Monday, 30 December 2013

Out with the old

As any regular reader will know the chances of this being the last reflective post of 2013 are pretty slim but this is the Official Round Up of the Year.

It's been another rollercoaster  ride filled with innumerable highs, lows and everything inbetween. Many celebrations from anniversaries and birthdays to impromptu parties. Massive opportunities to learn, to grow, to spread our wings. As ever the turning of the seasons, the contrast from full on tourist season with hoardes of folk spilling off the ferry to the colder, bleaker, emptier Rum months when we barely scrape double figures of people on the island. Births, deaths, new faces, sad and tender goodbyes. Visiting friends and family, rare but always noteworthy ventures off the island. Adventures, opportunities, excitements, dramas. Another year passed, another year lived, another set of experiences added to our bank of memories.

I posted a photo from each month of 2013 recently. Here are some words to go with 2013 month by month.

January - seeing the year in with a communal meal in the village hall and fireworks on the TV round at a friends house, my birthday (39), a mainland trip to have Bonnie spayed, spend our winkle money, go shopping, indulge in baths and electricity and mostly just feel happy and relieved to be back home on Rum again, safe in the knowledge we missed Rum way more than we've ever missed the mainland. Our first Buns Night in Scotland, a magical evening joining in with set traditions and becoming part of Rum history. We visited the castle bar for the first - and last official - time.

February - We had some problems with Bonnie attacking ducks and then injuring a chicken to the point that she had to be killed. Harsh lessons learned. We celebrated our 'yes-iversary' of one year since we had traveled to Rum to be interviewed for Croft 3 and were told we'd been successful. The weather suddenly turned and we were eating lunch out on the sporran, all the birds (chicken, duck and goose) were laying eggs and I started working at Rum primary school four mornings a week.

March - We made it to Spring! I wrote a post which has made me all teary all over again just re-reading it. Our Croft 2 neighbours finally moved to Rum, I had a brief visit to Harris and Lewis and Skye. The community polytunnel got another step closer to being up and running and some fellow WWOOF hosts visited and brought us two drakes (one of whom escaped to live in the wild shortly afterwards, the other of whom is very at home here on Croft 3 and is the proud father of our newest duck). The helicopter took away a fellow SmallIslander who was here on Rum working after a heart attack which had us all feeling a little too remote and vulnerable. We plumbed ourselves into the river and had running water!

April - Our anniversary of a year on Rum. Barbara pig had piglets, chickens hatched chicks, the polytunnel went up, seeds were sown, raised beds were constructed. We joined in the community beach clean, we had our first visitors of the year - residential in the shape of my parents and two sets of day trippers.

May - Ady's birthday, more visitors, raised beds installed, polytunnel yielding it's first crop of the season and in full throes of sowing, transplanting and harvesting. First Sheerwater boat trip of the year, still light at 1030pm. Piglets and chicks growing well.

June - Rum's first Big Lunch, the installation of the compost loo, the arrival of more livestock - this time goslings and (to our knowledge) the First Turkeys On Rum. Our honesty tables were installed at the top and bottom croft gates and started generating income. I created a herb spiral and we harvested our first strawberries from the polytunnel. The Battle of Nic & Ady vs the Crows commenced. The Sunday Community Teashop was born and oodles of cash raised for the Village Hall.

July - Davies launched his postcard range - he sold out and earnt enough to repay his start up business loan in full, restock and keep back money for investing in Christmas cards later in the year and spend some on frivilous things too. The birth of Davies Designs. Another visit from my parents, Rum played host to the Small Isles Games which we won every single round of the Tug of War in, Scarlett came second in the hill race and a generally fab time was had by all.  Weekly Market Days were held in the hall on a Wednesday and Davies did really well on postcard sales while my Moods Of Rum scarves sold well, as did my home baked flatbreads and jars of foraged fruits jam. Our duck hatched ducklings and one of the brood made it all the way to adulthood. We had a visit from an islander bearing fish to open up and inspect the contents of it's stomach - 12 newts! We then ate it for tea. We swapped eggs for a freshly caught crab and had that for dinner later in the month. Scarlett and Davies got to lead the new Rum pony foal and it's mother from one field to another.

