Despite this, the cheerful resilience of those who live in this remote place never ceases to amaze me. Even when we seem to have had more than our fair share of 'Kilchoan sunshine', and the world seems a grey place, there's never a shortage of smiles and kind words. And we are blessed with the visitors who come here, many of whom return year after year, never tiring of this place and its people.
As the pages of The Diary witness, West Ardnamurchan's beauty, its archaeology, history, wildlife, land- and seascapes offer unending opportunities for pleasure and leisure. Over the year, Gill and I have walked miles across its rugged landscapes and along its wonderfully varied coastline. Ardnamurchan's openness, its emptiness, the opportunities it offers to walk for a whole day and see no-one, are rare commodities in this crowded world. We feel very privileged.
Taken from the summit of Creag an Airgid, the hill of silver, the photograph looks northwestwards along the winding road to Sanna. The ridge in the near distance which the road so carefully skirts is Sidhean Mor (or Sithean Mor), the big hillock, and the burn which runs in the same direction as the road is Allt Uamha na Muice, which means, as well as The Diary can translate it, the stream of the cave of the pig. Beyond the tiny village of Achnaha, visible in a patch of green grass, the stream changes its name, becoming Allt Sanna, entering the sea at the northern end of Sanna's white-sand beaches.
In the middle distance, to the left of the road, is Meall Sanna, Meall meaning a round hill, while to the right are a line of hills, all part of the great ring dyke, of which the highest is Meall Clach an Daraich, the rounded hill of stone and oak. The island in the distance is Muck, with the coastline of Rhum just visible under the low cloud beyond.
This is one of about sixty photos taken on an October day when we climbed Creag an Airgid. The weather was cloudy, with a hint of rain in the breeze, and most of the pictures were disappointing. It wasn't until it was viewed on the computer screen that the almost map-like quality of this one became apparent.