Jo has shared some pages from her sketchbook. They are delightful and beautifully encapsulate aspects of Lockdown, from the empty shelves in the Co-op, cancelled holidays and social events to the mice who took ‘stay at home’ too seriously and took up residence in a nice comfy couch in Fearnan.
This time, our NHS tribute is a celebration of some of the rainbows that people have been making and putting in their windows. Cath McG made the first one – Bridge Over Troubled Water. She said “ I heard Welsh doctors and nurses singing this song last week; it was so meaningful and lovely it brought me to tears. I love the song anyway so thought I would use it on my rainbow.”
Other rainbows came from Moira and Joe (courtesy of Joe’s niece Evie), and from Peter (courtesy of Sheila’s neighbours Amelia (10) and Ellis (7)). Peter also spotted the rainbow-themed street sign on one of his daily walks in EH5.
If you have a rainbow on display for the NHS, send a picture to email@example.com and we’ll make a montage for the next Blog. If you have a photo of a real local rainbow, send that too.
Moira shared some pictures including a very impressionist-like photo of the loch, taken by Joe.
“I’ve enjoyed some lovely rides on Drummond Hill. We have been busy in the garden and also extending the fences in the horse pasture. The pasture was harrowed last week, which was very exciting! You can tell we are in lockdown when having the field harrowed is the highlight of our week!”
Looks like she’s not the only one who has been enjoying Drummond Hill – and it seems the animals get the best views.
Many thanks to Keith for the photo of the dogs, and also for the ones of the Tawny Owl and chicks below.
Keep safe, everyone. If you have any photos, rainbows or artwork to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org . We’d love to hear from readers in other villages, towns and cities.
Thyme at Errichel have started delivering a range of deli produce to your door, including, and fruit and veg boxes, dairy produce and their free-range pork. Call 01887 820850 or email email@example.com the price list and order form. Order by Wednesday for Friday delivery.
The Crieff Food Company, who ran the Aberfeldy deli, will be doing deliveries locally on Tuesdays starting soon www.thecriefffoodco.co.uk
Ben Lawers Hotel will be in the Hall carpark again on Wednesday (Chip Night), Friday (Pizzas) and Sunday (Roasts) with ready meals to enjoy. Phone 01567 820436 to order.
Clapping for Carers
There was lots of noise being made in tribute to carers last week – pots, pans, whistles, and a condor*, as well as hands. The photos were taken in Creagach and also in Dalchiaran where there are two frontline workers – Claire, who is the Manager at Abbeyfield and is photographed with her family, and Kate who is working night shifts at Pitlochry Community Hospital.
*The instrument Bob is playing is a condor – it is made of wood and is a memento of a holiday he and Jean had in Santa Fe. The instruments, which vary in size, are typically called after birds of prey.
Cath McG sewed the Thank You banner, which she attached at the bottom of her drive.
Many thanks to Fran and Graham taking for the photos.
Life Under Lockdown
Like many other employees, Graham and Jason have been furloughed from their jobs at the Crannog. This means that they cannot do any actual work for their employer but can undertake personal and skills development. For Jason, this has meant continuing with his Japanese studies while Graham has been researching local stories and folklore, and is looking forward to taking part in a virtual storytelling workshop with the Scottish Storytelling Centre this week.
A previous article on this Blog (https://fearnanvillageassociation.com/2020/01/12/study-trip-to-cyprus/) talked about how, at the Crannog, Jason has been trying to recreate the textile making skills and techniques that would have been used by Iron Age people, along with the dyes that would have been available to them from local plants and berries. One of the Lockdown tasks has been making balls from some of the wool that Jason dyed last year using plant-based dyes and the picture on the left shows the range and intensity of colour that can be achieved. Untangling the one on the middle might need more than a seven week Lockdown!
Skye is pictured in her favourite position and is enjoying her runs in the field at Fearnan but, like Graham and Jason, misses going into work at the Crannog. (Keep an eye out for some great events that will be happening at the Crannog when it’s able to re-open, and make up for lost time!)
Elsewhere in Fearnan, it’s good to know that standards are not slipping during Lockdown, with Fran and Elaine deciding to partake of a posh Afternoon Tea in the garden. Fran explains:
“We’ve been trying hard to avoid wasting food so when the milk was slightly off, Elaine decided to make some scones to use it up. The freshly made raspberry jam went perfectly with them.
