The weather is about to change they say. The stove will be lit again and my jumper will once again be needed to compensate for fur taken from me last week. It is hard to credit, today having been so temperate, so sunny and the sea so calm. Gale force winds are expected, we are told; our world will grow smaller, the horizon seem nearer. This morning two seals were fishing just offshore, playing with us as much as with each other, turning the chore of existence into one of their games. The results of their efforts have been much in evidence lately: how we thrilled to see the foot long fish shot vertically into the air – torpedoes fired by undetected seal submarines. Out on the islands the first seal pups have been born. But they do not as yet know they are born, as the saying goes, as so far Neptune has only rolled over a couple of times and he has guarded their resting places carefully. Soon though, we are told, he will lose control, and so will we. We will not know what to expect once we leave the cosy hearth, how many layers to wear, what to stack and what to store for safety. The darkness will descend and the owl will have it all his own way. Now that the geese are here, it can begin.