Dogged persistence

One of the other pluses about Himindoors’ current brush with employment despite being the proud owner of a bus pass and a winter fuel allowance is that I am using the time to do some bonding with my dawg. Now Buddy and I are already good pals, but if truth be told he is rather a daddy’s boy. (pauses in case there is a torrent of moaning about being referred to as the dog’s daddy. No? Moves on.) I have no doubt he adores us both equally but as George was the one he was with more when he was a puppy (the dog that is and not George) he tends to tag along with George more than me. I have tended to stay away from the morning walk as it has quite clearly become “boys time” and I have felt like a gooseberry on the few occasions I have “interloped”. We have always enjoyed long walks while on holiday or indeed at other times of day, but the morning walk is almost sacrosanct.

Philosophical Discussions 1

Philosophical Discussions 1

Philosophical Discussion 2

Philosophical Discussion 2

However, with Himself having to get up and out by 8am at the latest, the dog walk has been truncated to a quick 20 minute galumph over the hill and round the wasteground as opposed to his usual daily hour and a bit five miler. With my own hours being fairly well spread out over the week right now, I have had the luxury of a bit of free time to redress the balance and we have ventured forth on most days except those ones where it is too wet, too windy, too icy, too wet, windy and icy to venture anywhere but the back garden. I have even given up some cycling time for this but it’s been fun. A woodland we used to take our previous dogs to has been recently developed with a nice network of cinder paths and Buddy has been making some new friends over there, including a couple of deer which he decided he wouldn’t chase as they were going every bit as fast as the two greyhounds that had just shown him who was the king of the hill as far as speed was concerned. It’s been fun indeed. But I still let them have their boy time at the weekend.

Tree dog

Tree dog


Just a few pics of the doggies taken at the weekend when we were down at my sister’s. Be prepared to say “ahhhhh sweet!”

Oor Buddy

The boys - Buddy and Toby

Snow fair

A week on and the snow is still lying. Well, when I say snow I really mean snowandice (or “snice” as my bonsai friend Jim calls it) as it has now frozen hard. All very pretty to look at and great for kids no doubt, but it’s getting very frustrating not being able to do anything bike or bonsai related. Some of the good people from Walkers went out on MTBs yesterday, but I decided against it as I have neither the MTB skills nor the confidence to be anything other than a liability in those conditions. I did make an attempt to get out and about as a few days on the turbo trainer was making me stir crazy, but it was rather short lived. I went up to the airfield with George who was meeting with another lunatic to test run some engines. Yep. In the snow. In the middle of a field. With a 1:3 slope to negotiate on the way out. In my nice BMW. I took the MTB with me in the faint hope that I could go for a short ride over to the reservoirs but within the space of 1 mile I had gone down on to the road twice. I promise I won’t show you the prettily coloured bruise on my arse. Just as well as I didn’t land on anything less well-padded.

The reservoir route abandoned, I then attemtped a run in the snow around the airfield. Sadly this yielded little other than the realisation that the snow was so hard and deep that the bike could stand up on its own. Well it did for at least 10 seconds before I did that slo-mo sideways almost graceful subside into a snowdrift. Why is it you know exactly what is going to happen but are totally powerless to stop it? I gave a certain degree of amusement to some cows so at least I made someone’s day with my classic comedy moment.

Ah well, back to the kitchen. At least Buddy had a good time today. and getting back up that slope did yield up a frisson of excitement (not to mention a few well-chosen swearity words) as the car slid back towards the wall.

Buddy truly digs the snow

The invisible cyclist

Slummin’ It

The good thing about having a well-off sister and bro-in-law is that we occasionally get to piggy-back on the good life things they get up to. And so when they invited us to spend some time with them at their HPB holiday destination in the Trossachs, we of course had to think long and hard about it.

An idyllic setting on the shores of Loch Achray, Tigh Mor is a largish complex which incorporates the former Trossachs Hotel building and a newer built set of flats in the style of a stable block. The sun shone wonderfully for us on the Friday and I was able to notch up 23 miles on the MTB while making my way to meet up with the rest of them at various destinations.

The 6 inches of snow we woke up to on the Saturday morning was rather more of a surprise, and the scene looked even more idyllic with the ice-cream topped buildings framed against the blue sky. Less pleasant was getting snowed in on the Sunday as the heavens deposited their loads of flaky stuff for nigh on 18 hours and made the roads too hazardous to attempt a return to home.

Made it back down on the Monday morning and got to work with two minutes to spare. Pity the students hadn’t been so dilligent, rather than using the lack of a Number 48 bus from one end of Paisely to the other as an excuse for more snoozing and/or watching some extra editions of The Jeremy Kyle Show while dining on a few additional Pot Noodles. Tcha! Young people of today!

All in all an interesting weekend with plenty of plus points. Would like to revisit the area in less inclement weather as the biking and other outdoor activities are rather splendid.

Ah well.

our place in the country. I wish!


twin headed stags

After the Snows

In case you all think I’ve been posted missing in action (or indeed just posted inaction) please take a look at the pics – this is how the cycle tracks have been for the past week. Before that there were a few days of solid ice – all of which has put a serious dent in my cycling activities outdoors. It’s all very purty, but I’d really really like it all to go away now so I can get back in a real saddle as opposed to a spin bike at the David Lloyd.

The upper track at Elderslie

The lower track

Buddy guards a waymarker

The fork of the R7 and R75