August - We built a wood store and set about filling it, carrying wood up the hill and chopping and stacking it. The media spotlight was on Rum for the castle, a BBC documentary filmed here including a bit here on Croft 3, bramble picking and jam making. A brief mainland visit to the dentist and lots more visitors.

September - More visitors, family and friends. Davies had a big birthday and turned 13. We had the second Blasda food festival on Rum. We walked up to the source of our water. The stags began roaring and the 2013 red deer rut commenced.

October - We installed a wind turbine, went to Kilmory to watch the rut, celebrated Halloween and I embarked on my most ambitious upcycling project yet - an Honesty Larder made from an old freezer.

November - Bonfire night, snow! Nights drawing in. Fruit cage finally stocked. Not leaving the house without a torch. Life slowing down.

December - Scarlett's birthday, more friends to visit, the very sad loss of two pigs and a cockerel. The despatch and processing of two turkeys for Christmas dinners. Christmas, carols, games, nativity, mince pies and mulled wine. The wind turbine being blown out and replaced, the installation of a washing machine, more friends visiting to see out 2013 with us and welcome in 2014.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

It works!

Untitled by nicgee
Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Replacement wind turbine finally up and running.

It works!

Untitled by nicgee
Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Some fine tuning to the plumbing required but it works! First wash done.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time

As in, we had a wonderful Christmas time in a very simple manner.

It's been a challenging Christmas for many thousands of people all over the UK, indeed all over the world really but specifically in the UK many people have not had the Christmas they were hoping for or had planned due to the circumstances beyond their control that the weather has thrown at them.

This has been a common theme for our family here on Rum since we arrived here.

We are not at risk of flooding by rain but it frequently comes through the roof of the static if the wind blows in a certain direction. Our bed, Scarlett's floor, the area infront of both external doors and the kitchen worktop underneath the spotlight have all at some point or another had pans or towels beneath soaking up rainwater. The rain on Rum is not a simple matter of determining what outdoor clothing we wear or whether we can hang washing outside today or not, it dictates the very rhythm of our lives from if we can drive across the river or not and therefore need to carry groceries, animal feed, bottled gas, firewood and so on a lesser or further distance. It turns our croft to mud, drowns our crops and on occasion has taken an animals' life too.

The sun although almost always welcome can bring it's own causes for concern. Rum has been glowing alight from out of control fires across the island on more than one occasion, never during our time here but the regularly spaced firebeaters, warning signs that go up during the summer months and evidence of burnt out patches of land which still exist testify to the issues that the sun can bring. This summer just gone we could see burning areas out of control on the mainland from across the water.

But by far the biggest force of nature here for us is the wind. Wind cancels ferries, destroys buildings, pulls down trees, rattles our roof, wobbles our walls and keeps us awake at night. Wind gave us power and took it away again by burning out our wind turbine. Wind has blown the doors off the polytunnel, the netting off the fruit cage, tossed the Honesty Larder fridge on it's side and regularly seems to laugh at our attempts to move forward. I had a story when I was a child about a naughty zephyr, a little wind who caused trouble and made mischief and I often wonder if he has followed me to Rum.

We have been hit by storm after storm so far this winter and Christmas had become something of a landmark point to reach. Many times in the last few weeks Ady and I have quietly wondered whether we would actually see Christmas Day here in the static, whether it would still be intact. Our plans of our own turkey, all day power from the wind turbine, presents under our Rum harvested tree all felt in great jeopardy as we lurched from one crisis (dead wind turbine) to another (cancelled ferries) to yet another (more storms forecast). We seriously questioned what the odds were of us waking up on Christmas morning in our own beds might be as we kept readjusting our expectations.

In the event there was a last minute hitch in the form of a lightning strike knocking out the islands internet from Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day (when on islander superstars clambered up Hebnet Hill and fixed things to reconnect Rum to the outside world once more), always patchy mobile phone signal also disappeared and we were concerned as to how friends and family might be thinking the worst of our silence. We managed to get a few messages out to let people know we were fine, happy, safe but disconnected and just before lunch we managed a phonecall to family.