“By the time we found the posh china and set it all up, it was really time for gin and tonic, but we decided we could probably manage both!“
Joe and Elaine are well but missing the family and hoping that the restrictions will ease up in time for June, when a grandchild is due in Edinburgh. There’s also another one expected in Toronto in November.
Elaine says: “We’re spending most of our time working in the garden so hopefully we will have a thriving veggie garden (see below – still a work in progress), and a garden to rival Monty Don’s when this is all over!
It’s so very quiet around here with virtually no traffic and thankfully very few motorbikes passing below – it’s going to be very strange when the traffic starts to flow again – it’ll sound like the M1!
Lots of animals and birds around. The pine marten is making daily visits to our deck and driving the dogs mad! We’ve also had more varieties of birds than normal which is lovely. Bullfinches, goldfinches, cuckoos, woodpeckers to name but a few.”
Cath McG has been spending Lockdown walking up mountains, starting with Scafell Pike, followed by Snowden, Ben Nevis, Mont Blanc, Kilimanjaro and finally Mount Everest………..
……. and she did them all without breaking the Lockdown rules.
Cath and her sister have been doing the Virtual Mountain Challenge as a means of getting some exercise. (Crickey! Drummond Hill would be enough for some of us.) The challenge sets out the number of steps or flights of stairs that equate to each mountain, so Scarfell Pike is 6,180 steps or 412 flights of stairs and Everest is 58,070 steps or 3,871 flights of stairs.
Cath’s sister lives up three flights of stairs and has been walking up North Berwick Law and other places in her area as well. Cath has been walking up and down her drive and the flight of stairs in the house. She says it sounds like a lot but when you do it every day it soon mounts up.
Having ‘bagged’ Everest, they have now moved on to the world’s second largest mountain, K2 (8,611 metres above sea level). “At the moment”, says Cath, “we are just in the car park at the bottom wondering if this is a good idea….. or should we go for the Hula Hoop challenge?? Only a lockdown could bring this on!”
On Friday morning Fearnan Hall car park was really busy with folk queuing for supplies from the Kenmore Bakery van.
As well as getting supplies, it’s a chance to catch up with all the local chat and gossip.
The turnout demonstrated how much this service is used and appreciated.
The team in the Courtyard also continues to keep local residents supplied and Friday afternoons are busy with folk coming to collect their orders. Here’s Mike loading goodies into the back of Elaine’s car.
These guys are providing a brilliant service to our small community and beyond.
The ‘Boomers’ among us will remember our mothers using a system like this – phoning the local greengrocer every week with an order that was then delivered. Could this become a habit that lasts beyond Covid-19? We hope so!
Dee and Paul at the Ben Lawers Hotel are increasing their delivery nights and their menu.
They will be at Fearnan Village Hall at 5pm on Wednesday with pre-ordered meals.
The poster says it all.
Clapping for Carers
A few more pics of residents making as much noise as they can for Carers – pots and pans, saucepan lids and even a pair of castanets in use.
Life under Lockdown
Some more Lockdown Moments from around and about:
Lesley reports that life goes on as near normal as possible. We are so lucky to live here, dog walks on our doorstep and a garden needing constant attention! Potatoes, onions and shallots are all in and John has it all under control.
Amusements include online scrabble with our son in London (not good for my ego). We cut each other’s hair last week – it was great fun, but I came out of it much better than John. I got a bit carried away with the clippers – but at least he doesn’t need to think about haircuts for a long, long time!
I’ve got a couple of books on the go – Becoming by Michelle Obama and Hilary Mantel’s last book in the Wolf Hall trilogy: The Mirror and The Light. Happy to lend either, although you might have to wait a while for the Hilary Mantel one as it’s nearly 900 pages!
A big thank you to the local shops and businesses who have ensured we can stay at home and eat very well!
Good to see Molly getting in on the act!
Sheila and Peter wish to say ‘Howdie to our Lockdown amigos in Fearnan!
