Today’s walk

We cheated a bit this morning and drove down the track to the Haunn Cottages, as time was short. The sun was shining and I wanted to see the islands in the sun.

Farmer is in the process of gathering the ewes so there seemed to be sheep everywhere this morning.

Through the wooden gate beyond Haunn, what a view to the islands from here. Across sodden wet grass fields and down the steep path to the beach where Donald Sutherland was shot (in ‘Eye of the Needle’ filmed here in 1981).

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The Treshnish Isles from Haunn, Mull

Out on to ‘the flats’, all the while the distinctive shapes of the islands glimmering in the early morning winter sun. Every time I see them, I catch my breath. So beautiful.

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Winter sun at Haunn

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Across the Haunn flats to the Treshnish Isles

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From the Treshnish Headland walk

This is a section of the popular Treshnish Headland walk, which follows the coastline around, with wonderful views out to sea all the way along. Coves, caves, rock pools, cliffs and sheltered spots. A special place all year round.

After the festivities

We were all going to visit friends in Dumfries-shire for the weekend but then unexpectedly Farmer had to go down south for a day. So he took the overnight sleeper from Glasgow on the way down on Thursday night.

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Daughter and I stayed in Glasgow overnight. He arrived in London before 7am. We drove to Dumfries-shire in the afternoon. Farmer was able to get to Sussex and back in time for the 5pm from Euston back to Dumfries which arrived at 10pm. Job done.

It was wild, wet and windy on Friday so not a particularly pleasant journey down to Dumfries, but the next day we could all relax.

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Farmer went walking with his mate, the Artist.

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We even saw some sun.

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Sunday morning, we were up and away early as the weather forecast was pretty dire, and we had received a couple of texts from Calmac warning of ferry disruptions, so we wanted to get to Oban in good time. It was an easy drive up, particularly with the shortcut from the M74 through Glasgow to the M8, which has cut about 15 minutes off the journey time.

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It was great to get away for a few days, and lovely to get home again. The guests from New Year have all gone, so it feels very quiet. On Tuesday some guests arrive for Shieling though so we aren’t on our own for long.

Christmas is coming

We stopped to walk on the beach this afternoon on our way to the post office.  I had a long over due parcel to send, and some very late Christmas cards.  We also had a bigger problem.  Our number round the table on Christmas Day has doubled and the original bit of pork we had bought was no longer big enough.  It was our lucky afternoon as Dougie still had some of Fiona Boa’s local pork in stock, so that will work well to compliment the smaller bit we already have.

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In the haunnblackhouse blog I have been writing for the last few years I always refer to Somerset as ‘Farmer’.  I am not quite sure what to call him on this blog, so for the moment, until it becomes clear what will work for me best, I will try not to refer to him at all.

The wind is forecast to get stronger again tomorrow, with little respite until after Christmas.  We have just written to the guests coming for new year to offer them an extra night if they cannot get here the day they are booked to arrive.  The ferries can be disrupted, but it is rare that both Lochaline and Oban are off on the same day.   Best to check before you travel though.

A pre solstice walk

This morning the Studio guests left, in the dark, rushing for the ferry, along with lots of Mull families hoping to get away for Christmas early in case the ferries were disrupted again by more wild weather! I had been worrying about whether they were enjoying their winter break or not, as the weather had not been very settled during their 2 week stay. However C assured me yesterday when we said goodbye that they had loved it, even in the bad weather, and when they came next time they would like to stay at Haunn!

Winter stormy sea

I walked the dog to Calgary this afternoon. I had not realised quite how windy it was, and with the wind behind me, I was nearly blown off my feet at times. A wild and wet walk felt like a good way to celebrate nearly being the shortest day. The tides are really big at the moment and huge waves with spindrift were breaking on the rocks half way along the bay. Half way we found some shelter from the storm, but there was no way I could have walked back into the wind, it was just too strong. Finally I met up with Farmer and got a lift home.

This is a photograph of Shian and Duill taken last winter, as the sun was setting.

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This is my first blog and as I am sitting by the fire, with a solstice storm blowing outside, I thought I would keep it short and just wish you a happy solstice for tomorrow.