Archive for the ‘getting ready’ Category


all the little things…

October 23, 2008

…take so much time. Organising the phone and broadband has been a bit of a trial. Originally we thought we could get a simultaneous provision of line and broadband, but after a rigmarole of changing our ISP and cancelling our first phone order, BT decided they couldn’t do it on the line anyway. Still I am saving £10/month with the new ISP (Zen Internet) and their service seems to be so far as good if not better than my old one, so that part’s fine. The bad part is that it will be 6 working days before our broadband comes on, so it’ll be down to dialup, mobile and the local wifi hotspots. But some of that time we’ll be travelling anyway, bringing the hired van back here and collecting our own, then a quick visit to St Andrews University, (not exactly) on the way back.

BT also seem unable to commit themselves to a definite phone number these days. They gave us one, have already changed it once, and are advising that we shouldn’t give it out to anyone because it might change again before the end of the month! But I sent it out with our other change of address details anyway and am hoping for the best – I don’t remember having to contend with such vagueness last time we moved.

All three ferry journeys are booked now – just hoping the weather will be kind to us. Tansy will be in kennels when we take the main van load, we’ll pick her up when we come back and bring her over on the final crossing – her first time on a ferry, and I hope she won’t spend the whole time barking at the other dogs (her one fault!).

I intended to pack some boxes today but the little things seem to multiply, one leads to another and  the time vanishes. Tomorrow I will start by packing some, otherwise it will be just the same. I think I could get most of my art stuff done quickly, as it’s already decluttered and can all just go in – it’s the decisions we’re still making about what to part with and what to leave for later that I’m finding difficult.


starting a journey

August 2, 2008

Perhaps that should be ‘starting to write about a journey’, because really the journey has been underway for a while, in our dreams, in all our visits to islands throughout the Hebrides as well as the western edges of Ireland, Wales and Cornwall, looking for a place where we could live and work, travel from and return to. Landscape, infrastructure, community, cost, spiritual traditions, our differing needs, the needs of our family – so many factors to be taken into account. For a long time it was just a dream, but things have come together recently to make it first a possibility, and, we hope, soon a reality.

Alan’s on sabbatical from the autumn and will be away a lot at other universities both in the UK and on the continent, and writing when he’s at home, so for this next year where we live won’t make much difference to his work. My work can be done from anywhere with a broadband connection. So now seems like as good a time as there will ever be to take the plunge and Tiree seems to fit most of our constraints.

Of course, in reality we know almost nothing about Tiree. Two visits (both in the summertime!)… A lot of reading and information-gathering around the web. Gleanings from other people’s stories. It’s a big adventure and we don’t really know what to expect. But it feels ‘right’. We were amazed at the ease with which we found a house. I won’t say too much about that yet while it is is still someone else’s home and all the legal bits are going through. Just that you can see the sea from the house and there’ll be room for visitors!

Being so far from our children and my parents will be difficult. Finances will be a struggle. More than half the time I’m terrified, but I’m excited and glad as well. We both hang on to too much stuff, so we have a lot of work ahead clearing our current house of clutter so what’s left will fit into the new one; and trying to sell it, or, if that fails, rent it out.

In the next few months leading up to the move I’ll be writing a bit about that process, and about the things I’m learning, information I want to seek out and keep, and events as they unfold, capturing thoughts about anything that seems interesting along the way.