Jonathan & Denise >
Posting to this blog has lost momentum.
Before we came to Uist, nearly twenty years ago, we had lived in many and very different places. In the closing months of our time at each, we would be frenziedly busy with the official procedures and practical preparations for moving, and making plans for our new life. Those moves invariably promised more income, a better house, the children growing in every sense – and a general sense of progress. In the run-up to each move, we’d always find time – most weekends and summer evenings – to revisit favourite haunts, bag hills we’d not yet got round to climbing, and generally make the most of our time remaining. Of course, back then, full time jobs dominated our lives : we’d usually get no more than a couple of days off either side of the move itself.
This time, it’s very different. As far as the day-to-day is concerned – shopping and appointments, domestic chores and evenings-at-home, the prospect of a return to the hyper busy-ness of and pressures of mainland life does not in any way feel like improvement !
That said, we’re moving to an area of Wales that is very thinly populated (though still much more thickly than here in Uist!), so we hope that we won’t feel totally crushed! What certainly tips the scales back in our favour, though, is that we will no longer be ‘engaged in economic activity’. That is, we shall have retired! We will have a great deal more time for getting out for walks, climbing hills, exploring country villages, discovering historic fishing villages, ambling around in the great gardens of stately homes or castles …
It will be a very great change in lifestyle, but we have no real alternative to selling up here in order to release the ‘wealth’ we’ll need to live off in retirement. And as we want to be nearer to both Becky and Bob in Wales, and Catherine, Ion and Enaut in Navarra, we really can’t continue here in Uist.
Until the purchase of our house in Wales is completed, we daren’t allow ourselves to make plans for our new lives there. Similarly, until both our remaining properties here are sold, we have to work hard and keeping things going here, just in case things don’t work out as well as planned. We really can’t afford to let ourselves get stuck in limbo-land, our availability calendar for holiday rentals closed, but not having sold the property. To coin a phrase (J> and I do believe this might indeed be original) : “If it ain’t earning, it’s burning”.
Unfortunately, despite the media banging on about a Great British Staycation Summer, that just simply isn’t happening here in the islands (or, apparently, in Scotland) ; and the utterly shambolic management of the Calmac ferries certainly hasn’t helped, with capacity down by at least a third, and more than that in South Uist. There’s scant business for the Hebridean Woolshed, and many of our guests at Carrick are those who paid for a holiday last year, but are only now getting it ; so that feels like a whole season working for nothing. (Financially, this year will be even harder than 2020.)
This situation leaves us with the feeling that we really can’t afford to go out and catch up with all those walks and climbs and visits across the islands which – despite 20 years here – we have still eluded us. Perhaps that will come later.
Right, whether for the benefit of us or those who follow, it’s back to the mucking out and making good! Maybe that will help restore normal service?