Another holiday season is drawing to an end. The last few lingering camper vans are dawdling their way back over the Skye Bridge and heading home. Our cottage booking calendars are almost blank for the winter. The roads and villages are becoming quiet again.
It has been a different summer. Not just the weather - which seems to me to have been wetter than usual - but different visitors. Virus-related travel restrictions have meant we have hosted very few overseas guests, while many visitors from England and even from Scotland were exploring Skye for the first time. We have also seen a big increase in first-time self-caterers.
Such feedback as we receive suggests that our visitors have been happy enough with what they have experienced, with positive comments about our cottages, and about the island. I wonder how many people will choose to holiday again in the UK and discover other parts of our wonderful country before they fly off for yet another same-every-time sunbathing vacation in a crowded beach resort somewhere hot.
Tonight we put the clocks back an hour, so for those of us who live in this little piece of heaven-on-earth, the evenings will draw-in ever sooner, and we will start to look out the handicrafts, jigsaws, books and other entertainments that make light of the long dark winter nights.
I'll be stoking-up the stove again soon, too. We may bathe in centrally-heated luxury, but there is still nothing quite like the flicker of a real flame when the rain is beating against the windows, or the wind rushing round the chimney.
|The tourists make their way back home|
|An autumn sunset on Skye|
(Photo by Sue)