Jonathan: Over to the beach at Smercleit Taobh a Deas this afternoon for another trailer load of seaweed: a beautiful sunny afternoon, which helped compensate for the stiffness and soreness in my back from so much digging, lifting and carrying over the past week or so. The trailer has a 1 tonne capacity but with (in this case relatively dry) seaweed – even when loaded to the top I doubt the weight exceeds 400kg. However every scrap of seaweed will have been forked four times by the time it is on the compost heap (beach to barrow, barrow to trailer, trailer to barrow, barrow to compost). A year later it is turned over by transferring to the next compost (immediately adjacent, thank heavens!), but then two more lifts (compost to barrow, barrow to ground) to get it onto the ground where it will be used. So every 1 tonne of raw compost on the beach amounts to 7 tonnes of forking. No wonder my back hurts. I wonder if I can get an aerial ropeway on ebay? ;~) Tilly came home just as tired as me – from amusing herself on the beach whilst I worked!
Jonathan: This afternoon turned sunny, mild and with only a soft breeze, so I finished digging out the foundations for the Hebridean Woolshed studio. I stopped for a rest before the final trim, and as I sat quietly on the grass the female blackbird from last week appeared again – and this time there was her partner too. No singing practice today – more like the weekly shop! They certainly got their fill of worms and grubs from the large expanse of exposed soil.
Jonathan: Morning and evening Tilly and I go out through the south gate and across the road to the beach. On a night of blanket cloud, this requires a torch, but more frequently our way is lit by the moon and a host of stars – more numerous and bright than any town-dweller might imagine! From the light-clouds of myriad galaxies to the familiar patterns of the constellations: and second only to the moon itself, yet more constant in its position and brightness – Venus. And even now as I write this – looking out over my shoulder to the southern skies, there she is, stationed over the dark outline of Cnoc a Deas, ready to light our way across the road and start our daily rounds.