Listening to: Rock and Roll Music (Chuck Berry)
Reading: The American West (Dee Brown)
Yesterday was pretty damned good. I gave myself the day off, partly to recover from the fuzzy feeling in my head after a bucketload of Dark Island the previous evening, but also to enjoy the company of my wife's brother and his wife who are visiting.
Brother-in-law, having ignored advice and got stuck into the 12-year-old Highland Park, was in a poor state and we spent much of the morning stumbling around, bumping into each other, groaning pitifully.
An hour or so's dog-walking revived spirits and the appearance of the sun in the sky - a rare occurrence here recently - persuaded us that a beach outing was in order.
Wetsuits, boards and Owen the spaniel/collie cross were thrown into the back of Lennox the Land Rover Discovery and we set off for Grobust beach on the north of the island, the only beach that supports a regularly surfable wave. It's no Hawaii, or even Newquay, but it's fun and you have the place to yourself.
Well, not quite. We wriggled into wetsuits, pulled on hoods and gloves, alerted the coastguard and staggered down to the water's edge.
The wave was a bit sloppy for any serious surfing, but it's hard not to have fun in the water and the arrival of some local wildlife made it a day to remember.
We'd been in about 10 minutes when I realised there were four heads in the water - me, Mart, Kath and a grey seal keeping a close eye on us from about five or six yards.
Seals, of course, are not an uncommon sight around the island, but it's rare to come into such close contact. We carried on splashing about for half-an-hour while the seal hovered around, occasionally dipping below the surface or catching a wave.
Kath, enjoying her first time in a wetsuit, was captivated and was still in the water as Mart and I trudged back to the car.
By the time we had towelled down and I had realised I had forgotten to bring my boxers, a couple of other seals had arrived, one hauling out onto the beach. I'm sure that once I've been here a while, such encounters will be commonplace, but for now I'm happy to act like a tourist.