January

What is January on Mull like?  It can be cold and dry, or wet and wild, but the cottages are warm and cosy whatever the weather is doing outside.

The white sands of Calgary Bay remain colourful, come storm or shine.  Walking on the beach at New Year can be almost as busy as in the summer. The winter storms are divided up by still crisp sunny days and clear azure night skies.  Watch for stars in this almost unbroken dark sky (the only visible street light from Treshnish is of the single ‘street light’ on the end of the Pier at Arinagour on the Island of Coll 8 miles across the sea is left on).   We experience serious winter storms!

Past Hogmanay, there are few visitors to the island in deep winter, but those who come have the opportunity to enjoy the friendliness of the Mull people living here.  With RET (Road Equivalent Tariff) being introduced in October 2015, the ferry fares will be almost half what they used to be, so we might have a few more winter guests than before, and we also might get the Farmer away for a weekend to the mainland too!

By mid January you can already begin to notice the days lengthening again, but there are still long evenings to be enjoyed by the fireside.

On the farm, at the start of the month we send the hill ewes back out on the hill, keeping last year’s ewe lambs to winter on the in-bye.   We continue the winter ritual of feeding the animals and checking the hill sheep.  The sheep do a very important job of cleaning up the pastures after the wildness of the summer growth has died off.   The bird feeders in our garden are kept primed, the hens enjoy organic layers mash and continue to scratch up the wintery vegetable garden whenever they get the chance.