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 2006

Crackers at Christmas

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

NAMES MUST be withheld to protect the guilty, but the forgotten turkey stuffing was uppermost in everybody's mind. Could Christmas dinner survive the omission of such an essential ingredient? Would it be just a grim pantomime of the joyous events being celebrated the length and breadth of the country?

Written for Weekly |


Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

I SAT, with no dogs at my side this time, by the side of a disused quarry, one of dozens that dot the countryside. Some are so small they were obviously opened to provide the stone for the nearby farmhouse, and possibly also a couple of cottar houses, before being abandoned for a readier supply of building material.

Written for Weekly |

Goose fever

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

THE DOGS and I were walking round a lonely pond which frequently attracts duck, especially in the evening. We'd reached the top end when I heard the first haunting cries of geese heading our way.

Written for Weekly |

Wild water, white water

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

A SOUTHERLY wind was blowing an already high tide higher up the beach. A fine mist of spray, from breaking seas on the rocky shore at the top end of St Cyrus Bay, cast a veil over the cliff tops at the edge of the village. It was a coorse sort of morning as I parked at Scottish Natural Heritage's nature reserve centre at Nether Warburton, but I needed to see the sea.

Written for Weekly |

Nature, the great provider

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

I CAN'T remember how the conversation got round to Nature's more off-beat liberality, but when I mentioned that my mother used to cook me and my father rook pie, it was clear from the raised eyebrows and faint looks of distaste that this was not a subject for the breakfast table. Mother used only the breasts from juvenile birds, before they had learnt to fly. At that age their diet is mainly seeds and grain and other vegetable matter, and the meat is tender.

Written for Weekly |

Recycling the biker!

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

THERE'S NO denying now that winter's on its way. We've woken up to the first morning with frost on the cars and having to run them for some minutes to let the heaters clear the windows.

Written for Weekly |

Words & music

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

LAST SATURDAY the Doyenne and I fairly supped up the culture. In the afternoon we were at House of Dun, run now by the National Trust for Scotland, to listen to a programme entitled Violet Jacob's Voices of Angus. Regular readers will know that Violet Jacob, one of the last of the family of the Erskines of Dun, is a great literary heroine of mine.

Written for Weekly |

Nature’s palette & God’s hymn sheet

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

 THE GOLDEN evening brightens in the west' (as the hymnist wrote), sums up several glorious sunsets that the dogs and I enjoyed at the start of the week. I'm no artist, as my predecessor Colin Gibson was, and I never seem to have the camera with me to record the natural beauty that floods the skies.

Written for Weekly |

Why Scotland invented whisky

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

  DOGS, DOYENNE and I are all back from an autumn break on the west coast. We chose the dreadful week, weatherwise, that affected pretty well the whole of Scotland. That said, although it rained stair rods much of the time, we didn't have the terrific winds that affected this part of the country, with fallen trees and other damage.

Written for Weekly |

Low fungi & high trees

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

MUSHROOMS, TOADSTOOLS – or  puddockstools' as some folk used say. But a puddock is a frog (I've sometimes seen it spelt  paddock'), and you don't get  frogstools'. It must all get a bit confusing if you didn't grow up in  Courier' country.

Written for Weekly |