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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Och, it’s nothin’

This is my favourite saying in Scotland. I have now heard it said many times. Just when it’s raining so hard you think it can’t get any harder- but it does- if you complain about the weather to a Scot you’ll be told: “Och, this is nothin’ ”. It’s a big tribute to Scottish resilience. This week I remarked on the number of trees that blew down in the gales of early February. Apparently, this was nothin’ compared to most winters. Question is: is it a comforting statement or not?

After the dazzle and glitter of snowy December, we have experienced a succession of Atlantic depressions in February. The air is filled with the sound of water rushing down steep hillsides. Otherwise, the only noise you hear is an occasional car shifting gear up the Boguillie Road. The north of Arran exploded into being as a volcano way back in geological time, reacting to the fateful collision of Scotland and England on their slow paths from opposite ends of the world. The steep hillsides are a reminder of the island’s dramatic beginnings.

At the campsite, we’ve been painting everything that doesn’t move ready for March 1st opening. We’ve had lots of bird visitors in the meantime. Today’s callers have been a buzzard, a treecreeper, a dipper, a wood pecker, a heron and a curlew (helpfully aerating the grass).

Rino and Val are busy moving into the Stags Pavilion café next door. We are looking forward to seeing what’s on the menu in 2011.

Signs of spring: the burn behind the campsite

Last day of February: here comes the sun!

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