Moving forward, and upward, always upward

when you live on a hill you spend a lot of time moving upward!

Ady has been suffering with a bad neck this week, not sure if he has pulled a muscle, trapped a nerve or just strained something but he has been struggling with eating, sleeping and hulking things about. So of course it would be the week that a massive order of animal feed (12 sacks) and a haybale arrived for us on the ferry. Along with five pallets (when there are excess pallets kicking around at the ferry terminal back on the mainland they send them across to us here and email to let me know they are coming. We must have had 20 or so from them now and every few weeks we get another few – it’s great, we are using them to create paths across the mud, be the bases of animal housing, create screens around useful but unsightly ‘stuff’ we want to hang onto but have no outbuildings, shed or garage to keep things in, stack up wood to season on and more. Google ‘recycled pallets’ and you turn up all sorts of creative ingenius ideas. Our first chicken house was built from old pallets years ago so we knew they were of value even when on the mainland, here they are like precious and sacred materials!) and the box of veg and lots of firewood all needed carrying up the hill. Ady is on the mend now but as ever when you are here and health is not 100% it is a worry both in terms of recovery when life is slightly tougher than normal and in terms of being ‘a man down’ when there is a lot of practical stuff to do just to keep ticking over.

Fortunately the weather has been lovely. Sunshine, blue skies, no rain, a couple of hard frosts making the ground lovely to walk on. We’ve been busy remedying the lack of loo, running water and footpath which were my top three things I felt we’d been too slow in getting sorted – more on them in future posts. We’ve had friends up for dinner twice this week and plenty of sitting on the sporran for lunch and the last coffee of the day as the sun starts to go down (which happens that little bit later every day). The chickens, ducks and geese are getting used to this arrangement so we end up surrounded by the hoardes all hoping for a bit of discarded sandwich or apple core. There was full on scrapping over some melon skins earlier in the week which was hilarious, like some sort of rugby match with them all snatching bits off each other and running away with it. I also managed to line dry two loads of washing which is a sure fire sign that spring is finally coming our way.

On island talk is starting to be looking towards the tourist season – we have various exciting new ventures on Rum this year including a new B&B, the first full season for the venison processing company, hopefully building starting on a community run bunkhouse and talk of the future of Kinloch castle. The four Small Isles are talking about the ferry review which may impact on our ferry timetable with some services enhanced but others potentially taking a hit which is a worry for the islanders who all pretty much rely on tourist trade in one form or another, not to mention needing the ferry to bring food, post, deliveries and get us on and off to the mainland for doctors, dentists and other such appointments.

2 thoughts on “Moving forward, and upward, always upward”

  1. Dear Nic,

    I am currently undertaking a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Sheffield and for my final dissertation I want to do a small scale study into how unschooling families use children’s interests as potential learning opportunities. I am a part time early years teacher working in a nursery in a school setting and am very interested in how children lead their own learning through play and hands on activities.

    I am writing to ask if you would be willing to participate in my research? My research question and methodology are not yet finalised, but will probably involve an interview or particpant diary. The study will comply fully with the university’s ethical standards and everything will be completely confidential and anonymous.

    If you are interested my email address is

    Many thanks in anticipation.
    Best wishes,

    PS .. Apologies for posting this on your blog but I couldn’t find an email address

    PPS .. it looks like you have an amazing life 🙂

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