The Crathes Car Rally at Inchmarlo

Crathes Car Rally Inchmarlo
Crathes Car Rally

 Oh what an exciting day! The Crathes Car Rally was visiting Inchmarlo, as they have done for many years. It was a beautiful sunny day, albeit that the wind was so strong at times that it blew my ears up in the air. The residents of Inchmarlo House came out to watch the cars driving past and quite a number of Home Owners came down to look at the cars and reminisce about how they drove some of the cars when they were young. Some neighbours also came down to admire the cars.

Crathes Car Rally Inchmarlo House
Visitors admiring the cars
Crathes Car Rally Inchmarlo House
Crathes Car Rally Inchmarlo House

I also went down to have a look at the cars and the one that impressed me most was, what I’m told was the “Blower Bentley” and one of the Home Owners, Martin L kindly explained all about the car to me.

Blower Bentley Inchmarlo
Martin and Humphrey admire the "Blower Bentley"

I was amazed at the difference in size between the MG which David Pratt, head of security, showed me.

MG Crathes Car rally
David and Humphrey inspect the MG

One of our Home Owners from Queen Victoria Park, Mrs M saw me and came up and we had a nice discussion because she is very fond of dogs.

Crathes Car rally Humphrey Mrs M
Humphrey and Mrs M enjoying the sunshine

Mrs E from The Courtyard was there with her daughter and 2 grandchildren. Her grandson, Ben, is very fond of dogs and I had met him once before but his sister Lucy was so nervous of me that she always ran away before she got close enough to pet me. At one point she was very brave when she just managed to put her hand on my back before she withdrew, as quick as lightning.

Bulldog Car Rally Inchmarlo
Humphrey and Ben

After Mummy and Daddy had lunch we went on a walk all around Westfield and I went back to see the ducks in the heronry. Since we didn’t have any food to give them, it was somewhat of a standoff with me looking at them and them looking at me. Once again isn’t it interesting that the male duck is so much better looking than the female ducks? But it is exactly the same between male bulldogs and female bulldogs.

Humphrey and Ducks Inchmarlo
Humphrey and the ducks

Inchmarlo Gardens Open Day


Daddy and I went to Inchmarlo and after he had lunch we walked all over the Estate checking that everything was right for the forthcoming Garden Open Day.  After that I went in to the Red Drawing Room and the Picture Gallery and did my usual “cheering up role” with the Residents.  Karen told Daddy that one of my favourite residents, Dr M was feeling down so she took me upstairs to her room to cheer her up.  A very interesting thing happened.  We walked up to metal doors which slid open and then Karen and I walked in to a smallish metal room and when the doors opened again it was no longer the Picture Gallery.  For some reason we were totally transported to a different part of the building.  When I had been up to see my friend before we had used the staircase but this was the first time that we had used this new contraption which is called a lift.  It was invented in America and was originally called a ‘rising room’. 

Anyway when we came back downstairs Karen told Daddy that I had been very well behaved and I had cheered my friend up.  Didn’t I feel pleased!

Inchmarlo Gardens Open Day- 22 May

Scottish Gardens Scheme Inchmarlo
Inchmarlo Gardens Open Day

Oh what a glorious day it was.  We went out and had an early lunch and Daddy and I went all over the Estate supervising and checking that everything was ready.  First of all we went and checked on the plant stall where Susie was in command assisted by Andi and Lesley. 

Plant Stall for charity Inchmarlo
Susie and Humphrey at the Plant Stall

Everything was fine and just after this was taken some of the visitors arrived including another dog and we spoke and sniffed each other for a while – it’s a pity the doggie wasn’t a girl but you can’t have the luck all the time. Then we walked up into the main garden ahead of some of the visitors who were looking at the tall trees, many over 40 metres tall. 

Trees, Inchmarlo Gardens
Visitors enjoying the sunshine

These are the four ladies in crinoline as they are known

Trees Inchmarlo Gardens Open Day
The Four Ladies in Crinoline

I heard some of the visitors saying that the smell of the azaleas was overpowering.  Since my ability to smell is so much more sensitive than a mere human being then you can understand how I was affected by them.

