man’s inhumanity to animals

Roe Deer

Living in the countryside is idyllic, (most of the time), but it sometime divulges its grim side. Yesterday I witnessed a sickening act. I was out in the garden protecting some plants from the anticipated frost when I heard horrendous screaming, Colin grabbed a stick and rushed into the field next to the house and what he found was a pitiful sight. One of the harmless little roe deer, that normally spends it days bounding through the long grass and darting in and out of the forest with its mate, was lying mangled on blood soak grass. By the time I had grabbed my coat and followed I was just in time to catch sight of a lurcher dog skulking off in the opposite field, scattering sheep in its wake.

At first we thought it was a stray, but as I called the police, Colin caught sight of a man on the skyline waiting for the dog. This was a poacher, he had brought his dog into the countryside to hunt and kill animals. Hunting with dogs is illegal in Scotland and I now know why. This was a barbaric act towards an innocent lovely creature. Thankfully one of our neighbours very quickly put the poor beast out of its misery with a bullet to the head, but the cruelty of the act lingers with me still.

An Interesting Discovery

While editing letters for my new magazine role I have noticed that Microsoft’s spell check does not recognise the word ‘renewables’ (and neither, it appears does Blogger). Isn’t that interesting?

Writer’s workshop

I attended a writers’ workshop last week led by talented Scottish writer Laura Marney. Building a character was the task for the afternoon, and although some of the exercises were similar to other I’ve completed, one exercise Laura dished up to the group was a meditation. She explained that she uses this method to clear her mind before she begins writing. The practice helps to rid the mind of all those niggly wee things that stop the flow.

I have been trying it this week and it works!

Great new blog

This is a rather unfortunate piece of synchronicity, considering the story I told at the start of this post, but I found this website and blog last week and always intended to feature it.

Velvet Antlers is the creation of Clare and Dave MacLeod. Dave is the world class mad man who climbs death threatening climbing routes and Clare is the crazy women who belays his climbs (for the uninitiated in the art of climbing this means holding the rope attached to her man and praying he doesn’t fall off the rock). Clare starred in this supporting role in Dave’s recent TV climb ‘To Hell and Back’ and my nails still haven’t grown back from the chewing fest the climb induced.

Velvet Antlers website sells exquisite Scottish produce similar to the stuff I have been blabbing about for the past couple of months. The blog also features Clare’s foray into the world of filming and mountain festivals. I am adding this site to my favorites list. Check out Dave’s blog too.

Incidentally, I voted ‘To Hell and Back’ as the top TV programme in http://www.laurahird.com ‘Best of 2007’ section. I will post the link for the winter issue when she has announced its release.

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