Jonathan: Boxing day. No walk on the beach today either. No beach – just crashing waves and anyway you’d not even get across the road to the beach. Yes, Denise was right, today has indeed been even worse than yesterday! Driving to the croft this morning to feed the hens and sheep, it was spring high tide and huge waves were crashing onto the armour stone that lines the edge of the mile-long causeway, casting great spumes of water over the car. The wipers were on full speed and yet I had to slow to a crawl: I thought of turning back – but a three-point turn on a wave-lashed causeway was not something covered by my driving lessons back in 1981. No, I was too far on and it was safer to keep going, rattling and rolling over the stone (from the sea bed?) that the waves had thrown up onto the road. It was worse going back! During the morning, the wind built up even more, and in the early afternoon peaked with gusts of probably 85-90mph : thank heavens it wasn’t like that at high tide this morning! Later this afternoon the causeway was ‘closed’: we have yet to see what that actually means: is there a police car at each end of the causeway with a policeman in it bobbing up and own as his patrol car is rocked by the storm? This was we think worse than the storm on the 8th December, but you wouldn’t know that from the TV news. On the 8th it was the usual wall-to-wall coverage showing shoppers in Paisley trying to keep their shopping bags from swinging around, or a swan standing by a strand of seaweed at an Ayrshire seafront town looking as if it was just waiting for the tide to go down again, if you please, all to a commentary so hyped up it was hilarious. Look, if it really is 70mph wind in Glasgow like you say, you, the camera man and the producer would all have been swept off the pier into the water!! But this storm hasn’t really affected the Central Belt, and storms like this in the Hebrides is hardly news, is it? Even if whole roofs are ripped off, household effects scattered to the winds and roads swept away. To be fair, the damage has not been so bad this time, if only because what could be damaged was already smashed up on the storm of the 8th and has been cleared away! I recall on the afternoon of the 8th, with the wind raging and roaring, the house shaking and the windows bowing, a train of debris sailing along the coast road at high speed: the debris of three static caravans, two from Mary Kate and Patrick’s croft, and DJs next door. All were old and in poor repair, and there were plans to have got rid of them by more conventional and official means, which would probably have been easier and cheaper in the event! Clearing up the debris into a skip – you have to find it all first! – is a lot more time-consuming than having the caravan winched onto a lorry and taken away to the landfill site!