Archive for June, 2013

Waffle joins Crumpet

We managed to find homes for all Crumpet’s puppies without even advertising. They were all her colour except for two, a boy and a girl which were a darker, foxy red like the father Jake. By and large they went to “the right sort of homes” I cannot guarantee they will all be working or quasi-working gundogs like Crumpet, but the important thing was that owners should either be or have been cocker owners and were at least outdoors people. I was slightly doubtful about one local couple (tattoos, off-roader and pregnant) but they were well spoken for and the entire family from mothers to uncles owned cockers. iphone 8 earphones case All the same a baby and a cocker puppy seems a challenging combination. All the pups were named after Italian renaissance painters; at least for their official Kennel Club names on the pedigrees. stag iphone 6 case Thus regardless of sex we had Tintoretto, Titian, Botticelli and the rest. One went to a charming man from Edinburgh who read about the pups in the paper and was treating himself to another cocker. He appeared with a bag of apples from his garden, homemade chutney and a bottle of wine which we drank. He left with this tiny little golden puppy in a homemade cage sitting on the passenger seat so they could talk to one another on the way home. The bruiser of the litter, a vast boy, went to a friend who owns Crumpet’s father and is destined for a lot of beating and shooting and picking up. Friends put us in touch with a shooting neighbour who phoned from an oilrig in Azerbaijan to reserve a boy. A tiny little red girl went to a friend’s sister whose son had taken up beating for local shoots. But they were going to be guided in training by a friend who turned out completely by chance to be the owner of Crumpet’s husband, Jake the father of their pup.  The last little girl; we are keeping. She is blonde like her mother, perhaps a little darker and an incessant piddler and nibbler. iphone 7 phone case tropical We have had a very long debate on the subject of names and for some reason I chose Puckle. But I could tell no one was really happy with that. iphone 7 case protective “It sounds like a buckle and something else rather rude” said my wife.  We then went through various breads, and rolls to find something similar to Crumpet. Toast, bannock, buttery, brioche and goodness knows what were discarded. In the end I decided on Waffle and it’s stuck. It’s perfectly shoutable, which is important. She stands beautifully with one paw raised and runs about with her nose permanently to the ground. She shares a basket with Crumpet and they have a playtime every day after tea. apple leather iphone 7 case So there you go. Waffle it is.

House clearing, Swastikas and binos

We have just about finished clearing out my mother’s house without falling out over anything. But then we are blokes. My mother had issued orders, admittedly not in writing but she had made her wishes clear, that the daughters in law (we are four boys) should have nothing to do with the division of the spoils. “It’s always the women who cause trouble. iphone 6 case girls cute And men are hopeless dealing with it.” she had observed. Many years ago a great great aunt had decreed  her surviving rellies could chose whatever they wanted and on  the appointed day the beneficiaries turned up at the house only to discover the wife of a cousin had been in at cock crow and put her name on anything worth having apart from the NHS commode. iphone 7 plus phone case and screen protector So all our wives were banned from the house while we sorted things out which wasn’t too hard as fortunately she had been a bit of a thrower-outer over the years. She had kept however a scrapbook of letters from old Lady Churchill to my grandfather (her doctor)  which in the end said nothing more interesting than thank you for your letter of 15 inst. No bon mots about Stalin or Enigma. We unearthed a chilling souvenir which, as an uncomprehending 18-year-old our mother had nicked from a Bavarian roadside in 1938 – a yellow and black Swastika encircled with the words Juden Unerwunscht. iphone 8 case armour For this she had been banished to her room without dinner by her terrified hostess. iphone 7 cases shockproof Goodness know what will happen to that.  In the end I got the binoculars. I have a thing about binos. I already have my father’s huge seagoing Bausch and Lombs which need a tripod to keep them steady, but good for star gazing. And we also have my father in laws crystal clear 1944 Kershaw 6x30s he had at D-Day. Now I have now acquired a pair of modern 8×20 Leicas and, best of all, my grandfather’s pocket sized Zeiss 6x21s which I always like to think went over the top with him in WW1. But I suspect that is wishful thinking. When I got the last two home it turned out the Leicas were almost blank in one lens and the Zeiss were like trying to peer through fog. willnorn double case iphone 6 I sent an email to Leica who said they’d have to go the Germany and they had no idea how much it would cost. And then I discovered Glasgow Binocular Repairs, which probably everyone else knows about, who sorted out the Zeiss and Leicas for £56 each and had them back in a week. The irony is that none of these binos are particularly good for stalking even if they are handy for birds and seeing what my neighbours are up to. So I’m still having to borrow the son’s Hawke 8x42s. And now I’ve run of elderly rellies I may even have to buy my own.

