As I type the wind is howling around the caravan. Ferries have been disrupted today, already cancelled for tomorrow and the wind turbine is tied up against forecast gales.

My reaction to this – to my Mum on the phone last night, and to a random tourist I was chatting to in the shop this evening as he insisted ‘There has to be a boat on Wednesday, I need to get home’ tells me that heading into our third winter I am now, officially An Islander. I know that this is what you expect at this time of year; this is normal, commonplace, unexceptional. We got our visit to the mainland for a dentist visit out of the way, have got plenty of milk and butter in the freezer, good stocks of tins, jars, rice, pasta and flour and will make sure we order any Christmas presents to arrive in early December just in case.

It is easy to push lots of things to the foot of your to do list living here – during the spring, summer and autumn you are a fool if you don’t head out on weekly Sheerwater boat trips to spot dolphins, go clambering up mountains in the dark to listen to manx shearwaters coming in to feed their chicks, walk to Kilmory to witness the red deer rut, celebrate a non midgey day of sunshine by going swimming in the river. So you file a whole lot of things under ‘for the winter’ and forget about them. During our first winter we were just focussing on survival – collecting firewood and water daily, struggling to make sense of this new life. During our second winter we found a better rhythm and were able to do crafts, read books, watch films, catch up with each other. This year we have plenty of that scheduled in, along with lots of planning for next year’s big build project. I have some writing work lined up and plans to try and get more. I am organising a secret santa for interested islanders and we have been talking about various social things to keep us all going through the shorter days.

In other news we made our Christmas cake this week – yes Scarlett is wearing the same T shirt as in the Christmas cake picture from 2 years ago 🙂

and the guinea fowl are settling in well and running with the pack

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