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.

Cockles and mussels and some gey fishy tales

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

Method now lost to the sweep of history

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

Spinning web of autumn stories

September 1st, 2018

I’m sitting at my desk wondering how to start this week’s piece and a friendly spider has provided the answer.  I’ve been watching her – or maybe it is him –  repairing holes in its web, spun in the corner of my study window, to ensure no passing beastie, and potential lunch, flying into it can escape. read more

Unforeseen dangers for dogs

August 25th, 2018

Here are two dog stories. read more

Flights of fancy with sting in the tail

August 18th, 2018

A fortnight ago I wrote about what seemed a near infestation of hoverflies in the garden, but I see from the Scottish Wildlife Trust blog that mine is not an isolated experience and there has been a population explosion throughout much of Scotland. read more

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