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.

Jan0 Posts
Feb0 Posts
Mar0 Posts
Apr0 Posts
May0 Posts
Jun0 Posts
Jul0 Posts
Aug0 Posts
Sep0 Posts
Oct0 Posts
Nov0 Posts
Dec0 Posts

Archive for November, 2011


Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Whitson  tartanIf the family tradition is to be believed the surname Whitson in Scotland is of Viking origin. The story as it was written down by my great-uncle Sir Thomas Whitson, who was Lord Provost of Edinburgh from 1929-1932, was that three Viking brothers sailed from Norway to Scotland in their longboats, landing at Footdee (locally Fittie), at the mouth of the River Dee at Aberdeen where it meets the North Sea.

Written for Claivers |

Shut that door

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

SMOKE RISING vertically from the chimney pots, not so much as a whisper of breeze to twitch the topmost branches of the tallest trees or shiver the fragile grasses in the hedgerows, and white duvets of mist hanging in the field bottoms. I wish I was talking about a fairytale morning with a frosty nip in the air and a warming sun burning off the mist.

Written for Weekly |

Horse power vs donkey power

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

MY TAUTOLOGY blunder – the Vale of Strathmore – may have run its course. I got a call from a retired farmer at the head of Glenesk who told me that he grew up calling it the Howe of Strathmore, much as we refer to the Howe of the Mearns.

Written for Weekly |

Militarily speaking

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

THE BLACK Isle is one of those off-the-main-track parts of Scotland that I reproach people for racing past in their haste to get somewhere else. The name reflects the rich, fertile land of the peninsula whose shores are washed by the waters of the Cromarty Firth on the north and the Moray Firth to the south.

Written for Weekly |

No need to repeat myself

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

OH DEAR, I’ve been getting stick for writing about the Vale of Strathmore (October 22nd). Reproached for falling into the trap of tautology, the unnecessary repetition of the same thing using different words – strath and vale or valley being synonymous. Worse still, I’m guilty of allowing unwelcome Anglicisation to debase guid Scots words – clearly pretty slack behaviour.

Written for Weekly |