This morning just before I started this post I replied to an email from a friend in New Zealand and ended by saying "This morning it's windy, cold and wet: weather I understand. I'm home in Scotland. Only 57 days 12 hours and 39 minutes before I leave for warmer climes. But who's counting?". Life is never that simple though and by late afternoon the sun shone out of a cloudless sky although it was still very windy and chilly. That's Lewis for you. That's Scotland for you.
I've been away for nearly three weeks and enjoyed almost every minute. I've enjoyed excellent companionship and hospitality and slept in lovely comfortable beds but there is nothing like being back in one's own space.
Most of you will know that I was born in Liverpool. Many of you will know that I regard nationalism as anathema being one of the great scourges of humanity which has caused so much misery and death throughout history. Driving north out of the great conurbations of Lancashire and through the former counties of Westmorland and Cumberland into the lowlands of Scotland I felt a real sense of being on my way home. Driving towards Ullapool from Inverness until I was safely on the ferry I felt more than ever the overwhelming sense of returning home and of belonging in the Hebrides. It's also a feeling I get when the plane crawls out of the sky over the foothills of the ranges and into Napier.
My birthplace was entirely beyond my control. Where is choose to call my home isn't. Whatever my nationality may be on my passport I am a Hebridean Kiwi in my heart.