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 2018

Don’t forget the dogs of war

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Tomorrow marks the one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One.  The Doyenne and I shall attend our church Armistice service to commemorate the stark events of the Great War – a hideous euphemism for those four years of conflict and their bitter harvest of senseless death. read more

Written for Weekly |

Perishing sea dip no picnic

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

On Monday morning I drove up Glenesk hoping to get the best of a sun which was competing with some wintery-looking clouds.  I was just too late to get a cup of coffee and a scone at The Retreat Museum for it had closed for the winter the previous evening read more

Written for Weekly |

Pointing the way to a cure

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

With the threat of the first winter snows this weekend – earlier than I would normally expect – it’s certainly time to start feeding your garden song birds if you haven’t already done so. read more

Written for Weekly |

Letterhead had me foxed

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

I wonder how many visitors to Edzell drive through the high Gothic arch with its crowstepped gables at the entrance to the village and assume it was erected to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. read more

Written for Weekly |

Black sheep in every family

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

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Written for Weekly |

Gin to the rescue of damson in distress

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

I know when Inka trots by my side without panting he has picked up something particularly foul that he is holding in his mouth to present to me later.  His most recent offering was a a dead pigeon chick, or squab, which was more interesting and less revolting than usual. An ugly looking baby, mostly still bald but with its primary wing feathers starting to grow.  It can’t have been much more than a week old as they fledge and are ready to leave the nest after about a month. read more

Written for Weekly |

A moving Highland scene

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Regular readers of this column know of my inclination to quote poetry, especially from the abundance of our Scottish vernacular poetry which I increasingly believe is a neglected tradition, a forgotten strand of our cultural emotional output. read more

Written for Weekly |

Transitory birds but the music endures

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

A small feathered body, looking for all the world like a withered leaf, lay in the grass below our sitting room window.  It was a chiff chaff which had flown headlong into the glass and killed itself.  Probably the way the light was reflecting off the glass at the time confused the bird into thinking that the window space was safe to fly through. read more

Written for Weekly |

Cockles and mussels and some gey fishy tales

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

Tales of the salmon fishing at Kinnaber in last week’s column brought back memories of his own youth for a Montrose reader.  He remembers the days when commercial salmon fishers Joseph Johnston & Sons Ltd were one of the major employers in Montrose, providing seasonal work to a small army of local men, as well as year-round employment for office staff, boat builders and other support staff. read more

Written for Weekly |

Method now lost to the sweep of history

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

At 6 p.m. on Friday 31st August 2018, as laid down by statute, a small bit of our Scottish cultural heritage ceased, probably never to be revived.  The sweep nets on the Kinnaber beat, at the mouth of the River North Esk, were taken off the water – for the last time. read more

Written for Weekly |