Tarbert hill, four hundred and fifty-three feet of tough, sheep cropped grass stood between us and the beautiful misty blue, Isle of Arran. Like a massive sleeping dinosaur the hillside towered across from Yonderton at the bottom of the lane. We climbed up one Sunday afternoon to stand at the summit buffeted by wild winds yet entranced by a view across the sheltered waters of the Firth of Clyde to the magical blue and mauve island and it's snow-capped mountains.
I can't remember being lonely, but I must have been, knowing nobody and with no neighbours close-by. I only remember loosing my heart to this wonderful place where it was quite likely some of our Viking descendants roamed and lived. One winter's morning we went walking and staggering up the hill just to the left on the photograph. There were young bullocks in the field higher up so we were skirting around to enter the garden when they all came over to investigate who we were. This woman and small child. They weren't large beasts but never-the-less towering over the small form of my daughter, and budging and shoving me with their bulk, blowing out sweet misty smoke from black nostrils into the frosty air. I picked her up to swing her on my hip and grabbed a small branch to poke them away, beginning to feel intimidated by a bunch of curious teenagers it seemed. Lowering my voice an octave and hoping to sound bold and commanding,
"On with you...away with you beasts!" just as I had previously heard the cowman shout I hoped.
I never thought that I could feel in the least threatened by a herd of cows. Not so. They gathered behind us pushing and shoving each other as we scrambled over the fence into the garden only to find ourselves in a carpet of massed snowdrops in a part of the garden we hadn't noticed before.
'The moment you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn't matters not a jot.' -Monica Baldwin-