Had a few days away and attended another very glamorous award ceremony in Edinburgh. But look, apart from the shops, the city thing is dreadful and getting worse isn’t it??? It looked like a snowy return through the Highlands but it was clear blue sky and snow everywhere.Trees and mountains draped with snow looked like Santa’s grotto all the way to Oban. Then a lovely calm sail home.
Just the most beautiful calm and sunny day today with Mull empty and serene. We all caught the sun !! Golden eagles very dramatic and close today in various localities. The coastal walk along the northern shore of Lochbuie is always varied and lovely but the colours, calm sea and sheer emptiness of this vast arena of sea, islands and coastline was truly magical and inspiring to all today.
A challenging day for weather but 8 people including a reporter from the guardian doing a piece on Mulls wildlife. No golden eagles then, but very good views of a young sea eagle going out to sea and an adult sitting in a conifer. Male and female hen harriers and as good as you get close encounter with an otter in wild water and coming ashore regularly with fish. Best sighting today a snow bunting!
Well today turned into a really lovely sunny but windy day and Mull as always has me star struck. No one about driving up to Calgary Bay in the north with its white sand shining and white horses offshore. Now at 4pm the sea is flat calm, dark islands wander toward Iona and a dark grey sky is interspersed all over the place with red and gold bursting through the greyness. Inspiring and magical are the only words to describe these Islands.
You reflect a lot in the winter here and I’m seeing the kids turn into real individuals. The seed of that I think being sown here on a Hebridean Island. Lucy is a stunner and does great work for Breast Cancer Research.Tim is starting at Nestle and Sam pours his heart into his work at Cambridge.The boys are going to make some lucky girl a great husband ! However I’m a bit chuffed at having the best job in Britain and at least something over them !!! You know how it feels dads??
There’s a huge vista from the house, out over sea, islands and mountains but its been grey and mizzly lately with only the odd glimpse of sun. Mull has a wildness in the off season and you feel certain you are missing that Greenland Gyrfalcon or a Killer Whale just because you aren’t out there to spot it.I have trips on Sunday and Monday with guests who are staying here and a writer from the Guardian. I’m hoping Sheffield United win this weekend cos they were rubbish last week.
Just been to Cambridge to see Sam and London to see the new Byzantium exhibition. Good hotels,food and shops. Ive done the sports cars, posh restaurants, caribbean thing lots of times !! but its no way to really live. There’s no quality of life and it’s just about shopping and being dressed up sheep. In the Hebrides you clear your head of ‘TRIVIA’ and some people get to experience that for a weeks holiday here. Two weeks is fatal however and most don’t want to go back.
Big showers again to day but I was told that the sloe crop was almost nil this year because of a lack of pollination by insects !! But I had seen a few in one spot and so off there today to find more and sure enough after much prickling of the flesh by the thorns, I now have a bottle of sloes, sugar and cheap gin fermenting to create sloe gin to enjoy at Christmas. Its delicious.
A really wild patch of weather with sheeting rain and strong winds BUT I was having a cup of tea in bed this morning and a golden eagle came within 30ft of the window struggling like a bin liner in the strong wind. Big view then! BUT !! 15 minutes later he was back again feet from our window and took what looked like a rabbit and then was chased off by two ravens along the coast and up behind the hills to the back of the house. I was pleased for him in these awful conditions.
Beautiful wild sunny day today with white water out to sea and sweeping showers rattling in occasionally. Two golden eagles were up with ravens and buzzards displaying over the house just now. Out on the coast a young sea eagle was beating windward and eventually coming inland. There’s an emptiness to the island now and the colours and solitude of winter are taking over. Its lovely to walk the white sand beaches in the south at this time of year I feel.