Beyond all things is the sea

It does good also to take walks out-of-doors, that our spirits may be raised and refreshed by the open air and fresh breeze: sometimes we gain strength by driving in a carriage, by travel, by change of air, or by social meals and a more generous allowance of wine.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca
November North Loch Eynort, South Uist
November North Loch Eynort, South Uist

This year I have been taking Seneca’s sage advice and taking some time off to explore our beautiful archipelago with  its diverse landscapes and wildlife, and spending time with family and friends both here and on the mainland.  So the paucity of blogs has more to do with a designed intention to spend more time discovering the secrets of our lovely islands and remembering to enjoy the company of some very special people,  than working hard in the garden and on the croft.

The excellent weather we enjoyed during the summer lasted well into the autumn and throughout October into November.  Under the more benign influence of La Niña, the autumn equinoctial gales were limited to one huff and puff of wind. With high pressure and a northerly airflow we revelled in some glorious calm clear days, our spirits rising in the sharp, crisp, crystalline air.

We awoke to rosy dawns and watched the late afternoon sun sink into the sea gilding the clouds and leaving a soft after glow.
Between long walks on our favourite beaches we managed to get almost all the autumn chores completed. The bulbs were planted, vegetable beds and flower borders top dressed with seaweed, the tussock grass around the house cut – it will never qualify as a “lawn” but cutting and raking keeps the rampant grasses in check leaving space for the wildflowers. So in theory we could look forward to plenty of time for bracing winter excursions.

Ever the optimist, I’d not included storms Barbara and Conor in my plans. So once again we’re being battered by storm force winters and will be confined to the house for the Christmas period again! The contingency plans for a stormy Christmas and New Year are almost becoming routine, fortunately I do not have to worry about the imminent arrival of Super Typhoon Nock-Ten.
We’ve had a lovely 2016 and are looking forward to 2017 with excitement and anticipation. The world is  a very troubled place and we are very fortunate to live on a peaceful and beautiful island, even if it’s a bit blustery.

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and New Year.

Christmas primroses
Primroses in December

20 thoughts on “Beyond all things is the sea

  1. olganorris

    Wishing you a warm and cosy Christmas, a happy Hogmanay, and a rewarding 2017.

    • Thank you Olga – we’re warm and snug. The wind is rising, but so far so good, we have electricity although the stove is lit and the candles are on standby. Just a typical Hebridean Christmas.

  2. I guessed your hatches might have been battened down, Christine – and enjoyed the realism of your statement ‘we are very fortunate to live on a peaceful and beautiful island, even if it’s a bit blustery’. Glad you have been able to do all that exploring this year as well as keeping on top of everything at The Croft. Have you had many visitors this year? With very best wishes to both of you from the Golfer and myself

    • Thank you Cathy. We’re well battened down and enjoying our quiet (apart from the wind giants jumping on the roof and shouting down the chimney) Christmas.
      Lots of visits from favourite family members and old friends this year and the island has been at its best for everyone. The garden has looked a little more “wild” than usual, so I hope I’m forgiven by our visitors who prefer a neat lawn and well tended borders, I seem to get more relaxed and Hebridean as time progesses, but this is not a bad thing.
      Although not blogging, I have been following the adventures of mt favourite bloggers and I’m impressed by their energy and talent. I greatly admired your NGS entry and if I were still in Worcestershire I’d be front of the queue.
      Wishing you and the Golfer and happy Christomas and a Propserous and Successful New Year.

      • What an enjoyable and rewarding year you have had, Christine. Thank you for all your good wishes and remember that are welcome to visit us and the garden at any time…

        • Thank you Cathy. I’d love to say book me in for the full garden tour with afternoon tea – but it may have to be a virtual experience, next year is going to be very busy.

          • Oh well, just name the day and I shall get the virtual cakes started and put the virtual kettle on at about 3.55. Will that suit?

          • That would be lovely – can you arrange some sunshine too please

          • Of course – I can do virtually anything 😉

  3. Saila

    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Lovely to see primroses in December.

    • Thank you – I hope you are enjoying a lovely Christmas, complete with snow too.
      Primroses – I must confess they flower all year round in the croft garden!

  4. [J+D] Euch auch!

    • Greeting to the walled garden and it’s gardeners.

  5. Happy Christmas Chris, and I hope you come through the storms unscathed! All the best for 2017 as well. 🙂

    • Thank you Cathy. happy Christmas & New Year – I’m looking forward to seeing more of your lovely garden and beautiful flower arrangements next year.

  6. It sounds as if you have had a wonderful year on your special island. What an amazing view on your first photo. Happy Christmas Christine and I hope 2017 will be just as magical.

    • Happy New Year. As ever I’m looking forward to another challenging gardening year and some new projects.

  7. Liz Morton

    Feliz Navidad from Mexico where we are visiting family – temperature today 30 degrees!
    Having a wonderful time though it could not be more different to the Hebrides.Happy New Year from
    Liz & Andy Morton

    • I was abgout toi send you Christmas greetings when the power went off! So now it’s a case of happy New Year. A very exotic location for Christmas and hopefully with weather to match.

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