I joined Sheila in Edinburgh to ‘tough out’ the lockdown. Aside from our daily tootles (we have 5 different routes which we also vary by doing them clockwise/anti-clockwise in turn) there is really nothing especially remarkable about our daily routine. We didn’t start out with any lofty “mission statement“. A 1000-piece jigsaw that we still have aspirations to do lies in wait for when the weather indicates this would be the preferred activity.
One actually feels a tad guilty owning that the days are passing quite pleasantly if unremarkably.
I have attached a couple of pics taken on our daily walks. Starbank Park is looking particularly Spring like just now. The seaside scene is Newhaven harbour. One of our routes takes us out on a breakwater which gives fine views up the Firth to the bridges.‘
(The Blog Editor notes that Peter has omitted to declare his recently acquired addiction to the output of the 12 Triangles Bakery, and that he earns the right to at least half a 12T sticky bun for each loop of his daily tootle (and a whole sticky bun if Sheila isn’t looking!).
Also in exile are Neil and Fiona who are getting used an almost silent city, long walks with the dogs, lots of gardening, food deliveries by the box rather than from the supermarket, online Pilates, Skyping and ‘Zooming’ with friends for coffee and chat, reading and guitar/ukulele practice.
It has been said that Lockdown has felt like Christmas and Birthdays rolled into one for our canine friends who now have all their humans with them all the time (cats are generally less impressed by this intrusion into their personal space). Tego and Abi find some aspects of it a mixed blessing:
“If we weren’t under Lockdown, we could have chased that fat pigeon off the grass!
Maybe even caught it.“
A number of dogs have now featured in this Blog – what about the rest? Skye? Rannoch? Hairy Harry and his girls? Mabel? What about some news and pics of what you’re getting up to with your humans? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fearnan Book Club Review
The Book Club conducted its first virtual meeting this month and April’s Review (below) has been compiled by Linda from various emails, a phone call and a conversation across the burn!
Apparently, she tells us, a third of people are reading more since Lockdown.
Most are reading fiction with classics and crime novels proving popular while titles about fictional epidemics such as Albert Camus’ The Plague, and The Viral Storm by Nathan D Wolfe have enjoyed increased sales.
Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it changed theWorld by Laura Spinney, an admired science journalist may also be an interesting read at this time.
On a different note, Normal People, a 2018 novel by Sally Rooney is being serialised on BBC 3 starting on 26th April.
Our choice of book for our virtual session in April was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, an American author and geologist. The story, which has an intertwining timeline, is set on the North Carolina coast. It is both a murder mystery and love story, eloquently told.
There was unanimous praise for this book which most found to be an enthralling, compelling reading and an amazing narrative. A few initially found it hard to get accustomed to the Southern accent but this didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment. We were amazed by the resilience and resourcefulness of the young Kya, the main character, who was abandoned at a young age by her family. We were carried into her world and immersed in her story with its vivid characterisation.
The marsh environment and its creatures influenced her understanding of the world and we followed her development through the story as she grew up and became an author and authority on the flora and fauna of the marsh. We loved the beautiful, detailed descriptions and observations of the marshland and its waterways and beaches, the natural history and the poetry which featured in the book.
We were sadly reminded of prejudices that can exist when someone in a community is different as she was vilified by the young people in the area. The trial brought out the best and worst of the village.
We generally found the ending satisfactory, which has not always been the case with recent reads, although the murder plot itself left too many questions unanswered and seemed unlikely, although perhaps a brilliant twist at the end. We felt that it would make a great film showcasing the wonderful scenery, colourful characters and relationships.
Our choice of book for the next virtual session on Wednesday 13th May is Sleep by C.L. Taylor. It has been described as a gripping psychological thriller full of suspense, action, intrigue and mystery It is set on the Scottish Island of Rum in The Bay View Hotel where one of the guests is a killer but who is it ………..?
Now that everybody has lots of time to read, here are a few chunky, historical lockdown reads currently being read by FVA members.
Liz and Lesley are both reading Hilary Mantel novels, Bring up the Bodies and The Mirror and the Light respectively. The latter, 879 pages long, closes the trilogy covering the final four years of a Cromwell’s life. It has been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Alistair has been reading Culloden by Trevor Royle and The King over the Water by Desmond Seward, giving both sides of the Jacobite story.
