Saturday, 6 November 2010

Planes, ferries, campervans and hens........

The local airport - one of the 'bigger' planes ariving, right beside the beach and the main town
Just in from ANOTHER trip to the airport (not me flying this time I have to add), I timed it today to find out 'exactly' how long it takes (essential for rural living, knowing HOW long a trip takes) and its 28 minutes from the airport to the house here. Airports and ferries I guess figure greatly in our lives, although other people probably can get the train or the bus - going on a train or a double decker bus is a big treat for us up here, we don't do that very often.  My other half (the tallest person in my life) was heading back to his life on the mainland this weekend, hence the trip to the airport. Our planes seat 36 people, quite little I suppose, but there are smaller ones which only sit 9 for inter-island trips. We are lucky as there are 15 flights to the mainland a day, and several ferries a day too, buses around the island etc - we're very well serviced with transport, just not the conventional kind most folk use every day.

One of the inter-island planes - so cute!
Anyway, today called for an early rise and wave off for both of us, he's off to Edinburgh (on the 'big' plane) which will take just under an hour on the plane. I had a panic about the keys (we've both been known to fly with/without keys that we or someone else needs, so its always best to check where the car keys actually are before we part company. When he laughed (called me a 'townie') and told me the keys were in the car (of course), it did make me think about how very different life is here. Whilst I'm not saying we don't lock our car when we are in town, we do - but at 7am in the local airport when you're dashing in for a few minutes, its not really that essential.

My other half  is up here quite alot, getting more frequent. But, he lives and spends alot of his time in central scotland, his house is also about a 30 minute drive from his nearest airport. Ironically its also almost the same distance we are from our airport here, although the life there is very different. We both had a laugh about how different life is here to there, this morning we've driven on an empty road, with hardly any traffic (did we see a car?) to get to the local airport. For him its straight from the airport onto the dual carriageway/motorway to get to his home town.

The road home from the airport
Within an hour he'll be back a busy life, alot of traffic, 24/7 life full on, also to locked doors, checking where you're wallet is and making sure you're 'safe' and your things are protected. I find life down there a bit different and a bit too much for my liking, I don't particularily 'mind' the mainland, but I don't like living like that. I prefer rural life with all the advatages that gives us, including feeling safe, less traffic and more space to breathe. I like that we are a ferry ride to the mainland, a bit of distance keeps our life a bit more remote and oddly I think I prefer it that way.

One of the smaller ferries.......
Here, its a little different, maybe we are a bit lax - when something goes astray the main panic is where on earth did I leave it/put it last. We don't lock anything very often unless we're off in town, generally at home whilst there are keys for everything - they aren't used too often. Why aren't we beseeched with robbers? I think the weather keeps them away - not much fun emptying a house of its loot when you're being splattered by sideways rain/hail/etc. We've also not much in the way of material things that really would interest anyone else I guess, no new gadgets, no swanky tv, not alot of jewellery. Robbers, if you are listening, we've really nothing to take, but can offer a lovely cup of tea and a half a dozen eggs if you'd like?

Introducing 'Darwin', the camper van
My dearest possessions (aside the family) are probably my garden, my gardening books, my chickens and my lovely campervan 'Darwin' (he thinks he's an evolutionary biologist, a present from my other half for my 40th birthday!)  - and if anyone tried to take those away from us I'd like to see how long it takes them to firstly load it all up and secondly get it off the island - not many routes away for robbers that don't involve a ferry ride. Can't imagine anyone trying to get on a ferry in a campervan full of books and chickens unnoticed, on the other hand, it does sound like a very practical way to go on holiday and take the hens next year!!! Now I'm thinking...................!


  1. hi there followed you from elsewhere I am chevalier. love your blog. Also am in awe of your photography skills. This pictures are absolutely awesome

  2. What a beautiful place to live, despite the compressed seasons, and how lovely not to have fuss about locking up all the time! I love our camper van too, though I'm not sure how long it would last in your climate, it is a Westy bay window, and already rusty from our year on Anglesey! That salt wind plays havoc with the paintwork, but I miss the stunning seascapes and rural life. I reckon you should write that book - do people use polytunnels up you're way, or is it too windy?

  3. Hey there Chev/Jac nice to see you! A lot of the photos are mine, a lot are my daughters and a few are borrowed off the net - thanks for the nice words!

    Planalisicious - it is wonderful - despite the compressed seasons - you've a westy bay - how lovely! I'm worried about the campervan too - we're hoping to get his bodywork up to scratch over the next wee while and get him very pretty - I've read about something you can coat the underside of them with to help with rust and a friend told me waxing the van is great to keep the paintwork less salty - People do use polytunnels up here - I am about to put one up myself - alot of folk net them - which is safer maybe - I don't know that a book on gardening here would work - although I work with the guru himself up here and am beginning to help write up some of his wisdom - might be worth writing up his experience here - I think scotland in general suffers from a lack of real decent gardening books. Lovely to see you on here!

    We've technically 10 day of the year without wind here - but we do manage!