Everybody wants to rule the world

I can’t change the world but I can change my world.

which is precisely the sort of sentiment that led us to be living here on Rum. When we left Sussex, nearly two years ago now to head off on our travels we had a leaving party. We decorated the walls of the hall we held it in with about a hundred quotes I had written out – some were old favourites, some were newly discovered but all spoke to us on some level and inspired and encouraged us to chase dreams, live life to the full, push boundaries and seize the day. I’m claiming credit for the one above on the basis I often say it and can’t find anyone else credited for it on the internet (which is the best research tool I have access to) I’m sure it’s been said before and by many others though.

It’s been a busy few weeks here. Along with trying to crack on with the required research and learning and getting our heads round a house build next year, winkle picking , feeding the animals, collecting firewood, baking bread, parenting and facilitating education for Dragon and Star, ensuring we have food on the table and so on we’ve also been doing lots of community stuff. Attending meetings and training sessions, planning and emailing, reading business plans and minutes of meetings. In just seven months here I have gone from being the new crofter to sitting on various committees and steering groups, being a director of two different community interest companies, helping to keep the island website up to date, helping to set up and organise events. And I couldn’t do any of that unless Ady was supporting me by being a sounding board for my ideas and rants, talking me down and building me up accordingly. Ensuring if I am not here he picks up the slack on the croft with the animals, cooking dinner, doing stuff with the children. We work as a team and we play to our strengths – meetings and planning and being gobby and pushy is my thing, enabling me to do all of the above is his. It’s how we’ve operated for nearly 20 years and it works really well for us. 

It can be a full workload and of course it’s largely unpaid, not always appreciated and certainly not one anyone should take on unless they are doing it because it ticks all of their own personal boxes. When we moved here we were very open about the high expectations we had on Rum to deliver – to provide our everything and the amount we were prepared to give back in return to help it achieve. Running an island, creating our own rules, having such freedom and writing our own agenda is a massive privilege and a huge responsibility. Being in control of your own destiny to such a large degree comes with the trade off of putting in the effort, the time, the care to ensure it is done properly. I can’t think of any more important way of spending our time.

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