The ferry giveth and the ferry taketh away

The Calmac ferry comes five days a week in the summer, four in the winter. It is the ferry which brought us here, which delivers our shopping, our fuel, the tourists who spend money with us, the family and friends who come to visit.

It is also the ferry which takes away anything we send off the island and has us tearily waving goodbye to people when they go again.

Today the ferry brought us our new scythe. We are very excited about this. Having gone through three strimmers since we arrived here on Rum trying to just keep down the paths across the croft, the perimeter of the pig fence and the grassy area directly around the caravan we knew we needed a better solution. In lots of ways a petrol strimmer was not in line with our lifestyle – the use of petrol, the need for maintaining the machine, the consumable factor of plastic strimmer line. Not to mention the noise and rather antisocial nature of strimming. Several friends have raved about scythes but we remained unconvinced until having had a go with one a few weeks ago.

We were converted. As speedy to use as a strimmer, but with no noise, no pollution, no petrol. The added bonus of cutting grass, reeds, flowers down in one smooth stroke meaning a whole heap of material to be gathered up with a rake and dried out to use as animal bedding, even food, or possibly cob strengthening material rather than the tiny shredded, much strimmed fragments that a strimmer creates.

We reverently unpacked and assembled our new toy this afternoon and both had a go with it on a small area of the croft. Sure enough we soon had a cut down area and a pile of cut grass to show for our fairly minimal efforts. Next we need to learn more about peening and haftng angles. I LOVE learning new skills and new words and getting introduced to a whole new world of techniques and terminologies.

The ferry also took away today though. We waved goodbye to Clara, a friend we met on our cob course earlier this year, felt an instant affinity with and have had here with us for a whole month. It has been a delight and a joy to share our lives with Clara while she was here and we are missing her already. Our lives have been the richer for having her with us this summer and we’re looking forward to having her here again whenever she wants to come back.

2 thoughts on “The ferry giveth and the ferry taketh away”

  1. I’m guessing that keeping a scythe sharp must be v important and there are particular skills to be learned in that regard as well. Did it come with a whetstone or similar?

  2. Definitely. A whole new set of skills to be learned alongside just the actual scything. It came with a whole set of stones of various grades and an anvil to carry out peening with. As yet these terms are mostly just words to me, but we have a resident expert on hand happy to teach us the ways of the scythe 🙂

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