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.

Sunday cricket

September 11th, 2010

 DAYS OUT here and there' – this is how I began my piece a year ago, almost to the day.

Days out here and there can bring some interesting surprises   A year ago I recorded that  €œCairn o' Mount was shrouded in mist €   When I was driven over the Cairn last Wednesday you'd think the mirk had never lifted.

My driver was a retired Colonel of Royal Engineers and while I was grateful for the hurll in his comfy modern car, how much better-pleased I'd have been if he'd been driving the Chrysler 75 that was parked at the Finzean Farm Shop, where we stopped for lunch.

Built in Toronto in 1929, it was imported into London originally and somehow found its way to Aberdeenshire   Tarland folk of a certain age will remember it as their milk van, calling round the houses each morning and selling milk from churns loaded on a flat bed built over the back.

Something I'd never seen before on a car were the wooden hickory wheel spokes   It's comprehensive and careful restoration to its original condition is a credit to the owner.

Having literary aspirations in the year of the 150th anniversary of JM Barrie's birth carries a heavy burden – I was asked to play in the commemorative cricket match at the sports pavilion ground on the Hill at Kirriemuir, last Sunday   I was never fond of the game when I was at school and gave it up as soon as I could   So by way of a compromise, I offered to umpire.

The county of Angus has an abundance of magnificent views   Standing on that hill in the warm sunshine it was hard to concentrate on my responsibilities to see fair play   There can hardly be another cricket ground that fits more easily into its landscape, and carries the eye further over hills and glens – to the west as far as the Campsie Fells, fully sixty miles away I reckon.

Not everyone on the Hill was there for the cricket   It's obviously a popular place for dog walkers   At least one dog got carried away with the emotion of the moment and galloped onto the pitch to offer its services as Twelfth Man.

Cries of  €œtime for a Jaffa Cake €, uttered by the Kirrie team's fielders, echoed round the ground   Was this one of the home team's traditions, alluding to the great author's partiality to the orangey biscuit?

The suggestion that I missed a couple of appeals for LBW, was quite outrageous   I was merely looking out for Miss Daisy Cutter whose delightful square leg had graced previous occasions   There now – that was just a wee cricketing pun to prove that I did play the game once, however badly   Talking of which, the term  butterfingers' in cricket-speak had lost none of its resonance last Sunday!

Written on Saturday, September 11th, 2010 at 9:45 am for Weekly.