen more I'd have thought I was bound to look in the window at least once.

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Written for Weekly |

The Siren

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

THE SIREN sea sang her song and, like the bidden fiddler, I went – but I didnae get my gill of whisky!  

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Written for Weekly |

The night

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

THE NIGHT is darkest just before the dawn', the old saw goes. I've had early mornings this past fortnight and I've tried to catch the dawning, but it's hard to judge at just what Stygian moment night ceases and dawn emerges from the lightening darkness.

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Written for Weekly |

Golf balls

Saturday, December 10th, 2005

GOLF BALLS should be on golf courses, so I was surprised to find one when walking with dogs in a field not far from the Drovers Inn near Memus. The nearest golf course is at Kirriemuir about six miles away, so there had to be a logical reason for the pristine Slazenger golf ball doucely lying in the long grass.

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Written for Weekly |

Wee Dappin

Saturday, December 3rd, 2005

THE WIDEOPEN (it's local adaptation used to be the  Wee Dappin') is the old road that cuts off from the A937 just north of Marykirk and crosses over the hill to Kirkside, just south of St Cyrus   It's well named, because it's rather bleak and wide open to the weather    

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Written for Weekly |

Out walking in May

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

OUT WALKING in May, I met a man who passed on to me a prediction that the temperature in Scotland on August twelfth would be hotter than the hottest day recorded in England last year. That was a temperature of 103 degrees at Heathrow Airport.

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Written for Weekly |

JM Barrie writes Peter Pan

Saturday, November 19th, 2005

“KLOCK, KLOCK”, a cock pheasant was brazenly standing on the old wall outside the kitchen window, calling on the world at large to acknowledge that he was king of the castle. It's taken up post there for several days and is obviously staking a territorial claim to that part of the garden.

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Written for Weekly |

Boy Scout badge

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

ALTHOUGH IT'S been open to traffic for several weeks, I've only just driven for the first time over the new bridge connecting Montrose to Rossie Island. I grew up with the old one, and for such a long time it was a timeless feature of my life. I don't miss it. Its useful, working life was over – nothing gained in always looking back.

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Written for Weekly |

Morris Dancing and quails

Saturday, November 5th, 2005

MORRIS DANCERS, with their straw hats and colourful ribbons and bells, dancing their hearts out in the middle of Montrose High Street, would always seem a bit out of context. But seeing them there at the end of October, waving their hankies and whacking away at each other with their sticks, stopped me in my tracks.

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Written for Weekly |

Holiday Cottages

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

HOLIDAY COTTAGES and family pets don't always go together; but the Doyenne and I have come back from a week's holiday at Loch Melfort where dogs are welcome.

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Written for Weekly |