Just one of those days

This morning, trundling along the beach (so far, so routine), it felt different. It was just one of those days: magic, despite evidence being to the contrary. Rather grey and utterly still; the sea quiet, and almost indistinguishable from the sky. A tide drawing ever nearer (by the end of the week, we’ll be watching…

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…

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…

Away with the fairies

‘Has Newman had his pill?’ This question, asked morning and evening, is one to which Uncle NuNu himself now greatly looks forward (if he hasn’t yet shouldered his way into position before it’s even asked) when he hears the words, so keen is he to get a treat at the same time as the dispensing…

Babies by the bin

In addition to the daily excitement provided by our family of house martins, busily getting on nicely under the front eaves of our house, we are now focused on the activity in and out of Christopher Wren’s old nest box, where the blue tits are busy with their babies. Since our wren last used it,…

‘Springwatch’? We’ve got everything right here!

We hear that BBC’s Springwatch is going to be filming on the Farne Islands again for the new series of this extraordinary live programme, shortly to be nightly on our screens. Whether it’s the puffins, gannets or guillemots – of whom there are currently thousands stinking out the islands with their guano – the Farnes…

Too clever by half

Some scientific half-wit, we hear, has come to the conclusion that hugging dogs makes them feel threatened.  I shall simply pause now to allow those of you who did not hear this latest research when it was reported on the news and in the press last week to consider this possibility, and then have a…

Notes from the underground

Since we all returned from Crufts we’ve been under the weather and no mistake. Speaking for my own medical case, I know this is not a good look, but at least I’ve been spared what Barnaby calls ‘the cone of shame’. I like to think of this soft, protective cushion as the doughnut of comfort…

How hard to speak of it . . .

Funny isn’t it, that when we are very young it’s gigantic beasts  – the tyrannosaurs – that fascinate us? As we grow up, though, we begin to notice and appreciate the tiny ones – the worms, the shrimps, the bees and butterflies and birds – creatures who swarm, and sing, squirm and swim within the…

Waiting for the whales

Today we came across yet another young grey seal corpse, rolling in the surf of high tide. This one was upside down (and, it turned out, headless), so clearly dead already, which is a kind of relief in a way; sometimes getting them back in the water can be such a chore and potentially very…