Another week flown by. Actually I slept quite a bit of it away as I was struck down on Monday afternoon with a rather violent bout of poorliness which had me pretty much bedridden until Thursday. The less said about the whole incident the better I think and fortunately it was contained to just me (so nothing contagious) and mostly contained to the bedroom but it meant our laundry pile was even more towering than usual.
Fortunately this was the week in which Ady build possibly the most remote laundrette in the UK – photo in a post below. Thanks to our friends Dave and Naomi who brought up a preloved washing machine, the use of more ex SNH galvanised metal sheets and a water butt which suffered wind damage last winter back when we drank rain water collected from our roof and has been kicking around waiting for new employment. It is as yet untested – we are still in the middle of a very, very windy few weeks so there is no way washing can be hung out on the line without being blown across to the mainland within minutes, plus we are rationing power due to waiting for both our replacement wind turbine and more cans of petrol for the generator to arrive – we’ve had several cancelled ferries and are expecting several more in the coming weeks looking at the long term weather forecast.
In other news we have finally found another contact for winkles and went out picking today – the first daylight low tide, but the wind meant even at low tide there was very little beach to pick from and Ady and I between us barely covered the bottom of a sack. We’ll try again tomorrow but as the last boat to catch the lucrative Christmas market is Thursday and is looking as though that boat won’t come we may end up not winkle picking this year after all. It is gutty work, only really tolerable for the large sums of money sacks of winkles realise this time of year, if that is uncertain then the gamble is just too high.
It’s that challenging time of year again, I remember it from last year, when you tend to lurch from birthday to Christmas to Hogmany, to birthday to Burns Night to spring when it all becomes okay again and you swiftly forget these daylight limited weeks at the turn of the year. It would be easy to feel disheartened and introspective when the weather just keeps battering at you and your reserves are low. Fortunately thanks to the need to make Christmas presents I’ve been reviewing photos of the past year and reminding myself of what a fabulous year we have had, how lucky we are to live here and what a rich, diverse, opportunity laden life we lead. The wind this week has blown the polytunnel doors off, but I’ve been looking at pictures of it groaning with salad, strawberries, herbs and tomatoes and I know that the spring clean up of the croft will have everything back in it’s rightful place again and ready to perform in the same way next year. I said several times during the long happy days of spring, summer and autumn that these would be the memories and adventures that got us through the dark days of winter and sure enough I am drawing on them now in the same way as the firewood carried up the hill and chopped earlier in the year is keeping me warm tonight.