Denise: Baked potato for lunch. Snow and iced up outside, so can’t get to pull fresh carrots and other veg. Usually the winters are so mild, here in Uist, we don’t need to lift in autumn and store for the winter – can leave the vegetables in the ground for picking fresh. Thankfully, potatoes are the exception!
Jonathan: During the night a wild north-easterly laid down a carpet of fine powdery snow. Icy cold despite heavy cloud. Roads not salted, so a bit wobbly going to the croft. Loaded up with my bucket of grain and egg collecting bucket, I’m enveloped by a ferocious blizzard, blasting in from The Minch. In seconds I’m lost in a maelstrom of needle-sharp ice and swirling darkness. The geese are calling for me, and I for them, but I can scarcely see my own feet. I abandon the usual feeding point and rush headlong down the hill, for the shelter of the old ruins. Amidst the howling wind and stinging ice I can make out their call, but in the meagre light before dawn I can see nothing. Then, suddenly, the heavy beating of wings and looking up, the air is filled with geese descending around me, their wings outspread, all white feathers and bright orange legs lit up against the black sky by no more than the ethereal light of the snow itself. One of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. A moment I’ll never forget – not least because one goose thumped right into my chest!
Jonathan: This time yesterday morning it was -5 deg C outside; now it is +10 deg and all the ice and snow has gone. Instead everything is sodden and dirty; and the wind has picked up bringing damp air off the sea – which is the coldest feeling of all. Thankfully I’m working inside today!