This morning there was a certain reluctance to swap bedsheets for sheets of rain. It was still pouring, and I could hear the thunder of the river (100 yards away ) from every room in the house. As I drove to work every little burn that came down off the hill showed as a white torrent through the grey veil.
Again we postponed our departure but after an hour we were buzzing with caffeine from the lodge kitchen coffee and so made our jittery, wild-eyed way out to the moors.
The rain did ease toward midday, but the pace didn't. My cold, coupled with the cold North wind and leaden skies above made for leaden feet below. However it was a real boost to see the most grouse I've seen for years.
Unfortunately the following three drives of the day matched the first only in length and duration. The icing on the cake was when my young spaniel-completely knackered- gave up and lay down 5 minutes into the last drive. There was nothing else for it, so I carried him in on my shoulders- about a mile and a half. The way I was feeling, he's lucky I wasn't armed!! I just hope I haven't set a precedent.
The guests are regulars and have stuck with us through good years and bad so it was gratifying to be able to provide them with a decent days sport. The final bag? 108 brace. Just don't ask how many shots they fired.
The enduring memory of the day, however, is the first drive and the way pack after pack of grouse flurried into flight and, with a tilt of their wings, were swept over the ridge out of my sight and into the drive. It was a wonderful sight.
When I eventually crawled through the door, it was on the television that this area had had a months rain in the last 36 hours. What great news! I can put away my waterproofs until October!!