As an aficionado of livestock, I naturally took great interest in the local Iona sheep. They have massive, deep-pile coats – the kind into which you just want to dig your fingers – and seem to roam unrestrained, though the greatest concentration of the wooly beasts are to be found at the northern tip of the island, where the turf – and the view – are more agreeable. There they also do something really curious: they burrow into cutouts between the grass and the sand, as though seeking shelter from the wind. The sight of it only serves to reinforce the anomaly of today’s calm skies and bright sunshine. It must be a wildly inhospitable environment when even the sheep are seen ducking for cover.