I can't say the uncertainty has added anything to this years festive celebrations, I think we have sufficient excitement and adventure in our lives of our own making without any additional layers but we have indeed had a very Merry Christmas. An off grid, way out there in the wilderness, edging closer to self sufficiency all the time sort of Christmas. A healthy mix of bought in junk food snacks along with our home made cranberry sauces, pickled onions, Rum reared and oven readied here on Croft 3 roast turkey, Christmas cake, mince pies and other goodies. A variety of presents delivered to Rum thanks to amazon, ebay and other online retailers along with some thoughtful low cost, handmade gifts. Some entertainment brought to us thanks to the newly fixed internet, BBC iplayer and radio, high profile, high budget celebrity Christmas specials combined with carols round the piano, brisk walks in the brief dry sunny spells, parlour games with friends, mulled wine and mince pies and in jokes with the community.

Our second Rum Christmas. A (relatively) quiet one at home.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas Eve Eve

Dire weather warnings continue (but that appears to be the case wherever one lives in the UK just now, our only trump card on that is our caravan dwelling status and the effect of cancelled ferries) but here at Goddard Heights we are ready for Christmas.

The solstice on Saturday saw us carolling and on Sunday we processed two turkeys - one for us and one for a fellow islander. Ady did the first by himself but I assisted with the second one. Davies and Scarlett declined to participate this time although they have previously seen the full process of both chickens and turkeys (and infact assisted in turkeys at one of our WWOOF hosts).

Ady worked at a turkey farm slaughtering turkeys for a few years way back before we met so I got a full biology lesson along with some technical teaching in plucking, processing and preparing. It was lovely to see the healthy inners of our birds and we were so impressed with the full crop of the second one that we bought it up intact to the kids to open up. The contents filled one of our large saucepans and was almost entirely fresh green grass and some corn.

The first bird was just over 3.5kg and the second slightly larger at just under 4kg - slow grown, happy, healthy birds living a completely natural life. I will always eat meat and my dream is to be consuming only our own poultry, pork and venison from Rum.

More festive food preparation with another batch of mince pies (I'm down to just two jam jars of my own mincemeat left from about 10 jars at the start of the month, these may keep over now til next year), three jars of cranberry sauce (made with fresh cranberries, orange juice and zest and ginger wine, delicious) and some ginger liqueur made from vodka infused with a pile of ginger from way back a month or so ago. The ginger which was really a by-product I was planning on throwing away is divine if very firey, so I have put that aside to do something with too. Next year my ambition is for all the fruit and veg to be Croft 3 produce for Christmas but we're doing pretty well for a self sufficient start to our second Christmas here.

My Christmas cake looks and smells delicious but the icing will require some further attention tomorrow. It turns out icing sugar does not keep well in a very damp caravan and it took quite some coaxing to turn the solid brick into glossy icing. It will need to be done in layers!

Today brought a disrupted timetable ferry and on it came all of the last things we were waiting for and a couple of things I had given up hope of getting before Christmas. We also heard from our winkle man that there is a cheque in the post on it's way to us for a good price for our winkles so that boosted morale all round. Presents are all wrapped with the exception of a last minute cuddly toy pig I am making for Scarlett (pink with black spots fluffy material being one of the items which arrived that I was not really expecting) to look like her favourite wee girl piglet we lost last week.

Davies and Scarlett spent the morning making and decorating gingerbread houses that had been bought for them by visiting friends a few weeks ago. I think it's the first time we've done them and they really enjoyed themselves and got very artistic and creative. Next year they are planning to construct something rather elaborate having worked out how the construction from panels works - there was talk of a gingerbread Kinloch Castle!

Tomorrow is our final festive film (we have watched one Christmas film a day since December 1st - advent DVDs), making Christmas stockings, a trip to the shop in the late afternoon for mulled wine and mince pies with fellow islanders and a final food shopping spree to spend the Christmas club money we have been paying in each week.

Merry Christmas to all our readers - we hope your festive celebrations are peaceful, filled with love, light, happiness and magic.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The wind blows right through you

I have talked before about how the changing of the seasons and the impact of nature is so much a part of our lives. It was only really when WWOOFing that we began to be in tune with the natural world and that connection has grown ever greater. This year particularly I have been more aware of the summer and winter solstice.

