Going with the Grain
On the island there is a feeling of delicious, harmless naughtiness. These kind of spaces seem designed for pirates and parrots, schemers and plotters
Stripping down together, egging each other on to brave the cold water, finding simple pleasure in slipping your head under or watching birds flit between branches and fish flopping out onto lilies in the heat. There is a sense of everyone becoming part of the scene.
Dinner is always accompanied by a great bottle of wine. These rather indulgent meals do come at a cost, with pack weights sometimes eye wateringly high. However, we feel great food hard won can’t be beaten especially in stunning locations around a fire.
"I've been here for 12 years now and I love it, we're like a family. I used to work closer to home, but there aren't many of these jobs around now. I wanted to make something I could feel proud of, not slippers being knocked out cheap.
I have developed an uneasy relationship with the mountains, largely due to an accident I had in Chamonix three winters ago... Eventually, I could not resist the pull; their raw, unforgiving and slightly sinister beauty.
There is silence as we eat. It’s the best meal I had in 2017
(and I review restaurants).
Yesterday was exactly a year to the day that my dad passed away. In all honesty, I wouldn't have known if I hadn't been told.
We knew powder snow wouldn’t be on the cards. It would be like asking for a vintage bottle of 1921 Dom Pérignon champagne in a Blackpool bingo hall.
Our expectations were never that unrealistic.
But the conditions were wonderful all the same. The snow had a sublime Goldilocks quality to it: not too firm; not too soft; but just right.
I have never learnt this much in such a short amount of time. Living on a remote island is very different than living on the mainland! We have no cars, only two tractors. I have learnt how to shoot with a rifle and to use safety precautions in regards to polar bears.