Tomato and Orange

Weather: Sunny with virtually no wind, excellent visibility.

The morning was silent with the sunlight sparkling on the loch in front of our cottage. We watched as swans flew across our windows startlingly white in the blue sky. It was reassuring to see the seals pirouetting on the rocks on the small island on the journey to Fran’s house for lunch. Fran is an excellent cook and her tomato and orange soup is a delight if not a legend in these parts. Her house is at the end of a single-track road on the east of the island. It is situated in a copse of trees, patrolled by guinea fowl and has the most amazing panoramic views across the bay towards the Isle of Harris. Much of the art hanging in Fran’s house comprises original paintings celebrating the landscapes of these islands bringing the outside in and projecting the inside out. Compared to our own house the temperature in Fran’s house is tropical and for the first time in a month I and Nicola were down to one layer of clothing which was a pleasant change.

Once again our rudimentary knowledge of birds has been exposed and we hope we haven’t set too many hares running..  when we mentioned sighting a tawny owl. Keith, who is very knowledgeable in such matters, mentioned to us that this will have the local ornithological experts in a frenzy attempting to make such a rare sighting on the island. In fact, it was a short – eared owl. Lovely though, just the same. We had a quiet evening. There is no television or radio in the house and the only sounds are those of the fire and of the house breathing and creaking, there being no wind outside to rustle the grass or whistle past the eaves as on many recent occasions.


It is one month since we first started to write this series of notes. We have been able to meet many new people and to give some of our friends and colleagues an insight into ourselves and our day to day progress on this project. We had always intended that it would change after about this time and sometimes events conspire to make this happen. We will continue to post information but it will now be on a weekly basis. We have had a tremendous amount of feedback and support and even sympathy. We thank you all for this, it is much appreciated.

Angie, our white cat has embraced his new singleton status seemingly without a ripple.


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