Looking back over 2014, I've been blessed with some outstanding days in the outdoors both on the water and on the hill. Sea kayaking trips again featured heavily; an early Spring overnighter, a super multi-day trip around Arran, long days in the far northwest of Scotland, white sands and clear water at Arisaig and an introduction to the intense colours of summer on the Angus coast were all highlights.
On the hill there were numerous day walks, camping high in the Cairngorms and the opportunity to share in the experiences of Duke of Edinburgh's Award teams on their qualifying ventures.
As ever, it's difficult to pick a single memory from the year - and this January I'm going to cheat and indulge in two special memories.
The first combined hillwalking, sea kayaking, swimming and wildlife into a single day.......
...on a superb trip to Ailsa Craig. In the course of a single day Douglas and I paddled over 35 kilometres, climbed to the 338 metre summit (more difficult than the height would suggest) swam in the sea and explored the lighthouse. But it's the wildlife spectacle on the west side which leaves the greatest impression - on all the senses.
This "day trip" was amongst the best outdoor days I've ever had, and involved me leaving home at 0430 and arriving back at 0130 the next morning, the drive home (literally) illuminated by a rare display of noctilucent cloud.
Talking of which, the second outstanding memory of 2014 was all about cloudscape..........
...on an early morning crossing of the Kilbrannan Sound to Lochranza - the sheer beauty of which was impossible to put into words.
A good friend has recently written compellingly about the gift of gratitude at the turn of the year - and looking back over 2014 that's the dominant theme. In a year which brought both sadness and joy to our family, we've so much to be grateful for. These two memories illustrate great days shared with friends; and I'm so grateful to have shared these and all the other wonderful experiences that 2014 offered.
So there you have it - two moments from another year in Scotland's outdoors. What's your outstanding memory of 2014?