On the Beaches

Weather: Light winds and Sunshine, mild but becoming misty later.

As the weather this morning was so beautiful, Nicola and I had hoped to get an early start to visit the island of Berneray. A large flock of Barnacle geese had assembled on the Machair next to the West Beach and we were keen to see them. Around 8 30 am there was a knock on the front door. I was in bed, drinking coffee and running through my email. The woman from B.T. had come to finally fix the internet connection. The work required to fix the internet was apparently quite complex and the technician had to renew the wire from the telegraph pole to the house, and then had to install a new socket in the living room. Whilst all this work was happening, she suggestion that we take time out. We decided to walk to the Arts Centre, Taigh Chearsabhagh and then spent an hour or so drinking coffee and talking. On our return, the BT technician was thoughtfully waiting for us in her van, guarding our house, despite the fact there is virtually no crime on the Island. How lovely is that?

Back on schedule and on route to see the geese, Nicola spotted what she thought was an eagle. She said “look Johnny, that bird has a massive wingspan” I swerved, then immediately stopped by the side of the road. What an amazing sight! We had paused by Seal Cove (how do the seals know that that it’s called this?) and looked at the seals at the same time as this huge bird drifted out of our view. By the time we arrived on the West Beach, the geese were resting on the Machair, although by this time the light, had deteriorated and it was becoming misty.


We wondered where the geese might fly to, and drove down the coast to our next destination. The beaches here are exceptional and unique, comprising layer upon layer of sand dunes with sparkling white sand and aquamarine water. We walked on Clachan beach amongst the oyster catchers and gulls with the shells of the cockles and razor fish crunching underfoot. We looked out for the geese but they must have flown elsewhere. They depart this Island any time from now for cooler places. (are they mad?)


The weather was such, that our cats were keen to indulge in their crepuscular activities. This ensured that Nicola and I had a restless night with the cats engaging in mind games with all the local cats, particularly with Mc. Top Cat – a ginger tom cat, who we had to throw a glass of cold over – to quench his authoritarian enthusiasm.


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