In Iona, I'm normally pretty tired after manual work all day, so tend to sleep from 9 at night to about 7 in the morning, as opposed to my more placid Edinburgh life where I sleep from about midnight or 1 in the morning to precisely 5.18am (and don't ask me why: it's totally inconvenient).
So in Iona, I don't normally see the night sky. It was different at the weekend. For once I woke up about 3am and couldn't get back to sleep, so climbed down from my lair in the attic and absent mindedly walked into the back sun room where I stopped short in amazement.
The night sky was totally black, a dark deep of textured velvet; there was nothing to see, not even the reflection of the sea, no lights, no shade of the hills, no shapes of the sheep, lying to wait for dawn.
But there were the stars, hundreds of them, so bright, so clear, so many. In Edinburgh, I can just about pick out Venus, Jupiter, Orion's Belt. But here, it was difficult to find sky without stars, it was magical and really humbling.
I spent the night, wrapped in the knitted blanket I knitted for my father's room in shades of ice blue, sleeping on the bed sofa in the sun room, opening my eyes every so often to make sure that the stars were still there.
I woke at dawn to find them gone, just a soft streak of soft sienna in the middle distance, but my memories hadn't gone. It's one of those memories which I'll cling to during the stressful days in Edinburgh, when I have to remember why I'm in Auld Reekie earning money to give me the chance to be in Iona at the weekends.