I tried to upload this yesterday, but the combination of having 6+ computers connected to the wifi, with the already slow internet upload speed (about 100 kb/s, at best) is taking its toll on the laptops ability to function.
Yesterday was Mary-Ann's birthday, so we decided to go for a walk up at Ardnave, the opposite side of Loch Gruiniart from Kilinallan, where we walked last weekend. Last year Mary-Ann Nick, Andrew and Bob went on the same walk and the sand dunes were frozen white! This year however, it was actually reasonably mild in the bright sunshine.
This sheep greeted us as we parked the car. I'm sure it's not quite that fat underneath all the wool....
Cassie is still quite interested in sheep.. These ones were pretty interested in her too.
Following the path to the beach, with a view towards Gortantaoid on the other side of Loch Gruinairt.
A group of choughs.
A very picturesque cow. Isla got a little agitated because we got left behind while I took this and nearly got us chased... Someone else can hold her next time!
The wind blowing the waves backward.
Nick and Cassie on the dunes.
It's a shame this isn't bigger, but if you look closely, or click on it to enlarge it, you can see Jura in the background.
Getting left behind.
Cassie is getting much better at walking on the lead, but did end up in a stream when she tried to jump before I did..
Nick and Dan trying to work out a way of carrying back all this net.
Waves crashing off Nave Island.
I love the reflections of the clouds you get just after a wave has gone out, especially when the sky is such a brilliant blue.
Islay beaches are really quite something. Trip advisor voted it the 8th best British island, but to be honest, I think it's far nicer than that!
There's something about a totally empty sandy beach on a sunny day.
Mary-Ann giving Cassie a consoling cuddle. (She was tied onto a post!)
Group photo! Isla obviously was feeling camera shy.
It started to cloud over into the afternoon, but still no rain.
Mary-Ann got left behind looking for shells of course..
Looking out to sea one last time before heading inland.
The old lobster containers. I thought it would be a great idea to walk along this wall, not realising how rusty the gates were... They didn't break though!
I love these tracks that go off into the middle of nowhere.
A hooper swan, these birds migrate here for the winter, and are distinguishable by their yellow beaks, whereas the native mute swan has a red beak. They were living side by side on the loch at Ardnave.
A hare through the fence.
Mary-Ann and her rainbow cake.
I've seen these cakes quite a lot recently and wanted to give it a go. I was a bit pushed for time though.. I went to the pub on Saturday night and was a little worse for wear in the morning... Meandered back to Topsy's house at about mid day expecting to be able to go home and make the cake, and then ended up staying for a roast dinner! Then we went to see the afternoon music session at the Islay until 5pm, and by the time we got home I had to go out again for my second roast dinner! So I ended making the cake from 10.30 to about 1am... and decorating it in the morning. Not ideal to say the least, but it worked out ok!
If you can't tell (probably not) it's supposed to be a daisy with a bee sat in the middle. I have to thank my Aunty Ruth here, (another avid blog reader, who we are very grateful to, and I really should have mentioned... Sorry!!) as she gave me an extensive cake decorating kit that belonged to her mother, with some extras for christmas. Trouble is every time I make a cake in this house half of it's gone before it's had time to cool, so I never have a chance to ice it!
Anyway, all in all MaryAnn had an excellent birthday, with lots of really lovely presents (I'm sure she'll thank everyone herself at some point) and Dan cooked in the evening, we had chicken in red wine, followed by lindt chocolates. Excellent.
Now, I better get back to making wedges to block up the holes in the joists... Yay.