Crofting focus

At the end of 2015 I stepped down as a director of the Community Trust. I had been a director for nearly 3 years and although I could have served for a further term I felt the time was right to stand down. Four new directors have been elected to join the two remaining directors so there is a really strong team of 6 on island directors and an off island chairman now. This is fantastic for Rum and hopefully so much energy and willing hands to spread the workload of volunteering will mean this is another great time for the future of our little island community. It also means I have hours and hours of my time every week back to focus on new and exciting things myself.

One of the things which is really important to all four of us is feeling part of our community and in recent months we have simply not had the capacity to offer time or head-space to volunteer for anything. This year we are planning on getting much more involved with events and getting some social, educational, cultural and entertaining things happening here on Rum, for us, for fellow residents and for visitors.

Davies and Scarlett are now both teens and starting to think about the next stage of their lives – what adventures lie ahead and what direction they want to head in when they start to spread their wings. They have their passions and interests and while they are both very capable, independent and amazing young people I don’t want to miss a minute of being around for them when they do need me – for support, advice, cheerleading or assisting in the facilitation of their continued education and exploration of the world around them. Every year which passes, every season, every celebration, every moment almost feels as though it could be the last for us as a foursome. I know they are only 13 and 15 but there are limited times ahead before they are forging their own path and we cherish every memory the four of us share, knowing that one day they will be off making memories all of their own.

Ady’s recent health scare drama brought all of our priorities into sharp focus too. I am so happy to report that he is doing just fine and that faced with the prospect of our worlds being tipped upside down and never being the same again not only have we managed to return to our own special brand of ‘normal’ we have done so without regrets, knowing that if there had been a different outcome to that helipcopter ride there is little we would have changed. You can’t live every day as though it is your last, despite knowing that one day it will be, but you can at least be aware of your mortality, of making every day count and appreciating how very short, precious and fleeting life is. We are fortunate to already be living more or less the life we want or at the very least be well on the path towards it and enjoying the journey as we go.

So a new year, a new era of family life, a new focus on contributing to our community here on Rum and a fresh perspective on what is important to us. All combined with being a few weeks away from celebrating four years here on Rum. We arrived with a three year business plan which was always flexible and open to being adapted once we had found our feet. We are putting together a business plan now for the next three years, taking into account all we have learnt so far, the help and support of others who have offered it, the growing skills and interests of the four of us and the market for what we can offer here on the croft. As usual we have created a Masterplan for the year ahead and will be breaking down tasks for the week every Monday to give us a job list to work through but over the next few weeks we will be putting together a comprehensive plan of what happens next here on Croft 3, where best to invest time, money and other resources, what new skills we need to focus on and any gaps in what we already have.

In the meantime we are slowly getting on with the business of living, surviving and investing in the future in small ways. Today we all spent time on the beach gathering seaweed to bring back to the croft and spread around the fruit trees and bushes in the fruit cage as a mulch. We’ll gather some more this week for the raised beds. We’ve done an inventory of our seeds and ordered some ready to start planting, we’ve carted firewood up the hill and chopped some up, we’ve watched some TV shows – entertainment, educational, played some games, done some crafting, some tidying and plenty of laughing, talking and generally just living.


river car

river crossing


2 thoughts on “Crofting focus”

  1. We just “discovered” you all a few weeks before Christmas, when we watched the Ben Fogle programme on iplayer. Since then we have followed your blog and admired just how “gutsy” you all are as a family. We wish you a healthy and successful 2016 and hope that by next winter you might just have a sturdier roof over your heads.

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