Normal service will be resumed as soon as I work out what normal is

which you can take any way you like it but basically means we’re still at that point where you throw every single one of your belongings, every single thing you thought was true and every single plan you ever made all up in the air at the same time and wait for them to come back down before you can work out where they’ve landed and start to get to know your life again.

Does that sounds negative? It’s not meant to.

Does that sound positive? It’s not meant to either.

We knew there would be challenges, we knew this would not be easy. We knew there would be layers of trickiness, unwrapped gradually with new and different things that might move us to tears – of pleasure or pain – at any given time. There has indeed been all of that. Challenges and issues we had not anticipated, stuff we had expected but hoped might not be so bad.

We also knew it would be the start to an amazing adventure. That there were potential new friends to meet, sights to see, places to discover. There has indeed been all of that too.

Getting our heads around the day to day difficulties of living on an island, ensuring we don’t run out of dog food or tea bags. Realising that Star has ripped the knees of two pairs of trousers and got a third pair muddy when she only has three pairs of trousers anyway. These are challenges. Working out the politics and complicated relationships on the island with no prior knowlegde of the history and no previous experience of such a unique place is another challenge. We know how to tend livestock, put up a fence, start growing crops but it turns out simply getting our static down onto our land so we have a home is far from straightforward – yet another challenge.

Life on Rum could so easily become life in a bubble. There is a stream of tourists already starting to parade across the island, with greater and greater numbers expected over the coming months – an audience! There are times, such as when you are homeless, clueless, don’t really have any of the answers yet and are finding your feet that an audience is not a comfortable thing to have. It is all too easy to allow small and usually insignificant things to get blown out of all proportion.

Fortunately there are enough snapshot moments to keep our heads clear and our minds focussed and our hearts filled with joy at the prospect of the amazing potential ahead.

Moments when I chat to a random stranger, visiting the island for a geological walk, to site a new compost loo or to built some new signage. I tell them our story and they wish us good luck, tell us we are brave and that they wish they had our courage. Moments when I look across at my children, my gorgeous, self sufficient, resiliant children, walking their new dog, making a whole world of people and places in the mud and sand around the river banks, calling to me to look up at the clouds, the stars, the birds, slipping a hand into mine as we walk along the pathway and telling me they love it here. Moments when I pull open the curtains of our bedroom window and realise from my bed I could see deer or sea eagles. Moments when we are sitting, sharing a beer at the end of another day with some of the islanders and we feel like we may just have come home.

As I said, all still up in the air in fragments at the moment, but falling, falling slowly and softly and when they land and a whole new picture is formed I know the background landscape will look like this:

and I reckon that pretty much guarantees it will all be fine in the end!

6 thoughts on “Normal service will be resumed as soon as I work out what normal is”

  1. That sounds about normal to us… It will get easier & as time goes on you will feel settled, you’ll get to know everyone & will get into the swing of things.

    Kay & Sime

  2. This time next year you will look upon these first moments with fond memories. With small steps everything works out in the end. Hxxx

  3. This is probably all of hat do you read your blog starting back at the beginning incredibly impressed with all you’ve accomplished. Your year of travels was fascinating, followed by your decision to take up crofting on Rum. And now finally you have arrived. I look forward to all the posts that will bring me up to today. I’m now in a wheelchair so I think I’m travelling with you vicariously!

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