Archive for January, 2012

Naughty little animals

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

The beasties are generally very good and not much trouble. But they have their moments. Yesterday, Miss Dog elected to roll in something more than usually foul, came in smelling to high heaven and had to have a bath. She was slightly due a bath anyway, so that was all right. Today, just to add […]

The Spreading Stain

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Miss Dog is something of a food hound even by Labrador standards. She has nice manners and doesn’t beg. She has, however, evolved a rather personal take on not begging, which is, when I am eating something she considers toothsome, to put her head politely, and heavily, on my knee and salivate. The element of […]

New horrors added to Layfe

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The new dog is of a helpful disposition. Likewise, interactive, enthusiastic, and keen to participate. In the house I have data relating to approximately 300 students. Two sets of exam scripts, nine sets of essay scripts (the result of the labours of 4 + 5 teaching assistants). Out of this I am attempting to put […]

Keep the home fires burning

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Our friend the Arts Correspondent turned up with a belated Christmas present which we were greatly taken with. One recent development here in the North has been coldpressed rapeseed oil as a sort of Northern olive-oil. I personally wouldn’t swop it for olive except in an emergency, but it’s quite nice, and certainly, for those […]

The advancing tide

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Among the adornments of Aberdeenshire are Two Nice Girls who have taken up growing vegetables in the Howe of Buchan — these ornaments to the sisterhood are a pair of American ladies of middle years and cheerful disposition. They deposit a weekly veg box, which costs ten quid and is, compared to T*sc*s, insanely […]

Agreeable surprise

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

I have been in the Deep South for a few days. Golly, it’s crowded. I ended up taking a train from Victoria to Chichester, and there seemed to be continuous built up area from London to Horsham. After that it struck me that things got a bit nicer, and there was a certain amount of […]

Ow, ow, ow, ow

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I have been severely bitten by the Inland Revenue, the bastards. My accountant, with a glorious swish of his sword and his lance, and a glorious clank of his tin-plated pants, has sailed in to do battle. What is so annoying about the situation is: 1) I have NOT earned any money to speak of […]

Name and Shame

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

For more than a decade, I have been used to a desk diary — a quiet sort of object which came as a seasonal gift from my erstwhile agents’ (the current agents don’t do corporate gifts). I find it handy for work, and scribble in details of students, essays, minor complications, read something by Wednesday, […]

Glimpses into the past

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

One aspect of the Miss Dog AWOL Drama I didn’t mention is that in the middle of us racing about yelling, a perfectly nice individual tipped up with a folio of photographs — he was flogging images of ‘your property from the air’, taken in 1967. Anyway, it was in fact this bloke who found […]

Call of the Wild

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

We have had a bit of an afternoon. Miss Dog had a hilarious morning, because Barnyards was doing something to the steading involving diggers and MUD, and also his very nice little Springer, Monty. She met Monty the other day and decided he was her new best friend. So she came lolloping in, highly pleased […]


Saturday, January 7th, 2012

We were pottering off to our antique shop friends at Clola the other day, a route which takes us past a very fine class of oldfashioned village pond. There are generally ducks and things on it, but I was surprised to see the hunched, prehistoric-looking shape of a cormorant — not generally an inland bird. […]

We Get Our Mouse

Friday, January 6th, 2012

The mouse saga is an ongoing aspect of life since it is actually a domestic war — what with gnawed pipes and all that. We have a sonic mouse-deterrent which may or may not be inhibiting them from coming in (this is what it is aimed at). But those already in, Miss Cat is dealing […]


Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

One of my everyday task is cleaning out the Spam filter which ensures that the comments aren’t overwhelmed by rubbish (and also, if it gets away from me, is the reason why some of your well turned comments disappear in an irritating fashion). Spam is bizarrely episodic. Inevitably, most of it is pornography, for years, […]


Sunday, January 1st, 2012

We have been having a jolly time — the Godparents Formerly Known as Tropical, Dr Biswell & Mr Wil all turned up on Friday, and so did a couple of old friends from Cambridge, a jolly and exceedingly clever individual who looks like Mr Toad, and his beautiful art-dealer wife. I may have saved a […]