Inchmarlo Gardens Open Day Scotlands Garden Scheme
Inchmarlo GardensFlowers in the sunshineInchmarlo Gardens

Then we went up to look at the new Rainbow Garden which was installed only two years ago and was designed by Billy Caruthers of Binny Plants near Edinburgh and the plants were all selected so that they followed the colours of the rainbow.  Lots of people were taking photographs of the plants and also looking at the chart which tells them which plant is exactly in which position.

Visitors to Inchmarlo open day
Visitors examining the plantsTaking in the beautiful views

This is a complete treat for keen gardeners I’m told because they can look at plants with which they were unfamiliar and then go and look up the chart to see what it is.

Jim had told Daddy there had been terrible devastation this winter caused by the heavy snow falls and trees had come down and landed on top of many of our 100 year old rhododendrons and azaleas, but despite this Jim and his gardening team had done a first class job and the gardens and the lawns were looking lovely.

Inchmarlo Gardens
Inchmarlo Gardens


Inchmarlo Gardens

Then we walked down to the Oriental Garden within Queen Victoria Park. I had a seat while I overlooked the ‘Kare sansui’ which is a Japanese dry stream.  I was so thirsty with all the walking that I would have loved to have been able to have a drink of water but dear me it was all slate!

Houses at Queen Victoria Park
Humphrey by the Kare Sansui dry streamKare sansui Japanese dry stream
Flowers at Queen Victoria Park

 I then went down and checked that Bill and Phyllis were doing their job correctly in taking the entrance money from the people as they arrived.

Humphrey, Phyllis and Bill

Then we walked back up to the main house so Daddy could have his scone, meringues and cup of tea and we stopped and I had a look at the Gunnera Manicata. 

Now in my garden back in Aberdeen we’ve got rhubarb but I’ve never seen rhubarb of this size before.  I’m told it is only in its first stage and will grow two or three times this size.  I have no idea how you get that into Tarte a la Rhubarb, which is a recipe by Paul Bocuse, a three star Michelin chef in Lyon, and is frequently on the menu in the Care Home.

Giant Rhubarb Inchmarlo Gardens
Humphrey by the rhubarb

There were lots of people many queuing up for tea and cakes in the main dining room but of course I wasn’t allowed in or even allowed in the marquee.  All I heard was Mummy and Daddy speaking about was how good the meringues and the Bridal Slice were.

Enjoying tea and cakes

All in all it was an extremely successful day with £1500 being raised for charities and of that £900 will go to the charities selected by Scotland’s Garden Scheme and £600 to the charity selected by Inchmarlo, Alzheimer Scotland.  I was glad to play my part in raising so much money for such a worthy cause.

Pee, Pooh, Pills and Mary Poppins

Oh what a bad time I’ve had! After the glorious celebrations of Kate and William’s wedding I started peeing and pooing all over the kitchen- and on other floors as well. Daddy told me off a few times and then began to realise that there may be something wrong with me, so he took me out to Ardene Vets. I was welcomed as usual by my friends in reception, and then I had an appointment to see Paul.

Humphrey Ardene
In the reception at Ardene

He lifted me up on the high table, (he must be a weightlifter), and I was as brave as anything and didn’t shake or shiver. He felt all over my tummy and quite frankly I enjoyed it. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a rubber glove being lifted up and put on his hands. Oh dear!  

Humphrey at vets
Being brave on the vet's table

Well, exactly what I thought was going to happen, happened. Up my rear end went his finger and my ears almost disappeared into my body. When I’m excited, interested or hear a noise, they stand up, but when I’m nervous they lie flat, and they couldn’t of been any flatter when Paul was doing his duty. However I didn’t bark or cry.

Anyway, after his very, very detailed- and I mean very detailed- examination, he said he thought I was suffering from colitis. He gave Daddy got a huge plastic syringe, which I sincerely hoped they weren’t going to stick up my bottom. Fortunately it turned out that this was to put the exact measured dose into my food. In addition to that Paul gave Daddy some large pills that I had to swallow twice a day.

