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Monday, December 30, 2013

Thursday, March 07, 2013

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The Sheepdog Experience

  • B and B with Sheepdog Training
    Homely Delamford Farm near Ayr (and not far from Prestwick) not only offers farmhouse b and b, but training for handlers as well. A short walk out the farmhouse door and over the nearest hill takes you to the cave Robert the Bruce stayed in on his way to battle King Edward at Glen Trool in 1307.
  • Border Collie Flask
    You'll need this to hold your Glenmoranangie
  • Goose Patrol
    Sheepdogs are versatile critters.
  • International Sheepdog Database
    Scroll through and count the Spots, Caps, and Mo's.
  • Kiwi Sheepdogs
    New Zealand is of course where all the sheep have gone and sheepdog trials are huge.
  • Lake District Sheepdog Experience
    Fancy having a go at running the dogs? Book ahead to enjoy a nice day out at this lovely farm in the Lake District. Totterbank Crosthwaite Nr. Kendal Cumbria LA8 8 HX United Kingdom Contact / bookings to Alan and Chris on: (T) 015395 31440 email us [email protected]
  • Sheepdog Movies
    We all know about Babe but our family favorite is Mist—who shares the real life education of How to Be a Working Collie
  • Sheepdog Trials USA
    Just in case you're in Oregon and keen to see how it all works—the US runs an excellent sheepdog competition as well—with $40,000 in prize money!
  • The Sheepdog Trial Trail UK
    Trials are held across the UK—updated every Tuesday, the ISDS let's you know where and when.
  • The Shepherd's Barn
    Bucolic accommodation on a working sheepdog farm in Quernmore, Lancashire near Lancaster and an hour from everything else. Sheepdog training available as well as duck herding lessons (!).
  • The Working Sheepdog Website
    Care to try this at home? Everything you need to knows here, including DVD's, videos and How to Blow a Sheepdog Whistle
  • US Border Collie Rescue
    Homes Wanted!

Doc Martin and Port Isaac

Swell Country

  • Fox hunting Controversy
    Hounds killing foxes in an organized hunt was banned by Tony Blair's government creating a rift between countryside and town voters. Defiant fox hunters carry on....
  • Behold the hebrides
    A Scot waxes warm on the joy of peat
  • Tesco
    The superstores sell pretty good baby and toddler onezies and tee shirts. Otherwise shop local.
  • National Trust Holiday Cottages
    Expensive holiday lets but almost always in amazing places.


  • Maillaig eats
    Maillaig can be pretty lively in the summer and has lately offered up some very nice places to stay and eat. We stayed out of town at a lonely and creepy "lodge" (yet another place where we were the only ones in residence besides the landlady in red lipstick and evening clothes) but ate at the Tea Garden and can heartily recommend it.
  • Caledonian Ferries
    Talk about hearty--these ferries go everywhere in all seas. If you happen to be on one with a gift shop take a look at their excellent signature fleece jackets. The ship cafe's full Scottish breakfast is pretty tasty too--if you have a sailor's cast iron stomach.
  • Isle of Skye tourist information
    Portree's TIC (tourist information centre) is located just up from the harbor and is a popular place to pretend to look at maps and brochures when waiting for a rain deluge to slow. Backpackers stow their sopping wet bags and run across the street to use the public facilities. Beware the sadistically enthusiastic TIC staff advice on climbing.

New Zealand Gravity

Tickets to New Zealand

  • New zealand Surf Webcams
    webcams--you have to love them, the truly perfect antidote to not being able to be there. Look closely at the Fitzroy Beach webcam in mid February--that's me--the one with the silly hat waving her arms madly at the toddlers headed for the surf.
  • Southwest Airlines--connecting to Air NZ
    Okay maybe there are cheaper ways to connect from where you are to LAX but Southwest is the only airline that allows you the same baggage allowance as Air New Zealand--two whopping 50 pound bags free. Stowed away. This means you can either bring lots and lots of presents to your loved ones in Rotarua or bring home a very nice NZ surfboard or some Marlborough pinot noir.
  • Air New Zealand
    US Air New Zealand site--click into flexible dates for a month's fare scan but note that these are a bit of a bait and switch as soon as the computer says getting full--the fare in the lowest category changes. It may however change back the next day--or not. Theirs are some of the best economy seats long haul--however that still doesn't mean you don't arrive with pretzel legs.


  • Edinburgh webcams
    These are a little grainy at times but offer great opps to eitehr look at the Castle which seldom changes--or Princes street which does.
  • Dartmouth webcam
    Mostly this view from the Castle Hotel (a village hub--pretty good fish and chips--nice fireplace) is of the boats in the inner harbor. When the tide is out the boats sit on silt. Sometimes the webcam just says Java--but it gets over it.
  • Cafe Alfresco webcam
    Cafe Alfresco is the best breakfast joint in Dartmouth--cool food, cool music and their own cool webcam.
  • New Zealand web cams--
    Lotsa New Zealand webcams--alll in the sun. A feel good check in when it's snowing here.


  • The Failure of Testing
    The failure of testing President Bush wants to "test every child, every year." But a growing movement of families and teachers insists this is a formula for mediocre schooling and stressed-out kids. By Meg Robbins "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." -- Albert Einstein (from the opening page of the Web site of Parents Across Virginia United to Reform Standards of Learning) In the familiar arc of a typical school year, May used to be a merry, merry month of giddiness and anticipation. Warm weather, tube tops, the proximity of summer -- it was the pixilating curtain raiser to liberation in June. Now, however, it is a mean season of standardized testing in which the stakes are high and the feelings of dread and resentment are pervasive. And this year, as students, parents and school administrators across the country take a stand against academic brinkmanship, May has become a month of rebellion.
  • An Almost Perfect London Walk
    I start reading and can't put this thing down. I am right there, "...about four inches above the top edge of most tourist maps of central London," according to Ebert, and stepping smartly along, accompanied by literary references at all stops. Apparently there's been a lot written about Hampstead, and Curley's read it all. Some he includes opportunely (I mean why NOT read a little "Ode To A Nightingale" while gazing at the cherry tree which offered Keats the shade under which to write it?) and some is right out of Nairn's London which is a favorite of Ebert's ("..the most passionate and acerbic guide every written about London"). Mostly it's directions written in bold print, "Turn right and walk along the street." Each page has a photograph to accompany the walking clues, along with some brief background info and the inevitable literary quotation. This is a book you could actually use while you are walking without the risk of running into things.