Being a self-confessed ‘east-coaster’ – born – brought up and schooled in that part of Scotland stretching from north Aberdeenshire to Berwick I tend to shudder at the thought of the dreaded ‘midge’ I mentioned in an earlier post. Even in my hill-walking days I couldn’t bring myself to visit the western highlands in summer for fear of the biting craturs – preferring instead the dead of winter when the dreaded midge is presumably sleeping under the snow banks.
So what makes the difference now? With 75 being the number at my next birthday my hide isn’t getting any tougher despite what people say but living on an island has it’s benefits.
For one you can jump on a boat and get far enough offshore that the midge won’t reach you and drown in trying.
For two it’s said that the midge can’t fly in winds over 5mph and hopefully if they can be persuaded to take to the air in anything stronger they will disappear into the next county.
Three says to keep away from standing water – bushes and trees – to that I would add bracken as it is infested with the brutes.
Four says that instead of buying expensive mozzie repellants buy a tube/jar or preferably bucket of a particular Avon face cream for the same money and the midge won’t come within a mile of you.
Then at five there’s the route H n I have taken in moving to Bardrishaig —
Yes there are midgies here – starving midgies I guess cos the average windspeed over the year must be about 25mph – well over the midge threshold of 5mph.
The sea breezes come in the main from the south and as the many visiting yacht skippers will testify – they are strong and steady up the Sound of Luing but warm-ish —
When the wind swings to the north or east it’s time to go for a bit of fashion with a ‘toorie on ma bunnet’ —
The views from above the hunkered down steading are special – all the way over Shuna to the mainland mountains – to the Isle of Mull – to the Garvellacks – a faded Colonsay over Lunga – a menacing Scarba with bits of Jura peering from beyond – and much – much more —
Makes the odd midgie bite pale into insignificance and is well worth being in from numbers five to ten —
Hard to imagine but there are about a million of the little buggers per square metre in that view – all clinging on to blades of grass and bracken till their built-in windspeed monitors tell ’em the wind has dropped and it’s feeding time —-
No worries – I will be back indoors by then and I’m pleased to confirm that the modern hermetically sealed windows and doors – recently retro-fitted in the old Bardrishaig farmhouse are ‘midgie tight’ 🙂