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Only a brief respite, winter only took the day off . Last night the wind howled through the trees and the rain pelted on the roof. The neighbour’s half-built second unit flapped and creaked in the wind. This morning the sun is back out, but so different to yesterday, there’s no warmth in it, just a brittle glare to add to the biting southerly blowing in across the bay.

A day for winter coats, scarves and woolly hats — and dogs, lots of dogs. Maybe the wind makes them all get excited, maybe only the dog owners have to go out in this weather; either way there just seem to be more dogs about; racing and snapping at the wind, tearing around in circles on the beach.

Escape from the house and two slightly stir-crazy nephews for a walk. Off up the track along the Erskine river to “The Sanctuary”, the rock amphitheatre where the Little Erskine joins the Erskine. Moss and black mould as slippery as ice on the rocks. Back down along the river to the mouth of the river, the plaques commemorating all the 19th century shipwrecks seem poignant, so believable in this weather.