Just a riff on a dark, wet, windy night.

I know this island inside out, not as well as some, but as much as most. So it’s been a surprise to have been surprised by life here.

– It’s heartening to have plenty fuel for the fire, food in the fridge and wine on the rack. When one of this triumvirate lacks things get niggly, an expedition is needed. There’s a pretty good feeling to know the cottage is stocked up for a good few days.

– I like seeing the lighthouse at Tiumpan Head blink early in the morning and when it gets dark. I can see it through the kitchen window.

– If there’s a ship sheltering in Broad Bay I know the weather is about to suck badly. I’ll always check it on Ship AIS to see where it came from.

– There are always rabbits in the garden at 7am. We eyeball each other through the bathroom window in the morning. One day I’ll pop one with an airgun and have it for dinner (just kidding).

– Wood stoves are the greatest thing ever. I never want to live without one ever again. Lighting and keeping a fire going all day is great, cooking on one is awesome. Socks dry great on it too. Coal is better than wood, to my chagrin. Peat would be nicer.

– Harris Tweed weaving is the thing I was born to do. This may be a sad thing or a grand thing. Either way it’s true.

– It’s a doddle to live without a mobile phone.

– I’d be screwed without the internet. Properly, screwed. Much as I can handle a bit of solitude, the connection keeps me sane.

– Boats are cool. As are buzzards.

– TV is awful, just awful. I never watch it these days, even the news drives me barmy. Thank God for films.

– You can get by with a pretty limited wardrobe. I currently have 2 pairs of jeans, two shirts, four teeshirts, a jumper, a set of waterproofs, two wooly hats, a scarf (and enough underwear to get through a whole week since you didn’t ask).

– The streetlights get switched off here at midnight. Stars are pretty awesome.

– Sunrises and sunsets are incredible. You just need to to be up and out to see them.

– The silence is deafening. It took weeks to get used to it at night.

– I really need a car, buses just ain’t cutting it. Although the music and gaelic banter is worth the ticket price most days.

– Things I am looking forward to: Sea kayaking to islands to camp on, putting on gigs, making gin, illicit whisky making, getting a dog (and possibly a cat), getting the Airigh stuff rolling, summer, buying a telescope, lambing season, hens, reading and writing more, traveling more.

– Real life work is a joke. Less than 6 weeks off a year? Go fleek yourself. And knocking your pan in to make money for other people? Pfft. Feel like a total mug having done that for so long. And for what? Nothing, when it really comes down to it.

– Proper butchers. Yes, I will have the tripe, oxtail, ham hough, lamb kidneys and chicken livers thanks. Have yet to tackle the fishmongers but, yes, herring please. Pretty darn good delis here too.

– I am still decompressing, weights off shoulders take a little time to fall.

– I would not like to be a single man here. If school girls and married women are off limits then your pickings are slim.

– Taxis are expensive but whisky is cheap.

– I miss people in Glasgow I thought I wouldn’t. And don’t miss others I thought I would.

– Family is more important than I ever knew.

– No regrets.