On the Galloway coast the pale winter light shines on the woods of St Mary’s Isle. Then briefly, with the tide retreating, the sun touches the shore for one last time but there is no warmth in it. Soon it slips below the hill and in Nun Mill Bay the chill air ruffles our hair and a few spots of rain spat a warning staccato. In the distance there is the ever present hiss of the ocean, clawing its way back from the wreck of the Monreith. Closer inshore the breaking surf beats its ponderous rhythm and the clouds bluster in from the west with malicious intent. Winter has set in and soon the grey days will fill the burns and the roaring wind will blow the last of the summer leaves from the shivering branches.