In the face of all the advice on global warming and rising sea levels – we’ve decided to extend the cottage eastwards towards the beach. We’ll be five meters closer to the sea – with improved views towards Mull and Iona. The building work started last week and we hope to be finished before the end of November. We may be regarded as foolhardy but we’re looking forward to ‘hanging over the edge’ and living even more intimately with the sea.
The island is slowly sinking into autumn – shorter days with lower light levels and grey skies become too familiar. The transition from one season to another on Tiree is always subtle and almost imperceptible. Occasionally we get ‘pet days’ with warmer breezes, bright skies and strong sunlight which saturates the landscape and brings back happy memories of the summer as it slips away. Today is a ‘pet day’.
We had a beautifully clear and warm day yesterday. As evening approached the haar rolled in and closed off the views eastwards towards Mull and Iona. It created a gentle, quiet and intimate atmosphere. This morning it’s all change. Another clear morning with stunning views and rising temperatures. We’re in for a scorcher!
The Pharos has been an intermittent visitor over the last week. She’s appeared in the bay twice and has been undertaking maintenance work on the Skerryvore Lighthouse which lies about 11 miles to the south west. Skerryvore, which was completed in 1844, is Scotland’s tallest lighthouse at 48 meters.
It’s been one of those days – started dull and overcast then the skies opened and the day became brighter and warmer. It’s been building towards perfection. We’ve been on the beach this afternoon. Now as the sun starts to descend the evening is perfect. Warm light is making the beach and rocks glow – as if they have an inner light source. Just beautiful.
This is our take on the current heatwave being experienced by almost everyone in the UK. It’s 18 degrees this morning, a soft, refreshing breeze is drifting down the beach, the sea is viscous and untroubled and wavelets are lapping gently on a quiet and deserted beach.
After a beautiful day we’ve now got a wonderful evening with shadows creeping across the beach below the cottage. During my walk, along the strand, I was reminded of the hymn we used to sing, every evening, at the end of the school day when I was in primary school – Now the day is over, Night is drawing nigh, Shadows of the evening, Steal across the sky. Now the darkness gathers, Stars begin to peep, Birds, and beasts and flowers, Soon will be asleep.
I’ve been working with three talented photographers over the last two years to produce a book of photographs of Tiree through the seasons. The book has just arrived from the printers and I’m delighted to say it is now on sale on the island from two locations – Farmhouse Cafe and Chocolate and Charms. It’s also available online from these two websites: www.isleoftiree.com/tiree-books and www.bluebeyonddesign.com/. It’s been a great privilege – and very enjoyable – to work with Adrian, Becky and Malcolm over the last two years. This is the first book to bring together such a visually rich and vibrant collection of images of the island.
We’re in for a bumpy few days. The winds are increasing and the sea is growing more turbulent by the hour – sometimes described as a lumpy sea! All makes for dramatic scenes beyond our window.
At the end of a glorious week, it’s a blessing to have this beach, with views to Mull and Iona, to walk along. Time to ponder the torrid and turbulent times we’ve all just passed through. We’ve all travelled together, over the last two years, on a road none of us chose. A journey that has changed us all.