Beauty to make you cry

Shooting Times & Country|May 20, 2020

Beauty to make you cry
As lockdown continues, there is plenty of delight to be found outside and much birdsong to be savoured
LAURENCE CATLOW

And so it goes on and my hair gets longer every day and. Meanwhile, I find solace in the beauty of High Park, in the company of two spaniels, in telephone contact with friends and family and in the inestimable comfort that comes every evening from two glasses of fino sherry and half a bottle of red wine.

“Too much”, I can hear some of you saying, disapprovingly. “Essential,” say I, scarcely believing that I am proving capable of such exemplary restraint.

I told you last month that my daily exercise consists of walking my boundaries with Sir Tripod and Zac (Our duty to hope, 22 April). More often than not I still do this, except that the dogs no longer come with me because I am keen to avoid unnecessary disturbance of ground-nesting birds.

My dogs are given a run before and after my circuit and sometimes I take a shorter walk before spending half an hour training them. Or rather training Zac, for the truth is that Sir Tripod is more or less a free spirit these days and spends his time doing more or less what he likes. He is an impressive retriever, so fine as a peg dog, but he is too independent for any other sort of work.

Zac is different. He is maturing into a dependable gundog. I did not shoot over him last season, but I worked him on stand-and-walk days when it was my turn to walk. Next season, if there is one, I look forward to rough shooting days in his company. Sir Tripod will still be joining me on my peg.

Birds’ nests

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May 20, 2020