Spotted this as I walked back to the car having spent an hour in the tax office followed by an hour in the health service office and ten minutes in the child benefit office this morning.
Here are some recent crackers from the children:
Savourna: “My jobs at school this week are wiping the blackboard and picking up any teeth which fall out in the playground”
Fergus after doing a loud fart: “My bottom’s a sousaphone”
Savourna upon being greeted back from school by Fergus doing a Haka: “You’re too cute to do the Haka”
Incidentally the children’s enthusiasm for sousaphones comes from The Orkestra del Sol’s promotional videos. They’re mad! (The videos and the children).
Made bread, Viennese fingers, ginger snaps, tidied craft box, hoovered, cleaned the bathroom, brushed the dogs…..I’ve been so productive today because it is chucking it down with sleety rain outside, blown from the West by a chilly wind straight off the Pyrenees. Brrrr. It’s been a baking and tidying up day today! It reminded me of Canna weather but not quite so extreme - there were a few days we couldn’t even get out the door for fear of the children being blown away!
Well I understand that at last someone has been chosen from among the three shortlisted families for The New House on Canna. That is great news and I hope the new family has fun once they get there. I sincerely wish them all the best, and none of the hassles we had.
Now what about the other houses? When is the NTS going to offer them to tenants and get the community numbers up again? MacIssac’s (if it’s inhabitable now), the teacher’s old house, Caslum, and now also the ex-property manager’s house since he has resigned and not been replaced. They are all empty and waiting for tenants, inhabitants, families, liveliness, community!
You’ll have heard this before: a good time for a fresh start for Canna?
I’ve just been treated to a wonderful mini-concert of Gaelic singing via Skype from Scotland to Languedoc. ’S math sin. Tapadh leibh you two!
The Tour de France is not coming to Limoux next year. It is going through Leeds, Harrogate, York, Sheffield and Cambridge though! The theme in 2014 is honouring war heroes. This past year we got roundabout side seats in Limoux. Will just have to watch it on the telly, or get ourselves off to Carcassonne which is our nearest point.
This is my favourite piece of broken crockery which Savourna collected from the shore on Canna for her mosaic making. You can see a photo in my previous post of the mosaic which she finished a few weeks ago having been reunited at last with the box of broken pieces of crockery. The teeny tiny camel was not used….this time.
My blog has been very busy lately with some comments being added in reply to previous posts, some going back to last year. Thank you for reading and commenting everyone. If you want to delve deeper then there are some excellent comments added to my recent post entitled “Appalling Landlords” and there are comments such as these which have very recently been added to some of the older posts (I haven’t quoted them in full):
(Public Comment) Have just found your blog. I believe that we were the first family that the NTS put onto Canna…… The school had to be re-opened and a teacher was brought in. From the start it was made obvious that we were not welcome there, both by the owner and some family members. Despite loving the island and being determined to weather the man made storms we were ousted after only nine months. It appears that no lessons have been learnt by the NTS.
- (Me) Hi…thanks for your comments. Interesting that all this sort of palaver started off right at the beginning of the NTS’ ownership of the island. I believe that the NTS should NOT be in control of any communities, particularly fragile ones. It is not their role and they have shown that they cannot do it. Either that or they need to employ someone who is very good at community development to work with each of the communities under the NTS’ wing.
(Public Comment) We were ‘helped’ off Canna 30 years ago after just 9 months on the island. This is not a recent thing. It has been going on for decades. I still have amazing memories of the island but do wonder just what the NTS are actually playing at . seems like a long term depopulation exercise perhaps.
- (Me) Hello and thanks for your comment. Yes, I remember reading in ‘The Man Who Gave Away His Island’ about how John Lorne Campbell wondered if he’d done the right thing in gifting Canna to the NTS even very shortly after he’d done it. He specifically requested that a community be maintained and supported. The NTS doesn’t seem able to manage the island, the community or even its own workforce properly. As someone who knows the NTS well said to me recently, “A third sector organisation with third rate management.” Mind you, if their official policy is to depopulate Canna then they’re doing a good job and have been assisted greatly by their outgoing property manager over the past two years. If that is their official policy then they need to tell that to the public, the members, and they need to stop asking people to move there and donate private and public money for houses and ‘community’ shops and the likes. What’s going on NTS? We’d like to know.
Keep reading and commenting.
This little boat mosaic has a story. Savourna made it last week with a bit of help from me with the gluey stuff! All the tiles and bits of broken crockery are what she herself gathered on the shore on Canna in 2011 on our frequent walks. She decided way back then that she was going to make a mosaic and give it as a present to one of our friends on Canna. But before we could get around to making it we found ourselves gone from Canna. On Savourna’s wishes, the collection of broken bits of crockery were packed into a wee box where they remained in an attic on the mainland for a year and a half. Finally the box arrived in France with our lorry load two weeks ago (see previous post). It was one of the first things she asked for when we unpacked - her broken mosaic tiles. So here it is. It is a picture of a little boat on the water with the sun beating down. The boat is called ‘Marmalade’ for obvious reasons. All this was planned out over a year and a half ago in a little three year old’s head. Every piece was found on the shore around Canna bay. Every piece is a piece of once well-loved crockery which belonged to unknown Canna residents from long ago. Every piece must have its story. I think it is beautiful. Don’t you?
There is a story in the news just now about how appalling the National Trust (England and Wales) is as a landlord. The report mentions a rise in calls to its tenants’ helpline. Ha! If the National Trust for Scotland (which is a completely separate organisation by the way) had a tenants’ helpline then maybe we’d still be on Canna! There was no mechanism for reporting the kind of problems we and others were having and the NTS management refused to listen. Anyway, the article makes an interesting read for anyone who’s a tenant of a conservation organisation.
Meanwhile we are still so angry that he who is the reason for our unwanted departure from Canna is still living there quite happily despite having resigned from the NTS. Did he go through the selection process like everyone else has to? Or has the NTS ‘revised their selection procedures’ like they keep saying the need to do? Could the NTS please let us know how they are currently going about selecting new residents for all of the empty properties? The NTS members would like to know how their money is being spent. Will there be a new property manager to replace the outgoing one? If not, who will do the work? Some clarity please NTS.
News from Canna today renders me speechless……I have so much to say and yet I am speechless. Words fail me. Enjoy these photos instead until I can formulate by thoughts into words!