‘Out of this wood do not desire to go . . . ‘

Tiny achievements and homely happiness have done their best to counterbalance the awful uncertainty from which this country as a whole has suffered over the past several weeks.  When we learnt that young Frederick had won his class at the Border Union Championship Dog Show (beating his own breeder’s splendid young dachshund to boot); that…

‘Mr Dick sets us all right’

Today is the tenth birthday of our dear friend and biggest brother, Newman Noggs, so just this once – instead of speaking about him – I shall let him speak for himself, on this most auspicious day: I am not sure why I have been asked to talk to camera but I am always happy…

Blow the wind southerly

May is nearly upon us and at last the wind has finally changed. After over a week in which Winter dug its claws firmly into us all again, all springtime activity has resumed in the bustling households of our sparrows, jackdaws and blue tits. However, this change for the better was not before we were…

The dews of comfort

tIt has taken a very long time – and it’s been a tedious and painful haul, for everyone involved – but I am now almost completely over my horrible abscess. Lancing the enormous thing left a gaping hole at least two inches in diameter, through which my chest wall was clearly visible. Kemo Sabe winced…

And they say, ‘If only we could talk . . . ‘

Last Saturday, at the usual time at which everyone  – including us – was getting ready to go to bed, I was bundled into the car and taken off to the vet, fourteen miles away. I had been unwell since the Tuesday, when Kemo Sabe noticed my changed demeanour and wrongly deduced that I had…

The vicissitudes of life

  A week of ups and downs; of Freddie Frankfurter and ‘Doris’ Day. Kemo Sabe laid low with illness; the weather swinging wildly between winter and summer, throwing everything at the country on one mad day; an enchanting encounter with our newest relative and me, your gentle author, in pain once again. What a week…

Crufts around the corner

Sometimes the frustrations of life in a family can be overwhelming, the delicate balance lost between the demands of dogs and the requirements of our owners. Kemo Sabe certainly has a lot to put up with! It’s easy to get annoyed at Newman, what with him eating everything in sight – or trying to, if…

Ordinary times

If Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again. It’s a funny time of year; neither here nor there, if you like. Recent early morning temperatures have been all over the place. Over the weekend, crossing the rocks in the dark was utterly…

Pupkin passes

Rest in Peace, tiny Pupkin, who died last night after an emergency admission to the vet’s. He was inordinately loved and, as you can see from this picture, taken only yesterday afternoon on his last visit to us, a miniature dachshund of consummate flair and self-possession. Nearly sixteen, he had lived a full and active…

Let there be light

Mid-winter is here, the days are depressingly brief and daylight itself is definitely rationed. Though it’s exciting, checking out the daily change in temperature and wind speed before we begin our trundle, some days it looks as though the sun will never rise but usually  – at least by the time we get to St…

The greatness of small things

In our garden, bushes bedecked with bird feeders chuckle with the noisy conversations of sparrows and dunnocks. Chirrups, quarrels, confrontations, reproaches, warnings, laughter and gossipings: they’re all there, creating the hubbub which, at certain times of the day, makes the garden a cathedral of noise. Then, just as quickly as it started, the noise stops,…

Strangers and foreign lands

We recently travelled all the way up into Scotland, to Cromarty on the Black Isle, which is two shipping areas above us here in Tyne. This view looks out to sea between the headlands known as the Sutors, where the deep waters of Cromarty Firth open into the vast Moray Firth, and on this beach,…