The train journey between Wick and Inverness is approximately 4 1/2 hours long. Taking the same length of time to travel between Edinburgh and London, the journey between the towns in the Far North and their nearest city is double what it would take you by road. Rather than following the A9 road down the coast, the train makes several detours inland and acts as a lifeline travel service for residents in the communities that were left isolated with the building of the Dornoch Bridge at the start of the 1990s, at that time the longest bridge in Europe, and for those in north westRead More →

During the summer holidays last year, some local teachers began the hard task of clearing up an area of woodland near to one of the local schools. Located on the outskirts of the town and enclosed by buildings, it was an area that you never really noticed. Pleas for help were answered by both adults and children and by the time the schools started back in August, a huge amount of rubbish and debris had been cleared from the site and an entrance made into the trees. “Forest Friday” became a regular occurrence in the school whereby a group of children had the opportunity toRead More →

I often comment or complain about BBC Question Time and the concerning feeling that it arises in me where I feel as if I need to throw something at the TV. As we recently bought a new one, the temptation has lessened somewhat even though it cost 1/10 of the 12 year old “media system”that came with the house when we moved in. How on earth does that even work? Technology prices continue to fall whilst standards raise yet basic essential food and household requirements get ever more expensive but decrease in size. Definitely a conundrum for Lewis Carroll. It is rare that I watchRead More →

At the time of writing, the political instability of the country is astounding. After months upon months of wrangling and backtracking for a deal that even the leave voters have deserted, this afternoon, the Prime Minister revoked on the plan to hold a Commons vote on the decisions that had been reached on a Brexit withdrawal. Knowing that she would be heavily defeated by her own government as the proposals stood, she announced that the vote would be deferred until further tweaks had been sought from the EU. Our exit from the European Union bears no resemblance to what those who voted leave were promisedRead More →

As we reach the centenary of the end of the First World War and reflect upon the sacrifice of all the young men who fell it is clear that, statistically, Scotland had a higher percentage of soldier deaths than elsewhere in the union. Often, the kilts and bagpipes that marked their heritage also marked their bravery as they led the troops into battle. Everyone will have their own stories or their own local folklore but the stories I probably find the hardest to understand are those when multiple members of the same family were lost and Caithness has plenty of these to remember. I sawRead More →

Due to work commitments, I’m missing another Annual Conference and keeping my fingers crossed that the dates for the next one fit better for me. As always, the photos and the tales from those attending are fantastic but you know that they only scratch the surface of the enthusiasm and buzz of the delegates. There are many resolutions that I will follow with interest and am gutted that I will miss Fringe events that look interesting and informative to my job in a primary school Nurture Room. I was also interested to see several information and training events published in the handbook that will alsoRead More →

All day today (Tuesday 18 September) there have been postings on social media about it being the four year anniversary of the Scottish independence referendum. I heard no mention of it on the mainstream media. To be fair, I didn’t have the radio on as much as normal. I did catch most of the lunchtime and teatime TV news though. What were they hiding? Half the programme on Brexit. Nothing new, just spouting the same old scare stories. A comment from one of my facebook friends caught my attention this afternoon. After commenting that it was four years he went on to say ‘just thinkRead More →

The day had started dark and wet. Heavy rain was showing no sign of easing and, for a split second, the thought of not going crossed my mind. The girls were grumping and a social gathering the night before had been a bit too enjoyable meaning we were running behind schedule but I then thought of the buses that I knew were coming up the A9 and decided that they had no choice about attending in the rain so why should I have it any easier. Thankfully by mid morning it had eased and Inverness was reporting brilliant sunshine once again. The bus was surprisinglyRead More →

Last week I visited the amazing recreation of a World War 1 battlefield at Leckmelm near Ullapool. Built as part of a transition project for the Primary 7 pupils moving onto secondary education, the community assisted the local History teacher to create this very time limited display. Situated next to Loch Broom, British and German trenches at Arras had been authentically replicated and rows of crosses bearing the names of the men of Lochbroom who never returned home stood under the shadow of the towering mountains. Although just a tiny number of the 140000 Scottish soldiers who lost their lives in the war to endRead More →

Four years ago, our summer holiday comprised of a week camping at Loch Lomond and travelling into Glasgow to attend events at the Commonwealth Games. There was a fantastic atmosphere everywhere and it was a privilege to see the athletes compete. That the subsequent games have just finished in Australia’s Gold Coast is proof that time really does seem to pass quicker the older you get! Scotland’s medal haul totalled 44 consisting of 9 Gold, 13 Silver and 22 Bronze – a remarkable achievement. From Duncan Scott’s outstanding collection of 6 medals to the heartbreaking end of Callum Hawkin’s marathon, there were many memorable momentsRead More →