Testing, testing, 123

Another memorable week. Filled with challenges – from nature, from people, from ourselves, from Rum. A week of highs, lows and everything inbetween.

A week in which I came to terms, amid some tears and some bracing walks out in the wild Rum weather kicking up leaves and lobbing a stick for Bonnie, of my own limitations. Thought hard about some stuff, talked it all over with Ady and cut loose a few of the burdens of voluntary responsibility which had been weighing far too heavy and having me feeling torn and not feeling as though I was giving anyone or anyhing my best. Not easy decisions but the feeling of relief now the dust has settled demonstrates to me that it was the right choice. I’d make a rubbish martyr so I won’t even try and as my Dad often says ‘graveyards are full of indispensable people’. I am only irreplaceable to a select handful of people and they are the ones who deserve all my time, energy and attention.

A week in which we had new friends visiting for their second trip to Rum with an eye on one day calling it home themselves. Tough to strike the balance between realistic portrayal, honest appraisal of the tough bits, doing full justice to showing off the amazing bits and ensuring our conscience is clear in ensuring they know just what life as an islander is like while still knowing that another family moving here would be fantastic, particularly ones with skills, dreams and enthusiasm like they have. Exciting to play even a tiny part in someone else’s exciting journey.

A week which saw by far the most extreme weather we have witnessed since moving here. Winds that touched on the 100mph mark, tides so high that seaweed is cluttering pathways many metres from the usual tideline, electrical storms with spectacular lightning displays, hail so vicious I have tiny purple bruises on my legs still 3 days later after walking home in it wearing thick jeans. Snow, proper settled, blizzarding snow. It was the most scared I have ever been in our static – Ady stayed up pretty much all night, I stayed in bed with the duvet pulled up over my head as stuff fell off the shelf above the bed and rained down on me and the static shook like we were onboard an express train. The clock was taken down from the wall, emergency bags were packed and an evacuation plan was discussed and gone over in detail. Damage was amazingly very little – items fell from the shelving within the horse box, we lost the roofs off a couple of animal houses, the gate from the fruit cage and all four doors came off their hinges in the polytunnel. We did lose our wind turbine though – despite taking it down and doing what Ady hoped was a repair it is no longer working, probably burnt out. A replacement is on order and we will hopefully be operational with it before Christmas. We had a cancelled ferry which delayed various components for Scarlett’s birthday celebrations but they all arrived today which just meant her birthday was stretched out a little instead.

As ever my respect for the forces of nature is strengthened and while it was a scary experience which once again had us questioning our sanity we are feeling incredibly fortunate to have gotten away with no serious damage, no injuries to ourselves or our animals. Many people are experiencing their own ‘power cuts’ just now just like us and at least we have a generator to give us back up power while we wait for a new wind turbine to arrive. Listening to the news from various corners of the UK we feel we once again got off lightly really in our brush with the elements.

A week in which our baby girl celebrated her 11th birthday. Double figures and beyond! Scarlett had a fabulous day, waking up to a fall of snow giving her her first ‘white birthday’. A full birthday menu of all her favourite foods, a selection of yearned for presents and surprise gifts, home made and brought on the ferry from us, cards from friends and family and phonecalls and messages from those she wouldn’t see in person. In the evening we took a triple layer birthday cake down to the village to share with friends and she was very spoilt with a HUGE selection of gifts and lots of people coming to sing Happy Birthday to her at the shop. A lovely special birthday for our lovely special girl.

A week of Christmas Fayres, selling Davies’ cards, advent calendars, online Christmas shopping, planning pig and turkey despatch, venison processing, gathering articles for the community newsletter, discussing recruitment for staff for various island roles, community meetings, working at the post office, tidying up after the storm.

So that was our week. Some people probably have quieter years! Tomorrow we’re off to choose a Christmas tree.

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