After all the storms and gales of yesterday it was lovely to get up in the morning to face just a stiff breeze. Yesterday the winds were so strong it was difficult to get out of the door, and once it was opened just a crack the wind grabbed it and flung it back against Thebus' side. Anticipating more of the same on the off shore islands I am looking into something better in the way of a door handle to hold onto
As the winds were buffeting us about so much during the night and all of yesterday I drew in both the slides, and having spent the day with what seems like less than half the space and very little chance of getting outside due to the gales and rain think I had a little 'cabin fever'. So it was wonderful to get out into the fresh, but non-flattening breeze this morning.
I didn't have a water hose with Thebus and for some reason didn't think to take one from home with me, much of my first few weeks was either spent at home or at Signature and there were hosepipes on the first couple of site – I realise now they were not for drinking water! But the last few sites have just had a stand pipe so with no hose I have not been able to fill the water tank for a while. I ordered a lightweight hose reel to be delivered, but thought the fittings were two small, it took the extra tough hands of the resident owner/builder here to force them into position, but at last I can fill the tank.
As a result of this lack of water I have been using the onsite showers, which are very good, and one of things which has surprised me, having led an almost totally 'camping free' life, is how nice it is to get up in the morning and walk to the showers. Okay - probably not if it was pouring with rain, but even on a blustery day in February in the far north of Scotland it feels pleasantly invigorating rather than how I might have imagined it to be. Life is full of surprises whatever age you are!
So refreshed and showered and back to Thebus, the kettle filled from the outside standpipe (pre hose pipe arrival) and a nice pot of tea made. A friend has very kindly knitted me a lovely teacosy. For some reason photos don't do it justice. It is knitted in the colours of the Cuckoo Marans hens which I kept and bred for many years, so not only will it keep my tea warm, but serve to bring back good memories. She has a real glinting gleam in her beady glass eye, and for some reason the head has just the turn of an inquisitive hen. Only hen-keepers will know what I mean. Here is a photo anyway. I have called her Harriet after a line I bred which laid speckled brown, rather than plain brown eggs – and were named for me by the little son of a visitor - Higgledy Harriet Hens.
I would love to take some good photos of what my eyes see this morning from Thebus' windows, but either my photography skills are lacking or a camera cannot reproduce what the eye can see, though I think both come into play. An artist would express it in a painting but I will try and paint you a word picture. The photo below is a pale and lack-lustre image of what I experienced.
The sun is in low but bright, though I think it won't be a good day from the early morning pink flashes on the clouds. 'Red sky in morning sailor's warning' - more sailors than shepherds here I think!
The brightness of the low sun highlighted the contours of the land throwing sharp shadows, and giving a warm glow to the browns and russets of the furze and bracken in the distance. The far mountains looked blue, probably because more storms coming - when are there not just lately - and the sky a darker purple-blue above it all. Some large winged white seabirds, possibly gannets - I am not good at seabirds having spent my entire life almost as far from the sea shore as you can be in Britain - but they are gliding alone, rather than in noisy squabbling groups as the seagulls seem to on their quick forays seawards from their cosy inshore billets. Swooping slowly across the range of hills opposite the sun catches their white wings and bodies - throwing them into sharp relief against the dark clouds behind.
And even in the time it took to write this the scene changed. The golden early morning sunlight disappeared behind the clouds, and the tops of the far mountains became shrouded in thick, dark, rain laden mists. Out to sea the waves were showing high white crests, even out in the middle distance before they approached the rocks on the shore. I can see why so many painters chose to live near the coast - mornings such as this would make one want to paint.
The day continued to be very changeable though there were a couple of warmer spells. Stealth Cow appeared at the gateway, and thought about venturing through but gave it a miss, and I could see about two inches of one of her herd mate's back showing above the wall on the far side. Plus a lone hybrid hen appeared next door, had a quick peck in the grass for about three minutes then retreated back to the hen house. I didn’t even know they had hens next door!
Actually, the property next door is on the market and looks to be a large three bedroom traditional Scottish built stone and slate house, together with a 'house shell' whatever that is, and some old stone pig styes and sheds plus a workshop and garage - all for offers around £190,000. Fabulous sea views on two sides and open farmland on the other two plus a couple of acres of garden and meadow. You certainly get more for your money in Scotland
The owner here who fixed my hose pipe, and who followed his Scottish wife back home, came from somewhere in the south of England. He said he loved living here, and not only would he not go back down south he would never go back to live in England, and they have been here thirteen years so his decision is tried and tested. And I must say I love sitting and watching the views of the sea and countryside, and I know the weather could be worse but we are only halfway through February. I would imagine it would be lovely here in the summer months.
I had another delivery from Amazon today, and since I have been here both I, and the owners of the site have got to know the deliverer quite well. He popped inside Thebus, to have a look round I think a lot of folk are interested to see inside. When he asked how long I was staying. I explained I was just stuck waiting for the scooter to be fixed and that I had phoned the garage but not got through. He was delivering to them, and checked his parcels but said nothing from the south, which is from where my switch was coming
About ten minutes later another knock at the door, and he was back again to tell me the garage had fixed the scooter and phone them quick. I did and all being well will collect it tomorrow. So the evenings weather forecast was of great interest. Its not looking that hopeful at present with more rain and stong winds coming in, but you never know.
Will we be able to sail soon?
Morning view from Thebus
Harriet Hen Cosy