Jigsaw Show and Tell
We hear that lthere are quite a few people doing jigsaws to help pass the time. If you are one of them, what about sharing your efforts? After all, you spend hours and hours doing the jigsaw, look at the completed picture for a bit – and then you just have to break it up and put it back in the box. So why not share it with everyone?
To start us off, here is the puzzle that Linda and Alistair are doing – an Ordnance Survey Map. And it looks like one to do your head in! Good luck, chaps!
The words and pictures on this website are covered by copyright. The copyright of all pictures belongs to the person who took them and similarly, the copyright of the words belongs to the person who wrote them.
Good news for gardeners that Gatehouse Nursery plants – of both the edible and decorative varieties – are now available very locally at the Kenmore Post Office.
Killin’s first digital farmer’s market opened on Monday 13th April. The launch of Killin NeighbourFood was brought forward by market hosts Ellie Banwell and Paula McDonald, from the Scrumptious Garden, in a bid to support the local community during the current Covid-19 crisis, especially those who are self-isolating. It will also give a boost to local suppliers who are suffering as a result of the pandemic.
Customers will be able to place an online order for a wide range of products from local farms, food producers, market traders and specialist suppliers including vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, dairy products, preserves and breads. Orders can be collected weekly from the Killin post office on Fridays between 3 and 5 pm.
And finally on deliveries, sometimes parcel deliveries go wrong and Hellen Gardner, who is currently staying in Dunaird at Creagach wonders if anyone took in a parcel addressed to her, for safe keeping? It’s quite important and if you let Fiona know at fiona@fearnanvillageassociation, we can arrange collection.
Life Under Lockdown
We have some more Lockdown Moments – the first sent in by Moira and Joe.
Joe took these 2 evocative Fearnan landscapes, one at the Lochside and he managed to capture a stunning rainbow.
From Moira we have a pic of Belle the dog hanging out on her pony Alfie, contemplating the meaning of life, the universe and everything, from the look of it. And a moment on a walk down the Brae with Belle, Shiro and, on the left, Arnold the cat (as in Arnie The Terminator, because he’s a ceaseless hunter).
Some of you will recognise Arnold, as he’s been extending his friendship network around the village, but now you have been formally introduced and know his name.
We’re delighted to be able to include an international dimension to Life Under Lockdown, with this piece from Alastair Barnett who lives on Vancouver Island. Alastair and his brother Jim (who now lives in the US) were evacuated to Fearnan from Glasgow at the start of WW2, along with their mother and (later) younger brother Iain . They lived in Thistle Cottage, and at Balnearn, and attended Fearnan School. You can read more about their exploits and about life in Fearnan during the war here: https://fearnanvillageassociation.com/2014/08/03/talking-about-fearnan-a-wartime-childhood/
Hi to everyone in Fearnan! Today marks three weeks of official quarantine in Victoria, (or is it four weeks?) It seems such a long time. I hope you are all ok, I hope your family and friends are safe. I see on the Fearnan blog you’re finding ways to muddle through this maddening time with the help of many generous neighbours, friends and volunteers, all pitching in to help each other.
Normally at this time of year, the streets of Victoria teem with tourists from around the world, but they are still now and all but deserted. No luxury cruise ships dock. No horse-drawn carriages line the Causeway. No double-decker tour buses idle beside the 112-year-old Empress Hotel, which is closed, no float planes buzz in and out of the Inner Harbour, and no ferry runs to Seattle. It is unnervingly quiet.
At home on the outskirts of town, we are doing what we are supposed to do; social distancing, staying home as much as possible and looking out for each other. I have no complaint and feel blessed to be well. Slowly we are adapting to the change and it appears we’re in it for the long haul.
Every evening at 7:00 pm precisely, a cacophony erupts as neighbours spill on to the street, beating pots and pans, pounding bass guitars, honking noise makers and the nearby Fire Department blast sirens in a display of enthusiastic appreciation for our front-line workers. It lasts only moments then silence descends as everyone retreats indoors. From then to dusk, only the occasional dog walker or cyclist passes along the otherwise empty street.
The local drug stores and grocery outlets have adapted well and take every precaution to keep us safe. Most essential stores and nearby restaurants deliver and in that respect I’m lucky to have a friend who is in the grocery business and delivers food and sundries every Sunday. (Hooray! That’s today – I always add a chocolate bar or two to my list.)
