One of the first things we realised about island life and being in such a small community is how intense life here is and how magnified and blown out of proportion everything can feel. The smallest thing here feels so much bigger than it would back on the mainland with more people, more distractions and more of everything to put it into perspective.
We’re a few ‘men’ down at the moment with several people off island for one reason or another. With such a small population every person counts and leaves a gap. We have just welcomed back one of our number who had a stay in hospital after an accident, another couple are off having treatment for illness, another on holiday, another away for a short break and yesterday we waved a tearful goodbye to another leaving forever to return to her homeland. Although we’ve only been here a matter of weeks it already feels like a big family, sure there are frustrations and things which annoy you about people, those you have a real affinity and closeness to and those who you just bimble alongside with a nod and a hello when you pass them. You need every single one of those people to make it feel just right.
Croft 2, next door to us is being advertised currently. I know of a fair few applications and would happily have any of them as our new neighbours If Rum is to achieve all it is capable of and dreaming of then we need more people, more ideas and more diversity. More dreamers, more thinkers, more crazies!
This weekend is a big one for us – we are hoping to move our static onto the croft. We have a tracker and trailer coming over from neighbouring Eigg and along with a hefty dose of helping hands and a massive chunk of luck we may well be sitting in our home, on our land by this time next week. I am hardly daring to imagine it will happen while at the same time barely able to contain my excitement at the possibility of looking out over our croft when I pull the curtains in the morning.
Paperwork is still a slow and painful process with forms going back and forth between us and the crofting commission. Eventually we’ll have our land registry changed, our holding number sorted and be in a position to start looking at grants and funding. First on our list of projects is a compost loo, then a shed to house a washing machine, then a solar power shower block or woodburning bathhouse, then a pizza oven and firepit area. I’m gathering books from amazon on various subjects and getting very excited at the prospect of all these projects. Alongside that we are also researching alternative technologies including hydro, wind and solar and working out the best methods of getting water. We have become WWOOF hosts and had our story in the WWOOF newsletter this month which was very cool. We’re already getting a steady stream of potential WWOOFers contact us so I am putting together a very clear set of information about who we are, what to expect both of us and of Rum and quite how it all works in our rather unique little corner of the world.
Other exciting news is that we may even have internet access before too long up in our static. For me this has been the biggest struggle so far as I feel out of touch with family and friends and am itching to upload photos, blog our experiences and research stuff online so having to come down for an odd hour here and there to the village hall is far from ideal.
When we arrived I blogged about normal service being resumed as soon as I worked out what that was. We are not quite there yet but it’s feeling a lot like home and if all our short term plans fall into place I think we may well be approaching our own brand new version of normal before too much longer.