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.

Post code happiness

August 9th, 2008

A RURAL sub-postmaster's life isn't just postal orders and licking stamps. Three years ago David Greasley brought his family of wife Sharon and son Tom to take over the post office in Edzell. They left behind them a life in Leicestershire where both David and Sharon had been in business selling animal feeds to farmers and horse breeders.

For some time they had looked to buy their own business which they could run together and escape from the daily rat race of commuting to work. They regularly visited Scotland for David plays golf and fishes, and when the opportunity in Edzell presented itself they jumped at it.

Doune House, which is their home, adjoins the post office and Sharon quickly saw the potential for B&B visitors in tourist oriented north-east Scotland, and this was the start of their development of the core business. Drive down the main street of the village and look out for the bedding plants and cut flowers brightening up the pavement, and you know you've found the post office.

Sharon now supplies wreaths and floristry and has done the flowers and decorations for her first two weddings. Ever conscious of the need for the community to be supportive of one another she sources as many of the plants and flowers as she can locally. The retail side of the business now includes jewellery and cards made in the village, and wooden clocks made in Forfar.

The attraction of village life is that everyone knows everyone else and where more likely to meet all your neighbours than in the post office. “It's a wonderful community” they both say, and they have found that there is more for young Tom to do in his new environment than if they had stayed in England.

You can take the Englishman out of England, but you can't take the cricket out of him. David is delighted that there is so much enthusiasm up here for his favourite sport, and regularly takes Tom for coaching at Arbroath Cricket Club. Another of his passions is Land Rovers (you'll always see one parked outside the house) and the “Land Rover Corner” selling memorabilia in the shop has been a great success.

The family have taken to life in Scotland wholeheartedly. They were helped to adapt to their new way of life behind the counter by Mary Rose, who has served in the post office for more years than it might be polite to mention!

  

For all the right reasons, both business and family, David and Sharon haven't regretted their move north for a moment. David is a member of the local farmer's club and Sharon plays bowls, helps with the Cubs and has joined Tarfside WRI. And for them both Burns Night is the highlight of their year. It's easy seen there's barely time for postal orders and licking stamps.