As I am well qualified to be characterized as Covid-19 high-risk, (age) I stay home and spend time in my small garden when weather permits. Unfortunately, when I contacted the seed merchant on the mainland, they were no longer delivering to the island, at least for two-months. So, I’m without a variety of flowers. Although I saved some sweet peas from last year.
To add a bit of colour to my patch and keep busy, I dug out some old garden ornaments and with the help of a companion, re-energized them with acrylic paints which I got a couple of years ago but are still perfectly useable. I’ve attached a photo of our efforts and now instead of a display of blooms, I’ll be greeted by these gaily painted chaps when I step out to feed the birds in the morning. It’s not a perfect solution but it provided us mindless diversion for a couple of days and I’ll give them away when things get back to normal and I can plant again.
To further occupy my time, I registered for an online keyboard music course (proving that hope does spring eternal), I’m not sure the neighbours appreciate my endeavors but I enjoy making what I call, a joyful noise! Come to think of it, perhaps it would fit perfectly with our seven o’clock evening commotion!
As I retired many years ago, I’m used to spending most of the time at home and admit my life has not changed in a dramatic way due to the pandemic. So far just a few minor inconveniences which I can put up with. But I miss jumping in the car and picking up some odds and ends and visiting local garden markets.
When I can find flour ― everybody is baking now creating a scarcity ― I bake for myself and for a few neighbours. I tried my hand recently at Petit Fours, (I won’t be doing that again any time soon. It proved to be a messy project.) On Friday I made Scottish Morning Rolls which turned out fine. I also cook and I supply a friend with dinner every evening. (Because he can’t cook!) Gosh, I wish we had an outlet like Lawers Hotel that delivers real Scottish mince and tatties! What a treat that would be.
It’s heartwarming to read the news from Fearnan during this ghastly time and how you are all coping and caring for each other. It reminds me of another time when a worldwide scourge altered our lives. And just like then, this pestilence too will end. The spirit of Fearnan lives on!
To everyone: my very best wishes, stay home, stay well and stay safe.
Thank you, Alastair, and we send our best wishes to you and Jim and trust you keep safe. Keep in touch!
Knitting Hearts Together
The Intensive Care Unit at Ninewells has put out a call to knitters and those of a crafty disposition. They explain:
Among the many challenges hospital staff are currently facing, we are struggling with the inability to facilitate family members being present and providing comfort during the last hours of life for their loved one.
As ICU nurses and doctors, this is now a very difficult process for us because we usually give extremely close care and support to our relatives and facilitate all manner of requests during our patient’s final moments. Normally, this allows us to bring comfort and an element of closure to both our patients and their loved ones.
The difficulty and pain experienced by the relatives who cannot be physically present with their loved one is unimaginable.
We have been given permission to accept donations of duplicate knitted hearts, roughly 7×7 cms in diameter. We have also had kind offers to fashion the hearts from Harris tweed and velvet securely enclosing some stuffing.
The idea behind this is to provide the emergency contact of those who unfortunately pass away in ICU, a comforting link to their loved one. One heart stays with our patient and the other is given to their nominated contact.
This provides some comfort to those who are unable to be with their loved ones in their final hours.
Is this something all you arts and crafty types would be interested in joining in with?
❤️❤️The only stipulations are that the heart pairs are roughly 7x7cms in size, of matching colour (no black please) and pattern and that they are left in a sealed zip lock bag, with the DATE AND TIME SEALED on them, for 72 hours at least, before posting. This is to allow for the virus to become inactive. ❤️❤️
Work continues in the lambing season, and we have some more photos of Alastair and Anais in action at the birth of twin lambs at Ewetopia. In the second picture, the ewe is licking her new-born lamb. Many thanks to Angela for the photos.
These other pics were taken by Peter in the lambing season last year.
Please note that all images are copyright and the copyright belongs to the person that took them. Similarly, all text is copyright to the person that wrote it.
The network of home deliveries continues to develop. Here’s a picture of it in action, with a groceries box from the Kenmore Post Office being delivered to Joyce and Alistair at Balnearn.
(Looks like some first class social distancing in action as well!)
Another initiative in the area is the Covid 19 Support for the Community.
