starting a journeyAugust 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.