I, strangely, feel like I owe you all an apology! Daft as it sounds but I have broken my promise of a post a day. I have been writing the past couple of days, but it's been more for work, and basically my words ran out.
We all have an ability to be hard on ourselves. If we practice kindness to one another, why do we find it so difficult to be kind to ourselves? This time, right now, is an excuse to slow down. It's no longer about planning exotic holidays that won't happen for the forseeable, instead, it's about appreciating what's right in front of us. Our view, our wildlife encounters, the changing life within the garden.
This morning I woke up to see the hills of South Uist dusted in snow. It must have fallen overnight, and it's lovely to imagine the quiet, peaceful flakes falling in the darkness. It's mostly disappeared now, but the shadows of Hecla are still highlighted by remaining pockets.
There was a pair of mallards in the field in front of the house yesterday, patiently walking all over, the drake keeping a watch as the hen sat and lingered in many different locations - we wondered if she was seeking a nest site. If she was, it wasn't the best situation - it was right next to my track and disturbance would have been high. In the end, they flew off together. There'll be many better situations where they can nest without seeing a single person through the entire 25 day incubation.
A common gull has been visiting a lot recently, identifiable for his leg that hangs down. We suspect it's broken, but it doesn't seem to be suffering, and indeed wins food from its competitors without seemingly too much effort. I do enjoy watching common gulls. Amongst the prettiest of all gulls, they have a friendly looking face, and dark eyes that create a very elegant look.
We dug up some reeds the other day and planted them in a wet patch in the garden, hopefully it'll attract some more wildlife, and create some vertical interest into a place that's little differentiated from the surrounding heath. Indeed, we have many mini-projects on the go - after I write this I am going to plant out my onion sets! - and it's that that adds variety to our days, rather than planning big walking trips, or leaving the island for entertainment elsewhere. Instead, we find our own entertainment, and it's not so difficult once you try. All those niggley jobs that we never quite found time for are all going to be ticked off in the coming weeks, and that brings me a sense of peace, achievement - very different from the achievement I normally get via work - and a sense of home.
What have you been doing this week? What projects have you started on?