Thursday 29/12/05

It was an extremely cold night on the mainland. Aviemore reached down to minus 13C, and was only at -10C at 11 a.m.. The southcoast is also very frosty, Bournemouth was at -6C. Up here in Stornoway, it stays well above freezing, because of the strong winds. The webcam was offline last night because the server had broken down. Cloud gradually increases through the morning. The mainland mountains, visible at sunrise, slowly fade into the mist. The wind increases, topping force 7 by nightfall. Tiree has the worst of the winds, gusting there at 51 knots, force 10. Go out at 2.30 for a drive around Point. We go up the sideroads at Garrabost and Sulisiadar, which give nice views of Broadbay and the villages from Tong to Tolsta. Tolsta sits on the hills above Gress Bay. We head north to Portnaguran and its tiny harbour, beyond that to the road's end. We turn back to Port Mholair (Portvoller) and go to Tiumpan Head Lighthouse. It blows pretty hard out there, and it's perishingly cold. The lighthouse is on. The mountains on the mainland can be seen clearly, about 30 miles to the east. A man stands outside the old keeper's cottage, which is currently in use as a kennels cum cattery. He was due to pick up some dogs, but there is nobody about. We head down to Sheshader, to see the little house that Jerry had his eye on, back in November. Once we do find our way into the next village, Payble, the light begins to fail. Can just about snap a pic of the hill between Upper and Lower Payble. We go right through to the end of Eagleton, but then return to the A866. I go to the library to scan the pictures, which I mentioned in an earlier post. I have the cooker tonight, preparing carrots, potatoes, onions, mince meat balls. Goes down well, in spite of the very late hour of 9 pm. We were delayed watching a programme about Para Handy, Master Mariner, who was created 100 years ago by Neil Munro / Hugh Foulis. Snow falls between 9 and 10, which soon turns to rain.

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