Back home and easing through the day keeping a destressing headache at bay but catching up a little on what should be done using what was learnt over the last few days. Good time to reflect and try to consolidate as well. Thursday, with the usual start of taking Dougal and Eilidh for a we stretch and then the standard “Gamekeepers Breakfast” with out haggis, one has to draw the line somewhere, we all settled down to presenting the Challenge. This was to suggest a way for Lochbroom to develop further and to earn them some money. Our group went for the big picture and involved affordable housing, forest purchase and retail centre. I like the movement and purpose in the picture.
All singing dancing but only if everything worked. Our plan had many assumptions. Was there a forest for sale being the big one. Everyone contributed at all levels but it depended on purchase and a lot more local knowledge. The broadband did not help so we never managed to put a screen presentation together. Possibly visuals and the scale of what we were proposing did not help our cause but the other guys zeroed in on a waste product difficult to get rid off and converted it into a use making money in the process. They made firelighters out of wax and sawdust, lighting a fire in the process and they rightly won. Mixed feelings and felt we “did good” but they were better. Disappointment lasted minutes and a farewells and yet another lunch followed
where I pigged out on two desserts.
Looking back it is always the people who make the most impact and the comments and compliments we shared with each other. Did help that Coul House is dog friendly and everyone in the group were serious dog lovers. Dougal and Eilidh were constantly asked for, talked to and petted. They were constantly excited as every time they were around they were either going out or coming in and they were surrounded by people. Issues we all have were shared in confidence and help offered and most if not all of us went away inspired. It does not appear to be just another course and is skilfully put together and even this being the second time on it there have been many benefits and insights to be investigated. Seeing a lot less of Wallander, certainly in the short-term. There was good news all around. A new job taking over a cafe, funding success in the theatre world and good fund-raising news in the renewable sector, one close to our hearts, the hydro scheme just down the road. The speakers brought in were spot on as well even the second time around and I did manage to stay awake and again always informative to find out what is happening behind the scenes. You always have trachles to sort out locally while presenting a positive image for the public, not a deception but not everyone wants to know about the negativity you have to go through to achieve community ideals. Very little time to look out the window.
So feeling light and sugar rich due to doubling up on the amazing last sweet from the Could House kitchen it was back west to home. Not before going to Skye, catching up with a happy but unknowing mother, giving blood and hoping it wasn’t too sugar rich giving some one diabetes, finally home and straight into a nice wee shift at the Inn. Usual spread of people, local builders, retirees from North Berwick, honeymooners, and americans. Not to mention the farmer from Granton. His wife was highly amused at me guessing he was a farmer. I am going to get it wrong one of these days and will end up with a smack. Slept well with no dreams but good memories.
So much going on on a National level but nice to see The National for sale in Applecross and sold out. Willingly gave my copy away as I am back over the Hill and have access to another. Post this in Ullapool or even Leckmelm.
Now posting this from the Gallery Cafe in Ullapool immersed in Scottish politics and fascinating.