Daylight Hours

Our tourist season is truncated here in the north. We would welcome everyone, any month of the year, but after eleven years on the premises we know the drill.

Someone locks the gate at the Kessock Bridge. It has to be that. Or alternatively, visitors aren’t overly keen on driving sleet, gale force gusts, eye watering winds, skin piercing beach walks and drizzly rain that could soak you through your cagoule in seconds. *shrugs, adds another layer of wool and positions the snow goggles ready for the dog walk.

This is understandable however categorically fails to acknowledge December’s majestic wild coastline, the electric landscape, the cobweb-sweeping strolls and the adrenalin when you get home, the fire is on and there’s a bottle of red wine. Winter is wild, yes, but it’s beautiful and exhilarating and there is nowhere more spectacular than Melvich Beach on a frosty afternoon as the sun sets (see hotel IG account for proof).

All that aside, we are not idle during these months. From November to March we work daylight hours. (Editor’s Note: Actually we work daylight hours year round, however the winter 10am to 3pm is kinder to one’s health than 4am to 1am in summer. Just sayin’) Winter to-do lists are far less sociable than the rest of the year with noticeably less people around and naturally revolve around Maintenance. Roof maintenance, accounts and office maintenance, roof maintenance, rooms and decor maintenance, marketing and website maintenance, roof maintenance and, yes, did I mention the Roof?

Porous as it may be, the Flat Roof does make for an excellent viewing platform.

Porous as it may be, the Flat Roof does make for an excellent viewing platform.

The last flat roof in modern history resides right here at the Melvich Hotel. A tourist attraction if ever there was one. While we are unable to invest gold bullion into adding a pitch to that particular Victorian roof section, we persevere with bitumen, tar, sweary words and fish boxes to catch the drips. It’s a veritable soul stripper but laying bets on when the water will start to appear in October is now an essential staff activity.

Anyway, we spend our winter daylight hours catching up and making it all snazzy again, ready for the new year to begin and the new season to start. We catch our breath, take a long slug of Rock Rose, adjust our metaphorical ties and put our best foot forward. We do miss the company but a 8/4month cycle for our business means the red carpet is prepped and ready to roll come March and strictly between you and me, we love having that beach to ourselves for just a few weeks.

December light: Melvich Beach, Where the Wild Things Are.

December light: Melvich Beach, Where the Wild Things Are.

Jo Wyke