In many many ways life just now is feeling very similar to when this blog first started and we were putting together the plans for our WWOOFing adventure. Loads of emotions: uncertainty, excitement, nerves, anticipation. Lots of logistical details – back then we had the packing up of one life: clearing belongings, finding tenants for our house, leaving jobs, and sorting out what would happen next – finding the campervan, planning a route and finding hosts. Practical stuff: what to do with our car, where to re-direct our post, how to stay in touch with family and friends, what clothes would we need, what special things would we take to bring a bit of home with us, what was essential in the van in terms of crockery, food supplies, entertainment.
We did it again when we moved to Rum – that time the details were different but still a lurch into the unknown. Moving house is tricky enough, moving the actual house too as we did with the caravan is even trickier! Re-directing post when the address doesn’t even exist and registering at the doctor and dentist when you don’t have a landline and mobile signal is pretty patchy can prove a challenge.
It’s good to remind myself that I have done all of this before when it feels a bit overwhelming. Living here can add an additional layer of complication to many aspects of the next steps. One of the things I have gotten much better in over the last 7 years though is asking for and accepting help. Not to remotely belittle the assistance we’ve been offered and taken from family and friends but what feels like a small favour for them can be massively helpful for us. For example we realised that we need a bigger car for the next part of our adventure – my Dad bought us a little car last year for our regular trips to the dentist with Scarlett last year and it’s been fantastic for those short journeys but is not remotely suitable for four adults and a dog. Finding, viewing and buying a bigger car is all pretty difficult to organise from Rum but a lovely friend did all of that for us and is even driving it part way up to us. We have had countless offers from friends to visit / stay and are hoping to catch up with as many people.
Our current plan, as ever subject to change, tweaking or abandoning completely if we change our minds! is as follows:
Leave Rum 16th November, spent a weekend with family in Sussex before arriving in Glastonbury on 20th November. We’ll be staying at a friends’ holiday cottage complex and exchanging our time / work / skills for accommodation. Somerset is the perfect place – it was a very early destination in our WWOOFing adventure, somewhere we returned to several times during that year and also just before coming to Rum. We have many friends in Somerset – some we made during the WWOOFing year, some bizarrely that we have made while living here on Rum who have relocated there and at least two sets of old friends including the friends who came to visit us here on Rum last month and the friend who Ady and I lived with when we were first together. It all feels very meant to be. We are there until just before Christmas when we’ll be returning to Sussex for a very long awaited, first in six years family Christmas with my parents, my brother and his family and some time with Ady’s brother and his children too. We have tentative new year plans and a couple of possible options for early January but are hoping to find either a house sitting or WWOOF style option for January and February if at all possible. We’d like to spend some time in Wales and explore possibilities for either bringing new ideas back to Rum next year or possibly for what we do next.
That leaves us with several things still to sort out – packing up our lives here on Rum. Drastically reducing our livestock holding and arranging care / feeding for the tiny numbers we’ll be leaving behind (more favours!). Sealing up and shutting down the caravan for a few months including the gas and water and any potential leaks for rain or rodents. Finding the balance in our usual habit of ensuring we have stores of tinned and dried food incase of ferry cancellations and not leaving loads of food here, shutting down the wind and solar power set up, making sure we top up the power for our freezer, sealing up the shed and the polytunnel, putting away things like tools securely and weatherproofing as much as we can. We’ll be leaving as though we will be coming back to start back up our lives here while also knowing there is a chance we may be coming back to pack up. There are certain precious things we will take with us, certain things which won’t be practical to take off this time but we need to keep safe, certain things which are only really useful here in our Rum life but we’ll need to hang on to for now.
Just as I did before I am making endless lists and plans and mind maps, working out the chain of events for sorting things out, the order of organising, what can wait or be left open, what has to be pinned down and sorted out, what has to be left on the huge list of last minute tasks and what can be got out of the way now. It’s all coming together, I need to carry on playing to my strengths, trusting the process and accepting the help when it’s offered.