And still the Brexit burach continues; into the final month, again, there is still no progress made, no clear direction on what will happen but still a wilful ignorance from those that should be leading us. From what was for all intents and purposes, a political coup, neatly overturned by by a court case painstakingly organised by Joanna Cherry MP, and rumoured to be ignored by the Prime Minister, the stakes are now ramped up; we are told legislation WILL be out in place to prevent the continuation of the Scottish Parliament in order to “protect” the Union. Quite what this will achieve is anybody’sRead More →

As the polls close in the Shetland by-election, hopefully Tom Wills has snatched the seat and is now the first SNP MSP for the islands. Tavish Scott, who has been the MSP since the Scottish Parliament reconvened in 1999, resigned to begin a new career with Scottish Rugby. The association with the LibDems (through their varying forms) in the Northern Isles has had a historic longevity unmatched elsewhere in the country that has only in the recent past shown signs of decline. Tavish Scott, Liam MacArthur, Alistair Carmichael, Jim Wallace and Jo Grimond have been the only names to succeed in national politics for OrkneyRead More →

I was a week late in submitting this article due to a culmination of events over the course of a week that had left me rather time short so Stephen was kind enough to swap weeks with me. It started with Wick Harbour Day which is the main fundraising source of income for Wick RNLI. My job is to man the ice cream stall – hectic in a heatwave but still busy in a downpour as children always want ice cream regardless of the weather! This year it was misty; as I left my house on the north eastern edge of Wick Bay to walkRead More →

In one of my earlier blog pieces I wrote about the offshore wind farm being built south of Wick. At the time of writing the first turbine had been installed and immediately connected to the grid thereby paying for itself from the very first turn of the blades, transmitting energy throughout the country. The same weekend, the first “Dounreay” flight departed with its load of uranium and nuclear waste bound for the USA and flew over the windmill; an emotive vista of the departure of outdated technology whilst the new clean renewable energy sprung up around it. To me it also contrasted the backward lookingRead More →

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 →