We had intended an early start. The alarm was set for 6am; we were going for the ferry before 9am so that we could have a day in Edinburgh to celebrate our granddaughter's 14th birthday. But an hour early, when there was only the slightest glimmer of light in the eastern sky, something woke me. I realised we were both awake, listening. It sounded like rain on the road at first. Then the bangs started. Was someone throwing the wheelie bins around outside? At this hour? I got up and opened the curtain.
The photo shows what I saw. What I felt was disbelief, and a profound sense of shock. I may not have been under threat from a wildfire threatening to consume my house, though there were sparks flying high in the air, but the sheer violence of this fire burning below me in Argyll Street made me gasp. I took a couple of photos, made a short video, shared the video on Twitter, and went back to bed.
I don't know why I bothered. We didn't sleep again; I lay listening to the fire, tried to recall what shops were down there; feeling my heart pounding and skipping beats. My feet were freezing. And by the time the alarm went, the flames had gone, replaced by great clouds of smoke in the grey early morning. Later I learned that the block of shops destroyed included The Trading Post, run by friends of mine and subject of a previous blip. Dunoon cannot afford to lose these shops - small units, well-used by the people and important to the community. The fire was started deliberately, and there have been two arrests, one of them of a 14 year old boy.
I'm not going to go on about it - there are reports everywhere now - but I had the interesting experience of having some requests on Twitter from news agencies wanting to use my video. So far I've only seen the Daily Record's post - and good as their word, they've attributed the clip.
We went on to have a lovely day, but I'm going to cheat slightly and fill you in on that tomorrow, when I shall probably be doing the washing and such-like tedious things. And I've been on the go for 19 hours ...