I went out to dinner last night, 7 for 730. This doesn’t happen on the island much, especially when you are the only one on Fluke street but Ian, Colin and Frank who are in the Lowlight invited me over with the temptation of a very nice chilli and a fine 15 year old, malt whisky of course ! They are all long standing members of the Isle of May Bird Observatory with Frank having first visited the island in 1949 as a boy on birding trips. It made for a fascinating evening listening to stories about past birds, boat trips, the lighthouse keepers and the keepers goats. King Farouk was the billy and could be smelt from a fair distance away, I’m glad we don’t have to deal with that sort of thing now though it was a close run thing earlier this year with the researchers and the shower ban. I tend to think of the island as having been a nature reserve for ever but when Frank first came out all the debris from a wartime occupation were strewn around and the island was first and foremost a lighthouse island in a strategically important place. The pioneering bird observatory guys were just mad bird watchers who flitted around the real work of the island. It just goes to show how far the management of the island and the thinking behind it have changed. So it gave me something to ponder as I wove my way home in the dark up over the island, internally warmed by the whisky, buffeted slightly by the increasing wind and intermittently lit by the Mainlight. I wondered what state the island would be in in another 60 years time.