Back in my other, previous life, well actually about five previous lives ago I worked in retail management. One of my favourite catchphrases to standing about staff was ‘there is never nothing to do’ refering to the fact that even when we had no customers, all the days delivery of stock was priced and put out there was always something to do – tidying displays, checking stock levels, price checking items to make sure they were correct, filing of paperwork, having a clear out of cupboards, drawers, till areas… it may not have made me popular with my staff but they were never bored!
Here on Rum on the croft there is also never nothing to do. Rainy days being chances to beaver away on crafting bits to ensure we start the tourist season next year with full fresh stocks of things for sale. There is endless paperwork, reading, planning and researching to do. We need to make our Christmas cake, plan a mainland trip to the dentist… when the weather is fine there is more to do outside, gather more firewood, strim more rushes to dry and store as animal bedding, bring up stones to help make a path through the mud, just walk the croft to better acquaint ourselves with the land and what it does at different times of the year.
There is also the wider Rum life to take into account, various social events, ferries coming in and going out, meetings, vegetable orders to be placed and collected and so on. Sometimes it seems like the week might be a quiet one and this week was looking like it may be the case but then in came those storms and brought with them a vagrant bird from America who was of great note in the twitching world and once word was out meant we had over 30 people descend on us with their big camera lenses and camouflage outfits in search of a glimpse of the bird in one of the local residents gardens. Cue us swinging into action to provide tea, coffee, soup and cake to make these visitors from afar (some of them had traveled through the night, over 600 miles and a very rocky ferry trip from one end of the UK to the other to hope to see this bird) and raise some money for our village hall fund.
The twitchers saw their bird, they ate our cake, put cash into our donations bucket and went away again. And maybe tomorrow if the ferry runs (it is *very* windy and forecast to get worse) there will be more.
Never, ever nothing to do.