While I have been away….

The past couple of years have not been the easiest, but things are settling down now.  I have had to leave Flotta for good – a wrench, but there it is.  I am now the main carer for my elder son, Ben, and we are in a new house in Kirkwall!

The main change has been the entry into my life of the terrible two.  Just over a year ago I decided I couldn’t live without a Scottie, and I went on line to see what might be available.  Several weeks of searching led me to a litter of wheaten puppies.  Now, I have always wanted a wheatie, so I enquired.  I had just missed the last one.  Then 24 hours later I had another email from the breeder to say someone had pulled out, and the one with the purple collar was now available.  This is Eilidh.

A couple of weeks later a brindle boy became available from a friend of Kath’s, so Magnus became mine.  Tricia brought him up to Lancashire for me and I travelled from there to Inverness by train with two dog carriers!  I was met by my friend Sue and we travelled on up to Orkney by car and ferry.

Both dogs had been born and reared in a family home, so they were very well socialised. 

Ben met them first…

… then Nick (I gave up trying to get them all still – 2 out of 3 was my goal!)

Then came Ben-dog, the black Scottie belonging to Steve.

Both pups were fearless, and on one occasion Eilidh got herself stuck in the mechanism of my riser-recliner.  It took Ben lying on the floor and messing with the motors to get her out.  As soon as she was free, she just curled up by his feet and went to sleep!

Most of the puppy piccies I have are of them asleep – that is the only time they were still enough to get pix!

They were interested in everything, and adored cardboard boxes….

If you want to see moving piccies visit my YouTube page!


Hector’s Visit to Flotta

When the ladies of the Longhope Lifeboat Guild came over last year raising money for our local lifeboat, I talked about taking Scottie over to meet their mascot, Hector. That never happened. But when I heard they were bringing Hector this year, I knew I had to take Isla and Meg to meet him.

Longhope is on the island of South Walls, next door to Flotta – one I often photograph on dog walks. The lifeboat, the Helen Comrie, is stationed in the village.

RNLI at Flotta 001It is a short passage from Longhope to Flotta’s main pier, and the lifeboat tied up where the ferry comes in.

RNLI at Flotta 002As we walked along the pier, I could see a familiar shape investigating the area. This was Hector, Scottie and mascot.

RNLI at Flotta 003Once my two saw him they wanted to be introduced. Scotties are unusual in that, unlike other dogs, they greet each other by touching noses first…..

RNLI at Flotta 004… before doing the usual dog thing of smelling bums!

PhotoELF Edits:2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeHector wears a dog life jacket, something each lifeboat carries for canine casualties.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeHe is quite used to wearing it, and being picked up by the handle:

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeWhile some of the crew stayed with the boat…..

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resize… the rest of us went back to the hall. My dogs stayed in the car, but Hector came in to join the fun and earn his keep, looking cute.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- resizeThe pocket on his life jacket really does have a hip flask in it, and by the smell it really does contain brandy!!

PhotoELF Edits:2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; shape; resizeWe tried to get a pic of Hamish with the three boys from the lifeboat, but getting the four of them to stay still wasn’t easy, so the pix aren’t brilliant!!

PhotoELF Edits:2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeGetting Hamish to pose with the RNLI flag was easier. Any Scottie owner will know from the expression that FOOD was being offered…!

PhotoELF Edits:2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeThank you to all RNLI Longhope for coming over. I am glad you raised a goodly sum to go towards the sterling work you do.  (Their Facebook page is here.)

Scottie Dog Update

I can’t believe I have had the dogs for only three weeks – it seems as if they have been here for ever! They have had their challenging moments, but it is lovely to see them settling in so well and enjoying their new life.

All my neighbours are saying how much weight they have lost already.

Isla then (above) and now
Isla then (above) and now

Meg then (above) and now
Meg then (above) and now

Part of this is actual weight loss, but part is increasing muscle tone. Both dogs enjoy their walks, and simply going out twice a day is having an effect. We usually do one ‘road’ walk……

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…..and one which is more play.

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Most of the time Isla will be running…..

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… and Meg walking!

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Once we get home, both love to rest in the sun if there is any.

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Meg has definitely taken over Scottie’s bed. If Isla does invade, Meg glares at me to get her out!!

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Meg takes any chews or treats to her bed straight away….

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… but Isla walks around the house and garden to find just the right spot!

