You can’t live on a view!

But we certainly live within one! All of these are genuine, un touched up shots taken in the last few days on the croft.

close to sunset one evening, a stunning rainbow ended at the bottom of the croft

looking south – the washing line, the track, the area Tom & Barbara pig have moved from and to

looking north – the static, horsebox and camping area.

Stunning as it all looks we are now four months in and while the livestock are properly established – chickens and ducks all laying, geese happily homed, pigs already onto their second area of ground and Barbara looking like she may come into season soon (piglets next year – yay!), first croft birth of two chicks three weeks old today and thriving – it does mean we have lots of mouths to feed around here.

We’re trying to get ‘winter ready’ – start building up a food store (tricky without a freezer!), ensure we have sufficient gas bottles up here on the croft to see us through, stock up on batteries to keep our torches lit. We’re flicking through seed catalogues and starting to make plans for what might end up where once we stretch out to start filling the croft up properly.

Looking ahead, short and long term. Yesterday was the closing date for applications for Croft 2, the other half of our field. We’re aware of a couple of applications jsut from meeting prospective applicants when they have visited the island, but have no role in the process, so will eagerly await the information as to who our new neighbours might be and look forward to making them feel welcome in due course. Odd to think we may look out on a next door neighbour before too long.

We’re also in the here and now of course – we have had some great feedback on our crowd funding plans to improve the croft for visitors and already had donations towards the compost loo. In the meantime I’ve been putting some thought into ways of raising funds generally for our own living expenses whilst staying in line with realising our dreams and living the way we have spent all this time working towards.

Every week is a balance between moving forwards with plans for the croft, ensuring we tick all our own boxes of enjoying life and living for now and meeting our needs of spending time with friends, as a family, with our animals and out there enjoying where we live. This week we have had a late evening walk as dusk falls, our regular trip on the Sheerwater boat, attended an event learning more about the Rum ponies, taken produce to the last Market Day / Craft Fayre for this season, foraged for brambles to make more jam, had friends to dinner, been to dinner at friends. Ady and I both got involved in moving heavy things up steep hills last weekend to help with the progression of superfast broadband here on Rum and the surrounding small isles.

Dragon is spending some time each week with Ranger Mike , which they have jointly named ‘J Ranger’ (J for junior) learning a little about what Mike does as Rum Ranger, picking up some of Mike’s amazing encylopedic knowledge about birds, animals, plants and nature and getting a taste of what it might be like to be a ranger himself one day. This week the rest of us joined them to watch The Thin Green Line a fascinating documentary about rangering around the world. A very thought provoking and interesting watch.

The weather has been giving us a taste of things to come with lots of rain and some high gusts of wind. Fortunately we have the static strapped down now and as soon as we have a couple of clear days of weather (hopefully this coming week) we’ll finish that job by putting a skirt around the base of the static to prevent the wind from getting underneath it and also hopefully warming it up a little in here. We’re entering the season of condensation with lots of people breathing, cooking and living in a single glazed structure, windows drip and the air is damp. Challenges every step of the way… we’re had our first taste of ferry disruption as residents too, although we saw the chaos that can be caused by the weather last year and earlier this year when we were just visitors so knew that was to come. Every day something new to learn.