Bookshelves and brambles

A productive few days on Croft 3 which has included taking down the fencing around the chickens, ducks and geese. On Rum we have no foxes so there is no need to keep the birds safe from them and all of the birds free range around the croft anyway. I love looking up or down the hill and seeing the chickens scratching around, the two wee chicks scurrying behind their mother hen, the ducks enjoying a paddle in the drainage ditches and the geese practising being menacing and honking and hissing. The fencing was only serving the purpose of meaning when we go to feed the birds and collect eggs we are penned into the muddier areas so we have taken it down and plan to put some stepping stones in to create a path and let the mud subside.

We’ve also made a bookcase. I have ambitions of one day furnishing our home with a selection of self made pieces using local wood but for now we have settled with moving the pile of books off the static floor and onto a bookcase made from cut down pieces of an old Ikea bookcase we’d brought with us. Dragon and Star quite like the fact that one wall of the lounge area now contains my clock and a cobbled together version of our old bookcase from our house in Sussex, they say it really feels like home 🙂

In other exciting news this week we have sold our first duck eggs 🙂 Jinty agreed to try half a dozen in the shop and they sold within the first day. Another couple of dozen heading down there tomorrow along with some chicken eggs too. We have been using them ourselves aswell though – Dragon made his first home made custard this week with some yolks while Star made good use of the whites to whip up some meringues. Eggsellent! Meanwhile I have been experimenting with brambles – my latest is blackberry and ginger jam now my lavender is over for this year. It’s delicious although the set is a little soft so it’s better spooned on than spread! We now have about 20 jars nestled in the cupboard. We had mackerel for dinner this week – some caught by us, some brought up by Kate who came for dinner, all caught off Rum pier.

The coming week sees more friends visiting us – they are already in Mallaig so we’re waving across the sea at them and counting the hours til the ferry brings them tomorrow. They are fellow intrepid types, about to head off on their own traveling adventure next year so we’re really looking forward to showing them where we have settled and hearing more about their roaming plans. We’ll also be celebrating our second Rum birthday as Dragon turns 12. Today Ady and I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary – September is a busy month for us even if no one is going back to school!

We are really excited to be part of Rum’s Blasda festivities too including the official opening of the community polytunnel which is cited here on Croft 3, market produce, bring and barter, an evening feast of local food and open garden events around the village. I have jars of jam, eggs and plan to do some baking to take along to sell or swap and we’ll be showing interested parties around Croft 3 and sharing our plans for the future, letting people pet our pigs and go gaga over our geese and ducks and chickens. It’s going to be a blasda day!

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