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As well as making friends with all the neighbours, Isla had made friends with a group of 10 young cows. The first time they met she wasn’t sure, and as the galloped over the field to the fence, she cowered behind me. Very soon, though, she was going over to investigate, and before too long she was touching noses with them through the fence!

12. when Isla met cows sm

Taking pix with two flexi leads isn’t easy, so I took the opportunity of Elly’s recent visit to take some portraits.


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15. no lead Meg in heather sm

And Elly in the middle with two dogs going in different directions!

13. Elly at full stretch

(If you look closely you can see the tips of two ears and a tail in the ditch!)

A Tiny Digression…

I know I should be blogging about Grace’s jacket, but that can wait.  Now I need to introduce…

01 wobble 1


(UK readers will realise why one might call a Border Collie, Wobble – I am not sure if the joke travels.)

Wobble belongs to my son Nick. She was chosen at about 4 weeks old, but Andy, who bred her (and Nick’s 10 year old Collie, Bess) won’t let his puppies go until they are at least 8 weeks old. And that is why his dogs are good – the extra two weeks with mum makes a huge difference to their confidence etc.

-2 woble 3

So Nick picked her up on Thursday, and on Saturday she met the rest of the Lovick clan, two and four legged.

Ben my older on, also likes BCs….

03wobble and ben

Then Nick had the bright idea of getting a pic with all four dogs – his two BCs, Steve’s Scottie and my Scottie. This was easier said than done….

all 4 1

all 4 2

all 4 3

(note that Steve, Nick and Bess all have the same expression in this one!!)

all 4 4

After a while I turned the flash on. It didn’t help much…

all 4 5

all 4 6

Steve also has two cats, which quickly asserted their superiority over the puppy. I didn’t get a pic of the interactions, as Wobble took refuge under the table…

Next time I really will post something sensible, but in the meantime, puppies only come every 10 years….

More Scotties…

At this time of year the Scottie group I am in has a gift exchange.  At this time of year the Scottie Rescue group, STECS, that Scottie came from has new things in its ‘shop’.  So I have been buying…  It also got me thinking (again) what I could do to help fund raise for them.  This time I had an idea.

I have  been knitting Scotties.  I had been collecting designs for a while, and it suddenly struck me that I could put them together in a booklet and sell it in aid of STECS.  Don’t hold your breath – these things have to be done between times.  But I took the opportunity of  needing something individual for my giftee, and yesterday I knitted this hat:

Pat's hat

A bit ago I had made a chair back (or pram blanket!) and a cushion for my kitchen:

Scottie cushion

Now I need time to make a sweater and a vest….  THEN I will be able to tell you where you can buy the patterns!!

Up All Night and a PS to Shows….

Well, they say that Orkney has 9 months of winter and 3 months of bad weather.  To be fair, we have had a good summer – not warm, but quite calm and dry.  So last night’s gale was a shock to the system.

During the winter one gets used to the sound of the wind and what it can do.  But over the summer you forget.  In addition, this is quite early for big gales, and people don’t have things battened down.

I did sleep until about 2 am.  By then the wind was howling and whistling round the house, and throwing unknown things about outside.  It was rough enough to make the dogs uneasy, and none of us had much sleep after that.  Fortunately, Radio Scotland – my drug of choice – is good overnight.  It joins with another BBC station, Radio Five Live in the small hours for a programme called Up All Night.  It is excellent – I often listen to short or long stretches.

Over the weekend I have had 4 dogs here – my two Scotties, Nick’s Collie Bess and Steve’s (very) old rescue collie Taz:

left to right - Taz, Ben, Bess, Scottie
left to right - Taz, Ben, Bess, Scottie

Taz is 16 and very, very deaf.  He is also quit arthritic, but enjoys life when he is awake.  Ben and Bess play together madly, while Scottie and Taz keep out of the way.  Bess is here while Nick is working overnight, and playing with his scrambler.  Today he won all three of his races, so he was a Very Happy Bunny when he came to pick up Bess.

And a PS to shows.  I got an email from a fibre friend in the Deep South yesterday.  Welmoed Perrin entered her Orkney Pi in the spinning section of her local show at Sticklepath in Devon.  Not only did it win that class, but got the Best Exhibit too.  I have her permission to put her pix up here:

Welmoed's Orkney Pi a

Welmoed's Orkney Pi b

All hand spun by Welmoed – a very clever lady – she gave me a hand woven teatowel when I moved in, and it is wonderful too!!