Ah September.

It’s five months today since we drove off the ferry and on to Rum to make our home here. Next week we leave for the first time back to the mainland (only for a couple of nights). Five months! It’s gone in a blink of an eye and in some ways we still feel so very new here, yet in others it feels more like home than anywhere else has ever done and we already have so many memories and here.

September is probably our most eventful month for anniversaries and celebrations and has always felt more like the start of a new year than January does – likely a hangover from being a schoolkid and the Back To School feeling of new stationery, new uniform and new school year. It’s the month we married in and the month we first became parents in 1999 and 2000 respectively. Since not sending our children to school and being Home Educators we have often celebrated Not Back to School with picnics, park visits and hanging out on beaches or other unschool-y locations in September, just because we can! In 2010 (almost to the day) we bought Willow in September and in 2011 we were just starting out 6 weeks of travelling around Scotland in Willow wild camping and falling in love with this part of the world.

This September sees us once again getting to grips with yet another way of life as we try to winter-ready ourselves, the croft, the static. We are researching house build options and in talks with a designer about possibilities. We are crowdfunding frantically (nearly 20% of the way there with just 46 days left to go) and today was the last Sheerwater boat trip of the season with the seabirds and cetaceans coming out to wave us off in style til next year and sightings of minke whales, porpoises, gannets, geese and gulls.

Some things remain the same throughout September though, ever since I was a child. The light seems to have that changing season magic about it – skies are somehow bluer when the sun is that bit lower in the sky. The mornings and evenings are clear and crisp, it’s the best time for star gazing (and we definitely live in the best place I’ve ever been for stargazing – we have spent more time standing looking skywards in the dark in the last few weeks than in my whole life I think!), seasonal food is fabulous with apples and blackberries providing feasts for free. Every load of washing you manage to dry out on the line feels like a last minute bonus, every day without a coat with the sun still warming your back a snatched treat to keep you going til spring. Today I wore a hat for the first time, last night I took a hot water bottle to bed. I’ve been looking at thick socks and winter weight duvets online. The wasps are drowsy, the midges are all but gone, thoughts are turning to fireworks and bonfires. The leaves are turning to gold and today we watched great skeins of geese fly in formations back for winter while other birds are preparing to fly away.

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