We got our first taste of one of the challenges of island life when we left Rum on Saturday. We had made plans to spend some time on Eigg, doing some WWOOFing and catching up with friends. As we stepped on the ferry we were greeted with ‘You’ll be pleased to know we’re going straight back to the mainland rather than to the other isles’ which of course we were not pleased with at all! A split second decision later we stayed on and watched as Rum grew smaller and more distant.
Star turned to me and asked ‘what’s the plan?’ to which I replied I didn’t have one. She was most surprised at this; ‘What do you mean you don’t have a plan. You ALWAYS have a plan!’ Such faith… I promised I would have a plan by the time we got off the ferry and after a quick family conference I was making the most of the occassional phone signal to make arrangements to stay with friends that evening. This made for a very long drive from Mallaig to Manchester, frantically making further plans for the following week as we went.
Once again friends have stepped into the breach to find us room in their houses for the next 10 days until we are back up in Scotland for me to attend a Crofting course next week. We are very fortunate to have such wonderful friends. And they are very fortunate to be banking favours with people who are about to move to such a beautiful place and will be only too happy to return the hospitality for holidays in years to come!
We are currently trying to live up to Star’s expectation of always having a plan by working out the best order of the next few months. It feels rather like living in one of those slidey picture puzzles or a game of Rush Hour, there are lots of things which all need to happen in the right order. There are a whole load of things we have no control over – the biggest one being selling our house. Until that happens we don’t have the necessary funds to start our plans for the croft. Until we move to Rum we can’t start working out what has to happen first. Should we aim to move as soon as possible regardless of the house selling? We all want to be there rather than anywhere else, when you realise what you want to do with the rest of your life, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible! If we moved before the house sells though where would we live? Could we bring Willow and stay in her? That would make sense as we’d be in a position to spend time on the land, start physical stuff like sorting drainage, surveying the land, working out what is going to go where. Plus we’d start to be part of the community, making friends, building relationships, learning how everything works.
Or should we be staying on the mainland? We can go WWOOFing (we already have a potential WWOOF host all lined up for April) which means no costs – food and shelter are covered plus we get to learn some more new skills.
The trouble is, as I was saying to my Mum the other day, it’s really hard to make sensible decisions these days, as if we were making sensible decisions we almost certainly wouldn’t be faced with any of these choices anyway! Sensible has long since ceased to be something we have any relationship with!
So I guess it’s still a bit ‘watch this space’ really. And I haven’t even told you about our longer term plans…