One of these perfect moments, when the low sun lights up the winter fields like a stage spotlight and contrasts with the dark clouds that had threatened rain in Dunoon. We'd done our usual recce out of the windows, looked at clouds, observed the rain currently falling, set off to drive north and changed our minds at the last minute. This is the south of the Cowal Peninsula, the road past the farms in the Ardyne area, where the landscape and the climate are different from the forests and the rainfall of just seven miles up the road.
A much more satisfying day than I'd been anticipating: it was redeemed by a visit from an old friend, a former colleague who more than 20 years ago taught me to abseil and took me on my first big climbs in Glencoe, who had us talking solidly for the best part of 3 hours, with the promise of further get-togethers, not to climb but to make music together. And then a good walk, not in the rain but in this magical light and the afterglow of the sunset, coming back in the dusk that was still with us at 5.30pm.
And tomorrow I must order some new strings for my violin...