December has been a tough month for us so far, the weather has been unbelievably testing with relentless gales, pouring rain and short grey day following short grey day. In so many ways this winter has been easier than last year - we have our running water, our toilet, our log burner and decent stock of firewood. In other ways it has infinitely harder. I was poorly and here on Rum being ill is cause for concern - we don't have easy access to doctors or chemists. We have had animal losses which always hits hard. This time last year we had almost daily ground frosts and the croft was hard and mostly dry and crunchy underfoot. It was cold but crisp and clear. This year is it dark, grey, wet and muddy. We have seen more cancelled ferries in the last month than in the whole of the previous 20 months we've lived here.

However, it is the time of year to take stock, to be grateful for blessings and to think of others. In these darkest days we have been shown love, kindness, compassion and caring from the community on Rum, from our wider social circle of family and friends and being the 21st century we have had outpourings of loveliness from every corner of the internet too. We have had the Rum nativity, the Rum Christmas kids party (with special appearance from Santa, who I was lucky enough to go home with afterwards!) and carol singing. There has been mulled wine aplenty, mince pies and gingerbread, tinsel and fairy lights.

Tonight I wrapped all our Christmas presents (those that have arrived - we are still waiting for a few), tomorrow we will be making a few turkeys oven-ready and we are planning the last few days before Christmas to be filled with festive baking, some Christmas crafts and plenty of seasonal tunes.

The shortest day is almost over and as of tomorrow the sun will rise that bit earlier, set that bit later and maybe even start putting a bit more of an appearance.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Winkles, snowflakes and ferries

Despite much hysterical doom-mongering about ferries probably never running again we have had a ferry every scheduled day so far this week - there has been some disruption but all the people who wanted to get off have done and all the people who wanted to get here have done so.

Today was a particularly crucial ferry for us as the winkles were booked to leave Rum and head off to get the best possible price. So this morning we were down at the beach gathering them from the various stashed places to take them along to the pier. The back door on our car is stuck shut (obviously!) at the moment so we put the sacks on the bonnet and drove slowly, which is the only speed we have anyway... Once there we put all the sacks into a second sack for safety (the sacks are very thin and could easily have split, spilling winkles everywhere) and tagged them all before putting them on a pallet to be sent off on the boat. Good luck winkles on your onward journey, fingers crossed for a good price.

That done we were able to start getting ready for Christmas and what better way to start that by taking part in the Rum Primary nativity play?! We had been cast as snowflakes, so donning an eclectic selection of white or off white clothing (in short supply up here at Goddard Heights) including inside out T shirts, a borrowed fleece and my dressing gown complete with paper snowflakes dangling off the arms we swirled, twirled and blizzarded our way through our scene. Ady was also a myrrh bearing wise man so donned the obligatory tea towel secured with dressing gown cord on his head and presented baby Jesus with a tupperware box labelled accordingly. We had a festive sing song, drank some mulled wine and I walked home (slightly after the rest of the family as I stayed for another glass of mulled wine) singing Christmas carols at the top of my voice.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Thursday, 19 December 2013


Untitled by nicgee
Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

My winkle buddy

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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

I can't think of anyone I'd rather be on a windswept beach for hours in the bleak mid winter on our hands and knees scooping up tiny seasnails with!


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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

as big as marbles! They filled up the windows this afternoon

Trees down in the village

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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

wind damage from last night, adding to the trees already down from the last few weeks.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Some context

I've posted, in reverse date order, a photo a month from 2013. They are not necessarily the best photo from that month or even depicting the highlight of that month but they do evoke a memory, tell a story or illustrate perfectly something Rum specific about our lives. Either a moment of great landscape natural beauty, a captured brush with wildlife, something amazing about the land on our croft, the freedom Davies and Scarlett have in our lives here, a celebration shared with the community of people here on Rum or one of the many amazing opportunities that have opened up to us since we moved here that we would not enjoy back in our old lives.

Winter challenges continue here - the replacement wind turbine arrived but it is as yet too windy to go up a ladder and install it. We have been winkle picking and done fairly well but forecasts are not good for ferries this week to get the winkles off of Rum to where they need to be to fetch the best prices. We lost our original cockerel Dave who was ailing anyway but we thought had turned a corner and pulled through. Most devastatingly we have lost two of our pigs - the two young girls. I think they are just too small and skinny to cope with the harsh cold wet winter we are having with constant relentless wind. I am very worried about their two brothers and even Tom and Barbara and we are trying to improve their housing to keep more of the weather out but as we know ourselves it is a tough world here.

