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
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.