A Year of Island Life


Most people I meet on my travels can’t believe where I’ve come from. It’s never felt strange to me, living in such a place, I am an island girl afterall. Despite living away for a decade (and going 6 years prior without a single visit) it didn’t feel strange coming ‘home’, even with the fact I’m living in the very house I grew up in. It doesn’t feel like the same house though. It’s been stripped of all the familiarities of my childhood, all the furniture gone, the walls all painted a neutral tone including my teenage angst ‘black and blue’ bedroom. This time we’re the adults and instead of a traditional family it’s just the two of us in this big house, too many rooms to know what to do with.

I’ve always felt instantly comfortable in ‘new’ surroundings, the trait of a traveller, so the spontaneous decision to live here never unsettled me. All I knew was something had to change in our lives – it was time to be somewhere else, do something else.  I’ve always been a big believer of following your heart, going with your gut, and it’s never let me down yet. Even when something seems impossible, or just plain mad, against the negativity I’ve done it anyway. It’s what prompted me to live with my now-husband weeks after beginning our relationship; moving to London with no money, job or somewhere to live; then leaving my last job to chase my dreams and follow my passion for photography.

Moving somewhere so remote was a gamble but it’s paid off. Yes, I spent more time last summer on a boat and bus than I would have liked..  missing the comforts of home with the endless crashing at friends, learning to run my business on the road, doing client Skype consultations from bedrooms and hotels… but once we returned from our last long-haul travels and spent 4 wonderful months together in this house it all felt worth it. The weather outside was wild but we closed off the world, kept a large supply of freshly chopped wood and salvaged peat for the fire which burned for days, whittling away the hours playing boardgames and talking about our dreams.

Life is beautiful here, simplicity truly is the key to happiness. I have somewhat of a routine for the first time in my life – rising early with the sun, journalling every day, and slowly healing my body with yoga.  There’s less distractions, we can be exactly the people we want, and everyday we grow together. Living by the edge of the island, the horizon feeling just within our grasp, I don’t miss any sunsets and every night the colours are different. When the moon is full there’s enough light for us to go for walks, we head to the beach and listen to the waves. The stars are just as bright as I remember them when camping off a deserted island in Australia. We sleep with the curtains open and watch them at night.

We always used to live in this temporary mindset, unable to fully feel at home in the place we are staying. A few boxes never get unpacked, you don’t buy your own furniture, your framed photos don’t make it to the wall.. You have one foot in, one out. I’ve decided to stop living like this and instead embrace the now. My art has it’s place on the wall for the first time, I’ve created my own little herb garden, we’ve built planters and ploughed fields to grow our crops, and own multiple pieces of furniture for the first time together. I wouldn’t go as far to say we’ve settled, I’ll never know what the future holds, but for now we’ve made a home and planting roots for the future.

outer hebrides western isles sunset culla bay isle of benbecula western isles greenhouse lionacliet western isles benbeculaculla bay isle of benbecula western isleshorse western isles outer hebrides isle of benbecula crofting western islesfog isle of benbecula western isles  old rusty tractor isle of benbecula western isles  culla bay isle of benbecula western isles newborn lamb isle of benbecula western isles  culla bay isle of benbecula western isles north uist western isles self portraitsheep on road outer hebrides benbecula cat at beach benbecula culla bay sheep benbecula outer hebrides crofting sunset silhouette island benbecula     lamb chasing crofter benbecula outer hebrides    greenhouses lionacliet benbecula sheep mother lamb benbecula outer hebrides croftingcrofting benbeculaaurora northern lights outer hebrides benbeculacrofter with lamb and cat benbecula


I have always wanted to read about your island life and it is even more blissful than i imagined. For a moment i was transported to the Outer Herbrides and now i feel more at peace. xxxx

Aww, I’m so glad you enjoyed my wee story. :) Thanks for the lovely words. I hope you get to visit one day! It is a beautiful place. xxx

What a wonderful story about Benbecula and your slow life there. It sounds so beautiful and I wish you so much happiness growing food and raising animals together :) beautifully written blog, thank u. Xxx

Thank you for the kind words Natasha and support over the last couple of years. Island life is just what we need right now. :) xxx

Just beautiful Maureen! x

Thanks Audrey. <3 xxx

Oh gosh, Maureen.. I couldn’t love this more than I do .. I got a bit emotional and teary eyed reading your beautiful journal..to get a wee glimpse into your life.Its left me with nothing but warm fuzzy feelings <3 xxxx (loved seeing the aurora in those images too x)

Thanks so much for the lovely comment Zoe. :) I’m so pleased you enjoyed finding out a bit more about my life. Thanks again for all your kindness, and for allowing me to see my first aurora. :) xxx