Friday, 30 January 2009


This was the scene in the corner of the bedroom as I was packing for my forthcoming visit to Australia. I think that access to the internet has made me all the more panicky about the whole affair. Apparently, Australia is very fussy about what you can and cannot take into the country.I've print-outs from various sites re banned substances, medicines etc. and have a wallet packed full of such information. Then there are all the rules which apply to the amount and dimensions of your luggage, (1) for the cabin (called carry-on baggage) and (2) for the hold (called checked baggage), and each airline has its own set of rules re the dimensions. Unfortunately I will be on both BA and Quantas, so it's been even more confusing for me. Then there is the question of what to wear for the journey as the forecast for the beginning, at least, of next week is for more very cold weather and snow in our eastern areas. Phone calls from Julie in Adelaide tell me that they are experiencing a heatwave at the moment and it is likely to continue for at least another week, with their temperatures reaching the high 40s! Will I survive? Will I ever be able to go outdoors? I visualize myself coming home as white as when I left home, despite having packed all my hot weather gear and even investing in a couple of sundresses...just clip -on sunspecs are in the car! I'm not taking my lightweight anorak but have stuffed in my red, plastic poncho, in case it rains. I AM Scottish (and British) after all!!!! I just don't seem to be able to shake off this mentality.
Whilst we have experienced 2 long-haul flights before, my husband was accompanying me then but this time I'm "flying solo" so, if you see anything on the TV news about a poor old soul with a Royal Canin rucksack found wandering aimlessly around Singapore airport, wearing flight socks and clutching a chunky cardigan, you'll know it will most likely be me! I leave on Wednesday next week.
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Tuesday, 27 January 2009


Now I am not one to use modern, initial letter abbreviations, (nor text speke), but O.M.G. today!What a difference a day makes, especially here in Scotland. Late on, last night, we had hard frost, with everything glistening white and this morning there was not a sign of it anywhere, but on looking at the state of the dogs after their walk, I know which I prefer. I think a good bath is a "must" before the show on Saturday! I took the others up the glen but, although not so muddy, it was extremely treacherous underfoot, (for me), on the steep parts and they still managed to collect quite a bit of gunge.
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Monday, 26 January 2009

New type of collie?

Part of a show schedule which arrived today!
Perhaps a pile of interesting books and a pen of sheep could be provided by the ringside.
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A frosty walk with mum.

setting out

"just you do as you're told!"

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walking (and jumping) on water !

standing to attention

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Sunday, 25 January 2009

Louis does it again!

I picked Carole up just before 7am , on a very frosty morning, for the 2 hour drive north to The Bon Accord Open Show, held now in the Thainstone Agricultural Centre near Inverurie.
Swallow did not accompany us as she is in season. The others, Spencer, Mo, Holly and George, were all placed but we didn't do anything spectacular. Spencer again came second to his slightly younger half-brother, Louis, in the Toy Veteran class, with Louis going on to win Best Veteran in Show for the second year running.
Holly, who is hardly ever shown, did not disgrace herself (nor embarrass me) by bouncing round the ring on her hind legs, with the lead in her mouth, which was, in itself, quite an achievement!
We stayed right to the bitter end to see the Best Veteran being awarded, by which time most people had drifted off, but one can hardly blame them as it was again very frosty when we loaded up the car and many exhibitors travel quite a distance from some pretty remote places. It was after 7pm when I finally reached home

A general view of one of the halls, from the restaurant area.

line up for Best Toy.

Best Toy, Lucy, (Wee Lucy of Adinaken), owned by Mrs. Kathy Smith and shown by daughter, Jennifer.

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Lucy, again.

BIS., the Short Haired German Pointer.

line up for Best Puppy in Show

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The Newfoundland pup, Benson,--Best Puppy in Show.

The line up for Best Veteran in Show.

Louis,(Pyatshaw Murphy's Law)aged 9, the winner, BVIS, owned by Sue Gray(Gennasus).

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Friday, 23 January 2009

A bathtime story

A story, in pictures, of the preparation for the Bon Accord Open Show, held tomorrow, near Inverurie, a few miles from Aberdeen.

Mo was first

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I know what's coming

look at me now

I want my mum

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having a shake

...and a towel dry
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a slightly happier George and Holly

and Mo and Spencer
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Sunday, 18 January 2009

"Manchester" at Stafford.

