The weather here (as everywhere else in the UK I think) has been amazing for the last few days. Suncream, sunhats and sunglasses the order of the day.
Yesterday I spent the whole day on the croft walking barefoot everywhere, something I wasn’t even sure I’d ever manage after the rains turning the land to bog!
What else have we been up to?
The Thursday trip on the Shearwater has become a weekly event for us, we are still to see any cetaceans although I did spot a dorsal fin this week, but the boat trip itself is lovely, we have seen all sorts of seabirds and can now fairly reliably identify shearwaters, razorbills and guillemots, gannets, kittiwakes, divers (red throated, black throated, great northern) and more. Dolphins, whales and sharks have all been spotted in our waters the last couple of weeks so we hope it is just a matter of time until we are lucky and see something.
We’ve had more people around for dinner or evenings at the static which feels more like home every day. We are still loving the novelty of beds, sofas, shower and cupboard space after all that time in Willow and getting back into the groove of baking bread, making delicious dinners from scratch and I have also been doing some knitting and crochet with an eye to maybe putting some items for sale in Rum Crafts.
We have enjoyed chatting to visitors, tourists, researchers and students coming to the island for various reasons. This included attending a couple of events hosted by Dr Kevin Butt, Earthworm Expert Extraordinaire! We also hosted a chat up on our croft when 30 plus students came to learn a bit about us and our story and talked to fellow wildlife spotters on the Shearwater who had been reading a press cutting about us and our plans to move to Rum.
Up on the croft the chickens and ducks are properly settled in now, we had our first egg today 🙂
Bonnie is doing well, has more or less learnt sit, come, stay and paw. I feel with four different ‘masters’ she may be a work in progress for quite some time before she reaches One Man And His Dog standards but she’s getting there 🙂
Hopefully a kitten is arriving this coming week. Squee!
Oh, and we have some new faces up at the croft at last. Tom and Barbara, our pigs! They are our breeding pair, just 9 months old at the moment and Gloucester Old Spot Kune Kune cross. Tom is very friendly, cheery and spotty. Barbara is ginger, a little more reserved but still very tame. We’re already totally in love with them and safely so as we will be keeping them for breeding from and just eating their babies rather than them!
They are (as most pigs seem to be) expert escapologists but on the advice of Shiona who sold them to us (and brought them across on the ferry in the back of her landrover) we are NEVER chasing, always leading them and so far they return very happily every time.
They did however follow Dragon and Star down to the river yesterday where they enjoyed cooling off with a good splash and wallow, so maybe we’re leading them a bit astray!
|a very common sight – Dragon and Star heading off somewhere on yet another adventure.|
|sorting out the horsebox. we have finally moved it from the area just inside the croft gate and it now rests further up out of the way.|
|here! this is our planned camping area and tonight we’ll be taking sausages and marshmallows to cook on the campfire and testing it out along with some beers and the radio to listen to Eurovision!|
|Tom and Barbara having a dip!|
|and being led back to their pen again.|
Internet access (and indeed electricity) is tricky and in short supply hence the lack of updates. Suffice to say for now we are loving life here and keep pinching ourselves that this view, this place, this life is really ours. We became WWOOF hosts this week and are counting down the days until first family and friends arrive for visits. We can’t wait to share this with people.