September 11, 2012

O! What’s occurring?

Filed under: General — tattiehouse @ 14:54

So what’s been happening lately…Ian’s nephew Conor and Floss the wee collie dog have been over for a short visit, he’s just returned from a year in America so we haven’t seen him for what seems like AGES and it was brilliant to have him here. Ian is thrilled to have one of his favourite walking/kayaking (& adventure in general) companions back in the same country. We have more family visits planned; Ian’s parents are over for a couple of days this week and mine will hopefully be heading up in October. We just can’t wait until that house is ready to take visitors so that our families and friends can come over on a regular basis and stay in comfort and style!

An old Christian marking on a stone at Caves Bay thought to date back between 600 and 700 AD

Big and little Bolo at Dibidil Bothy

Conor and Floss on Kilmory beach

Golden Plover we thought…Sanderling they are! 🙂


Beach at Samhnan Insir

Conor jumping…

and landing

The FV Jack Abry II which grounded on Rum on 31st Jan 2011
We’re now well into September and the wind has scuppered our plans to get the boat out this year – and whilst mainly we’re just glad the task of getting her to the Isle of Rum is done, it would still have been nice to get a few trips out. But with every cloud and all that, the wind has kept the midges at bay for most of what should have been the worst month of the year. They’re currently fighting their last stand between the gusts, and before we know it they just wont appear again until the spring. Hurrah!

Following on from the jaunt up the hill with Rum’s HebNet stuff, Ian went away to the main land (or real world as I like to call it) for just under a week with fellow HebNet founder Simon helping another rural community to achieve a decent broadband connection. Bit different from the old office job!

It’s been all comings and goings lately. As Ian was leaving, I got to welcome back very good friend Abby from her trip away. It’s amazing the difference just one person being away can make on a community of 40 or so people. Rum just isn’t the same without all of its people – we missed her a lot and were SO happy to see her come back! We’ve said a sad goodbye to freelance castle chef Izzy, she fit into the little jigsaw that is the community perfectly and will be missed – although I can’t help feeling it wont be long before she’s back…On a brighter note we’re really looking forward to when we can welcome Paul’s wife Carol as a permanent Rummic – something to look forward to and very soon we hope.

Whilst Ian was away I took delivery of our latest order of materials. With a bit of moral support from our Wondering Wanderer friends at croft 3 and much appreciated help from Estate Manager Richard and roofer Billy Cowan (who helped avert an unloading crisis on the Calmac) the whole thing went very smoothly. None of the possible horrors I had built up in my head actually happened, so thanks Rembrand Timber for being super suppliers – we are now equipped with materials that will allow us to get really busy indoors out of the grotty weather that’s plagued us of late.

Delivery truck at the pier

Delivery truck unloading
So far we’ve moved the delivery from the dropping off point to Tattie House, put a couple of the lintels in place and most excitingly knocked through the first new doorway! One of the old ‘back kitchens’ is now officially a hallway and as soon as the opening between the two back kitchens is knocked through (hopefully today!) we will have joined the two previously seperate halves of the house up. Yes it’s still a long way off complete, but Tattie House is just starting to take the form of the version we have in our heads. It may actually be the most excited either of us has been about any of the work we’ve done so far.

New doorway opening the downstairs bedroom up to the hallway

Ian prepping the wall for the lintels that will allow us to join up the two halves of Tattie House

And coming up…we have LOTS of concreting to get done in the next six weeks including the kitchen and hallway floors. We have old doorways to block up, big old steels to put in place,  stairs to remove and much more.

With the days drawing in rapidly, and the caravan being all damp and wind wobbled we’ve been thinking more about the move home for the winter months and I must say I’m actually really excited at the thought of returning to our simple little cosy home. I’ve been asked a few times about which of the two places I call home and why and I’ve found it quite hard to explain, we’re in a close community of people who work hard to make everyone feel at home and we love being a part of it. But to me the idea of ‘home’ was deeply ingrained in me during my upbringing, my parents have always told us three girls that wherever they are is home and no matter what happens in our lives we’ll always be able to go to them when we want or need to. Since we’ve become couples, the sons in law have been treated more like sons and included in the unconditional welcome. We always know there will never be a time that we’re not welcome whatever the circumstances. Pretty much the same goes of Ian’s parents too. It’s not something you can easily shake off, and I wouldn’t want to. Ian and I will have our homes away from home, but I’m sure for us the true definition will always be where our families are.

Although we will miss our friends and being here, the combination of feeling generally very tired at the moment and the thought of being back with the people we love in Wales makes the idea of home seem massively appealing. I can’t wait to get back into cupcake Sundays with my nieces, supermarket Thursdays with my sister, sleeping in a real bed in a real room, keeping more little piggies in the garden, open fires and amaretto in the snug on cold dark nights…! We could stay in the van for winter, but have both decided that we don’t really want to struggle through battling the cold, damp and dark and risk being plain miserable at the end of it when we have the option to be productive and comfortable at home and come back refreshed in early spring. The costs involved in what we’re doing are big, but we’re both certain that they shouldn’t include our well being.

As for the now, aside from the works going on at Tattie House we’re hoping to get a couple of attempts at catching some mackerel in before they make themselves scarce. We have Blasda on Saturday, so we hope to be successful in catching an offering towards the evening ‘pot luck meal’. Fingers crossed – because it seems it’s always a case of the more I want to catch something the windier or rainier it is come high tide…hmm.



  1. The wee birdies might be sanderling

    Comment by Sean Morris — September 11, 2012 @ 18:11

    • Thanks Sean, I’ll amend. That’ll teach Ian to do his research on wikipedia instead of asking our knowledgeable neighbour!!

      Comment by tattiehouse — September 11, 2012 @ 18:19

  2. Kate, Do you know what…I so look forward to your updates, this keeps me going while I am not on Rum,makes me feel at home – excellent update on what is happening, and cannot wait to come back, although when I get back you will be on your way back down south, must keep in touch whatever, wherever xx

    Comment by Carol — September 11, 2012 @ 23:01

    • Thanks Carol I’m glad you enjoy it 🙂 it’s a shame we’ll be pretty much crossing over! We’ll be back soon enough though, it’s only until the very worst of the weather is over with. Hopefully back early March, so only 4 months really. We will defo be keeping in touch Xx

      Comment by tattiehouse — September 12, 2012 @ 10:09

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