That had nothing to do with the excesses of our 'gala dinner' last night, of course!
This morning the delights of Ullapool Pottery's superb products drew us inside, but the price labels soon repulsed us. I did really fancy a fruit bowl. But for £325?
The bookshop was far more successful at emptying our wallets.
Morning coffee was followed quite briskly by lunch, then Andrew joined the six residents of Tigh na Mara for a 12 km stroll with 300 metres ascent - to Rhue Lighthouse along the shore line beside Loch Broom, returning by road.
En route we spied two familiar shapes, lurching towards us like ghosts from a horror movie. Ken and Anne emerged from the blizzard looking very pale. They had been birding, and reported 'seagulls and ducks'. We took the opportunity of taking a group photo and went our separate ways.
A man was collecting (peri)winkles in a big bucket on the beach. "They go to France" he said, adding that he harvests different beaches every day. Further along the shore there was much life to observe, including bucket loads of winkles.
Beyond a field of cute black pigs, a river crossing was needed to reach the lighthouse. It wasn't very deep, but our little troupe (pictured) conspired to make it as difficult as they could. This was one of the day's few photo opportunities, in between snow squalls.
Slithery rocks led eventually beyond busy oyster catchers to the small white lighthouse at Rhue, in the lee of which we rode out a violent blizzard. Sustained by a shared KitKat, the seven of us then hit the road for an hour long stroll back to Ullapool, passing the site of a couple of pre-historic round houses that may have been home to an extended family of 20-30 people around 3000 years ago.
We were entertained on the drag into Ullapool by a flock of grey geese, grazing in a field. Most of them were Greylag Geese, but one noisy intruder was being eschewed by the rest of the flock. It was different. Neil thinks it's a juvenile Pink-Footed Goose that has 'got lost'; whereas to me it looked more like a 1st winter European White-Fronted Goose. Neil is probably correct.
Back in 'town' the hedges and trees were teeming with bird life, including busy chaffinches and greenfinches, cooing collared doves, and a treefull of bedraggled starlings.
Now we are looking forward to Neil and Sam's culinery contribution, a curry. Interesting smells are emanating from the kitchen...
Sorry about the poor quality of the postcard images on this trip. It's been difficult. Judging by Jamie's comment, the weather in Timperley has been no better!
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