It began two weeks ago and is a joint initiative of Tay Valley Timebank, The Birks Cinema Trust and Upper Tay Transport Group, who have come together to provide support for anyone in the Aberfeldy and surrounding area who needs help. It operates 7 Days a week from 0900 till 1700.
It now has over seventy volunteers in and around Aberfeldy, Upper Loch Tay and Glen Lyon, ready to respond and get whatever you need, when you need it. That might be some shopping, or a prescription collected, grass cut, pets walked, or just a wee blether. It’s all there at the end of a phone.
To use the service, phone 07507 479555 and let them know what you want. If it’s shopping or a purchase, they’ll buy it for you then phone to let you know how much it cost. Payment can be made by cash, cheque, or bank transfer and the volunteer will then deliver your items to you safely.
Phone the same number if you would like to volunteer for the service.
Good news! The Fearnan Fish Van is restarting this week on Friday and Ben Lawers Hotel will be delivering Pizza to Fearnan Hall Car Park again this Friday evening, along with their recently extended menu of: mince, tatties and dumplings; chicken curry and rice; or sausage mash and onion gravy. Ordered on 01567 820436 before 16.30 on Friday for collection at the hall at 18.00.
And news of a different kind of delivery……
……. the arrival of a Fearnan baby on Saturday 11th April! Drummond Duncan Menzies Mill was born at home and then airlifted with Mum, Tara, to Ninewells for post-delivery attention from our great NHS.
Drummond and Tara were soon back home and are now isolating with Dave, Enya & Maggie.
Life Under Lockdown at Clach an Tuirc
Jenny Penfold writes:
Lockdown started for us when Amelia arrived home from University in Cornwall just in the nick of time, so we were all very relieved about that. She’s been continuing with her studies, finishing her 3rd year dissertation a few days ago. So now she’s enjoying her Easter hols before final exams in May.
Trevor and I have been busy outside whenever the weather permits, working in our new woodland.
Our woodland is planted with a mix of 17 different native species, specific to this area and so most suitable for local native wildlife. We took delivery of over 1,300 young trees in Oct 2018 (the year we moved in) and started planting from Oct until Dec 2018, but then had to wait for the land to thaw a bit before finishing them in spring 2019. They were all planted as small trees, in tall thin plugs for their roots and protected by tubes. The tree examples below are Scots Pine, Bird Cherry and Hazel.
So, we have had plenty to keep us busy during Lockdown! First, we had to finish the winter maintenance by removing grass from all 1300+ tubes and re-fixing them; putting some bark around each one to act as a grass suppressant (though this is a trial for this year as I’ve no idea if it’ll work in a field!); and then cutting back all the grass around the 150+ heathers I planted last year.
And Trevor has been ‘planting’ huge tree trunks in the woodland to act as perches for birds (hopefully lots of owls to manage the explosion of field voles!) and feeding stations, plus the stumps and roots for additional wildlife habitat. These were from the trees that had to be cut down by SSE as they were too big and too close to their wires – so all have been put to good use.
And more recently he’s added in some small foot bridges across the burns with some reclaimed sleepers – so it’s really coming together now and I can’t wait to see how it all grows this year.
Unfortunately, we’ve had a bit of vole damage to the trees, with them nibbling the bark or sometimes nibbling straight through the young tree so now some are reduced to just a few cms high. But I’m hopeful that they will survive. Below are two of the vole nests that I found in the tree tubes. We’ve unwittingly provided top quality housing for them – windproof, predator proof and fully insulated!
Bella the dog has obviously loved all this activity, with endless people around to entertain her plus heaps of walks up the hill with Amelia.
And she’s now obsessed with sniffing out the voles – it’s very funny to watch, as they are way too quick for her and have an extensive network of tunnels under the old grass.
Clapping for Carers
Fearnan has been taking an enthusiastic part in the national Clapping for Carers initiative every Thursday evening. Much ingenuity has been employed to find implements and instruments to make as much noise as possible but, with the village being so spread out, it is not easy to get a single photo that conveys the level of participation. But we can bring things together on the Blog, so here is a selection of last nights participants:
We’ll do the same next week so, if you weren’t included this week, please please please take a photo next week and send it to email@example.com . And we’d love to hear from you even if you don’t live in Fearnan. There are lots of folk from near and far who read the blog, so join our visual ‘clap’ – we may not be able to hear you on a Thursday night, but we could still see you on the Blog!
