I don’t blog lots about the people here on Rum. That is mostly for the same reason as I don’t blog lots and lots about Davies and Scarlett – on an island with only 40 people, which gets 10,000 visitors a year you spend a lot of your time during the summer feeling like a tourist attraction yourself. I like to afford my fellow islanders their privacy. Besides it is not for me to comment, judge and certainly not to blog about them. It is all too easy to forget that the people who live here are not characters on a soap opera with their scripts and the twists and turns of their life written for them. Neither are we all contestants on a reality TV show, here for the entertainment or scrutiny of the masses. I choose to blog and share some of the details of my life, if I start writing about other people without their consent I am invading their privacy.
All of that said though I know that our community is an interesting concept and certainly all of my family and friends who have visited and gotten to know the people who live here are interested in their lives and what is happening with them. One of the items on our wish list when we were looking for somewhere to settle was ‘a sense of community’ and I know we have found that here. It is not without it’s frustrations and challenges and there are times when 40 people really, really is not enough to dilute some of the bigger characters but there is a sense of community. There is a feeling of pulling together, of loyalty, of being there for each other and a sense of huge comfort in the familiarity. For us certainly, two years in it is as much the people who live here as anything else that make this feel like home.
Which is why when the cast of characters changes it can shake your world a lot. When people move around, leave, change places, switch roles and new people come it can take a fair bit of readjusting to. In the same way that Bonnie is getting used to the increased volume of people passing by the croft gate walking the nature trail and we are having to accept not necessarily knowing everyone when we go to the shop to collect out vegetable order, or know that suddenly there will be a gaggle of day trippers coming off the ferry and getting in the way as we try to unload our deliveries. Not only that but new people are coming to Rum to play roles in the main arena. We have a new director on board with the community trust, one new employee about to start working here and a couple more likely over the coming months. Some residents are moving on which will likely create opportunities for new ones to arrive.
At times like these getting my hands elbow deep in soil while planting seeds, chatting to the chickens and carting old pallets about the croft ready to start building another row of raised beds is the constant which gives me comfort. I know where I am with these things, I don’t get confused, bamboozled or doubt what will happen next. It’s a wonderful feeling, getting comfort from your home which is also your work and your life.