Happy – a right, a priviledge or a responsibility?

Ady and I were saying earlier this week how lucky we are that all of the challenges we face are through choices we have made. I look around our friends and feel so very fortunate to have never had to deal with tragedy, bereavement or sad things happening to us. There are times when our life here feels tough but it is totally within our power to change our course and choose a different path. I’m not sure than any of our friends particularly envy our life here but I do know that the choice to come and live it even if they wanted to does not exist for some of them.

I think for us chasing our dream and finding the correct path to happiness and fulfillment at times does feel like a responsibility. As though we are doing it on behalf of those who can’t. I was explaining to someone just today that the trade off for living this very frugal, low key existence where ‘escaping to the mainland for a weekend break’ is beyond our financial reach let alone feasible on a practical level with animals, crops etc to look after is that we are free. Free to potter in the polytunnel, spend half an hour just sat on the grass in the pig pen tickling a piglets tummy, stop for another cup of tea, decide to head off to the other side of the island to watch the sunset.

Tomorrow is my last day at the school. It’s been a really hard 12 hours a week to slot into our lives and I am very relieved it’s over. It has impacted far too much on our lives and curtailed our freedoms. Davies and Scarlett have missed out on hours worth of conversations and observations and opportunities to spend time with me. Precious time that feels every more like sand slipping through our fingers as they get older and more independent. The end of term has not felt this exciting since I was about 10 or 12 myself.

Our house continues to sit unsold on the market. We have taken on another estate agent which may inject some fresh energy into selling it, or it may not. Sometimes I think there must be a reason for it not having sold yet which is part of some bigger plan. At other times I just feel incredibly frustrated that we are being disabled by something beyond our control. We are about to hit the deadline we decided at the start of this year for the house needing to be sold by in order to build something this year here on Rum. We have various possible options for getting through the coming winter, none of which are perfect, all of which need further debating and research, one of which will no doubt be what we end up doing.

We had a typical family conversation this week about what each person wants to do in the event of the house not selling and unanimously decided we want to stay here for the winter even if it means another harsh and testing season. It’s clear that each of the four of us view Rum as home and has no desire to be elsewhere. Having struck off the option of leaving for the winter we are at least able to pare down the list of possible options and fully discuss all of them. Expect to be let into this in more detail as we thrash them out ourselves.

Meanwhile in Croftland the goslings have been out and about and looking happy. They hang out with the bigger geese who seem to shepherd them around and keep them in line. We are still putting them into their enclosure at night when we feed them but hopefully in the next week or so we’ll not need to do that and can just let them roam. The wee turkeys have an increased run and are growing well. We’re keeping them under a covered run for now though as I still don’t trust those crows. Mrs Broody Duck continues to incubate her 7 eggs which are due to hatch next week. We’re worried about losing ducklings to rats or crows once they hatch but will work out whether we need to try and enclose them more once they hatch and we see how she manages them.

More strawberries from the polytunnel tonight and I have been thinning stuff out and taking out spent crops to feed to the pigs who are very grateful. I’ve left some things to go to seed so I can collect and harvest the seeds too. The chickens have discovered the herb spiral so that might need some protection but we had mint from it with our new potatoes for dinner tonight.

Chasing and choosing happy.

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