Archive | September 2013

Liz Gibson – from Parish to Croft

125 Liz & Martyn helping to plant the Community Orchard in part of the glebe in Dalmally.

This is my wee intro for the Travelling Tales website for whom I’m pleased to be blogging for the next few weeks.
I am a Church of Scotland minister who is giving up being a parish minister to experiment with ways of “doing ministry” in a less formal way.  Along with my husband Martyn I’ll be living on a croft at Lochdon on the Isle of Mull.  Since this involves giving up full time tenured employment it is quite scary, but the sense of call is as strong as the one which took me into the ministry in the first place.  Our two adult sons are supportive and will be visiting as often as their work, study and travel plans allow.
Having enjoyed getting to know people of all ages through knitting, making friendship bracelets, creating mosaics, and other craft based activities, I plan to make more of this in the new venture.  We hope to keep bees and chickens, and maybe even a few sheep.  I’m a member of the Iona Community but never expected to live on the island which I first visited in order to get to Iona.  I seem to have a habit of moving to places I once just travelled through.  More of this in future blogs.  Crucial to the lifestyle change is reducing carbon footprint and finding ways to lead a simpler lifestyle.
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Passionate about the environment for as long as I can remember, I used the money saved by living in a tied house to buy the lowest emission mainstream car available in 2008 – a Ford Fusion which has averaged over 60mpg.  Having been living and working in two large rural parishes I’ve averaged 17,000 miles per year and would like to drastically reduce this.  Part of the new venture will include travel around Argyll, and further afield, doing locum and supply ministry, but the hope is that I’ll now be able to make greater use of public transport.  Doing craftwork which can’t be done when driving will be an added bonus.  Trains, buses, ferries, walking more and getting back on the bike are all on the agenda.  This week there will also be hired transit vans as we continue our low budget move of rather a lot of stuff.
I’m looking forward to blogging for Travelling Tales as a good incentive to start how I mean to go on.  I first started a blog over a year ago but it faltered when I realised what I wanted to write about would make my potential plans public before I was ready.  It would be tempting to wait till we’re a bit settled but much better to go for it straight away.  The timing of the request for bloggers seems an opportunity not to be missed, and I’m grateful to be allowed to start slightly late to fit in with the end of one era and the start of another.

Travelling Tales

Through a Facebook link I found out that Travelling Tales were looking for bloggers for six weeks of trying lower carbon transport options. So I sent off a short proposal and am delighted to have been accepted.
The plan is that once I’m based on Mull fulltime I’ll blog for that first six weeks. That is likely to include a fair bit of walking, some cycling, some car use (in my low emissions car which is now 5 years old), some shared car use, at least two different ferries, and possibly the train.  Should be finished hiring vans for the removal by then.
I would love to try an electric bike if anyone would like to lend me one for the duration! Or if you know where I could hire one cheaply and reasonably locally do let me know.

I’ll be pretty busy over the next three weeks finishing up in the parishes, saying goodbyes (not looking forward to that bit), etc. but I’m looking forward to blogging more, both for Travelling Tales and with a new blog for our new venture.  Will keep you posted …