Sunday, September 09, 2012


If this is hand stripping, I don't want to see clipped.
Horatio wanted it cool.  He got cold.  Think I better start knitting him a jumper. Something like this always happens when I go away.   Usually it involves the vet though, so I should thank my lucky stars it's not more serious.  Or sorry, I forgot.  Harris had to be taken to the vets - he's got a stye.  To go with his ear mites.  He's only been with us for 14 days and already has two health complaints. 

So if I'm not at home overseeing my boys where am I?  Stuttgart!  I've got a couple of work events on Monday and Tuesday so thought I'd take the opportunity to hang out with my twin.  My visits to Stuttgart are more about seeing Fiona and her husband Mark but inevitably we fit in a packed schedule of running, cycling, eating sushi, cake and spaghetti ice cream, and shopping at Cos and Manufactum.  
This time though we took in the new Bibliothek in downtown Stuttgart too.  Located on the fringes of the highly contentious Stuttgart 21 project, this building is awesome.  I'm not terribly au fait with my architecture - beyond Farrell, Foster and Hadid, I'm out of my depth, but I can appreciate a stunning building when I see it.  White square box? Yes, I guess so.  Inside though the space is like the interior of an Apple product.  White.  Efficient.  Calm.  And oh so cool.  I loved the mechanical conveyor belt machine, which efficiently whisks books from one floor to the next. In years to come, people will marvel at the quaintness of a mechanical 'google' machine.

Why a library needs a large tranquil atrium with a small fountain in the middle, I don't know.  But then, one could ask what is the future purpose of libraries as we further embrace the digital age.  It put me in mind of the Panthenon.  I guess they are cleverly giving the building additional purpose beyond books.  The building itself is fabulous to explore.  Members can borrow lap tops.  There's a cafe on the top floor with views over Stuttgart. We even discovered the artwork library.  For no fee, members can borrow works of art to display at home for six weeks at a time.  Life in Europe's economic power house is good.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Operation 'Settling In'

It's now ten days since Harris joined our household.  Ten days of chaos (for most of us). Sleep-deprivation (mine). Forgetfulness (also mine). Dog wrestling (Harris and Horatio).  Piddling (Harris). But also some great fun (all).  It does the soul good to see two dogs get to know each other.  Testing out the boundaries, playing, exploring each others beds and dog wrestling. Harris isn't officially allowed out for another seven days until his booster kicks in.  We've been a bit naughty though and taken both Horatio and Harris to near empty clean beaches for a run.

Our current favourite beach is Seacliff by North Berwick. Although it's £2 to get in, it's well worth it for the stunning views of the Bass rock, Tantallon castle and Scotland's smallest harbour.

Horatio is a die-hard football fan. I'm sure he was a defender in a previous life.  He spent today showing Harris how it should be done.
Speed - tuck those ears in to minimise drag
Agility - no ball is ever too far or out of reach

It was probably a bit advanced for the wee guy.  Harris is still finding his feet and learning how to coordinate legs, tail, ears and mouth.  Gangly legs are difficult to control and excess skin tends to wobble a bit.  The camera can be rather unforgiving.  He gave it his best shot though and I see great potential for my new running buddy.  Just keep growing those wee legs!

I even took to the waters to join in the fun, although I wasn't exactly swimming lengths of the beach.  I really should take my swimming a little more seriously.  I am so jealous of friends to take off into the sea for 20 -30 minutes at a time, whilst I flail around in the shallows.

And thus endeth another weekend.  Work is unfortunately rather manic at the moment.  This past week had me travelling up to Inverness for two days of meetings.  I had secretly been relishing the thought of a night of unbroken sleep.  Wrong.  I stupidly left my iPad on the train and spent a fretful night worrying and chastising myself for my stupidity.  There is a happy ending though.  Some honest soul handed it in to the guard and after some foot stamping and persistence on my part, I called several stations on the route back to Edinburgh and found it!!  Thank you to my guardian angel.