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.

Jack Nicklaus tribute on £5 note

September 3rd, 2005

THE DOGS and I – what a pleasure to be able to write these words again – took ourselves up the Brown Caterthun for the evening walk. It's not ten minutes drive from home and one of those spectacular places where “every prospect pleases and only man is vile” – as the hymnist says.

The air was clear, and there was a light breeze still warm from the heat of the day. August is the best month for heather and the late afternoon sun bounced off the purple bloom on the hill. I looked eastwards to the coast over slabs of golden stubble and fields of barley waiting to be combined. I hoped we were high enough to escape the noise of everyday living, but from somewhere down below us came the hum of a grain dryer.

There's a profusion of meadow pipits up there. I sometimes mistake them for larks when they first fly into the air, but they are strongly territorial birds with a short fluttering flight and never rise far from the ground.

Macbeth wisely kept to the well-worn path up the hillside but Inka, with youthful exuberance, flogged through the deep heather and collapsed, a limp wreck, at the top. A case of – if age but could, if youth but knew'?

Inka is growing fast and looks like he will mature into a handsome-looking dog. He moves more like an adult dog now and his coat is getting coarser as the silky puppy hair grows out. His tail still seems too long for his body, but the two will match up better when he is fully grown.

It seems the Caterthuns are not just for walkers. On our way back to the car a runner passed us going in the opposite direction. Before we knew it he had overtaken us again and, crossing the road, whizzed off up the White Caterthun. I couldn't help thinking that if he learnt to pace himself like me, he'd get to enjoy the bonny views as well. But when he jumped into a van and sped off home I knew he was just playing at it.

I met a lady I know going into a bank in Brechin. She was looking for one of the special issue Jack Nicklaus £5 notes for an American friend. I knew the Royal Bank of Scotland had printed them, but not being a golfer hadn't thought to get one, even for its eventual rarity value.

When the teller told us the notes are changing hands on e-Bay for up to £35, I promptly did a  swappie' for a crumpled fiver lurking in my pocket. Jack can join the millennium £1 note in the drawer for the grandchildren.

We all agreed it's daft there's such a market for them while they can still be got for face value over the counter!

Written on Saturday, September 3rd, 2005 at 4:34 pm for Weekly.