November 23, 2017

A Twinkle in his Eye and a wag of his Tail

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:23 am by Aleksan

Old Sam looks at me with a twinkle in his eye. He prods me with his paw and wags his wee tail. What does he want, this fierce wolfling, terror of postmen? He has had his breakfast, been out for a walk and scoffed his treat….of course he wants a fuss, a game and a tickle! Fun for both us old dogs, still puppies at heart!

The Intoxicating Scent of Sam

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:16 am by Aleksan

Sammy comes to see me each morning when Penny brings me a mug of tea. He finds it more difficult to jump on the bed and looks round for Penny to lift him up. He speaks eloquently and with charm. He is now up close and cosy and I breathe in his indescribably wonderful and unique smell – slightly pungent, relaxing and essential Sam – it can’t be bottled – it is special to this lovely dog in the hear and now. Horses have the same powerful effect on me – but I have to get out of bed to enjoy that…

November 15, 2017

My Family Origins – an update

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:04 pm by Aleksan

For years I have been trying to discover the paternal origins of our Burnfield family. Genetics reveals that our ancient paternal origins in Scotland were Norse Viking and that we descend from the family of Gillebride and Somerled, precursors of many Highland Clan Chiefs – including the Mac Donalds, Mac Innis, Douglas and Mac Alister Clan Chiefs.

The Burnfield name comes from my father’s grandmother’s father, and descends from Robert de Burnville who came into Scotland with Robert de Bruce and other Normans in the 1200s. He was also of genetic Norse origin.

But I have now found out that my paternal Grandfather was more recently an offspring of one of the “Dogs of Mentieth” – and I can push back our Family History paper trail on the paternal side to John Doig of Rattray Perthshire, Scotland, born on 1642 and who died in Rattray in 1701.

The name Dog, or Doig is from the ancient Servants of St Cadoc, a Welshman, great healer and descendant of Augustus Caesar. St Cadoc was revered in Scotland and the Earl of Mentieth founded a Priory in Perthshire in the Saints name, although St Cadoc did not get to Scotland himself as far as I am aware. Penny says she is glad that we are called Burnfield and she is not Mrs Dog – for reasons you might be able to discern…!


November 12, 2017

The pleasures and dramas of Winter – bring them on!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:43 am by Aleksan

The meadow outside my window looks different – no beautiful horses – they have gone to their Winter pasture on the hill where the ground is firmer. I shall miss them. But I love the Winter light and dark, Dawns and Sunsets, Frosts and Ice, Wind and Storms. This morning an Arctic blue sky, magical light in a chill North wind – welcome Boreas! Welcome Odin, riding by with your Dogs and Ravens! Bring it on Winter!

November 3, 2017

Manners, and the abuse of power in unequal relationships

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:44 am by Aleksan

Listening to the stories of who is abusing who in the Cabinet and Parliament is reminiscent of the School Playground! It certainly galvanised my interest on a dull foggy morning while having breakfast.

Two women have just been arguing about this on my radio – they were Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, and the other was Petronella Wyatt, a journalist and daughter of former MP Woodrow Wyatt.

Ms Wyatt’s point was that the concept of good manners no longer exists, and that this has led to a culture of misunderstanding, and suspicion. She remembered how Hugh Gaitskell, former Labour Prime Minister would chase her mother round the table; and when she herself was occasionally flirted with by politicians, she felt flattered…

Sophie Walker however also made a fundamentally different point – the issue of power, and how one person can humiliate another through their attitudes, comments and behaviour. They are both of course right depending upon the context.

Good manners would go a long way to regulate relationships and avoid offence and misunderstanding. But the use of power in an unequal relationship, for personal gratification or influence, is totally unacceptable.

November 2, 2017

New Defence Secretary – Mr Squeaky Clean

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:04 am by Aleksan


Meet Mr Squeaky Clean – presumably this guy has never put his hand on anyone’s knee….too busy swishing his whip? Or looking after his pet Tarantula “Chronos”… Gavin Williamson, New Defence Secretary