2020 The Penultimate Day

What a colourful start to the penultimate day of 2020. Still preferring to shop early, but not too early, we left home around 8:30 to head for the CO-OP. Unusually for Tiree the car windscreen was frozen and the roads were covered in frost. Any puddles, and there are plenty, were frozen.

It’s first light and the Lighthouse stands guard over Scariniish Harbour

The sun had not yet risen. Looking out across the Passage of Tiree the sky was already taking on the hues of sunrise. While Mrs ‘Life on Tiree’ went into shop I headed on foot to the Post Office to post some thank you cards.  I found myself stopping several times just to appreciate the view.

First light down by the harbour

Leaving the CO-OP car park we happened to glance skyward and there was the full ‘Cold Moon’ not yet set. Somehow it felt most appropriate – especially the name given to this particular full moon.

The full moon from the CO-OP car park

Arriving home we picked up a card that required a stamp to be purchsedand we headed back to the Post Office. This time I was armed with the camera and not simply with my mobile phone. Before jumping into the car I managed to photograph the moon before it disappeared behind some clouds.

The COLD Moon from outside our home

On Pier Road we made a brief photostop to capture the by now risen sun. The view was from Millport across the Passage of Tiree. (The very view that we have from our living room window.) How I appreciate when I can see the Paps of Jura and this was the case this morning. (They can be observed on the right of the photograaph.)

The risen sun from Millport (Scarinish)

While ‘Mrs Life on Tiree’ conducted her business in the Post Office, including a chat, I went to turn the car down by the harbour. The real reason was to look out across the harbour towards the Paps of Jura.

Looking over the harbour across to the Paps of Jura

Looking East rather than South, the view is of Ben More on the Isle of Mull. The view this morning was trnaformed by the colours of the sunrise. It was so attractive.

Take in the view

This past month has been characterised by dark grey skies and rain. How uplifting it was to see some brightness. Thankfully, although there have been clouds, the brightness has continued throughout the day. It has been cold, but not as cold as the Mainland and there has been no strong wind to drive the coldness in and through you.  

The view across the Machair to a snow capped Ben More

As the sky became lighter and lighter it became clear that Ben More was snow capped. Through the blanket of cloud other snow capped peaks on Mull and the Mainland were visible. Once again a snow free Tiree looked out on the beauty of snow capped peaks on Mull and the Mainland.

In the background the Isle of Rum

Once the shopping was unloaded and put away, a cup of coffee was enjoyed, before setting out for our morning walk. Our walk took us down to the pier. (Not to see the ferry – for there is no sailing on a Wednesday in winter.) Although cloud covered the tops of the Rum Cullins, the view across Gott Bay past Ruaig, was of a snowy Isle of Rum. Below are some wintry shots of Scarinish taken on our walk. Note the watery landscape – much of it frozen.

An opportune moment to care for the yacht
Ben Hynish from Scarinish
A wintry feel to the morning
Winter Feed
Water! Water Everywhere! And some even frozen over.

In the afternoon we took the opportunity to have a walk along the beach at Vaul. The wind had risen slightly and as a consequence the cold was more penetrating. However, it was still a real pleasure to be out and about.

Vaul Beach

At the far end of Vaul beach, we looked out over Salum beach and beyond. Through a break in the cloud cover to the North we could make out the distinctive shape of Eigg

Looking across Salum Beach towards Salum House
Across Salum Bay the distinctive shape of Eigg can just be seen

Several brave individuals were playing golf on Vaul Golf Course and some nearby cows seemed undisturbed by the goings on. 

Spot the golfer!

Close to the Lodge Hotel at Kirkapol two separate flocks of birds came together to form one enormous flock. Earlier in the day, just after sunrise when seeking to capture the Paps of Jura through an open window, a large flock of birds were making their way along the coastline.

The cold looking waters of Vaul Bay

Several people have observed and commented on the fact that I have not posted so many photographs in 2020. They are quite right. The fact is that we have not been out and about as much as in previous years. Although there is a freedom to walk we have sought as much as possible to remain mainly local to Scarinish.

Look to the skies and observe.

Like so many we have been unable to meet up with our family. It is almost 12 months since we all last met together.  We have been grateful to share with them through the means of modern technology – that way we have been able to share with each other.  It has been a similar story for our church family.

Birds hugging the coastline as we look out on the Paps

All that remains is to say, “Happy New Year!” And “Lang may your lum reek.” May you know joy and peace through faith in Jesus who is the Babe of Bethlehem, the Man of Calvary, the very Lord of Glory.

This is ‘Life on Tiree’

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Home is Best

Life on Tiree occasionally demands visiting the Mainland. Although we have an excellent Medical Practice there is no hospital or out-patient department.  Thus, the first of December saw us visiting Oban for an out-patient appointment.  Since the covid restrictions came into place the dentist has not been to the island and so we we were grateful to be given an emergency appointment with the dentist in Oban. 

Oban celebrates St Andrew’s Day

Our appointments were on a Thursday and with no ferry on a Wednesday in the Winter we had to leave Tiree on the Tuesday. On the day of our appointment we woke up to falling snow. At sea level the snow did not lie but the higher you went in the town the more it lay. Both doctor and dentist apologised for running late due to the problems getting into work. With no ferry on a Friday to Tiree our visit to Oban was like a mini-break. We were not complaining as our extended stay enabled us to do some mainland shopping and to fit in a much needed visit to the hairdresser. 

The MV Clansman with a snowy backdrop

In our absence Tiree experienced wild weather on the Friday with winds gusting around the 60mph mark. Thankfully by Saturday the wind had dropped and we had a smooth crossing.  With the ferry departing at 7:15am, it was an early rise for us. It felt even earlier due to the fact that we left under the cover of darkness. Sunrise was considerably later when we were well up the Sound of Mull. When we passed Ardamurchan lighthouse the light was clearly visible..

Sunrise over the Sound of Mull

At this time of the year the ferry can almost feel like an extension of island life. Not only are the crew so friendly, you are travelling mainly with other island residents. We were impressed by the service, especially taking into account the various precautions to help make the ferry a covid safe environment.

Home Safe and Sound

Since our arrival home the weather has been settled. Saturday was pleasant. Sunday was a delight with a colourful sunrise, blue skies, and an attractive sunset. And Monday began with striking a sunrise. It is crisp and calm.

Saturday’s Sundown at Scarinish Harbour
Sunday’s Sundown at Scarinish Harbour

A walk at sundown on Sunday was so uplifting as we took advantage of the settled weather. Blue skies gave way to reds, oranges and blues. There is no doubt! Much as it is good to go away it is even better to return home. Yes! Home is best.

The Paps of Jura from Scainish Harbour
Ben More and the Dutchman’s Cap

Today, Monday we left our home when it was still dark in order to do the weekly shop. We were slightly later the normal arriving at the CO-OP at 8:00am.  While Mrs ‘Life on-Tiree’ did the shopping I went to post a letter and walked back to the shop via the harbour at Scarinish.

Leaving home at first light

It was one of these mornings
you could not stop yourself wanting to admire the rising sun.

Down by the harbour at first light
The Paps of Jura from the harbour
Ben More from the harbour at just before sunup

It was only when we returned home
that the sun rose above the horizon around 8:45am. 

Ben More from Pier Road at Sunrise
Seconds to go until Sunrise

This is Life on Tiree

Sunrise from the Scarinish Headland

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