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 the 'Claivers' Category

Fasque: Rebirth of a Victorian House – The Scottish Banner

Monday, April 30th, 2012

FASQUE (pronounced FASK, with a long vowel) was, in its heyday, the typical Victorian Scottish country house with sporting estate. In that respect it wasn’t exceptional – many moneyed Victorians demonstrated their success with similar displays of wealth. (more…)

Written for Claivers |

The Man for All Seasons: What if Robert Burns’ father William had stayed in the Howe of the Mearns instead of going to Alloway in Ayr? – The Scottish Banner

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

GLENESK IS almost unique now as a living, working Scottish glen with an active, resident population supporting farming, sporting estates, local businesses, a thriving primary school (almost unheard of in a glen these days), three churches, Masonic Lodge, curling club, community centre and Folk Museum and more. (more…)

Written for Claivers |

Dr. Jamieson’s Dictionary, A Word to the Good – The Scottish Banner

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

P1020627In 1965 I was a legal apprentice in Edinburgh and engaged to be married. My fiancée and I spent much of our spare time combing through back street second-hand and junk shops for small items to furnish our first home. These sorts of shops were more plentiful then, and looking back it seems like it was the end of a somewhat dusty golden era when the most unexpected treasures could still be unearthed and bought for pence. I still regret not buying the tiger skin I found in a dingy shop in Tarvit Street. (more…)

Written for Claivers |

A Corner of a Scottish Field that is Forever Norway – The Scottish Banner

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

P1020587ON THE waterfront of the historic east of Scotland port of Montrose stands an eye-catching larger than life bronze statue of a St Bernard dog. The dog was called Bamse (pronounced “Bum-sa”) and his inspirational wartime story has been revived and perpetuated for future generations with the unveiling of his statue by Prince Andrew, HRH The Duke of York on 17th October 2006. (more…)

Written for Claivers |

North-East Legacy – The Scottish Banner

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

P1140229A SLIM volume of poetry with a faded dust jacket and dedicated to a friend by the poet , a small watercolour painting signed with just the artist’s initials ‘VJ’, and a single sheet of writing paper with a poem written in an unsteady hand will come under the auctioneer’s hammer in the next few weeks. (more…)

Written for Claivers |

WHITSON FAMILY TARTAN TRADITION – The Scottish Banner

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. (more…)

Written for Claivers |

Scotland’s Accordion King – The Scottish Banner

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Dave making musicMusic and the sea each have a heartbeat of their own but they dance to different rhythms. No one knows this better than Dave Pullar, one of the last of the east of Scotland salmon netsmen and owner of probably the largest collection of accordions in Scotland. (more…)

Written for Claivers |

Beyond the Kitchen Window 2

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

JOHN KEATS, the English Romantic poet whose short life ended in 1821 aged only 25, visited Scotland on a walking tour in 1818   Sadly, for Keats at least, his itinerary took him nowhere near The Burn, for he arrived in Dumfriesshire on first July on his way to visit Robert Burns' cottage and grave   He continued up the west coast to Inverness from where he took a boat back to London because of ill health, the first hint of the consumption from which he was to die within three years. (more…)

Written for Claivers |

Beyond the Kitchen Window 1

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Since September 2007 my wife Liz and I have lived at the Courtyard House at The Burn, near Edzell   To see a photograph of where this is click on –
http://www.goodenough.ac.uk/the_burn.html
and scroll down to the foot of the page entitled -The Burn.
To the left of the main house you will see the cupola of the old bell tower and below it, in the courtyard, the white porch of our house. (more…)

Written for Claivers |

Fighting Dog

Monday, April 17th, 2006

DOG STORIES are likely to get a good reception from the man with two dogs   But when the story is based in Montrose, the home-town where I grew up, and is true and concerns a Second World War dog hero, I'm hooked. (more…)

Written for Claivers |