Sunday 25/12/05 - Christmas Day

Breakfast and presents at 11 o'clock, accompanied by a mixture of Spanish champagne and orange juice. I receive a jumper, socks and a diary. By 1.30 pm, we head out to Arnish to walk to the lighthouse. Today is overcast but perfectly windless, temperature about 7C. The boats shimmer in their own reflections. Over at Arnish, we walk along a rough track, which skirts the perimeter fence of the Fabrication Yard. There are huge pipes lying about, segments for windturbines. Should the Lewis Windfarm ever be built, then the turbines are to be built here. At the moment, they are building towers for a windfarm off the Caithness coast. When the Arnish Yard was built in 1975, an existing cottage was torched, and the hill it stood on bulldozed out of existence. You can still see where the hill used to be. There was also once a huge slipway, used to launch an oil platform, but that was landscaped out. Some Lewis ponies roam the area, they are small and quite friendly. On arrival at the lighthouse, you need to manoeuver around the keeper's cottage, through a mire of horse dung and mud. A small memorial stands on the hillside, a little distance to the south. It was erected in memory of a fisherman who drowned there on December 19th, last year. It would appear that after leaving port, the crew of his boat were all down below, with the vessel going on autopilot. This went wrong, and the boat went on the rocks. Two crewmen escaped, the skipper drowned. The memorial had a bunch of flowers sitting next to it, left from the first anniversary commemoration. After returning from Arnish, we call in to mrs B's sister's house in the town for a flying visit. Visibility quite reasonable today, saw a hazy outline of Skye and the mainland. Eilean Mhuire, the easternmost of the Shiants, could just be discerned off Kebock Head. Dinner is magnificent, with turkey breast, cranberry sauce, potatoes, vegetables and wine. Lit up by candles, it fills us up very well. The sweet is an icecream pavlova. At 9.30, we head down the road to one of mrs B's other sons for a Christmas ceilidh. We end up watching familie films from the 1960s, which show quite a few people who are no longer alive, and it all gets a little emotional.

1 comment:

ADB said...

Very good entry, as usual! I love the way you put your words together. Rhonda
Comment from yankeygr - 27/12/05 22:50