Archive for August, 2006

Ominous development

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

Miss Kit — who is really Miss Cat these days — charged in an hour ago, carrying in her mouth a large dead vole. To the best of my knowledge, this is a personal first, and she was quite unbelievably pleased with herself. I took it away from her, and she went straight out again […]

Floods and Feasts

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

The incredibly dry summer has suddenly become an incredibly wet autumn. It’s all done to annoy the farmers, I’m sure: we had lots of lovely drought for the potatoes, and now that it’s time to reap the barley, we’ve got rain every day. There was an absolute deluge yesterday; nothing much happened to us […]


Friday, August 18th, 2006

When we were down in Cumbria, we stopped off at one of my favourite plant nurseries, which is in Garrigill. Anything which will grow in the high Pennines will also grow in the deep North, so I find it most useful. I came back with various loot, but above all, with a bucket of orange […]

Small pleasures

Friday, August 18th, 2006

I was in the farm stores shop with the Man from Maryport buying a sack of cheap griblets for the Rough Cats, and noticed a cardboard box full of huge greasy beef bones: in a moment of uncharacteristic indulgence towards dogs, I bought a couple, one each. The immediate result was a frenzy […]


Sunday, August 13th, 2006

We woke to a misty, moisty morning; cold grey, summer’s end. A condition referred to in this part of the world, which sees a lot of it, as haar; it results from two weather systems fighting it out. It is most discouraging, a sort of whitish fog. Miss Kit has been going out, coming in […]


Friday, August 11th, 2006

We were having a quiet start to the day drinking our tea & coffee in bed while reading the post and so forth. At least, mostly quiet, till the Professor leaped screeching from his downy couch and hurtled out of the room. The cause of all the excitement was a certain picture dealer in Museum […]

Monastic Politics

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

The dogs have been involving themselves in politics of late. Frequent readers may remember that high on the list of the dogs’ favourite people is a monk, up at whom they have been known to gaze for hours on end murmuring enchantedly, “Black goes with simply everything.” Anyhow, there has been recently an abbatial election, […]


Sunday, August 6th, 2006

We had the Canadian Professor with us for a significant part of the early summer. She is something of a conoisseur of newsprint and likes to see what the British are thinking about this and that, with the result that a lot more papers came into the household than is usually the case. I noticed […]

How happy could I be with either…

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Constant readers may remember that quite some time ago, Miss Best Friend stole a toy pheasant from a visiting spaniel puppy. Pheasant is still with us, getting ever more unpleasant. Part of the problem is that most of the time, it has the status of ‘my baby’ and is carried lovingly about, but once […]


Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

When the Man from Maryport was showing us the back road round Bassenthwaite the other day, we passed a sign saying ‘Osprey Viewing Station’. We pointed out that although when we were all very young, breeding ospreys were on the national news, they had become common enough in the deep north to annoy fish-farmers such […]


Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Today’s adventures began with a visit to an artist-blacksmith — one of the people we were singing songs with the other day. His shop floor was full of wonderful things — railings, chiefly, and a very beautiful new gate for Petticoat Lane market. If you ever note a set of railings quietly distinguished by their […]


Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Lest we should suffer from the regrettable absence of the labradors, in the deep north under the benign despotism of Dr Biswell, Ben the trailhound has selflessly offered himself as a surrogate. He is an exceedingly handsome dog with strong and marked views on a number of topics, not least of them, the spot on […]