Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Beginnings - New Name!


I love this time of New Year. I know it is a bit unfashionable, and there are so many other times to celebrate a new year, or beginnings of another cycle, and there are the negative associations of excess. and drunkenness to be considered, but maybe because I am Scottish, and this is really our holiday, it could be in the blood, this date still resonates within me. Calendars may have changed and days been lost in history, but there is something to be said for the general feeling of goodwill that is evident among neighbours and the community in general as we collectively reflect and anticipate the change of year.

I love the feeling of hanging up a brand new calendar -  as yet unsullied by scribbled appointment reminders and things to do. A whole clean year dangles there in front of us - what shall we do with such a resource?
Diaries too - 365 slots waiting to be filled with the stuff of life. But I was never very diligent at keeping a journal.  As a child, I used to find the Brownie Guide diary in my Christmas stocking every year. Invariably there would be one entry - "1st Jan. Went to Gran's" - which we did every year. that was all until the next diary - different year, different colour, but only one event ever recorded.

Now blogging has cured me of my chronicling reticence, (as you may have noticed) and I find it important to come to this space and write about life as it happens to me. In the last year, there have been immense changes in my life. One of these has been our long, slow move to Lewis, in the Western Isles, and the purchase of a Croft. I have been feeling that the blog now needs to reflect our new lives, hence the name change.  I will miss The Interrupted Gardener - she was such a good and patient friend,( and I always loved that name,) but now we have moved on and- dare we call ourselves Crofters?
Just before we came down to the mainland for Christmas, we were fixing up some gaps in the fence when our neighbour, who comes from a long line of ancient crofters drove by with his wife.  They stopped the car and  called "You look like a proper crofting family!" (in a Lewis accent)
So - there we are - proper Crofters! (he also in a much quieter voice mentioned that we were putting the fencing on upside down, but no-one needs to know that)
The Barefoot Crofter came to me last summer as exactly the right name for the blog.  You may have noticed the different url earlier, but now, as we take our first tentative steps into 2011, I feel this is a good time to make the rest of the changes.  

Why barefoot?  Certainly it is not because we are able to go about in our bare feet very often in this land and climate!  It fits on a number of other levels though :
We are so new at this - we have no history of crofting, or even farming  in either of our families.  No experience apart from what we have learned from our gardening, and John's long ago summer holiday job on a sheep farm.  Although we have plenty of help and guidance from the community around us - who know what works and what doesn't, still we are able to make our own plans, try out our own daft ideas, and learn from our own mistakes. In a sense, we are barefoot, because we do not have to put on our fathers' shoes - we can run free. 
We are also barefoot because we wish to tread lightly on this land.  Caring for our land and livestock, environment and community in a sustainable and nourishing way - is there any other way?  
So - we have many, many plans - some of which may take a season or two to achieve.  Lots of hard work -  and fun ahead.  It is  such an exciting time, as I contemplate my new calendar.  I do hope you will join us for some of the journey - kick your shoes off and run along.

 Or keep your wellies on if you like. xx

29 comments:

  1. FABULOUS!!!

    oh, i love it, love it, love it -- ALL of it..the name, the reason for the name, your intentions and goals...

    *sigh*

    brilliant. just brilliant. can't wait....

    xoxo

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  2. Yep, I am ready to run along barefoot with you! Looking forward to it.

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  3. Oh this is wonderful, your lifestyle, being crofters, the changes to you blog - everything is so good. I shall enjoy following you on your blog and reading of your adventures and experiences.
    I tried to look up where you are - I take it that you are on the Isle of Lewis. The closest I have been to the Isle of Lewis is the Isle of Skye, my husband and I had an old (very old) car and a tent and we toured from Lands End to John O'Groats via Wales and Ireland, this was light years ago. Skye was one of the places we spent some time.
    I wish you well, may this year be a good one for you and your family - may your crofting life be wonderful for you all.

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  4. Love the new name! I feel very deeply that this is a year of big change for a lot of us.

    Many blessings, Amanda x

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  5. Looking forward to sharing your journey with you, would love to be doing it all with you too (as you know). Here's to much learning, and adventures in 2011.
    xx

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  6. I'm so excited to be sharing the journey with you. Loving the name change too. Many blessings for your new year and new life xxxxx

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  7. a great name, I'm really looking forward to reading all about your crfoting adventures in 2011 x

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  8. All good wishes for your new year and new life. Spare a thought occasionally for those of us left behind in the city! You're so lucky to be making this new start.

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  9. Am barefoot and ready to share your wonderful journey :)
    Happy new year to you and your lovely family xx

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  10. That's a great name for your blog and I am very much looking forward to seeing how your new year unfolds.

