That had nothing on our next move!
We arrived yesterday on the Isle of Rum, after a fairly epic journey all the way up the UK – we stayed with friends in Sheffield (and caught up with several other friends while we were there) and had an overnight in Fort William. It feels very different travelling at 60mph (officer ;)) in the car rather than 30mph in Willow. Faster certainly but you miss ever such a lot of the scenery. In mentioning this we all realised we’d made an observation of life in general aswell as this specific journey…
The ferry crossing was smooth and is only just over an hour to Rum. We were on board with four of the five interviewers which made for a slightly odd feeling of all studiously not watching or listening to each other’s conversations ‘just in case’.
We were met off the ferry by one of the islanders, wife to the fifth interviewer, who gave us (and our two weeks worth of luggage) a lift along to the Village Hall. It’s only about a mile or so but that would have felt a very long mile carrying all our stuff so we were very grateful. Settled into the hall with cups of tea we four faced their five across the table and the interview commenced.
It was a fairly tough grilling we thought. The questions were a wide variety including logistical stuff about house builds, planning and access from the council representative, questions about how we’d fit into the community, what we would add to it and how we could make positive contributions from the Community Development Officer. We were asked about our understanding of the islands NNR (National Nature Reserve) status, how we would ensure we did not compromise any of the wildlife, flora and fauna on the island with our planned activities and lifestyle by the Reserve Estate Worker and finally the people from the Crofting Committee asked questions about crops, livestock and business ideas.
We stumbled in a few places, knowing that realistically no one has all the answers to just how such an unknown quantity of a brand new croft on a remote Scottish island with a population of under 40 people in a community which is in a very transitional stage of gaining independance from a larger government body might pan out. We certainly don’t. What we do have is endless energy and enthusiasm, a sense of humour, a tight family unit that all want the same future, passion and spirit. We have all sorts of skills and experience in life, in management, in being flexible and adaptable, in making friends and winning over a tricky crowd. We have not walked a conventional path to this point, we have faced challenges and questions and know our strengths and our limitations. We have a lot of people behind us cheering us on, maybe from afar in spirit and often in person, ready to roll their sleeves up and help us construct our dreams. We are prepared to invest everything in this next stage – Rum will become our home, our livelihood, we will need it to provide for all our needs – social, cultural, educational, put food in our tummies, give us a home. In order to ensure it lives up to all that we will have the ultimate responsibility to make that happen – we’ll need to put in as much if not more than we take back. This was our answer to the questions we didn’t have answers to at our fingertips – that we might not know the answer yet, but we would now how to go about finding it out.
A lot of the questions asked were preceded with ‘you’ve already kind of answered this already…’ which either means we are viewing all of what happens next as one all encompassing project under the banner ‘living’ or that we talk too much….
We were then sent off while the panel made their minds up. We took the time to check into the hotel and have a little walk on the croft land before heading back to be given the news.
It was a yes 🙂 🙂
And so the next adventure begins – wanderers no more, wonderers always.