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.

It’s all in the name

September 24th, 2011

BUMBLEBEE SQUARE sounds as though it’s been part of Comrie’s streetmap for generations. The reality is that it’s a community garden and focal point for the village created only a year ago from an empty building site.

Nobody wanted to see unsightly hoarding right in the centre of their village and an entirely voluntary workforce took a collective decision to raise funds and provide the muscle to transform the site into an instant nature-filled village square with grass and seating, wheelchair friendly, and visitor welcoming.

The name was inspired by the theme of planting nectar-rich shrubs like buddleia to attract bumblebees to the garden as they are under some threat and need encouragement. That decision has been endorsed by the recent discovery of a Carder bumblebee nest in one corner. The garden’s been buzzing from the day it opened with community parties, fundraising events but most of all with people who come to sit awhile and enjoy the peace.

It shows what community resolve can achieve when there is the will. There will be a bit of excitement today as, for the fourth year, BBC2 are filming their Culture Show there, inviting locals to give their views on this year’s Booker Prize finalists.

Quirky street names appear in lots of villages and towns. Hen Pen Lane, off Edzell High Street, got its name when a local farmer erected pens for hens alongside a road which originally appeared on an old map as High Pen Lane. I’d hoped there might have been a more romantic story behind the change of name, but it’s memorable and everyone knows where to point you if you’re asking directions.

Peep o’Day Lane in Dundee sounds attractive. It sits on a bit of a brae looking east across the River Tay. I can’t remember if I can remember when there were houses there, but they are long demolished. Doubtless they were mill worker tenements and it would be nice to think that waking to the glories of a bonny sunrise at the peep o’day gave a bright start to the millworkers’ morning.

There’s a welcoming ring to Teapot Lane in Inverkeilor. I wondered if maybe there had once been a pottery there which specialised in producing teapots. It was previously called Kydd’s Buildings and then Baker’s Lane, or it may have been the other way round, nobody can remember now.

Mrs Pam McDougall, who lives at Number 3, helped me with my research and told me that an old lady who lived in that very house was responsible for the change to its present name. In the best traditions of Inverkeilor hospitality she always had a cuppa in the teapot whenever anyone called. Eventually the lane became so totally identified with the old lady and her teapot that the old name fell out of use and was forgotten.

Written on Saturday, September 24th, 2011 at 6:02 am for Weekly.