2012 – a year to remember

It’s been an amazing year for us. We started not knowing where we’d be ending it, still in limbo over whether we’d get the croft and come to Rum or end up up following one of our other possible dreams. We end the year still very much a work in progress on making dreams come true, still climbing our hill.

2013 holds massive promise for us. We have so much work to do, so many more dreams to realise, missions to accomplish, adventures to embark on, hills to climb.

But for now we’re looking back and raising glasses to 2012. An amazing year to remember. The year we came home.

January 2012 – you may remember these friends from January 2011. The location is different – Glastonbury this time and the paths we are about to travel are very different – we’ here adventuring in Rum, they are off on their own amazing adventures in 2013 but we’re hoping we’ll continue to hook up as often as crazy adventuring schedules allow. January saw us gallivant all around the country staying with various friends waiting to find out what would happen next.
February – we came up to Rum for our interview and after a real grilling we were offered the croft. Ringing and texting family and friends to let them know from the beach (the only area with signal) was magical, particularly when a rainbow appeared over the loch. This picture is us standing on one of the gates to Croft 3. For some reason we misguidedly thought this was us conquering the land!
In March we found our home. The static, back then pristine and empty on an industrial estate near Dingwall. Now it’s cluttered and nowhere near as shiny (it’s been through a lot!). I attended a crofting course where I met Gav who is about to become our next door neigbour on Croft 2 in 2013 and we packed up our lives once again ready for another big move.
In April we arrived. On April 19th we collected our new puppy Bonnie, on April 20th we arrived on Rum. On April 25th our static arrived. We went from staying in the castle (in the foreground) to the static (in the front) that night. Not quite home but in the right beds!
May – animals arrive. Much hasty cobbling together of shelters – chickens in a coop made of reclaimed galvanised sheets and fence posts, pigs in an old landrover roof, ducks in a converted wheelie bin. Although we are yet to make it to living on the croftland ten hens, a cockerel, five ducks and a pair of piggies beat us to it and take up residence on Croft 3.
June – virtually impossible to choose just one photo. There was the anguish of moving the static – the wheels falling off, getting it down banks, across fords, feeling as though we were moving mountains. There was climbing Hallival, experiencing a superpod of dolphins on our weekly trip out on the Sheerwater boat, the chickens beginning to lay eggs, celebrating the Queens Jubilee with Pimms and posh cakes and one of our fellow islanders leaving. But I think it was this moment – the static actually passing through the (hastily removed) gate and onto our croft land that will be one of the most emotive images for us of the month, year, possibly our whole lives!
July – sharing. This was the month that family came to stay. Parents, grandparents, sister, cousins. We were rich in family and able to share Rum with those we love and miss most. The sun shone, the days were long.

If July was about family then August was about friends. We had day trippers, two nighters and all weekers! We had the first annual Midgefest celebration and (although they didn’t make it to adulthood) we had the first croft 3 births when a broody hen hatched two chicks. 
September was more friends visiting, Dragon celebrating his birthday, a celebration of local food with the Blasda festival and evening meal. Brambles a go-go with crumble, jelly, jam and pies being made as quick as we could pick. We also briefly left home to return to the mainland for a couple of nights.
October – the red deer rut. We’re a bit wildlife poor on this photo round up so it seemed fitting to have one of the most exciting Rum wildlife at one of their most exciting times. More family to stay for us along with clinging to the autumn as it finally faded to winter.
November – month of fire. Fireworks at the beach, bonfire building burning the guys we helped make, collecting wood to burn on the log burner we finally had installed in the static. If there is to be darkness – and come November there is rather more darkness than light here on Rum – then let there also be light. Candlelight, torchlight, firelight.           
December – the winkles. Between us Ady and I picked a ton of winkles over the course of a few weeks. It’s cold, wet, fiddly work. It chips your nail varnish, soaks your clothing, bruises your knees, chaps your hands and makes your nose run and your back ache. It also pays well and has the advantage of spectacular views every time you look up from the winkles. I’d happily do it again any time. Star celebrated her birthday, we had Christmas and Hogmanay and are pushing through that first testing, challenging, tough winter.

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