I posted the text below on facebook earlier. Ady and I have been taking photos and video clips to remind ourselves of just how many aspects of our lives here are unusual, are not like the lives we had before or are likely to have again.
As the countdown continues Ady and I are thinking about our lives here now, how they compare to our old lives and how they might compare to our lives in the coming months and years.
Today we walked half a mile to where we park our car, carrying a bin bag filled with a weeks laundry for four people and a box of 30 jams. We drove into the village to collect our post from yesterday – as the only people living outside the village we don’t get our post delivered to our door – we did have an arrangement of collecting it from a disused vehicle parked in the village but the vehicle has been moved so we’re back to collecting it from the postman’s house as and when we visit the village – we’ll need to do that after most boats so that he is not having to clutter up his house with our mail.
We drove to meet the ferry, stopping on the way to put the laundry on – a facility which is pretty threatened as it is a hangover from when the castle here on Rum used to be a hostel. We collected two jerry cans of petrol from the ferry. We had made a special trip to the ferry on Saturday to send them off as booked but due to there being bottled gas already on the ferry for another island they didn’t go off. Instead rather than make another trip (1/2 mile walk, 2 mile drive using previous diesel that we have to do the same procedure to get here in jerry cans) we asked a friend who was going to the ferry to put them on for us – the ferry coming at all on Sunday was uncertain and the timetable was amended twice due to the gale force winds and resulting swell. We then had to phone the fuel seller on Monday to arrange for them to collect our cans, fill them and return them to the ferry ready to come back to us.
We were collecting our mainland car which has been parked elsewhere while family stay on Rum last week – they brought a trailer tent to stay in as we don’t have enough room for them in our caravan. Unfortunately they could only tow it a certain distance towards the croft as the roads are in such a poor state. The place they had set up was exposed to the winds last week and in the middle of the night I had been helping them take down the tent, the following day they had suffered further damage and despite moving into the village square they took the decision to call their trip short when all their bedding and spare clothes were wet with further bad weather forecast.
We bought both vehicles (slowly, carefully) back to our parking space, then used wheelbarrows to bring the laundry and petrol back to the croft.
That took most of fhe morning.
This afternoon we chopped and collected firewood, emptied our compost toilet and waded into the river to change the filter on our drinking water supply.
On a good day I am massively proud of all we have achieved here and blown away by the sheer beauty of the place we call home. On a bad day I am reminded that it is these tasks, essential merely to survive here which coupled with the weather and climate and sheer logistics of life here that are what have prevented us from realising our dreams and made us alter our expectations of what this life was all about.
I keep catching myself drifting off into daydreams and deep thoughts, looking out at the views and breathing deeply, trying to commit to memory the sounds, the smells, the feel of Rum, of this life, of what it represents.
We are excited, scared, sad and happy, filled with feelings of missing what we have here before we’ve even left it, thrilled at the prospect of what we’re heading towards.