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.

Traditional seasons now under threat

August 11th, 2018

I was somewhat dismayed to read in Monday’s issue of this newspaper that the “sensational summer” could last until October and that the Met Office are forecasting that the next three months will be hotter than average.  It’s contrary to everything my life’s experience tells me should happen. read more

Sweet end to country tale

August 4th, 2018

It’s been a random week, nothing outstanding but nonetheless plenty of interest in the garden and when Inka and I are out together.  So this week’s column is what I call a sack of shakings – a mélange, a mixter-maxter of odds and ends. read more

Remote but not lonely in Scotland

July 28th, 2018

Scotland is a compact country – wherever you are you are never more than fifty miles from the sea.  Even in the centre of our largest cities we are in easy striking distance of open countryside with stunning scenery, solitude and peace – Glasgow with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and Edinburgh with the Pentland Hills on its doorstep.  Sure, some visitors to the countryside need the security of crowds and don’t want solitude, but it’s there if ever they should. read more

Bewitched by tales of past

July 21st, 2018

Regular readers will know of my interest in Scottish vernacular poetry.  I’ve managed, after hunting for it for a long time, to lay my hands on a small and rare book of poetry entitled Rhymes Frae the Back o’ Catter by Angus poet Henry Don Keith. read more

Gardens restored with love

July 14th, 2018

Rescuing a Georgian mansion house and garden from a state of dilapidation and potential total loss is a daunting prospect that might overwhelm most people. read more

Still life is so second nature

July 7th, 2018

We’ve not had such a prolonged period of hot weather since 1976 and it’s affecting Inka.  On the plus side he enjoys the heat, running into the back garden and stretching out on the grass. read more

Stroll through sands of time

June 30th, 2018

Last Monday morning dawned another hot, sun-filled day.  I was in Montrose and had Inka with me so I carried on to Lunan Bay which holds many childhood memories.  I drove to The Corbies, a community of holiday cabins and caravans at the south end of the bay, which has been established there for nearly a hundred years. read more

Foxy problems and sticky solutions

June 23rd, 2018

We think of sticky willy as a tiresome weed that leaves its seed pods sticking to our clothes.  It’s the plant’s way of spreading its seed and it would normally rely on passing animals such as rabbits or foxes catching the sticky burrs in their fur and depositing them along the way. read more

Persistence of memories

June 16th, 2018

“Please slow down. Free range children and animals” greeted us as we arrived at Dalilea Farm on the north shore of Loch Shiel in Moidart.  The Doyenne and I had booked a week in the chalet on the farm, looking out over cattle-filled grass parks and onto the loch.  I had last spent a family holiday at Dalilea sixty years ago when it was run as a guest house. read more

Seabirds are true free spirits

June 9th, 2018

May through to August are the best months to see a number of our larger seabirds when they come ashore to nest.  The rest of the year they are roaming the seas and hardly come near land.  So I take a drive at this time to see the seabird colonies at the RSPB reserve at Fowlsheugh – appropriately, bird cliff – between Stonehaven and Catterline. read more