Jonathan: It’s half past ten and still just light. Rhubarb has been fed and settled down for the night. Tilly and I have completed our evening walk – the first time this year without a torch. It’s time to go in and put the dogs, cats and myself to bed after a long and busy day, but the rare calm and quiet of the evening keeps Tilly and I lingering on the bare summit of Cnoc a Deas, taking in the drama of light and dark played out between four horizons. In the north east, the mass of Eisebhal is etched out in reverse with remaining patches of snow – like a plate for a Wainwright walking guide. In the south east, the lights of Eriskay glimmer across the sea, smudged and scattered by a wintry shower heading south. In the south west, more distant Barra and the many smaller isles between here and there – and all of existence between the sea and the heavens, have been swallowed up in a slowly moving mass of falling snow and ice. But in the north west, clouds are assembled in ranks across the horizon, back-lit with the soft hues of pink, yellow and palest blue, as the sun sets somewhere in the far distant lands of ice.
Denise: Jonathan was down on the beach again, and yes in his boiler suit and wellies, as usual. Tilly went too – she stood in the water with a stick of kelp for Jonathan to throw. Rhubarb didn’t stand in the water, but stood back, afraid to get his hooves wet. When Tilly came back with the kelp stem and wanted Rhubarb to play with it, Rhubarb tucked his head under Tilly’s tummy in search of milk. Tilly ran off along the water’s edge, and Rhubarb ran after her, alternately skipping so hard as almost to sumersault, and turning back to Jonathan and bleating. I called them back to the house for lunch. Home-made bread and soup for us, then fruit – and tidbits for Tilly. For Rhubarb? There’s a bottle of milk warming.