Tangles and twinings

The grass by the river bank is long and lush. Where they mowed the paths to the fishing beats a week ago there are now two good inches of springy turf underfoot and to either side the sward is long enough to hide a woolly dog. The heaps of mown grass have “matured” and LyraContinue reading “Tangles and twinings”


Anyone paying attention (though why should you!) will note that I am now all out of order. However, having got a pressing cri de coeur about “stuff” out of my system and with an hour of luxurious spare time up my sleeve, I am now returning to the joys of our week in Glenelg. IContinue reading “Trekking”

Time and socks

In the great scheme of life you never have enough. Of course there are protective measures you can take with socks. They can be assiduously flyped before hitting the laundry bin. You can hang them on the line Ark style, pegged neatly two by two. In the end, if push comes to shove, Asda doContinue reading “Time and socks”

Four take a mini break

Author’s note: this is my fourth attempt at this blog. Versions 1, 2 and 3 were beset (all when nearly finished) with unscheduled crashing and unsaved text. I will not lie – I cycled through wry grins, petulant sighs and ultimately quite a lot of swearing. However, I closed the lid on it firmly lastContinue reading “Four take a mini break”

Out of Office

We have vacated the homestead for a week in the highlands (of which more anon) so this is the last report from Ruthven for a while. The days before we left were a welter skelter of trying to hoof out the worst of the shepherd’s purse and other muscular self seeders from the borders inContinue reading “Out of Office”

Coming around again…

It is daffodil season again in the Hirsel woods. The leaves are drifting down the slopes like blue green fur in the shadier stretches. Where the sun hits the flowers have begun to unfurl, a bright acid yellow, subtly scented. I’m sure I am repeating myself, this year’s words a perfect echo of last andContinue reading “Coming around again…”

Animal Instincts

Out in the fields with Lyra today I was admiring her running, all windswept fur over really quite powerful muscles, then slowing down to confident, positively Chauserian, sashay of the hips. I thought back to two Alsatian pups we met by the lake a few days ago. Their gait couldn’t have been be more different.Continue reading “Animal Instincts”


I should, of course, have known better. When the answer to the question “what weather are the hills predicting?” is “what hills would those be?” the prudent response is to abandon the walk immediately. Yesterday I ignored the still small voice of landscape based weather prediction (which sounds annoyingly like my mum who is, naturally,Continue reading “Alluvia”

The lure of the infinitesimal white dot

An unfortunate brush with a butter burr on the way home from a tramp around the fields recently necessitated some unscheduled canine hair brushing. Lyra must have realised the dreadful consequences of her decision to explore the undergrowth in the little wood almost immediately as, rather than linger chatting to the coos with me atContinue reading “The lure of the infinitesimal white dot”

The kindly smirr

A gentle smirr of rain has been hanging in the air all day today so I have been gifted a cast iron excuse to keep out of the garden (where I have been labouring in stakhanovite fashion the last few days). As always, initial excitement at the boundless horizon of possible indoor activities caused aContinue reading “The kindly smirr”