Just after Noah was born whilst still on mainland and Chris was at work I would venture out to the local supermarket. This was always a overwhelming task for me and once as I navigated the isle bound with shopping and double pram I was caught off guard. Someone simply asked me my name – ‘Umm’ – paralleled with the quizzical expression staring back at me I simply couldn’t remember. ‘I’m Beas mum’ is what finally escaped from my mouth and as I left through the automatic doors, I began to cry. I had forgotten my own name. Like heavy cloud blown in by strong wind, I quickly realised that motherhood had very much gotten the better of me. Like a bad storm my name had gotten lost in the darkness and it was going to be a long time until it found its bearings and made its way back to hang its self out to dry.
Unlike on mainland the pavement is much more limited here and this was and is very alien to me. I’m just not used to it. ‘I don’t know where to walk’ I kept saying to Chris. ‘Lucy you can walk wherever you want!’, but still getting my head around walking on the road and going where I please is hard. On mainland cars go on the road and pedestrians go on the pavement, however in the Outer Hebrides this is slightly blurred and its taking some getting used to. As I walked home from the soft play area, Angus, our next door neighbour was white washing his walls. ‘Beautiful day for painting isn’t it!’ I agreed it was and stopped to chat and bask in the sunshine whilst Bea was happy to entertain the task. ‘So are you staying here?’ I get asked a lot of questions regarding our move, but funnily enough I never get asked that one vital question. ‘Oh yes Angus I’m staying put. I’m growing old here.’ ‘Splendid! Would you like to help me paint then?’. I like our neighbours immensely. They have quite a large garden at the back of their house with two large polly tunnels. For mother’s day, unbeknownst to me, Chris asked Angus if I could have some space within them to grow my usual summer veg. ‘Yes of course!’. So with a little thought and planning to do the dawn of a new spring is upon me and I shall once again dig my fingers into the earth and watch its soil crumble between my palms.Shortly after our move here I was contacted by channel 5, they were filming up and down the country and were interested in our story to part of the mini documentaries they were making. As the weeks followed and many forms had to be completed, I pretty much forgot all about it. I’ve said previously that Chris’ dad ‘Papa’ was our first visitor from mainland, but actually it was five crew members from Moxie Pictures in London. They soon filled the downstairs of our house, and although full to the brim a calmness descended. It was important to us that no effort was gone to for appearing on tv. Why? Well just like the blog it was important that what life was shown was true and honest. The filming was all about ‘Home’ and what it meant to us. To which our answer was simple. ‘Its wherever you tuck your kids in at night’. They filmed with us for a handful of hours, in which Bea became besotted with the director Thomas – who had just had a wee girl himself – to whom she proceeded to feed her pre eaten cheese crackers too. It was brilliant fun and we enjoyed having them in our lives for that very small window. It was an adventure and we were proud to have taken part.
Although still cold I have started to acclimatise to the wind chill and the sun in the last handful of weeks has made an appearance. So much so that on a few occasions I have pushed the pram wearing only a jumper and no coat or scarf. Whilst walking Noah to sleep one afternoon I passed an obedient sheep dog on a small square of grass and next to it pecked a hen. I looked at Tarbert in the sun and felt struck by the palette it held. It seemed like having walked into an art shop with the need for the essential primary colours, I had been tempted and instead indulged in all the enticing shades that end up being costly and frivolous. Colours that always hold enchanting names like ‘marina green’. Tarbert is painted in that type of palette – just off the ordinary – with a few enchanting names thrown in. I always see sea buoys dotted outside of people’s here. Washed up on shore and collected I am always on the lookout for them whenever I walk down to the water or we go to the beach. Going on a trip to any one of the beaches here is always an adventure. I love beach combing. Although I am rather limited just now, to how much attention I can give to the treasures solely at my feet. With Noah upon my back and Bea running with some velocity and no fear into crashing waves. I am always on the lookout for sea beans too, huge seeds that have crossed and travelled down from the amazon taking years to travel and arrive on the beaches of the Outer Hebrides. It was a beautiful spring morning when we drove to Luskentrye. The road too Luskentrye is quite long and its one track, so it can take a bit of time and patience to arrive there. It is however worth it. It’s no secret that Luskentrye holds something extra. You can capture its beauty in your memory but you can never quite remember how majestic it is until you arrive once more and turning to the right you see the volcanic splendour or mountain meeting ocean. Walking onto Luskentrye is a little like walking along the tracks to a different planet. ‘Can you hear the waves?’ I shouted back to chris, for even before you catch the first glimpse over the dunes the sound of the waves will roar against your ear drums. So far whenever we’ve wanted to go to the beach getting the kids onto it for a good period of time has been a challenge. So after a conversation with a local mum we loaned a baby backpack carrier. It was brilliant! And we shall definitely be investing in one, even at 5ft1 I found it easy to have on my back. It was a beautiful morning. As we meandered our way back to the car for the first time, Bea, upon unfurling her hand to reveal a soft white shell in a grainy palm opened her mouth and spoke. Ever so softly, ‘treasure’.
Before our move took place, I was always met with one of two replies to the news. The first being ‘Well if anything it will be an adventure’ and the second being ‘Wow! What an adventure!’, although both were very different responses both were in fact right. It was an exciting adventure and if it amounted to nothing else, that is what it would stay. Did I underestimate what an adventure it would be? Yes of course I did. It was only when I walked along the road out of Tarbert in the early morning sunlight, with no life yet to surface around me apart from the departing ferry sailing away from me. That I realised the magnitude of what I had accomplished. We are in our third month, and I am starting to find my feet upon steady even ground. I am still yet to feel any homesickness – but mostly because I feel very at home. The blog has also played a vital role in this. It’s been a life line back to family on mainland, it’s connected me with people in the surrounding area and created friendships. Last week after paying for the peat at the petrol station in west Tarbert chris realised he also needed fire lighters but instead of paying again the man just wrote it down for ‘next time’ under ‘Blog man’. When I first started writing the blog, I did so solely as a tool to keep family and friends updated with the children. I am no professional writer I had children instead of going on to a university education and rules applied within the English language bore me. I soon found, however that it became a little more than this because what the blog gave me was a voice. The voice, which had gotten confused in the storm, had arrived. Albeit slightly damp and weary from the walk, it sat down and politely taking my hand introduced itself. I had found my name. ‘Are you the lady who writes the blog?’ ‘Yes I’m Lucy’.
To life. The greatest adventure.
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