Now and to come

Ranks of pure white snowdroplets range along the edges of our shrubbery borders, a hundred daffodils are shooting up, looking bright-yellowly around and asking 'what winter?', and yesterday we saw a great flock of black and white peewits (or lapwings or plovers, same thing) beating against the wind across the field where they always make their nests. Well more accurately where they lay their eggs and raise their young. Peewits aren't much at nest making, don't need to be when a depression in the grass serves the purpose.

A false Spring it may well be but it does feel good. Now we look forward to what we have learned to call 'the season' with a mixture of hope and fear. Hope that visitors to our B&B and our markets will arrive in numbers and with lots of cash in need of a home. Fear that they will come in such numbers that we will be swamped with the workload! But whatever, as they say; we will doubtless enjoy the contact with folk from far and wide. We always have.

The one major worry for me is that the pace of my work on the fiction writing front is bound to slow, and it is that which absorbs and interests me more than anything else. It was the prime reason for our move north in the September of 2002. Since then I have written and published two novels and a compendium of short stories and am now engaged continuously on my short story of the month project. I also have a third novel in the oven and take a lot of pleasure in writing this blog, so one way and another cannot be accused of moss-gathering. Right now I can say, like Michael Caine, 'Not many people know that.'

With all of this we deliberately allow ourselves the time to stand and stare for not doing so when you live here would be akin to walking through the Paris Louvre without looking at the Mona Lisa or any of the pictures. Every day here is a different picture. Today it's one of grey overcast, weak-weak sun trying its best, gunmetal loch, hills like the shadows of ghosts. Monet could paint it beautifully. I can only do my best.

Talking finally of painting, I've just finished another pastel - a landscape of the wide moorlands and great hills to the north of Ullapool. Watch this space.

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