It’s a bit cobwebby in here! Poor neglected blog.

I have a list of excuses for my absence, note from my Mum, dog ate my homework, midgey as hell, mainland was busy type stuff…

We’ve been off to MainlandLand and had a lovely 10 days away from Rum. For the first time since we moved here I actually felt ready to head off for a while and it did us all good. We are topped up on friends, on fast food, on meeting new and interesting people, on remembering what it is that brought us here in the first place. A splendid fix of just what we needed.

We left on a Friday ferry having dispatched Bonnie the dog with one set of friends, Humphrey the hamster with another set and left the croft creatures in the care of a rota of three sets of islander friends along with a full set of instructions. In our absence Bonnie has had a ball living at Kinloch Castle (and not sleeping in her crate at night!), the wee piglets have grown loads, the turkeys have become extreme free rangers and keep finding their way down to the village (they are currently a bigger tourist attraction than the castle!), everything on Rum has gone green. We arrived on the mainland, collected our hire car and drove through the afternoon, evening and a good chunk of the night to arrive at friends in Yorkshire around 3am on Saturday morning. We bedded down for what was left of the night and awoke Saturday to an ever filling house full of some of our dearest friends. The total head count for the peak part of the weekend was 65 – that is nearly twice the number of people who live on our whole island – all in one house. Our lovely hosts (with whom we have stayed many, many times) even put their hot water on so I could have a bath!

This group of friends have been in our lives for well over 10 years and we have watched each others’ children grow from toddlers to teens. Many of them have made it over to Rum to visit us but we had not seen some of them for over 2 years so it was fantastic to catch up in person. I confess to crying at least twice when the time came to say goodbye to people at the end of the weekend.

From there we drove further south to Norfolk where we met up with my parents who had come up from Sussex to join us for the week and spend time with Davies and Scarlett while Ady and I were off during the day time attending a four day course at Edwards & Eve Cob Building. The course was excellent – informative, a great mix of practical and theory with loads of hands on opportunities, run by Kate the Cobbing Queen with fantastic lunches provided by Charlotte. I can’t praise the course highly enough – both Ady and I came out brimming with confidence in our own ability to get to work on a cob build, inspired by the beauty and versatility but above all excited and delighted to have met so many new friends. The course was attended by 12 people including us and over the 4 days we all got to know each other and shared stories, dreams and plans for the future. I know we have met some folk we will cross paths with again and look forward to welcoming some of them to Rum sometime soon.

It was lovely to spend time with my parents during the evenings, and Davies and Scarlett had a fine time with them in the day off out on jaunts to various parts of Norfolk including joining us on our last day of the Cob Course to come and see what we’d been up to all week and there for our ‘graduation’ and presentation with a certificate of attendance.

We also managed to catch up with friends and fellow crofters for lunch, had an overnight visit and very lovely evening with more friends in their new home before finally making the LONG trip north on Sunday, clocking up 500 miles in one day and getting that first glimpse of Rum across the water on Sunday night. A last night on the mainland within shouting distance of home with the ferry trip back bringing us back to Rum and our ‘real lives’ on Monday.

I’ve yet to properly catch my breath but time spent sowing seeds, reaping harvests (peas and strawberries continue to do well), feeding the animals and walking with Bonnie at my heels is doing a fine job of bringing me quite literally back to earth.

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