Archive for March, 2009


Saturday, March 28th, 2009

We are just gathering ourselves up to go away for three nights. The Northern Gentleman is installed as keeper and constable. Tonight we will be staying with our friend the Duchess in his remarkable gilded cage, and then on to our nation’s capital. We have a variety of dates there, with the National Library, with […]


Thursday, March 26th, 2009

It has been one of those perfectly maddening days when the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the wind is strong enough to knock you off your feet. Both animals, contemplating it through glass, were repeatedly convinced that they wished to go out and frisk in the sun, only to change their minds […]

What can little paws do?

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Miss Kit is sitting with her back to me, sulking. Earlier this afternoon I wandered out to plant some summer bulbs only to find on my return that not only had she turned on Help several times and put everything in capitals, which is what she usually does, but the display on my computer screen […]


Friday, March 20th, 2009

There have been a couple of interesting additions to the household in the course of the day. One is ever such a lot of limewash. Limewash negotiations have been prolonged. There was, as constant readers may remember, a dismal episode in the autumn when we were sent a limewash mix that looked like Heinz […]

The Queen’s Shilling

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

My ex gamekeeper is heading off tomorrow for a new life in G*****y. I am informed by a correspondent wise in the ways of the world that my innocent comments on his immediate future as the most recent recruit to Her Majesty’s colours caused my blog entry to be wiped by ever-vigilant security forces which […]

Black Fingernails

Friday, March 13th, 2009

It was breezy but lovely round here today. Blue skies, clear golden light, all that good stuff. It seemed like a good day for gardening. The ever patient Calum at the garden centre sold me quantities of horticultural grit and bonemeal, ericaceous compost and so on and so forth, and so after lunch, I got […]

Unwelcome Innovations

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

One oddity of this last week was that I posted a blog which seemed to stay up for about half a day and then vanished into the blogosphere. What it was about was an attack of heavy metal, or apparently so. There was a perfectly shattering racket which sounded like someone throwing sheet steel off […]


Friday, March 6th, 2009

The puppy has been a less than popular addition to the household. Miss Kit’s views of infant Jack Russell terriers are roughly as you might expect, and involve boiling oil, but we thought Miss Best Friend might be a bit more accepting. She is in the main, a motherly old thing, but a young puppy […]

Further Livestock

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

I find myself temporarily in charge of a caramel coloured Jack Russell puppy. The Apparitional Gamekeeper is passing out — equivalent of finals — tomorrow, in the full glory of a Gordon Highlander, kilt, gleaming black boots, looking about 8 feet tall and all that. His family, naturally, are going along to cheer. The horses, […]


Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

There has just been a most annoying episode: we are in dire need of a ride-on lawnmower. A used one turned up on Ebay, only about twenty miles away: I conferred with the Refugee Gardener, who said it looked okay and had the right sort of engine. It was on at a start price of […]

Progress of a sort

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Miss Best Friend, as she ages, is developing a variety of fixed and inflexible views. One set relates to the ergonomic dog bed. This — in my view — inhabits the space between the dresser and the food cupboard. However, a dog-bed fulfils a variety of functions. Sleeping, of course. Monitoring kitchen activity in case […]

Little surprises

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

There are things it is easy to be mistaken about, but if you form an impression that there is an infuriated horse within fifty feet or so of where you are sitting it is likely to be correct. I stuck my head cautiously out of the study door and there it was, racing round and […]