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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The East Wind
The UK was united in snow and ice last week. Just when spring was tiptoeing our way, the unseasonal deep cold has seemed cruel. Every time I looked out of our window through whirling dry snow there seemed to be wild birds, red squirrels and red deer engaged in a desperate search for something to eat.
Arran was largely snow-free last week but many of the burns froze over and so did the edge of the sea in places. The North End’s mossy cliffs looked like curtains of icy daggers. Nothing seemed to stop the penetrating east wind making its way indoors through every crack and cranny and rattling the roof and walls. We wrapped our water pipes up in duvets and got up regularly throughout the night to turn taps on.
Walking up the Narachan track, normally sheltered, was not at all sheltered from the wind and I kept feeling I had company as every so often I would receive a powerful push in the back sending me stumbling forwards. Strangely, I passed a frosted adder on the track. I thought it might be dead but its bright eyes were watching me intently.
‘Of a’ the airts the wind can blaw/ I dearly like the west,’ said Rabbie Burns in his beautiful love-song ‘Of A’ The Airts’ (airt means direction in Scots by the way). I’m with him on this. Blow back soon, warm west winds!
The news
·         The old ferry terminal building at Lochranza Pier has been knocked down and a new one is currently being built.
·         The lower section of the Boguille Road near Lochranza is being widened. Until the end of March during the daytime you will need to drive round by the String Road and Machrie to get to the North End.
·         The Brodick Co-op supermarket is in the process of being modernised but is open for business.

The photos show the iced-up cliffs, our pods, a wintry view of the campsite from the Narachan track and the waves rolling in from the north-east at Brodick Bay.

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