Airguns and the referendum

It now seems almost certain that the Scottish Executive will introduce some form of licensing for airguns; a type of “weapon” about as dangerous as a bow and arrow or a catapult. spigen case for iphone 8 plus But it is a gun, nonetheless and, in extreme circumstances it can kill a human being – as indeed can a frozen haddock. A certain amount rests upon what the latest set of crime statistics, due out this month ( Nov)  have to say about air gun offences. They were almost as low as they could be in the last recordable year and the trend, as with all crime in Scotland has been downward – clap hands for the Dear Leader and Police Scotland. On the other hand; should the figures for airgun offences  go up by even .001% Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill will be able to  declare that the Apocalypse is nigh and only airgun licensing can prevent global meltdown. gold iphone 6 plus case Should the figures go down or stay the same he will be able to say “We are pledged to prevent any future increase”. What is so irritating about plans to license airguns is that is all so unnecessary. But we must not forget that calls for “something to be done” started in 2005 with the death of a toddler murdered by a junkie with nothing better to do that take a pot shot at a passing child. The death lead to calls for a total ban on airguns. But you have to ask yourself ; had there been a licensing system in force was the murderer likely to be the sort of person who possessed a license in the first place ? It is after all already illegal to shoot someone with an airgun. Licensing is not going to make it any more illegal. iphone case charger 6 plus (In rather the same way phone hacking has always been illegal. Nothing Lord Leveson has said on the subject will increase the illegality) There has of course been public consultation on the subject and 20,000 people rejected airgun licensing. Fortunately for the government it emerged that three fifths of those against licensing were the readers of airgun magazines from England, so the consultation was declared irrelevant. tech21 iphone 6 case Had it been the other way round we can only guess what the Government’s response might have been, English or no English. In the end what we are faced with is a Government that can’t help fiddling with a piddling problem. iphone 8 hard case flowers Licensing airguns is a form or governmental displacement activity, something to do when the real issues become too complicated or frightening. Electorally they are on a hiding to nothing as the responsible airgun owner is the just the sort of person who will take a dim view of a party or country whose government deliberately makes life even more complicated and expensive than it is already, but for no good reason.

Pheasants in the morning, grouse in the afternoon

We don’t have enough pheasants, said my host. So we’ll just have to do the grouse in the afternoon. Well, what a disappointment. Not enough pheasants so we’ll have to shoot grouse to make up for it. Pretty ducal, I’d say. It’s an interesting proposition because even at the beginning of December, which is what it was, you need to get cracking after lunch if you don’t want to lose the light. crystal iphone 7 case And while I am as keen to get cracking as the next man, I do hate rushing lunch. We started the day not particularly well because Crumpet’s daughter Waffle, the 11-week-old cocker spaniel puppy who had to come along for the ride, nearly got eaten by another dog. Its owner and I were talking after we’d let our respective dogs out for a pee in the morning and he absent mindedly put down a bowl of food for his dog. I paid no attention. Waffle headed straight for the bowl and narrowly missed having her head bitten off. iphone 7 plus case coldplay My wife had watched the whole scenario unfold through the bedroom window. “Any fool could see what was going to happen. Don’t you know about dogs and food?” Waffle was fine. Being far too young for shooting she had to stay in the car and go for walkettes with mistress while Crumpet and I went off with the rest to see about the pheasants. We were warned to steer clear of our hostesses mandarin ducks, should they take off. Everyone agreed it would be safer to ignore all duck rather than shoot the wrong one. As we were 2000 ft. up in the Monaliadths on the edge of several thousand acres of heather the pheasants tend to live along the straths among the wild birch bog, bracken, rashes, rocks, gorse and ponticums. As there were no pickers up behind us I just let Crumpet off to pursue whatever came down. The third drive we lined out along the Findhorn — in perfect fishing order except the season was well over. grey iphone 6 case Crumpet found someone else’s cockbird which no other dog had been able to find mainly because everyone was looking in the wrong place. iphone 7 phone cases gamer I knocked over a glass of wine at lunch. We headed for the hills; a 10 minute drive followed by a calf-splitting half hour vertical hike. By which time the wind had got up and there was a hint of sleet.  Two birds shot along the skyline and dived out of sight. The beaters came through. We shifted the line to the left and faced the other way. This time I fired six shots at three birds and missed. iphone 7 phone cases apple charger Crumpet had to be heaved through a deer fence to find someone’s bird. My neighbouring gun was able to record that his day’s bag included pheasant, grouse and a woodcock.

Crumpet, the wire skewer and pheasants.

Not sure the puppy business has done much for poor Crumpet’s working abilities. I do concede she has had six puppies followed by eight weeks (more like nine now) of incessant nibbling and scrabbling at her underparts and she has been unbelievably patient. However the first day out to a driven shoot (I hadn’t been asked, it was one of the boys) she reverted to cocker spaniel style, which is going completely bonkers. I would agree that we have not perhaps kept up our training as well as we might, apart from the daily walks and trying not to let her range too far out in front. magnetic case for iphone 6  And when I remember I try to mix this in with a bit of walking to heel which is very dull for the dog I suspect. iphone 7 flash case And then I usually forget I’ve got her so she gets bored and peels off into the undergrowth for a rootle. tech 21 evo elite iphone 6 case

The report came back from her first driven day, however, that she had ripped her restraining skewer out of the ground and torn off in pursuit of pheasants dead or alive, trailing her lead and the skewer behind her. To much mirth, I might add, from son’s friends. This may just have been over excitement at her first big day of the season. It’s fair to say that like most cockers she is not what is known as “a peg dog,” Labs and some keeper trained spaniels will sit motionless at a peg beside their master without restraint while birds pour down around them. But cockers with this attribute are harder to find. And as one rather senior gun and cocker owner said to me comfortingly; he thought it was rather unfair on the dog not to have it skewered. wonder woman iphone 6 case Perhaps he was being nice. In the past she has certainly strained at the leash but settled down quite quickly. There is if course the question of the skewer. We had quite a short one which was brilliant because most of the ones you can get are 16inches long which is just yet another bit of kit to get in the way of cartridge bags, guns slips, belts and various straps as you struggle in and out of vehicles. iphone 8 case 3 in 1 But my daughter managed to leave that in the middle of a field when she was being grand somewhere. The replacement I constructed out of heavy gauge high tensile fencing wire wrapped, with great difficulty around a broom handle. It worked very well until the other day when she ripped it out of the ground. So I may have to blame the tools rather the dog for that one.