This opportunity is not to be missed! Take advantage of this rare offer and you will not be disappointed. Another piece of spam for the junk mail folder? Not at all, the promise of a dry, sunny and calm Christmas Day from the weather forecast.
As the rosy fingers of dawn caressed the Beinns, there were no dark squally clouds brooding on the horizon just the merest etching of frost on the grass and a smear of ice across the puddles. As the sun rose the landscape absorbed the golden glow of the sun’s rays and the moors were transformed into a sumptuous tapestry.
Not a breath of wind to rustle the reeds or the whistle of a wigeon to disturb the reflections of the hills in the loch. Deep silence, a moment frozen in time to enjoy the stillness and appreciate the beauty of the landscape warmed by a winter sun.
Christmas morning drifts on, no presents to unwrap, just nature’s gifts to enjoy. As the sun climbs into a blue sky it is time to move south.
The ferry terminal on Eriskay is deserted, there will be no trip to Barra today. So we sit on the rocks like castaways wondering if there will be any footprints on Charlie’s Beach today apart from ours. It is time for the Christmas Day picnic. The venue may change but it has to include either Christmas cake or mince pies. It might not be Christmas lunch will all the trimmings, but for the croft gardeners this is perfection.
For most of this month we have had Hebridean weather in extremis; the only thing we have not had is sunshine. This is all part of our daily life and I don’t normally mutter too much except when it’s my turn to fill the log basket, dig the parsnips, take the wheelie bin down the drive or when there is no milk in the supermarket (again) because the ferry has been cancelled again.
However, I have obviously been too smug about our ability to survive everything that the weather gods can conjure and for the sin of hubris one can expect heavenly retribution. So once again a divine sandalled foot was applied to the derrière.
Pottering in the greenhouse and I found a nut (metal not botanical) on the floor and happened to look up to see that the automatic opening vents were strangely contorted and that one of the roof lights was sitting in the gutter! Somehow the wind had managed to force open and blow out the opening lights in the greenhouse roof.
The week before Christmas, not much we could do except move the hardly plants and pots of seeds to the tunnel and the tender plants into the house. The running repairs were limited to tying the vents shut again and hoping for the best. A chastening experience knowing that another severe gale might blow out the rest of the roof lights.
There is currently much scratching of heads amongst the engineers responsible for designing the greenhouse and wondering whether they too are guilty of a little hubris.
On balance, I think I would rather cope with our winter weather than with the festive season mayhem on the big island. I think it’s easier to repair a greenhouse than Christmas angst.
However you are celebrating the Christmas season may it be a joyous occasion.