It said 32ºC on our car thermometer this afternoon an hour or so after this photo was taken; Scotland's hottest day in 100 years, they say. And for me, it marked another year when I can say yes, it was summer, summer enough for me to go swimming in the sea off Cowal.
That distant figure is me, though I'll not let you any closer - and no, I didn't take the photo. Blessings on Air Drop ... In this photo, I'm wearing my Tilley hat, but a short while before the photographer was holding the hat and I was much further away, swimming in that ridiculously shallow sea somewhere between the beach and the island on the horizon, which is Arran. And in this photo , though you can't tell, I'm ridiculously content.
The water was, in fact, pretty heart-attack-inducingly cold, and so shallow at low tide that I get I did indeed have to walk halfway to Arran before I could find depth enough to swim. But the combination of this huge beach, the fine sand, the clear water and the hot, hot sunshine was magical, and wiped away the irritations of a meeting I'd attended in the morning.
My extra photo is of the beach without the distraction of me pottering back to shore. It was taken at the far end, where a burn coming down from the glen behind the beach produces bright green weed.
And now I'm off to wash the salt - and probably some stubborn sand - off my person and try for a more reasonable time in bed ...