    You made me laugh about the diary. I too, used to get a 'Letts' pocket diary every year (the type with the little pencil that slotted down the spine of the book and usually got lost!) and I too never managed to put anything inside, other than the birthdays of my family and pets! Bloggimg has taken the place of my diary completely.

    I love this time of year too, as you say, it's a new beginning and if you stand on tiptoes, you can just about see Sringtime ahead!! Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  11. Happy New Year to you and your family Jacqui.....I love the new look blog, I think it reflects who you are much better and the crofters life you have chosen to follow.......it must be so awe-inspiring to live so closely with nature, I wish you all the best for the coming year.

    Thanks for the get well wishes, I'm feeling a little more normal today, whatever that is, lol.
    florrie x

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  12. Love your new identity. Have just read "about you". My parents always chose to go to Scotland for holidays, which I love, including Gairloch and can identify with you running on the lovely sands. My little brother and I chased a rainbow there, sadly no pot of gold! We come to Scotland a lot and hope to relocate up North at some time. I shall watch your journey with much interest, and wish you every success with "treading lightly" on the land. I am sure there are many of us who are inspired by your adventures into crofting.

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  13. I like your new name, and I liked the old name. Whatever the name, when I see you have a new blog post, I feel like I am knocking on the door of your croft and being invited in to tea. Its the cosiest blog I ever saw. Happy New Year.

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  14. Like the others, I want to thank you very much for sharing your journey with us. Through your lovely photos and magical words, I enjoy the glimpse into your life that you are graciously willing to share. Wishing you happiness in this new year.

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  15. I like your new name too (as I did the old one - but I'm sure you will often be the Interrupted Crofter now!). And I completely agree about the fresh start of the New Year. When I was younger I found the New Year a bit of a letdown after Christmas but now I find it really exciting to have a fresh start, and as you say, that wealth of 365 days before us! Perhaps we value time more as we grow older.
    There's one more meaning I think you could attach to your new name, which is barefoot in the sense of being grounded. Like Peg, I love coming to your blog, because you have so many interesting and varied things to say, but always from a very honest and grounded perspective. Thank you for that!

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  16. Love the new name!

    Many blessings on this new year. I look forward to sharing your journey with you

    xx

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  17. Great blog name. I am so looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming adventures. xx

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  18. I love your new look blog Jacqui and the story that goes with it. I am looking forward to sharing your journey with you over the coming months. Please post some sunny pictures when spring arrives, as I would love to convince hubby that the sun does actually shine up there, (he's not convinced!!) I also love the picture of james on the road, I would love to meander along that little road myself, it looks so peaceful. Happy New Year to you, hope its a really good one, Blessings, Liz

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  19. Here's to the Barefoot Crofters. I wish all of you a very happy New Year. I think I would have put the fence on upside down too. I look forward to all of your adventures.

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  20. Happy New Year to you all!

    I love the new look and the name is just so apt. I always find your musings on life and chronicling of your days uplifting and therapeutic. I look forward to walking with you on this journey and continuing to learning a thing or too... especially since I'm a townie and nature ways are often foreign to me!!

    Hugs and blessings
    San and all xx

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  21. I love it! Love the bit about the Brownie diary and the fencing. I was thinking about the scratch on his hand being another sign of initiation to your new crofting life. It's beautiful!
    Your photos are gorgeous-all of them.

    Stay barefoot!

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  22. It all sounds so wonderful! I cannot wait to hear more!!!

    Happy New Year my friend!

    xxx, Kristine

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  23. Oh I am so glad that you are all with me. I am looking forward to sharing our adventures with you - and the sun will always be shining and we will be barefoot every day :)

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  24. Happy New Year Jacqui. I love the blog name change, it's perfect! I know just what you mean about the new year and lovely new calendar, although this new year is actually the first time I haven't wanted to change to that new calendar. It just looks so empty and at the moment is tucked away behind the 2010 calendar which I've resisted taking down. Your post has helped though and I'm going to go and take the old one down now and try to see the 2011 one as clean rather than empty. Thanks for the inspiration and also thanks so much for your kind words on my blog before christmas. It meant so much. Much love to you and your family and best wishes for the new year. :) xx

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  25. Enjoy your new beginnings. Love your new blog name.

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  26. I love the new name :) All blessings for 2011 xxx

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  27. I haven't switched the computer on for a couple of days so a bit late but love your new name, new look and looking forward to kicking off my shoes (barefoot most of the time anyway!) to walk alongside you some more.

    Looking forward to hearing your plans and seeing you and your croft grow xxx

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  28. Sounds like an amazing new time in your life! I just spent a whole bunch of time googling Crofting. Now I've learned something new, so Thank you!

    Many blessings on your new year!
    Amanda

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  29. Hi I love your blog, my surname is Crofton so I feel a certain affinity with your desire to get going on the croft! It sounds like a wonderful adventure.

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