As I write the wind continues to howl around outside, shaking the walls of the static, rattling the roof and making so much noise it is hard to hear the radio, to sleep, to carry out a conversation. But we are almost at the shortest day, almost at the turn of the year and with that will come the slow journey back towards spring and all of the rewards for these short dark weeks just now.

December 2013

Untitled by nicgee
Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Scarlett is 11

November 2013

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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

sparklers, bonfires and venison burgers

October 2013

SAM_7846 by nicgee
SAM_7846, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Front row seats for the red deer rut

September 2013

Untitled by nicgee
Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Davies, a teenager.

August 2013

IMAG0694 by nicgee
IMAG0694, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Abundance in the polytunnel

July 2013

IMAG1528 by nicgee
IMAG1528, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

The Small Isles games, hosted by Rum, winners of the Tug O War

June 2013

swimming by nicgee
swimming, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

swimming in the river

May 2013

sheerwater by nicgee
sheerwater, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Family visit and the Sheerwater boat trips become a weekly adventure again.

May 2013

sheerwater by nicgee
sheerwater, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Family visit and the Sheerwater boat trips become a weekly adventure again.

April 2013

who cleaned da beach? by nicgee
who cleaned da beach?, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

We celebrate our first anniversary of living on Rum, take part in a community beach clean and our pigs have their first litter.

March 2013

IMAG0461 by nicgee
IMAG0461, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Many hands make light work - the polytunnel goes up with the help of members of the community and volunteers.

February 2013

SAM_6585 by nicgee
SAM_6585, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Pancake race craziness on Shrove Tuesday

January 2013

last ones standing by nicgee
last ones standing, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Burns Night - a fantastic communal meal, poems, singing, dancing, haggis, whisky...

Sunday, 15 December 2013


Another week flown by. Actually I slept quite a bit of it away as I was struck down on Monday afternoon with a rather violent bout of poorliness which had me pretty much bedridden until Thursday. The less said about the whole incident the better I think and fortunately it was contained to just me (so nothing contagious) and mostly contained to the bedroom but it meant our laundry pile was even more towering than usual.

Fortunately this was the week in which Ady build possibly the most remote laundrette in the UK - photo in a post below. Thanks to our friends Dave and Naomi who brought up a preloved washing machine, the use of more ex SNH galvanised metal sheets and a water butt which suffered wind damage last winter back when we drank rain water collected from our roof and has been kicking around waiting for new employment. It is as yet untested - we are still in the middle of a very, very windy few weeks so there is no way washing can be hung out on the line without being blown across to the mainland within minutes, plus we are rationing power due to waiting for both our replacement wind turbine and more cans of petrol for the generator to arrive - we've had several cancelled ferries and are expecting several more in the coming weeks looking at the long term weather forecast.

In other news we have finally found another contact for winkles and went out picking today - the first daylight low tide, but the wind meant even at low tide there was very little beach to pick from and Ady and I between us barely covered the bottom of a sack. We'll try again tomorrow but as the last boat to catch the lucrative Christmas market is Thursday and is looking as though that boat won't come we may end up not winkle picking this year after all. It is gutty work, only really tolerable for the large sums of money sacks of winkles realise this time of year, if that is uncertain then the gamble is just too high.

It's that challenging time of year again, I remember it from last year, when you tend to lurch from birthday to Christmas to Hogmany, to birthday to Burns Night to spring when it all becomes okay again and you swiftly forget these daylight limited weeks at the turn of the year. It would be easy to feel disheartened and introspective when the weather just keeps battering at you and your reserves are low. Fortunately thanks to the need to make Christmas presents I've been reviewing photos of the past year and reminding myself of what a fabulous year we have had, how lucky we are to live here and what a rich, diverse, opportunity laden life we lead. The wind this week has blown the polytunnel doors off, but I've been looking at pictures of it groaning with salad, strawberries, herbs and tomatoes and I know that the spring clean up of the croft will have everything back in it's rightful place again and ready to perform in the same way next year. I said several times during the long happy days of spring, summer and autumn that these would be the memories and adventures that got us through the dark days of winter and sure enough I am drawing on them now in the same way as the firewood carried up the hill and chopped earlier in the year is keeping me warm tonight.

