We are running to keep up with wood collecting just now – we’re hoping to spend a good few hours on it tomorrow and start building up reserves as although it’s a very pleasurable way to spend an hour or so outdoors gathering wood and getting fresh air it would be nice to be able to not venture out on the rainier days when they come. Our plan is to spent time this week creating a stash.
There is a certain pleasure in spending your days just providing for your basic needs though – one of the things we most loved about some of our WWOOFing hosts was their simplistic lives – spending their days growing food, collecting or chopping wood for fuel. Not working to set hours or involved in a pointless transfer of funds from one pocket to the next with no productive use of time or real price paid for things. We are not at that stage yet and the need for another pint of milk is still met with a walk down to the village rather than a twice daily close encounter with a cow but we are definitely stripped back from the days of driving around in company cars, attending meetings and paying supermarkets to provide our food, water authorities to pipe in our water and energy companies to burn fossil fuels on our behalf!
Yesterday I drove the car across the river as rain was forecast in the night so I wanted to ensure it was the right side of the river and I thought about how happy driving along that bumpy track and splashing through the river makes me. No need to worry whether the car will pass an MOT, simply whether it is up to the couple of miles a week we ask of it and if not whether we can barter or learn alongside someone on island who can fix it for us to keep it going. Our road fund contribution each year goes direct to keeping the road surfaces intact and the work of doing so goes to islanders who in turn spend most of it on island themselves in the shop, to the guy who spends his days chopping firewood, to buy venison killed and processed here on Rum. Our community dream is a self sufficient island, coming close to moneyless wherever possible. Our diverse skills and abilities make this a possibility one day. It’s very exciting to be part of that.
We’ve been doing some reorganising inside the static to make space for our Christmas tree which we selected and chopped down yesterday ready to bring in later in the week. The first time we’ve ever felled our own Christmas tree – a real Charlie Brown Christmas special magical moment that :). We’re experimenting with different energy now that the genny has to be on every day as the solar panels are not keeping us topped up enough. It means a walk down the hill every few days to charge up batteries so we have smaller less powerful power packs which may not last so long but don’t cause quite so much grunting and puffing when Ady has to cart them up and down the hill. We regularly remind ourselves that this will be our toughest winter and as yet although it is proving challenging it is certainly not breaking us so far.
There is a cold germ doing the rounds on the island. I am very much hoping we all avoid it.
|something magical about selecting a tree, cutting it down and bringing it home all within sight of your house!|
|Looking across our croft this morning. You can’t see the peak of Hallival due to cloud but it is snow capped now.|