Our Harris and Lewis trip was one of those ticking a box of places we’ve been sorts of trips. A real break away from our day to day lives and some family time. The sort of trip we have taken in the past covering a bit of culture, history, travel and wildlife watching.
In contrast the second week of being away from Rum for the kids and I was way more gallivanting about and a real return to our pre-Rum lives in many ways. Stacks of driving for me, some really, really interesting in car conversations (always the setting for the best chats throughout their entire childhood. Maybe it’s the lack of distractions, perhaps they don’t like my in-car singing, it could be that non confrontational no eye contact, not your full attention type space which makes for really candid and honest talking), a completely lovely top up of friends and family. My parents, my brother and his partner and son, my sister in law, my brother in law and the three cousins. So all the grandparents, all the aunts, uncles, brothers and honorary sisters and all the cousins, some family friends who have known me since I was younger than Davies and Scarlett are now.
And then on to an Open House hosted by some very good friends who invited along a group of friends who we have shared our lives with for well over a decade and become the sort of family you are not actually related to but hold just as close. These are people who we met online as fellow Home Educators and have spent many hours in real life company with. We have shared holidays, been at each others weddings, celebrated births of children, held each other close through dark times, laughed and loved and learned alongside each other. Our children are each others’ peers, friends and in many cases as good as siblings. I first met some of these friends virtually when we were all still using dial up internet and we have stayed in touch with a variety of the social media over the years. Of course nothing compares to real life contact though and we had a hefty dose of that with a rapid fall back into our usual easy camaraderie, in jokes and affectionate banter.
Davies continued that tradition by meeting up in real life for the first time with an online friend he has been chatting with virtually for nearly two years. It was so lovely to see the pair of them meeting for the first time, exchanging real life hugs rather than the online ones they are used to and leaving Scarlett and I behind as they headed off for a couple of hours together chatting away, bumping into them later still chatting and them returning to us still chatting.
The catalyst for our planned trip south was booking tickets to the live show of Welcome to Nightvale, a podcast that Davies and Scarlett listen to. We stood in the queue alongside other fans, Davies got a couple of T shirts, we got a photo with one of the stars and all really enjoyed a captivating performance in the fabulous venue of a church.
We arrived home after epic amounts of driving up and down the country and a few days later friends came for a 3 day visit to Rum. They happened to be here for one of the sporadic very busy weekends that seem to happen sometimes here on Rum – a Halloween party, a roller disco, various family and friends of other Rum residents visiting the island and so joined in with everything else that was going on.
It means as we waved them off today, the 1st of November, we are heading into our fifth winter here on Rum utterly buoyed up by plenty of time spent in the company of family and friends having had fun, adventures and made memories to keep us going through the darker winter months ahead.