Mellon Udrigle

Hello, readers. I am BRAN: you may remember me from my early appearances in posts like now we are five and lend me your ears. Today I am here to talk about interesting words. What are words? Well, sometimes words are there to provide me with instruction, and they are very easily recognised: I hear the words LIE DOWN, COME BACK or GO OVER THERE and I know exactly what to do. Or, on occasion, words can be associated with fun objects like BALL, or (even better) with tasty treats such as CHICKEN or SNACK: the mere mention of which fills me with joyous enthusiasm. Sadly, though, more often than not, words are not terribly exciting: they are just sounds that are there to help humans communicate with one another, and as such are largely incomprehensible, although their sounds are often quite interesting. On a recent walk, I noticed just how many new and interesting words there were, of which my humans seemed to enjoyed the sound, and which they often said out loud.

The first words were MELLON UDRIGLE. These words are the name of this place. Tom rolled these words around his mouth for quite a while, while Kate explained that she had read something about what the words mean. Apparently Meallan is Gaelic for small hill, while Udrigle derives from a Norse term for gill, or inlet. Like many places on the west coast, the name of this one illustrates Scotland’s mix of settler cultures. It is a good name, and a very good place: MELLON UDRIGLE.

The next word is CAIRN. Now, I have come across this word on previous walks, and it always seems to be associated with a pile of rocks in a high place where Tom and Kate pause to take a breath. CAIRN can also mean a location where Bob and I are forced to SIT and STAY.

Frankly, Bob and I are often asked to SIT in high places, with or without a CAIRN.

But come on, humans, there are better things to do in such places than STAY!

Other unusual words can be gathered under the general category of the “VIEW.” The VIEW is something which holds little interest for dogs, but which humans find endlessly engaging.

On this walk, such VIEW words included:





One particularly confusing word which we encountered on this walk was ROUNDHOUSE: a word which made Kate extremely animated, and which she repeated continuously while examining the grassy and sandy location in which Tom is depicted above. Kate kept comparing the radial construction and coastal location of this particular ROUNDHOUSE to other ROUNDHOUSES she’d encountered in North and South Uist, and kneeling to examine large stones while muttering another strange and mysterious word: ORTHOSTAT. Personally, the only thing of interest to me about the ROUNDHOUSE was the large number of rabbits who lived in and around it, none of whom seemed interested in coming out to play, but who I was able to chase enthusiastically.

But the best words of all at MELLON UDRIGLE are . . .

BEACH . . .

and . . .


Whether dog or human, a walk around MELLON UDRIGLE is highly recommended.

See you soon love Bran (and Bob too) x