"Maggie!" I hear from the distance, a little black scruffy shadow runs passed my legs. Colin comes bounding round from the bike trail, a man not unlike his dog, scruffy but a loyal best friend you just want to take home and cuddle. He's been living at Comrie Croft for two years now with his lurcher Maggie. A beautifully gentle thing who spends most of her time working at the Croft with Colin or trying to get visiting children to slip her some scraps from the camp site or tea garden.
"Ahh there you are" he walks up with a sigh, Maggie is licking my sons face with glee, making him giggle. Colin places himself down on the seat next to me as if he's known us for years, when in fact it's the first time either of us have stopped for a chat in the many years of walking passed each other and waving. I've nipped up with my mother this time who often comes to Comrie croft to get away from all the malarkey of modern life to relax and write. Where did you think I get the writing bug from?
My mother is more of a socialite than I and takes it upon herself to get to know everyone and remember them dearly, a trait that HAS passed on to me but faded over time. I, like her, love peoples stories but when it comes to talking I'm very good at putting my foot in my mouth, it's not like writing, I can't use spell check, refer to the dictionary or read back over my sentences to make sure they flow and/or don't sounds utterly ridiculous like they do when spewing out of my mouth. My mother would agree and say "another trait you've inherited from me" but it's never stopped her, and I'm proud of her for it.
Colin and her embark on a nice friendly chat as I sit and creepily observe, contributing one word sentences now and then when I feel necessary. The conversation comes about to life at the croft and how it's one of the best decisions he's made living here. Suddenly I'm not so quiet any more, I hear myself passionately alliterating how we keep chickens, grow our own vegetables and spoken to Andrew who also works at the croft about helping out in the poly-tunnel and agriculture life. Colin jokes that I'll soon be pulling up an RV next to his if I'm not careful. It got me thinking, could I live like this for the rest of my life? Limited internet, fresh food, low rent, outdoors? Most of me says yes, even if it's not the rest of my life, at least some or most of it would be nice. Both my boys rummaging about the woods, endless supply of fresh eggs, yes, yes I could get used to this! But before you think I'm going to disappear from the grid, something stopped me? I'm not entirely sure what? Maybe another trait inherited from my mother? The travel bug. Living a "good life" requires commitment, something I can do in the back-garden of my suburban house but going full sanctuary would require every day attendance, something I couldn't do if I was travelling, I like my homestead but not having the option to venture out into the unknown now and then scares me, I like change, but I also like stability, so could I spend the rest of my life in one place knowing I may never go anywhere else? Maybe not? But would it really be forever? Besides, I've always loved a challenge and by golly (yes I went all English there) it would be!
Colin lives and works on the croft, nothing else is needed for leaving it, unless for work errands, there's even an option to be completely solitary in the woods, away from human contact, you don't even need to leave to get things from the shop, nor talk to anyone, you write a note in the post box and someone delivers your items later that day, never meeting. It's a brilliant concept! I know a lot of writers would love a place like this to go for a year or so to get away and bury themselves in the diction of their minds. We're all stale in the modern way of living, and having an option like this to escape and be safe while doing so is amazing! Comrie Croft is privy to a lot of conservation and self-sufficient living ideas and are continuing daily to grow on those ideas. To find out more about Comrie Croft visit their website.