Music in the Garden

Well, what with me being in a play last week and at a musical concert this week I’m becoming quite an intellectual Bulldog!  Daddy’s company awarded the Skene Aberdeen Festival Award to the most outstanding Young Musician at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival for 24 years, so we have had a long association with the festival.  For the last 10 or more years a group has come out to Inchmarlo to entertain the residents in the Care Home and Home Owners on the Estate.  With my new interest in culture I had to go out and listen to the music in the marquee.

The entertainers were a jazz band from Blackburn with Darwin Borough Council in Lancashire and I was there early to supervise everything being set up.  Tables and chairs were in the main dining room, some tables and chairs were in the marquee and chairs were also outside.  Normally, if it is a nice day, people sit outside and the side walls of the marquee are lifted up so that the music comes out on to the lawn.  Unfortunately just as they were about to play spots of rain fell so all the chairs were moved; but since I’m a brave young man I stayed outside and listened to the music and it was very good.

Here I am enjoying the lovely music

Daddy very briefly introduced the musicians and they played for over an hour with one of their team actually singing some songs made popular by Michael Buble.  Now, the reason I know that is because, when I was a very, very, small puppy Mummy and Daddy used to go out and they used to leave the radio on, so I heard all the latest songs.   Their lady singer was very good.  Some of the jazz pieces were, I think, popular before my great-great grandfather’s time, but my goodness they were exciting.

After the music had finished all the entertainers went into the Green Drawing Room and they had cakes and strawberry tarts and something to drink before they went back to Aberdeen in their bus.


The Chelsea Belladonna

I’ve been in a play!  I bet I’m the only English bulldog in Britain that has been in a play.

The Chelsea Belladonna

What happened was, Daddy was approached by Scotland’s Garden scheme, and asked if we would be willing to host Square Peg Productions presentation of “The Chelsea Belladonna” within the grounds at Inchmarlo.  Daddy said yes, so on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the actors and their colleagues came and put on the play in the grounds of our 5 acre Alpine Garden.

“The Chelsea Belladonna”

This is a play written by Anna Carlisle about the life of Elizabeth Blackwell, born in Aberdeen who eloped with a reckless young husband, moved to London where he set up a whole range of bogus business ventures and ended up in debtor’s prison.  Elizabeth herself, with an arrangement with Sir Hans Sloane of the Chelsea Physic Garden, embarked on the creation and illustration of “A Curious Herbal” which became a veritable apothecaries’ bible both in Britain and abroad.

The two fabulous actors

We’ve got Jennifer’s youngest son Cameron staying with us so we all went out on Saturday afternoon, into the garden and assembled there for the actors to begin.  It was what is called a two hander, two actors only, Irene Allan who played Elizabeth Blackwell and Kenny Blyth who played both Alexander Blackwell and also Sir Hans Sloane.  Just as they began to start acting the rain came on so we all moved into the big marquee next to the Keyhole Garden which was specially erected for them.

Daddy and I sat on one side of the marquee, Mummy and Cameron on the other side.  Gosh it was exciting, it was the first play I’d ever been to and the two actors moved up and down in the marquee and Mummy said it was as though I was at a tennis match because my head was following them all time.  At one point they had to shout at each other and I did not like it and actually retreated between Daddy’s legs and went underneath the chair.  Later on I got more confident and came out again.  At one point Alexander came round and handed out little black bags with chocolate drops in them to all the spectators and he came over and gave one to Daddy and he said to me that I was a good boy and he gave one to me.  Daddy gave me some of the chocolate drops while we were watching.  It was terribly heavy rain and parts of the marquee roof started sagging, and one of the ladies had to go round with a broom pushing the pools of water out.  To do that she went round the back and came through the opening at the back of the marquee and when I saw somebody was coming through there, I barked and barked because it looked suspicious.  Daddy tried to quiet me and I quietened down but later on she did it again, so I barked again.

It was terribly exciting and Irene Allan and Kenny Blyth did a first class job.  At one part of the play the audience is invited to go up and finish some paintings which were on easels at the side of the marquee and Cameron went up and did it and I watched intently while this was going on.  Obviously, I’m not tall enough to go and hold a paintbrush and paint but despite this I enjoyed the play very much and all the actors and their colleagues are to be congratulated.  I repeat, I bet I’m the only English bulldog who’s seen a play and been spoken to by the actors.

Cameron and I go for walks in the Den and on Sunday we all went down to the beach.  Despite the fact it had been a very wet weekend, Aberdeen’s beach was deserted and the sand was lovely and soft.  I had a super time walking along the beach and chasing the seagulls. In the evening, I’m so tired I flake out because I’ve been so busy during the day.

On Holiday

Well I have been on my holidays again.  I was out staying with Mandy at Kingswells and during my period there she had lots of other dogs coming in to stay for a few days.   I was always busy sniffing all over my new friends.  There was Jake, a golden Labrador, even bigger than I am, Milo, who was a black Dachshund cross and just as I was about to leave Otis came in for 2 days.

Making New Friends
Posing for a holiday snap!

There was also an American flat nosed spaniel called Spankie.  He was lovely.  They were all very friendly and when Mandy gave Daddy a report on my behaviour she said I was very good but whenever a new dog arrived I was so excited I overwhelmed them somewhat.

In for a short time was a 16 week old Cockappoo called Zac who was minute and Mandy thought that I was such a strong he-man that if I had even lifted up my paw to put on top of Zac’s head I might have done irreparable damage. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to mix with him but I can assure you I would have been very protective – after I had sniffed him all over of course.

Mandy did tell Daddy that whenever another dog came with its own bed I immediately slept in that bed.  A couple of my new friends when seeing me in their bed stood and barked and barked and barked but I was so comfortable and it was such a change I didn’t move.  They could always sleep in my bed – why not!