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Here is a very short version of the story which meant a radical plan was required for our family Robert,  Colin and Seonaid McAlpine.

Post Covid

Robert was attending a secondary school in Linlithgow (Donaldson’s) for 3 hours a day. Linlithgow was a 45 minutes drive in a taxi from Musselburgh where we lived. Robert stayed at Caern a purpose built care facility run by Barnados on a Saturday or Sunday night which gave us must needed respite.

Colin was working full time with a local mechanical building services company as an engineering project manager working mainly from home in 2021 but as the world opened up had to attend meetings at construction sites and the office.

Seonaid was Robert's main carer and was also coordinating his whole team. Robert had a team of over 20 professionals assisting us in their own ways. 

With Robert attending school during the week and Caern at the weekends it meant that Colin could get to work, Seonaid had time to keep the house in order and we got a bit of respite at the weekend.  Seonaid was working as a reflexologist during school time and respite.  There was a balance in this that kept everything ticking over - but it all came to a crashing end over the space of a few days mid March 2022.

Robert had an incident getting into the taxi when leaving to come home from Donaldsons school.   This lead to the taxi service being cancelled and we had no transport to take Robert to and from school.  The new calendar from Caern was also issued and our respite with no notice was cut by 60% due to the new post covid rules and lack of staff.

This suddenly meant Colin had to take Robert to and from School each day for his three hours whilst trying to work.  As parents we also had less than 24 hours respite at the weekends and our whole world was turned upside down.

Initially, we thought that we could turn the situation around by getting the taxi run back (the owner/driver was willing) and more respite but this proved unsuccessful. We were in an awful situation. The pressure on Colin getting Robert to and from school each day and trying to work at the same time was overbearing. No respite at the weekends also meant we were constantly tired and had no time together as a couple.  Seonaid was looking after Robert on occasions while Colin was working and he could be up to no good and naughty.

The worst part was that there was no end in sight to the situation, so we needed to come up with a Radical Plan and change our way of life to keep the family together.

We needed to jump before we were pushed!

It was obvious that Colin had to become Robert’s full time carer and Seonaid would expand her work as a reflexologist which she loves.

The plan we came up with was to sell our house in Musselburgh and move to Skye. Colin would become Robert’s full time carer and Seonaid would build up her reflexology business.  Seonaid had previously had a Beauty Therapy business in Bernisdale before relocating to Musselburgh.

We needed to get a house that suited Robert with a south facing warm area that gets the sun as Robert loves playing outside. A bungalow would also be better as stairs were always a problem in our house in Musselburgh. If we could get a big garden we could get some chickens that Robert could help with and give him lots of room to play.

Getting a house proved harder than we thought but eventually by August we were successful and bought near Portree at Uigshadder. The bungalow also has a converted garage which meant it was ideal for Seonaid to work from offering Reflexology appointments.  The business Boisdale Wellness was formed.

We are settling in well to the welcoming township of Uigshadder and we don't plan to ever go through another move again.   Robert is attending Portree high school on a part time basis.

The move was quite extreme and scary but it has been great so far. It has meant that we have escaped the pressure of being employed. We are living a much slower pace of life than before.  Robert enjoys being surrounded by animals and is a much calmer and  happier young man.

Colin hopes to start working from Boisdale Wellness as a Nutrition Coach soon.

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