The sound of the doorbell.
'Who was that?' asks the other half.
'The postman. It looks like it's a book. A really heavy book.'
The packaging comes off. 'That looks interesting,' she says.
'It's a book of photographs of the Scottish landscape by the guy who won the first Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year Competition.'
'Oh, alright.' I can tell her interest is diminishing. We've both seen lots of books of photographs of Scotland before.
I open the book at the title page. 'Wow, look at that!'
I move on to a random page in the body of the book. 'Look at that one!' Another page. 'And don't you wish you'd taken that photograph? Or that one?'
'Hang on,' she says. 'Go back a page.'
It's a picture of Sandwood Bay, our favourite place in Scotland (and the world) from a high viewpoint to the north.
'How did he get that shot? Does the ground really rise that much beyond the bay?'
'I'm wondering if he used a drone. No, it says here that all the photographs were taken on a Hasslebad panoramic film camera.'
'Why have we never seen that view ourselves?' she asks.
The honest answer is that after the long walk in to Sandwood Bay from the south, we've never felt the urge to climb the rising ground to the north, knowing that we'd then have to return. 'It's a good reason to go back. We've got to go and see that view next time.'
She's taken the book off me and is flicking through. 'There's a view we know well.' It's the east end of Suilven, seen from the slightly higher west end. It's our second most favourite place in Scotland (and the world).
'There's another one of Sandwood Bay here. And one of the beach at Oldshoremore. Don't you wish you could have some of these mountain pictures blown up and framed on the wall?'
So, yes, "Wild Light: Scotland's Mountain Landscape" by Craig Aitchison is another book of photographs of the Scottish landscape, and particularly of the mountainous parts of it. It is also a truly remarkable achievement. There are over eighty panoramas here, and the photographs were taken over a seven year period. In an age when almost everyone carries more than one camera with them virtually everywhere they go (as most smartphones have main and selfie cameras) photography has become commonplace. People take photographs with as little thought as they breathe. We're a little unusual, in that whenever we go anywhere we each carry a chunky DSLR. But we can still take hundreds of photographs in a day. It's hard to remember the era in which film came in rolls of, at most, 36 shots and you needed a darkroom in the downstairs loo to get anything approaching an instant return from your hobby.
But if those days are hard to remember, what must it be like to carry around a camera that takes - I assume - far fewer shots to a roll of film, and a tripod to mount it on? If the evidence of Craig Aitchison's work in this magnificent book is anything to go by, it's a process that slows you down and allows you to appreciate the landscape to the full: and in the hands of a master it's a process that allows you to capture the Scottish mountain landscape in a way that evokes joy, longing and wonder. Buy this book.