Sometimes I’m sure people think we’re crazy wanting to leave Glasgow for Lewis. Especially when we’re young(ish), have the nice flat and big TV, earning decent money and all the rest of it. Why trade it for boring ol’ Lewis?
It’s never been about reducing stress or escaping the rat race or downsizing really. It’s not a romantic notion sparked off by Escape To The Country programs on TV. It’s just, for me anyway, a inexplicable “pull” home. Luckily J feels the same, must be her rural Donegal genes kicking in…
Anyway here’s some of my own (J doubtless has her own, including things like howling gales, pummeling rain, her cats chasing real mice and so on), personal reasons why it’s not that crazy and some utterly selfish things I’m looking forward to as well.
Twenty non-definitive and off the top off my head…
- Seeing stars. Having a telescope and becoming a nerdy amateur astronomer.
- Learning how to row a boat.
- Going impromptu fishing of an evening just because the weather is right and there are a thousand lochs on my doorstep.
- The daily challenge and graft involved in growing and raising my own food.
- Breathing some fresh air instead of bus fumes.
- Becoming a nerdy amateur meteorologist.
- Seeing the weather roll in from miles away rather than look up through a canyon of buildings or rely on the BBC.
- Working hard all day and sleeping soundly at night. Rather than the other way around.
- Getting good binoculars and becoming a nerdy ornithologist.
- Conquering hills, walking clifftops.
- Buggering off camping without worrying about avoiding buckie drinking party kids from the city.
- Finally having a dog of my own to walk on a dozen empty beaches.
- Knowing thy neighbours (not in the saucy biblical “knowing” sense mind)
- Seeing daylight like normal people do.
- Getting my hands dirty.
- Working on my two feet instead of my one arse.
- Being in a better position to survive peak oil, wars, revolutions, food crises, energy crises, the apocalypse!
- Stopping having to look over our shoulders or cross the road to avoid a kicking / stabbing / verbal abuse.
- Inspiration to write.
- Keeping the island’s crofting traditions and knowledge going for another generation.
In summary, I want to be connected to life again, it’s something that got lost along the way. Weather, seasons, work, sleep, nature, raising, growing, community, history, roots…I want the satisfaction of working hard and feeling alive again and this current life of “luxury” is just not cutting it for me.
(Inspired in part by Viewfromtheisland)