It’s been an odd sort of week ( is it only me who is put in mind of Arkwright doing his round up as the lights go down on Open All Hours when typing such a phrase?). We waved goodbye to Julie & co and theoretically had a lull between guests (mad week coming up, guests arriving on Wednesday til Friday, day trippers also coming on Wednesday and another set of friends coming on Friday for a week – social-tastic!) but have very much enjoyed being a bit ‘hosty’ to a couple of sets of potential crofters. Croft 2 – the other 2/3 of ‘our’ field is up for grabs in the current round of croft applications here on Rum. As newest crofters we have had various potential crofters come for chats or get in touch online which has been great. We are really excited at the prospect of neighbours, new friends and additional numbers for the community. We are in the luxurious position of having *no* impact on the decision making so are able to remain utterly subjective and have personal favourites within the array of potential applicants – both on and off island.
What we have most enjoyed though is giving people our take on Rum, on Crofting and on this lifestyle. A lovely slice of positive reinforcement for what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. The same applies to Home Education actually – a letter inviting us to make contact with the local education department of the council arrived within the last week and I have had a couple of conversations with people about education and our personal brand of it lately too. All very good for reaffirming our beliefs and committment to the way we do things here. Happy, healthy children with an innate curiosity and zest for life and learning, passions and interests, a really impressive ability to engage with people in a variety of situations and a reputation that precedes them for ‘being cool’. You know what – if I had that aged 38 I’d be proud, my kids have it aged 9 and 11. I can merely bask in their reflected glory – they are their own very amazing and awesome people but I might just snatch a wee bit of enabler credit 🙂
But back to Rum. This has been a good week for reminding us why we are here and love it so much. Ady has been doing a spot of Piermaster duty, seeing the big ferry in and out. I have been very embroiled in community stuff from Midgefest prep to baking cakes for the teashop, manning the stand at the Produce Fayre, volunteering to take on stuff at the Residents Association Meeting, getting involved in Ladies Night (local women getting together socially after dark). We’ve had people up for dinner and enjoyed several putting the world to rights sessions. As I said to someone earlier this week, everyone here on Rum wears lots of hats, we are not defined by just one role. Personally I pull off mother, wife, Home Educator, cake baker. Midgefest Posse member, hostess, pusher of social opportunities, friend., crofer…. all while still trying to be a decent daughter, sister, sister in law, remote friend and my various other off island roles too. Most of the time I feel I do a half decent job but like many other people I know a cloning machine might well come in useful if ever they are up for sale on ebay!
Exciting times – we are utterly cut off from the outside world really. News can take a day or more to filter through, The Olympics has brought home to us how remote we are without a TV as watching even a snippet has become an epic event. All that said we are throwing so much time and energy into making sure that we play our part in demonstrating how vital our community is that we seem to find little enough time for sitting down and checking emails, uploading photos, keeping the blog up to date etc. let alone slobbing out infront of the TV.
This weekend saw Rum’s first Midgfest – an intended annual event celebrating our smallest but most powerful Rum wildlife. We had kids crafts, ranger events, pebble painting, pinata, willow midge, parachute games, sea eagle spotting, barbecue and curry on offer at the teashop, a disco in the evening and plenty of bunting, flags and other fun and games. A fabulous day in the gorgeous sunshine with lots of community members participating and surprisingly few of the actual midges turning out to attend.
|pebble painting and mask making at kids crafts|
|It’s the Midgecatcher! (some people know him as Ady!)|
|some of the fabulous painted pebble midges|
|raffle prizes – some top wins on offer|
|Midge pinata – fun for all the family!|
We said the other day that just three months in this already feels more like home than anywhere else has ever done. Fantastic people, gorgeous scenery, living our dream as crofters, getting to grips with off grid and sharing our lives with friends old and new. What more could we possibly want?