In these unsettling times, the fact that some things continue as normal brings comfort. This week, we’re giving a big round of applause for the Royal Mail and everyone involved in the continued collection, sorting processing and delivery of our letters and cards, parcels and packages and some on-line orders during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The delivery of mail has become even more important as a way of keeping the country together, businesses operating, and helping those who may not have the option to leave their homes. Many people are continuing to work in difficult circumstances – and not always socially distanced circumstances – and we are particularly grateful to our local postal people who are making sure that, in the words of the Pony Express, ‘the mail must get through”!
And we can help Alan by following Postman Pat’s advice, and getting out with the anti-viral spray to make sure our postboxes are safe for him to use.
And finally, a really big thank you to everyone who has contribute photos, info and text to help keep the Blog going. Please keep them coming! And do let us have your nominations for Unsung Heroes.
And we have a fabulous Easter photo to start with, thanks to Angela and Alastair. Lambing doesn’t stop for Lockdown, and the team at Ewetopia have been working non-stop.
Angela and Alastair are seen here with Chantal (from Holland) on the left, and Anais (from France). Angela says she is the Gofer but we suspect she is much, much more than that!
Update on Lockdown Deliveries
Ben Lawers Hotel will be delivering Sunday Roast meals to the Hall car park on Sunday afternoon. They cost £8.95 each and should be ordered by 16.00, for delivery at 17.00. Phone 01567 820436 for info and to place your order.
Paul and Dee have also extended their Friday night delivery menu so, in addition to pizza, you can now order:mince, tatties and dumplings; chicken curry and rice; or sausage mash and onion gravy. What’s not to like?
Other takeaway options that we’ve been notified about include Chekchek’s Greek restaurant in The Square, Aberfeldy (01887 830402), although takeaways need to be collected from Aberfeldy, and Must Eat Deliveries in Aberfeldy who will deliver: 01887 829300 or www.musteatscotland.co.uk
Info about other regular deliveries during Lockdown is on our Lockdown Deliveries page on this Blog. Sadly, despite much research, we have been unable to find any details of a Cadbury’s Mobile Shop, laden with Easter eggs, and heading to Fearnan. Hopefully, the choc-a-holics managed to get their own supplies in advance.
Life Under Lockdown
We have some more Lockdown Moments.
The variety of projects going on in Fearnan during Lockdown is endlessly fascinating. Who would have thought, for example, that there was work going on to help unlock the secrets of past weather patterns? Well, Dolan is beavering away at his computer doing just that.
It’s well known that we spend an inordinate amount of time either checking what the weather is going to do, or talking about it. Scientists who earn a living by studying the climate are tapping into this obsession in order to ensure that old weather records are digitised and made available to researchers.
The records in question cover decades worth of significant data and go back to the mid-19th century, but they are handwritten and need transcribing. It would take years for scientists to do it themselves so they asked for volunteers to help with the task.
So, Dolan volunteered and is now helping the Met Office by transcribing these old hand written rainfall records. He has some records for Auchtermuchty on the screen in the picture.
This project aims to fill in the gaps in our historical rainfall observation network and to better understand wet, dry and normal periods in our history. One of the keys to understanding extremes of weather like the Beast from the East is to compare them with major events recorded in past centuries.
Elsewhere in Fearnan, Jo is passing Lockdown by spending extra time in her favourite space – her studio – sketching and painting, as well as designing an Easter card to email to the family round the world. Another current project involves various depictions of Fearnan – looks like that’s one of them on the easel.
Jo has also had a lot of fun creating and emailing projects to her great grandchildren, who can’t go to play group, to keep them occupied.
These have ranged from building and decorating a snowman (first snows in NZ,) to making their own porridge, building a hedgehog shelter, or growing tomatoes on their bedroom window sill.
This week’s project is an Easter Egg to print off, colour and decorate with birds’ feathers from the garden or found on walks. (If anyone wishes to use them for their own young relatives just email Jo.)
First results from Carlie aged 3 in New Zealand, who seems to have some very exotic birds in her garden!
Douglas is doing the 10 Today – an exercise programme from Sport England and Demos designed for older people, but he refused to be photographed whilst doing his workout!
