Friday, 29 June 2018

happy 1st birthday to the lintu litter

Just in the nick of time, I managed to scrabble together some photos of the Lintu puppies to celebrate their first birthday.  Here they are in birth order with current pics as well as shots from when they were still Woody, Robin, Raven, Rook, Buzz, Puffin & Merlin.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

3 weeks old

The puppies are 3 weeks old and have an average weight of 1825 grams.  These puppies have been pretty big all along, and with great round bellies.  Just for fun I've been comparing them to the other litter of 3 who were also pretty big puppies and grew into pretty big dogs.  As you can see, the Sisko gang were slightly bigger at birth and 1 week, exactly the same at 2 weeks but at 3 weeks their average weight is less than the average weight of the Täysikuu clan - although Maxene is heavier than Anni was.

Birth 1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks
Täysikuu 329 558 1334 2020
Sisko 347 812 1334 1825

The weaning process has started.  Unusually they are not very interested in raw meat yet, but they love kibble mush soaked in warm milk.  

They were pretty cooperative about having their photos taken today - mainly because I got them when they were sleepy, I think.  As usual, the puppies are a bit crusty in the 3 week photos because when they're eating they get more stuck in their fur and all over each other than they do in their mouths.

They are a pretty yawny bunch, it seems.  Every photo shoot involves a great deal of yawning.  Pretty cute.




Sunday, 24 June 2018

heading out of skye

If you don't like mountains and blue skies then scroll right to the bottom for the obligatory dog shots.

You might have guessed there would be another dog or two involved in my Scotland trip.  After my 2 days of hiking on Skye, I woke up early to make the 5+ hours' drive to see Wendy, Scott, Hunter, Karhu & Tux at their home in a lovely village near Glasgow.

As I left Skye behind, the weather got ever better, and by the time I reached Fort William and Glencoe, it was truly glorious.  I stopped at Loch Lomond for a much-needed coffee.  I had intended to stop there for breakfast, but the heavy traffic in the Glencoe area put paid to that plan.  By the time I reached my destination at Loch Lomond, breakfast was over but lunch was still a way away.  So I had a quick coffee in the blazing sunshine loch-side then got to Wendy's for lunch.

Last view of the Cuillin

Typical Skye road views

Southern Skye

Hills for days

Glencoe way

Good car window shot

Best car window shot of the trip

Coffee break at Loch Lomond

You may know about Wendy from her great blog Thankfifi.  If you like fashion, lifestyle & dog blogs you won't find a better one - check it out.

We did all the stuff that we do when I visit Wendy & Scott - cafe visits, brunch out, dinner in, gin & tonic, dog walk, dog talk and gossip - but this time we did it all with almost-1-year-old Hunter as well.  Can I just say what an amazingly easy baby he is!  Absolutely good as gold the whole time I was there (which was a little less than 24 hours, it's true, but still.)

I had a couple of nice photos of the dogs and a really great photo of Wendy & Hunter, but somehow I have lost them from my phone.  Deleted them, obviously - how careless can you get (insert sad face emoji).  I also lost the cute photo of Tux giving Hunter a little kiss.  Those two are adorable together.

Karhu looking distinguished mid-conversation

Tux with toy

Saturday, 23 June 2018


Today I decided I wouldn't leave the hotel too early like I did the day before.  I decided to have breakfast with the other hikers and holiday makers in the beautifully Victorian dining room of the hotel.  At first I was very glad that I did because it was delicious, and by far the best meal I had on Skye.  My experience of food here has been ... meh.  Mostly, everything is extremely expensive and very average.  Frankly, folks around here really ought to spend at least as much time making stuff taste good as they spend making it look good.  And FYI, I don't approve of serving food straight out on a slab of wood.  I couldn't help but wonder how many other people's wedges of deep fried Brie melted all over it before mine.  Unhygienic.  Ick.

So, after my very nice breakfast off I went to the Fairy Pools, getting there about 9:30.

Gorgeous, right?

Well, you and I will both have to take Google's word for it because I couldn't get anywhere near it.  The car park was absolutely rammed.   Huh.  It seems I shoulda ordered the packed breakfast and got there at 7:30am.

So I moseyed on down the hill to the river Brittle for a couple of photos, waiting
a few minutes for someone to leave the car park and make some space.

When I got back there it was even worse.  So I got in the queue of cars waiting for people to leave and make some space.  But then more cars came, bypassed the queue and jammed everything up so no one could get in or out.  Utter madness.  I managed to turn around and get out of there.  I did find another place to park about a half a kilometer up the road, but I saw a poor lame lamb there who broke my heart so I couldn't stay.

That's the Fairy Pools struck off my list.  Maybe next time.

Onward south I went, headed for what was described as a "single track road between Broadford and Elgol" and the beginning of a hike to a remote beach tucked down below the Cuillin Hills.  Hills!?  Sheesh, what does it take to get mountain status around here?

As the road wends its way through the Cuillin, the scenery was predictably spectacular the whole way.  I was the crazy person who kept slowing down to stick the camera out the window of the car to capture what I could see through the windscreen.  Some attempts were more successful than others.

When I got to the start of the hike, the weather wasn't promising.  Or rather, it was promising - promising rain.   And it got progressively worse as I made my way up the hill.

About 10 minutes in I was hobbling and wishing I had taken my old, beat up, super-comfy hiking boots with me on this trip instead of the super-stiff ankle-supportive pair that I thought would be useful on the uneven ground I expected to meet on Skye hikes.  They were super-supportive all right, all over my bruised ankle.   I had a couple of carrier bags in my rucksack for my muddy boots in case I ended up somewhere my boots would be too disreputable for.  I twisted one into a rope and poked it down into my boot around my ankle to try and relieve some of the pressure on the bruise.  It worked surprisingly well.  That and a couple of ibruprofen and I was off again. 

Eventually I reached the summit, from which my guide notes promised increasingly impressive views of the Black Cuillin Hills.  Hmmm.

I battled on, determined to get to the beach down the other side, even if I did get soaked in the process.  The one couple I met on the way warned me that there were no views and that the rain was coming into the beach horizontally.  It's true my first views over the Camasunary weren't ideal, but they were pretty dramatic anyway with the clouds down over the hills.

But here's the thing about weather and these magical places.  If you acknowledge the spirits of the place, treat them with respect, maybe make an offering, then they just might bring out the sun for you.  Or at least stop the rain. 

On this beach I actually broke the hiker's code of take nothing and leave nothing.  The guide notes spoke of a bothy on the far side of the beach.  I was looking forward to seeing my very first one.  This one was supposed to be quite old and with two open fires.  As I made my way down the beach I gathered some driftwood for the bothy fire.  When I got there, however, I found it had been shut up after being damaged by a storm a couple of years ago.  There was a little pile of driftwood by the door that I guess other people had brought and then left behind when they found it closed.

So I gathered up all the driftwood and carried it over to the new bothy at the other end of the beach.  I got to look inside and I sat outside to have my lunch.  It didn't have an open fire inside, but it was still really lovely with one common room and one bunk room.  It was in terrific condition and so well cared for by the hikers who passed through. 

Lunch with a view

Driftwood wasn't the only thing I took away from that beach.  I dug out my other carrier bag, filled it with plastic rubbish I found on the beach and stuffed it into my rucksack and lugged it out with me.  Sadly it was merely a drop in the bucket of plastic trash on that beautiful beach.

I was damp through and pretty soon I started to get a chill, so I retraced my steps back over the hill to the car.  I was very pleased that the really hard rain only started as I climbed behind the wheel to head back to Portree and the hotel.