Graham is away this week, visiting family and friends and generally giving himself some “him” time.
For me that means I take on some of his jobs as well as mine on the farm. It reminds me once again of how much he does, how hard it can be to get up each day and always know there are animals to tend to and jobs that can’t wait. Our companionship in this life is so important to our wellbeing on the farm, without each other it would be pretty tough and lonely.
January on Bryher can be a hard time. The hibernation and indulgence of Christmas is over and the realisation that another busy season is just arround the corner begins to loom. The weather can be against you and money can be tight.
However, I am reminded today of how life on Bryher also throws you lifelines too.
The morning weather had been pretty miserable, howling wind and driving rain that seeped through any tiny gap it could find. The dog and I made our way through the mud to feed and check on the animals, most of whom felt as miserable as we did. Heads down, bottoms to the wind, noses wrinkled.
Once back inside it felt like the perfect day to give the house a good clean. The children were all back at school, so I set to on de-cluttering the festive chaos. It feels so good to strip the house back a little, see clean lines and space once again.
To keep myself company I had the radio on, not an interesting podcast on writting but general chatter in the background. They were discussing the growing addiction to binge watching T.V which apparently is becoming a recognised problem.
At first I tutted to myself, as I wiped the dog hair (which has this amazing ability to float everywhere) from the cupboard doors. Rolling my eyes at the ridiculous problem, the solution, in my mind being to just turn the television off.
The therapist was saying that this binge watching problem is robbing people of life’s most precious commodity, that being time.
This made me think. It is easy to dismiss this new addiction as silly but we all know how hard it is to break habits, routines and learned behaviours. We all know how hard it can be to just turn off the T.V to read or write, or walk, or run, or ring someone we have been meaning to phone for ages.
But just think what can be achieved in just a little amount of time, if you put your mind to it.
Bryher is very good at giving people time…if they are willing to take it.
So as the sunshine broke through the clouds that quickly scurried away in the breeze, I looked up from my spring clean. I had half an hour before Martha returned from school, could have a cuppa I thought…or I could go for a quick swim.
Of course I choose the swim. A quick little jog around Timmys Hill that sits behind our farmhouse, and then down the sandy track to the quay.
A contrast to the morning weather
With ten minutes before the school boat was due I walked into the clear water. Floating fronds of seaweed spread out in free and beautiful patterns as the tide gently pushed them about.
Fingertips grazed the sand as I dived down, the world of the under water staring into my gaze.
As I swam through the trees of brown bladder wrack, tiny yellow periwinkle stood out like studded jewels.
I watched an eagrit lift off into the blue, curved neck that reminds me of the U-bend of a toilet, long legs dangling, wings working hard.
The familiar oyster catcher foraging along the strand and before me on the waters surface a pair of Great Northern Divers. Their white underbellies and gullet gleaming in the afternoon sunshine.
The school boat moors up against the quay, the children keen to get home.
In just a few minutes Bryher has given me a wonderful little bit of me time, and I’m so glad I took it.
the walk home