Wallowing is for hippos

As in mud, mud, glorious mud 🙂

Until I moved to Rum I would never have attributed a personality to a place I don’t think, let alone allowed a place to have control over things. Here on Rum though we all seem to accept there are Rum Fairies, Rum Trolls, that Rum accepts or rejects you. Helps you, tests you, chews you up, spits you out…

Now I live here I do find myself mentally talking to Rum, striking deals, asking favours, believing in Rum gods.

I suspect like all gods, Rum is personal to you and who you are. Our Rum is cruel to be kind. It tests us to ensure this is really, really where we want to be. Pushes us to our limits and then when we almost but not quite hit the point of deciding it’s all too much the wind changes and the clouds are blown away again. I think I have said to everyone who has visited us here that every time I question what we’re doing and why we’re doing it I look out of our windows or step out of our front door, look at that view and remember that that’s why. Every single day something here makes my heart sing.

Sometimes it is simply the sun breaking through the clouds over one of the mountains here. Sometimes it is looking back at my wood shed part filled with logs for the coming winter. Today it has been the meaningful look that at least three fellow islanders have given me when they asked ‘you okay?’.

A bigger part of knowing we are where we belong was on Saturday though when Davies celebrated his birthday and turned 13. A teenager! Two weeks ago he made a poster to put at the shop to invite everyone to come and share his birthday cake with him. Scarlett made a card and left it at the shop for islanders to sign. My parents were here to celebrate with us and so after a day with family eating all his favourite foods and enjoying his presents from us including cards and gifts sent from family and friends we headed down to the village.

Lots of people came out to sing Happy Birthday and eat cake, his card had not an empty inch of space left as so many people had signed it. He was presented with gifts from various islanders and a huge wrapped gift signed by about half the folk here which was two large Lego sets. To say he was delighted would be an understatement. He then got various other so very personal and well thought out gifts from people here. Gifts that cost more than money, gifts that demonstrate how very well known he is by people here who have taken the time and trouble to get to know our children, to understand them and put time, love and effort into coming up with gifts that are bringing tears to my eye once again just in thinking about them.

It was a fundraising quiz event on Saturday evening so we headed to the village hall to participate in that. There were two quiz questions in honour of Davies and his birthday and at the end all the participants sang Happy Birthday to him. It was a very late dinner of Davies’s favourite Rum venison steak and chips but it was a magical day for him and one that will stay in all our hearts and memories for a long time to come.

I believe that these are the moments which matter, the memories that count. The mud is only good for facepacks.

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