Sunday, October 17, 2010

Family fun

We enjoyed having our family come to stay with us last week.  First visitors to the Island were daughter Karen, son-in-law Daniel and Grandson Finlay.  We were blessed with the most amazing weather and had a truly magical time.  Karen and Daniel loved the island, and Finlay loved playing with his Uncle James. Suffice to say, we spent most of our time on the beach.

And if we are not at the beach, we are at the Stones.  A wee bit colder there - hats had to be borrowed for those not used to the breeze, but the sparkling morning made up for it..  Then it was back to the beach where we were entertained by the surfers.

Then, midweek, they went back home on the 2 o'clock ferry.  Waiting in the queue at the other side were our next visitors - my dad and my sister.  My sister, Susan, is home from Canada to spend a few weeks with our Mum, so we were glad they were able to take a couple of days to visit our new home.  Still nice enough for beach and stone outings - will we ever tire of them?  It has been so good to show our loved ones the things that brought us here, and to share in their appreciation. 
And now it's back to thoughts of crofting. We have an appointment in  couple of weeks with a very helpful chap from the Scottish Agricultural College in Stornoway, who will help us with our crofting plan and all the red tape that is involved - not quite what we went into this for, but there is no getting away from it it seems. It will be good to have some objective opinions, and it will make us clarify some goals.  At the moment they are very  vague - keeping a few sheep and growing vegetables  does begin to sound a bit lame and we need to actually make a start.  We have been advised, by the Clerk of the Common Grazings Committee that our 'souming' , based on the size of our croft, is 8 sheep and 1 cow.  hat means we are allowed to keep that number of livestock on the common grazing land.  There is room for more, apparently, as many crofters don't actually use their allowance, but I think that will be more than enough for us to be going on with right now!
The picture above is the front view of the barn that I omitted in a previous post - can you see it with a turf roof and red doors?  I can...


  1. what lovely family photographs and your beach is so pretty!

  2. oooooh!! red doors!! *squeals*... absolutely! that will look absolutely fabulous.....

    I don't know how you'd ever get tired of that place....

    *wistful sigh*

    i'd say that's a good start with the livestock -- sheep are grand, i played midwife to a flock for a couple of springs -- what sort of cow? I've always fancied a nice Jersey...


  3. Lovely to have the family visiting xxx

  4. Wow, 8 sheep and a cow would be fantastic! I've always wanted a black cow!

    Any more crofts for sale? ;)

  5. So glad you've had good weather :) Sounds like you've had a magical time! Can definately imagine the 'new' barn, can't wait to see it! xx

  6. Such beautiful pictures and special time spent with your family. It was wonderful they could experience the beauty with you.

    Your adventures are going to be wonderful and I can just picture your beautiful barn!

    Have a wonderful week. xxx

  7. What a lovely island and beach and countryside and barn.

    Lucky lucky people :-)

  8. Beautiful collages, Jacqui. I think you could have a lucrative and non-invasive of family life sideline in supplying the tourist board with photos.

    I'd never heard of 'souming' before. I used to work with the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue project, so I always turn to it or its sister Dictionary of the Scots Language for the etymology of Scots words. Souming apparently came into Old Scots from the Old French word 'summe', which in turn came from the Latin 'summa' = total.

    Re your comment about next year's Mod - unfortunately it clashes with a school trip to America that my daughter wants to go on, so I already know which will win. However, the Edinburgh branch of the Clarsach Society is planning a visit to Lewis, so you never know, we may pop up on that. Talking of which, there is a very active branch of the Clarsach Society in Lewis - what about taking up the clarsach as an occupation for the long winters?

    Good luck with the Gaelic!

  9. What beautiful family collages. I really love your blog. I'm learning so much and I'm just enchanted by the landscape. Is crofting like homesteading or is it more like community farming? Hope all goes well this week with the committee.

  10. All very, very beautiful. So many dreams, so much love and togetherness and all good things.


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