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Category Archives: Loki our Flat Coat Retriever

Dookin with Loki

I remember how timid I was first time I ventured into the cold waters of the River Eden in the Borders as a kid – my skinny white knees knocking as I felt for sharp stones cutting into my tender feet while the freezing waters crept up my thighs – so I can well imagine what Loki must have been going through yesterday as he braved the River Earn’s snow melt.

He’s a blue-blooded Flat Coat Retriever with a pedigree as long as your arm for goodness sake – so get in there!

Bred from Newfoundland river dogs and our own Labradors —

he even has webs between his toes and I’m sure he will swim like a fish at some point in the future —

 

Come on in Dad – it’s your turn now – the water’s lovely!

 

Loki get’s wet!

Or does he?

 

We must size it up first —

Nope – that pool looks too deep.

Loki! You look like a beached whale – but at least you got your knees wet.

 

Walking with Loki

Loki has turned into a lovely house dog since he moved into town – not something I could have imagined myself saying even six months ago.

But take him outdoors and he is as daring as ever.

Thankfully he is still quite careful around deep running water —

Which is just as well as some of it can be treacherous —

But he did find a natural bridge for me to cross —

In fact I had a choice of two —

But I preferred the third choice and took the easy way out —

even if my camera hand did appear to be shaking in that last shot.

But it’s all in a day’s work for our boy.

 

East – West – Hame’s Best

Hame’s best for a good haddock anyway. Walked along the street with the good Lady Helen for a cappo this morning before she drove back to the Isle of Luing to take part in Drama rehearsal for the play which goes on next month and not only did our famous baker Campbell’s come up with a couple of my favourite baps – softies as the counter assistant called them – looking for all the world like a pale morning roll – softies – or safties as my mother would say in her never-lost Aberdeenshire country twang – have a lighter texture than the morning roll and have n’t gone stale by mid-afternoon when most of us working loons were looking for a simple piece to keep us going till tea-time.

Another favourite of mine is the haddock. With cod stocks reported to be running low the plentiful north sea caught haddock is back in fashion. When I lived in these parts before – vans from the Neuk o’ Fife or Arbroath harbours would call in on a once-weekly visit to the villages and sell their fresh catches.

Today to my surprise and probably because of the haddock having moved north due to Global Warming it was a fellow biker Wull with his van – all the way from the fishing village of Buckie on the Morayshire coast who stopped for an hour in the town-centre car park opposite the bakery! His fresh haddock looked good and having caught up with news of some of my old biking mates from that part of the country it wasn’t long before a couple of said haddock were nestling in my fridge and I knew what I was having for dinner.

Dipped in a beaten egg and coated with proper breadcrumbs – fried to golden perfection and served on the warmed plate with steamed broccoli and a sliced lightly toasted and buttered saftie – I had that for dinner tonight and it melted in the mouth. Tasted like sheer decadence – for not a lot of dosh. I think I’m going to like Wednesdays.

So – while the lady of the house is off on the Isle of Luing doing her Drama – Seamus keeps her seat cosy —

and Loki dozes quietly on the fireside rug —

Yes – peace reigns – but which of us do you think is going to have to wash the dishes?

 

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When the Woodshed is Bare

There was a time if I needed logs for the winter fire I would grab my chainsaw – jump in my pickup truck and hi-ho off to the forest to cut a load of ash – but that was then – this is now and that miserable pile in the corner will barely keep the wee wifie warm for another day.

Every sad soul in the country would appear to have a woodburner and it’s not so easy to find fuel for them. Ash for instance is in short supply in these parts but oak is obtainable if expensive as most of it comes by boat from Latvia. Being a tight sod I have plumped for larch as it  is plentiful and as it doesn’t cost the earth to kiln dry can be found at a fair price.

 

Time to hook up the trailer and go getsum.

Mmmm- looks good and feels ok — no point running with half a load.

If it was oak one bag would be enough but Larch is lightweight by comparison – the down side being it burns away more quickly.

Get in there!

Now that’s what I call a load! I had better transfer some of it to the Yeti estate car for safety.

The proof was in the pulling – she hauled it home to the Isle of Luing and up our rough old farm track to the house no problem at all.

M-mmm — that looks a bit healthier —

and ofcourse – there’s always the oil burner to fall back on if we do run out of logs.

But on a dreich day like today with high winds and driving rain the fire wins hands down every time.

With a nice warm tummy after spending a wild night outdoors – Seamus is more than happy —

and with Loki warming his backside in the glow – peace reigns in the givit household.