Today brings autumn.
There is so much behind this simple sentence. It’s right up there with ‘today brings spring’ when you live here on Croft 3, Isle of Rum. For Autumn means winter is coming, while spring means it’s leaving. And winter is probably the single most defining seasons of our life here.
I’ve talked before of turning over to a new page on the calendar and seeing what the photos tell us of that month last year. The September page freshly flipped to this morning reminds me of nice weather, a mainland trip for the kids and I with a cable car trip and ice creams, ghillying duties for Ady, the last Sheerwater boat trip of the season (it looked choppy), new adult sized cycles for Davies and Scarlett, clay crafts, butchering and processing a pig, a wedding anniversary and birthday. Some of the same lies ahead for this September, some does not.
The week past has offered lots of the usual autumn prep type tasks we engage in every year – processing firewood, picking brambles, making jam, thinking about autumn sowings of crops. Along with some we don’t normally engage in. After years of promising I definitely would and not ever actually doing it I finally went swimming in the river with Scarlett. It was as I feared it might be – cold getting in, cold getting out and a hazardous, bramble and slippery stone filled trek to the perfect spot – at the foot of our croft yet a 10 minute scramble across boggy, overgrown ground and burns. It was also as Scarlett had promised it would be – magical, exhilarating, fun and crazy. I’m so glad I did it, next year I will try to remember how much I enjoyed it and get in the river more than once and earlier in the season. Full body immersions in water at all are in limited supply here let alone opportunities to actually swim.
I did a tally up of jams in the shed – last year we made over 200 jars and barely 20 remain with several flavours sold out. This year we’ve bought some tiny jars in aswell as our full size ones to allow folk to sample more than one flavour, buy just the right amount for their camping stay here on Rum, or to create some mini Croft 3 hampers which we’re planning on working on over the winter.