Most remote laundrette in the UK?

Untitled by nicgee
Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

O Christmas Tree

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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Testing, testing, 123

Another memorable week. Filled with challenges - from nature, from people, from ourselves, from Rum. A week of highs, lows and everything inbetween.

A week in which I came to terms, amid some tears and some bracing walks out in the wild Rum weather kicking up leaves and lobbing a stick for Bonnie, of my own limitations. Thought hard about some stuff, talked it all over with Ady and cut loose a few of the burdens of voluntary responsibility which had been weighing far too heavy and having me feeling torn and not feeling as though I was giving anyone or anyhing my best. Not easy decisions but the feeling of relief now the dust has settled demonstrates to me that it was the right choice. I'd make a rubbish martyr so I won't even try and as my Dad often says 'graveyards are full of indispensable people'. I am only irreplaceable to a select handful of people and they are the ones who deserve all my time, energy and attention.

A week in which we had new friends visiting for their second trip to Rum with an eye on one day calling it home themselves. Tough to strike the balance between realistic portrayal, honest appraisal of the tough bits, doing full justice to showing off the amazing bits and ensuring our conscience is clear in ensuring they know just what life as an islander is like while still knowing that another family moving here would be fantastic, particularly ones with skills, dreams and enthusiasm like they have. Exciting to play even a tiny part in someone else's exciting journey.

A week which saw by far the most extreme weather we have witnessed since moving here. Winds that touched on the 100mph mark, tides so high that seaweed is cluttering pathways many metres from the usual tideline, electrical storms with spectacular lightning displays, hail so vicious I have tiny purple bruises on my legs still 3 days later after walking home in it wearing thick jeans. Snow, proper settled, blizzarding snow. It was the most scared I have ever been in our static - Ady stayed up pretty much all night, I stayed in bed with the duvet pulled up over my head as stuff fell off the shelf above the bed and rained down on me and the static shook like we were onboard an express train. The clock was taken down from the wall, emergency bags were packed and an evacuation plan was discussed and gone over in detail. Damage was amazingly very little - items fell from the shelving within the horse box, we lost the roofs off a couple of animal houses, the gate from the fruit cage and all four doors came off their hinges in the polytunnel. We did lose our wind turbine though - despite taking it down and doing what Ady hoped was a repair it is no longer working, probably burnt out. A replacement is on order and we will hopefully be operational with it before Christmas. We had a cancelled ferry which delayed various components for Scarlett's birthday celebrations but they all arrived today which just meant her birthday was stretched out a little instead.

As ever my respect for the forces of nature is strengthened and while it was a scary experience which once again had us questioning our sanity we are feeling incredibly fortunate to have gotten away with no serious damage, no injuries to ourselves or our animals. Many people are experiencing their own 'power cuts' just now just like us and at least we have a generator to give us back up power while we wait for a new wind turbine to arrive. Listening to the news from various corners of the UK we feel we once again got off lightly really in our brush with the elements.

A week in which our baby girl celebrated her 11th birthday. Double figures and beyond! Scarlett had a fabulous day, waking up to a fall of snow giving her her first 'white birthday'. A full birthday menu of all her favourite foods, a selection of yearned for presents and surprise gifts, home made and brought on the ferry from us, cards from friends and family and phonecalls and messages from those she wouldn't see in person. In the evening we took a triple layer birthday cake down to the village to share with friends and she was very spoilt with a HUGE selection of gifts and lots of people coming to sing Happy Birthday to her at the shop. A lovely special birthday for our lovely special girl.

A week of Christmas Fayres, selling Davies' cards, advent calendars, online Christmas shopping, planning pig and turkey despatch, venison processing, gathering articles for the community newsletter, discussing recruitment for staff for various island roles, community meetings, working at the post office, tidying up after the storm.

So that was our week. Some people probably have quieter years! Tomorrow we're off to choose a Christmas tree.

Calm between storms

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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

birthday lunch

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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.


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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

this goose is getting fat!

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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

White birthday

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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.


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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.

Cutting the cake

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Untitled, a photo by nicgee on Flickr.