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.

Egg – cellent

March 3rd, 2007

BROWN, SPECKLEDY eggs are tastier than the wersh-looking white ones – or so they say. And fresh laid eggs are tastier than older ones. That's what grannies tell their grandchildren, and grandchildren believe everything their grannies say. Maybe grannies know a thing or two – I certainly know one who thinks she does!

Grandchildren Cecily and Fergus arrived with half a dozen of the brownest eggs I've seen in a long time, laid by their own hens, and collected only that morning. They were special, truly free range, so they were kept separate from the bought ones. The following morning, for Sunday breakfast, the Doyenne and I had brown boiled eggs and toast for breakfast.

And do you know what? It's immaterial what the reality is – those eggs tasted absolutely delicious. They had deep yellow, almost orange yolks and were so fresh that the one I boiled for the Doyenne was underdone. Of course it's too late to do anything about it once you've chopped the top off, but I popped my own egg back in the boiling water for a couple more minutes. I'm pretty good at breakfasts – if I say it myself.

And even if we were just kidding ourselves and believing our own grannies' romancing, it didn't matter – we felt a lot better after breakfast.

Fergus also brought his all-in-one suit which zips up all round him, and once he's got his wellies on he's supposed to be  waterproof. I'm afraid the manufacturers didn't do their product research with Fergus in mind. By the time  he had run half a mile down the burn and jumped in all the puddles, it was obvious why daughter-in-law Kate came armed with a complete change of clothing for him.

Happiness comes in many forms, but for Fergus it meant being soaked to the skin and wanting to do it all over again after the change into dry clothes.

Living in the country means being aware of agricultural smells. It's slurry spraying time. Slurry, quite simply, is liquid manure collected from farm dairy effluent and spread on fields as fertiliser. It may not be altogether accurate to say we've been serenaded by the smell of slurry in recent days, but the air round here has been humming.

It was 1977, thirty years now, since I gave up law and ceased to be a solicitor. But in the ten years that I was in practice – do solicitors always just practise, never actually do it for real? – I would sometimes call on country clients. Once in a while, when I left I would find half a dozen or a dozen eggs lying on the passenger seat of the car, wrapped in a brown paper bag which had been saved and recycled from the previous week's messages.

I wonder how many solicitors are treated to that little compliment these days.

Written on Saturday, March 3rd, 2007 at 1:41 pm for Weekly.