Jo did manage to get a pic of him enjoying his post-exercise reward – coffee and cake! He was also contemplating pruning the pear trees…… which he did!
Do send your own Lockdown Moments to the Blog (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’d love to hear from some of the Fearnan ‘diaspora’ in other parts of the UK or overseas. Let us know what Lockdown is like for you.
The amazing #Feldy-Roo have introduced a Weem to Fearnan route. #FeldyRoo is a food delivery service for the Aberfeldy area. It has been set up to deliver free lunches, newspapers and evening meals to the isolated members of the Community during the Corona Virus lock down, particularly the over 70’s.
If you know anyone who would benefit from this service in the area, please contact #Feldy-Roo on email@example.com, or text 07584665423 to arrange things.
Keith has started to volunteer to help with deliveries and will cover this area if needed.
#Feldy-Roo have raised a lot of money already but do contact them if you can contribute financially in these troubled times. Every penny counts!
McDonald’s the Butchers will also deliver to Fearnan – phone the Aberfeldy shop to order. There’s info about all the deliveries coming to Fearnan on the Covid-19 page of this blog along with the contact details for people volunteering to help members of the community, including collecting shopping.
Life Under Lockdown
This week, our Lockdown Moments feature members of our community who work from home, either all the time, or temporarily under Lockdown.
Hazel has sent a picture of FlyFishing & FlyTying magazine on her computer at home.
FlyFishing & FlyTying is an internationally available magazine with subscribers all over the world. It is also sold in newsagents in several countries.
During Lockdown Hazel’s setting up the page layouts from her satellite office in deepest Fearnan! (She also deserves a prize for having the tidiest desk imaginable!)
Apart from volunteering with #Feldy-Roo, Keith is, as ever, busy in his studio and photographing wildlife. He’s shared this charming picture of a roe deer doe taken behind his house and ones of two magpies which appeared in Fearnan (unusually) on the 1st April. The magpies also appeared on Facebook, but we’re repeating them here in case you missed them.
Steve is a designate key worker because of the Hydro Schemes and is out and about doing maintenance. He was, however, captured hard at work at home at the weekend and although he appears to be in the doghouse, he is in fact cleaning it. And afterwards the dogs got cleaned as well (not hugely appreciated by all of them, judging by their expressions).
A couple of weeks back, we reported that Neil was missing his ukulele band mates. Through the wonders of modern technology, we have been able to bring at least some of the band members back together – visually if not audibly.
Trading Standards Scotland have issued guidance on scams related to the Covid-19 situation and given that most of us are doing far more than normal online, it really is worth having a look at their latest bulletin, and passing on the information to any friends who might be vulnerable to this type of fraud.
Current scams include fraudulent texts and emails encouraging you to click on links to claim money that you are (allegedly) due from the government because of Covid-19, or to pay fines because (again allegedly) movements are being monitored and you have left your house too often and for too long in the current lockdown. Or trying to get you to download a form to fill in because you have been identified as having been in contact with someone with C-19. Needless to say, these links download malware onto your computer.
Trading Standards also warn people to be careful and only download apps from official app stores like Google Play and the Apple Store, as apps from other sources may be malicious. It is also important, when you download a new app, to review the permissions. If the app can access your calendar, microphone or camera you may want to consider whether this is actually necessary.
We’ve been trying to get a photo of Fearnan folk coming out on Thursday evenings to join in the national tribute to the NHS and frontline careworkers. Unfortunately, because of the layout of the village, it’s difficult to get a single photo that conveys the community’s support. So we’re encouraging you to take a selfie this coming Thursday and send it to Fiona@fearnanvillageassociation.com . If we get enough, we can make up a montage similar to the ukulele band above. Go on – it’s just a bit of fun.
In the meantime, here are Ivan and Lillybeth showing you how it should be done!
A new section of the Blog has been suggested – Unsung Heroes! It’s a chance to recognise the efforts of people who continue to do their job under difficult circumstances, or who undertake simple acts of kindness that make someone else’s day better.
The first to be nominated are the PKC Refuse Collectors who continue to empty the bins, despite the fact that there is no way they can maintain social distancing of 2 metres in the cab of their lorry. A big thank you to them from everyone in Fearnan!