Manchester championship show, like several others, is held in the agricultural showground at Stafford so it was back into the bus, luckily, not the one with the square wheels this time, for the overnight journey on Friday night.
This was George's debut (and probably his last for some time) at a big show and he coped with it pretty well, although to "wee" away from home is still a bit of a problem for him. At the outset of the journey he was startled at every movement from the contents of the boot of the bus but I put him beside Swallow and he soon settled down. On the return journey he must have been so tired that he slept most of the way home, at least he made not a sound. He was unplaced in his class.
Swallow came 3rd in Post Graduate bitch, with 15 being present, but her litter sister, Emma (Meerwings A Butterfly Story), whom I was also handling, went Reserve Best Bitch, so we still had plenty to celebrate.

The Main Hall

Emma being asked what she would like as a celebratory drink!
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George awaiting Minor Puppy Dog class.

Angus (Wee Angus of Adinaken), a friend, waits his turn to be judged.

Logie, the Eurasier, was hanging around the papillon ring!

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Thursday, 15 January 2009

Thrifty Scots?

When I first started showing my dog, Buzz, I took him along to the venues in a travelling box and carried a little bag with a brush and a comb and a little bottle of water for him. Later, when I acquired another dog I had to carry 2 boxes plus the bag, which, at some places,(viz. Ingliston), entailed quite a walk from the car park to the hall and I thought I would end up with arms stretched by a good 12 inches. This is when I replaced the bag with a rucksack and eventually invested in a trolley, a very sound investment. I have been asked if I am doing a "flitting", with the amount of gear we sometimes have piled above 4 cages nowadays. The wonder of it all is that it is a custom built trolley, nothing extravagant, but "bought" nevertheless. We don't buy--we make! I did covet other people's little aluminium grooming tables but the price, I thought, was extortionate, so I bought a little folding,wooden one in a sale in Ikea for £4, a 2 foot length of ribbed, rubber matting ("why so little?"asked the stallholder) and glued a piece of it on top of the table, all for under £10. My parents would have been proud of me! They had both lived through 2 world wars and knew what it was to be thrifty. (That could be a good word for stingy or mean.......and we were/are Scots!!!)
Mother hardly ever threw out anything, she could always re-hash it into something else of use; shirt collars were turned around when they became worn and she always had a huge pile of mending. She never sat idle.Even after the advent of television, she would be darning socks etc. as she viewed and this blooming pile of darning even went on our caravanning holidays in later years! (I bought "Blaxnit" socks for Chic, which had a lifetime guarantee but was not amused when, after 25 years, a hole appeared in the toe of one--should I have taken it back to the shop?) After the death of my father she made aprons for herself out of his shirts. Clothes which no longer fitted were kept and she was famed for making costumes for her grandchildren for school concerts or hallow'een.
Father would buy anything, if it was second hand--("it might come in handy!") and we had an attic room full of his purchases from sales. My husband had a short spell of this kind of activity and bought a load of pots, drums and barrels of "stuff", all with no labels, only some sort of hieroglyphics marked on the sides, from a sale at a government depot which was closing down. On inspection it included, among others, about 40 gallons of green paint, later offered to all neighbouring farmers, for the doors of the steadings, about the same of linseed oil and a 50 gallon drum of aircraft polish(it had a small label). I remarked to him, "Oh, good, all we need now is the aircraft!"
To get back to my little table, my husband often asks if I have to take all that equipment with me--chair, table, rucksack, food-in addition to the dogs. I don't think he realises that we sit about, waiting, for hours, and to pass the time we have to eat and drink, just to be sociable, of course. This is where the table is invaluable. Maybe I would have been wiser to have the metal version, judging by the state of the legs and the crossbar. Now who could have chewed that?

Mo on the "grooming table"

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Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Out today.

The freezing weather with the associated freezing fog we, near the east coast, are so used to, has returned, but by the time the 2nd lot of dogs went up the den it had started to clear.
I'm still finding it difficult to photograph my own dogs when out alone with them as they make a bee-line for me whenever I stop and lift the camera!
The little gorge above the bridge, up the den.
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The burn below the bridge.
Tass the amazing 2 legged dog!
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