Coincidentally, I came across somebody with a dog that winks in appropriate situations. The dog is an elderly sausage dog. I was chatting to the owner in his garden about the weather when he pointed shrewdly to a conical glass container protruding from the ground and announced proudly that he had been recording daily rainfall averages for the last twenty years (yes, there’s a lot of that sort of thing going on in this part of the world), at which point the elderly sausage dog took a drink from it, winked, then waddled off in the direction of an old bone. The conversation moved swiftly on to discussing scientific measurements of a different kind, barometer and temperature readings, until I could contain my laughter no more and emitted the sort of noise that was wholly inappropriate under the circumstances. The notion of average daily rainfall data being called into question by an elderly sausage dog with winking capabilities rendered me devoid of all self-restraint. The last time I succumbed to such unrestrained behavior was at a Scottish Country Dancing Class near Muir of Ord where my lack of co-ordination contrasted starkly with the other members of the group. Country Dancing is a collaborative activity, you know, not a solo one, so there’s no escaping the limelight if you laugh inappropriately..."
Extracted from The Bit in the Middle to be published as an ebook in Spring 2016. Non fiction, autobiographical, the life and times of a self-employed gardener in the Scottish Highlands.