Earlier this week Ady took some photos of the croft from above to the north, a perspective we don’t always see.


At the start of the month I took some pictures of the croft from below, which is our most frequent perspective on the croft – looking up at it from the foot of the croft, with all the hill to climb, looking at back at what we’ve achieved.


Today we were to the south of the croft, in the woodland seeking out this year’s Christmas tree. We found ourselves suddenly in a clearing with a great view of the croft from the other side.

croft 3

I love these images. They serve to remind us of what we have achieved, what we have made happen. When I look up at the caravan and see lights on and smoke curling from the log burner chimney – home for nearly five years where we have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, Christmasses, hosted family and friends, when I see the brown areas which is the ground that the pigs have turned up, the green bits that the sheep have grazed or that Ady has cut and the birds have kept down. I also love to see the long golden bits which we keep wild and our free range poultry use to take shelter from the wind or lay their eggs. These wild areas will be filled with butterflies and wild flowers in the summer. The cages which contain our soft fruit bushes and orchard trees, the raised beds, the water butts holding comfrey tea to feed our plants – comfrey that we grew from seed, a brash hedge laid with help from my parents on one of their many visits, supporting a climbing yellow rose we planted in memory of my granny. The polytunnel and cloches, built from scrap wood and the torn remains of the community polytunnel plastic. The little green shed at the gate of the croft where we have had over 300 individual buying customers in this, our first year of trading. The area at the top of the croft where we created our camp kitchen for volunteers and guests, the circle of impacted ground where the bell tent stood this summer, the row of cut down ground where we are planting over 400 trees, something that will create yet more change in the landscape in years to come. The human touches – the cob pizza oven and the large space where we may yet one day build a cob house, the kids’ trampoline, the bench where we have sat and drunk tea or beer with visiting friends. The patch of bare ground where we burn our rubbish, the various sheds where we store firewood, tools, animal bedding.

Croft 3, Isle of Rum. Before we came it wasn’t even a place. Now it’s a home, a business and a place you can look up to and down on.

4 thoughts on “Perspective….”

    1. Hi Neil, not shelved indefinitely but certainly slipped very low down on the to do list. In 2015 we just didn’t get the weather window required to make it happen – cob needs a good dry spell of weather to work and the summer last year was far from that. We were slipping further behind schedule too which meant that although we had dug out to subsoil with volunteer help we had not gotten any further and had realised just what a huge task it would be.

      Our initial plan for this year was several big volunteer events to get it done but we didn’t get as many volunteers as we had hoped and we also realised that we were not really set up to host volunteers for such a big project either. At the start of this year we had the realisation that we were letting not having built the cob house hang over us making us feel as though we had failed. We decided to refocus and concentrate on the aspects of life here which initially attracted us to this life – growing crops and rearing livestock and that has been our focus for this year.

      The cob house remains a possibility but we now have a better understanding of what a mammoth undertaking it would be and how much help we will need with it. I have a few ideas of ways we could still make it happen which we may explore in the future depending on what the next year brings for us. We are particularly aware of the childrens’ ever changing needs along with our own evolving passions.

      So, that was a long answer wasn’t it?! The site is still suitable, we didn’t have any problems with going ahead in terms of regulations, we simply realised that the project was bigger than we first thought and we didn’t have the financial, time, energy, help, capacity to make it happen. Yet!

  1. Hi Nic,

    I have been following your blog for a while and always enjoy reading it.

    Thanks for the update on the cob house plans. If you don’t mind me asking I have been wondering where you are at with selling your house down south? Even though I have never met you when I read your blog I worry sometimes about you all in the caravan, especially when you are facing winter again.

    Could I also ask what happened to your camper van, Willow?

    Thanks very much and all the best x

    1. Hi Morag,

      Thanks for your comment – and thanks for thinking about us in the caravan too! We still have Willow the campervan, she is very much retired now. She is currently at a friend’s farm down in Sussex. The long term plan was to bring her to Rum where she would be useful as additional bedspaces for friends and family when they visit – plenty of space to park her on the croft! She would not make the 600 mile journey though without lots of money spent to get her roadworthy, MOT’d and insured so we are waiting on a friend visiting who is able to bring her on a trailer – a visit which as yet has not happened.

      Our house down south is currently the home of a lovely family who rent it from us. They have been there for about 3 years and seem very happy there. it will never be our home again but this arrangement works well as it means we retain our asset of property and can carry on paying the mortgage as the rent covers the cost of that and any maintenance/ insurance etc.

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