I felt that I wanted to write something for myself to look back on, at sometime in a future which is far from stable; all certainties undermined.
I’m not going to waffle on about it; we will all remember what happened, but instead reflect on how it has changed 2020 for me so far.
Warning right now….. if this looks like we’re having a lovely time up here, then compared to many more densely populated areas, yes it is much, much better. And I am very grateful. And there’s nothing I can do to change any of that.
Our winter here in Assynt was, in my opinion, dreadful. It wasn’t particularly cold, or even wet, but for about 4 months we were afflicted with incessant grey skies and relentless wind. Outdoor activities weren’t much fun at all, and most times, not worth bothering with. We did so many “daily exercise” walks down to the end of the bay and back, just to keep the legs working. Yes, I mean pre-Covid.
We had to cancel a UK trip ourselves, due to “unforeseen circumstances”, but fortunately one of the friends we were due to visit came up here instead.
Covid then happened.
We’ve also cancelled our spring break to Cornwall, and cancelled all visitors to us. Just like everyone else. And no end forecast, as I write this.
So it’s no longer “Escape to Assynt”, and we can’t escape from Assynt either. But I reiterate; I’m not moaning; our “lot” is so much better than many other places.
To start with, the weather was still poor, so we set about doing the jobs in the house that’d been put off, and spent a couple of productive weeks tidying up and finishing things off. Fiddly things that were a pain in the neck; but they’re done now.
Then we got sunshine! Oh yes! Several weeks of it too. It was about time, and a real relief.
However, we couldn’t go far or do much, due to restrictions. So we made sure we got our daily exercise walk in. Close to home we have some good scenery, but the paths are negligible or non-existent. After that, we did quite a lot in the garden. I guess we weren’t the only ones. There must be a lot of tidy gardens now.
I was very reluctant to carry a camera to start with, but then realised that other people were doing it without criticism, so began to join in. A friend pointed out that I earn money with my camera, so it was legitimate anyway, as I couldn’t do it at home. And as for the “social distancing”; most days we go out, it’s likely that there isn’t another person within a mile, let alone six feet. One source quotes Assynt as being an area of 187 square miles, and there are about 1000 residents, so not bumping into people is relatively straightforward. Of course, the social life has dropped off the cliff edge too.
It’s just dawning on me that I haven’t done a blog since 31st January, so there’s quite a bit here; some pre-Covid, some in the current circumstances.
Carol coming back from a short walk up the Quinag path:
Cul Mor from Boat Bay:
Cul Beag from opposite Knockan Crag:
“New contraption” allowing me to get raindrops in focus, as well as the scenery:
Rowan tree and Quinag:
Carol at the waterfall beyond the Bone Caves:
Oak trees at Loch a Mhuillin:
Oak trees (above) produced acorns now growing at home; a little project I have to contribute to the Quinag population:
Tidal pool at Achnacarnin:
Our last pre-lockdown day trip; Sandwood:
Achmelvich & Alltnabradhan:
One day at Little Assynt:
Clashnessie stars eventually put in an appearance:
Suilven from just beyond the Kirkaig falls:
And diagonally opposite, from the loch about 5 miles up the track from Glencanisp Lodge:
A brutal lockdown haircut:
Fulmars at Stoer Head:
Finally got the barn useable as a studio; its only taken 5 years:
Waterfall on the north side of Quinag:
Stoer Head; thrift & lighthouse:
And whilst I’ve been compiling this blog, Carol has done this (and I’m not envious at all!)
You may recognise it from the previous blog?