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.

Elemental spirits of nature

November 24th, 2018

A report in this paper of the sighting of a hoopoe at the Scottish Wildlife Trust visitor centre at Montrose Basin reminded me about a possible sighting of one of these exotic birds on Piperton croft, outside Brechin, in 2005.  I haunted the croft for five days hoping to see it but was disappointed. read more

Calm contemplation at kirk

November 17th, 2018

Several weekends ago we – the Doyenne and I, that is, and son Robert and his family – were frustrated by the weather from meeting for a family lunch at the Finzean Farmshop.  The Lecht was closed to the north and Cairn o’ Mount closed to the south with our intended destination marooned in the middle. read more

Don’t forget the dogs of war

November 10th, 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

Perishing sea dip no picnic

November 3rd, 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

Pointing the way to a cure

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

Letterhead had me foxed

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

Black sheep in every family

October 13th, 2018

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Gin to the rescue of damson in distress

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

A moving Highland scene

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

Transitory birds but the music endures

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