When we got home, Mummy put a portion of the liquid from the syringe into my food, which was alright but she tried to hide my pill in some chicken. I couldn’t stand the taste of the pill so I ate the chicken and spat the pill out. She tried to do it in a different way but I spat the pill out again. Next time she took the pill and ground it down into powder and coated a piece of chicken. She gave me the chicken which I immediately spat out and then looked at her with a doleful expression. So the next time she tried she cut up pieces of chicken and mixed it all up with the normal meal and I ate it all up this time. Mummy must have remembered the song from Mary Poppins, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”. In my case it is chicken.  

The other problem was that the vet said to get a sample of my pee and gave Daddy a very small bottle. Now I may be a 1 year old male bulldog but I’m still not lifting my leg and so Mummy and Daddy had a terrible time trying to catch me in action as I squatted down- there is not a lot of room between my nether parts and the grass or the pavement. However, Mummy did manage and Daddy took my sample to the vet for testing. I await his analysis with trepidation.


Rio- The Movie

Daddy is a movie buff and loves movies.  He and Mummy went in to see Rio the Movie and they were absolutely enamoured by it.  They came home and told me the plot in great detail because it’s all about Blu the macaw, the last of a species who is kidnapped and how Linda and Tulio try to find him.  They said the film was excellent but the most exciting bit of all is that they are able to make their escape because of their bulldog friend Luis.  He’s got huge jowls and he “slobbers” all the time.  It’s his “slobber” that lets them ease off the chains and escape.  While I have jowls I don’t slobber at all and clearly Luis is not based on me.  I’ve seen photographs of Luis in the advertisements and I think I’m much better looking.  Nevertheless Daddy and Mummy thoroughly enjoyed the film and I think it’s terribly unfair that I’m not allowed to go into the cinema and see a bulldog like me being one of the heroes in an important movie.  I can’t wait to see the DVD.

William and Kate’s Wedding Day Celebrations

Daddy and I went out to Inchmarlo to share in their Royal Wedding day celebrations.  A large screen had been set up in the main dining room and all my friends in the care home watched the wedding while they had a buffet lunch. 

Inchmarlo Royal Wedding celebrations
Enjoying the wedding celebrations

Quite a number of the residents’ husbands or wives who live in the Community so they came down and joined in the celebration as did some of their sons and daughters from Aberdeen and Royal Deeside. 

In the Green Drawing Room a number of Home Owners watched the service on another screen over a private lunch. 

Inchmarlo Royal Wedding celebrations
Private lunch

In the afternoon all the residents had their afternoon tea with special cup cakes adorned with photographs of the bride and groom, HM The Queen and other members of the Royal Family.  I was very pleased to see that two of the most important people in the Royal Family – the corgis were also included.

Inchmarlo Royal wedding cakes
Royal Wedding CakesA close up of the Royal cupcakes

I wasn’t allowed in the dining room since food was being served so I had my photograph taken wrapped up in Union Jack flags with some of my co-workers, Sue, Jill, Janet and Norma.  Don’t we all look so happy?  This is a photograph of me looking happy!

Humphrey Inchmarlo staff Royal Wedding
Smiling faces all round!

The next time Daddy and I were out at Inchmarlo we met up with Jack Crawford who has been with the company since Inchmarlo started 25 years ago.  We walked through all the neighbourhoods looking at the damage caused by the severe winter to see what still had to be repaired.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day and when we walked outside the Keyhole Garden Daddy saw that the cherry blossom trees were so beautiful.  Since Jack was wearing a red top and I was wearing my red harness, he took a photograph of us against one of the trees and don’t we all blend together?  It’s not just the Royal wedding party who know how to co-ordinate colours. 

Inchmarlo gardener
Humphrey and Jack

 I’ve got my mouth wide open because I was so tired after such a long walk on such a beautiful day that I’m actually yawning.  Oh I can’t wait to get home for another snooze.