May Update

May Pop up Coffee Shop

It was a really good, sociable group (and one dog) that gathered in the hall last Tuesday to enjoy coffee, cake and a chat.

There was also a birthday cake and a quick rendition of Happy Birthday to You for Elaine and, before you ask, she declined to say which birthday it was. Quite right, too!

The rebranding from Coffee Morning to Pop Up Coffee Shop encouraged a passing cyclist and 2 tourists to come in, although the tourists were looking for a take away – something we will be able to provide at future events.

The Coffee Shop will be back in action on Tuesday June 18th at 10.30 am.

Heart 200

The ‘Coffee Shop’ provided an opportunity to get an update on the Heart 200 situation.  Letters have now been sent to the Chairs of other Community Councils whose areas will be affected by this tourism route, and also to individual Community Councillors.  Others contacted include environmental organisations such as the RSPB, the John Muir Trust, the Community Land Trust and Greenpeace.

The impact of these ‘hit and run’ tourist routes on local communities and the wear and tear on Scotland’s environmental landmarks has become the subject of an increasing amount of press comment.  Three relevant articles from the last few days are:

Scotsman: https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/outdoors/wild-landscapes-under-threat-as-tourism-soars-1-4934650

The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/may/25/dark-side-scotland-north-coast-500-route-speeding-congestion-protest

Perthshire Advertiser: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/concerns-heart-new-tourist-route-16193232

In the Scotland on Sunday article, the John Muir Trust are calling for more joined up thinking between those promoting tourism and those managing it and highlighting the damage being done to our wild areas and local communities by the increasing numbers of tourists.

If you haven’t already written, there is information about who to write to and some of the important points to make on our Heart(Break) 200 page.

The most effective letters of complaint are:

  • Clear and concise.
  • Clear about exactly what you want done. Don’t just complain but also state the redress you are looking for.
  • Not angry, sarcastic, or threatening, particularly important if you want to gain the support of the recipient.

Shout About Transport Event 30th May

A different aspect of transport – local transport and how to tackle the lack of the same – is the subject of an event on 30th May in the Locus Centre, Aberfeldy.

Shout About Transport will to look at innovative ways other areas have taken to address transport issues.  There will be a chance to take part in the Upper Tay Transport Action Plan, which is launched on the same day. 

The event is hosted by the Upper Tay Transport Group and it is an opportunity to meet the Public Transport Unit from Perth and Kinross Council (1.00 – 3.30 pm), RVS and TACTRAN (who can tell you about the Lift Share scheme) and Transport Consultant, Jeff Turner.

The Pembrokeshire Association of Community Transport Organisations will also be there to share how they solved their transport issues in a similarly rural area (2.30-5pm). It is a drop in so join us when it suits you. Refreshments throughout the afternoon.

May Book Review – a Whodunnit with a Difference.

The book discussed by the Book Club in May was A Case of Doubtful Death by Linda Stratmann.

The year is 1880. In West London, a dedicated doctor has set up a waiting mortuary on the borders of Kensal Green Cemetery, where corpses are left to decompose before burial, to reassure clients that no one can be buried alive. When he collapses and dies on the same night that one of his most reliable employees disappears, Frances Doughty, a young sleuth with a reputation for solving knotty cases, is engaged to find the missing man, but nothing is as it seems.

In this, her third case, Frances Doughty must rely on her wit, courage and determination – as well as some loyal friends – to solve the case. Suspicions of blackmail, fraud and murder lead to a gruesome exhumation in the catacombs, with shocking results.

The idea of a waiting mortuary came from Germany and was inspired by a fear of live burial  A waiting mortuary is a building designed specifically for the purpose of confirming that deceased persons are actually dead. They were most popular in 19th-century Germany, and were often large, ornate halls.

The Life House in this book is a fictional place set in Victorian London when the different areas of London were more like villages. In our discussion, we reckoned that people and events would be known to the residents of the area. A young lad with a voracious appetite was certainly a great source of information for the detective. 

Some of us found it rather rambling, slightly tedious and boring at times but it was agreed that the catacomb scene was very vivid and realistic, full of menace, evocative and atmospheric. Some found the ending weak. 

From a personal point of view, we learned about putrefaction, about how drug induced patients can appear to be dead – and (jokingly) discussed rethinking our funeral plans!

The book chosen for the June meeting is It’s All in Your Head – a non-fiction book by neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan in which she shares her past experiences in diagnosing patients with psychosomatic disorders. The book focuses on the culture of medicine and societal views on psychosomatic illness – physical symptoms that stem from the mind.  This should provide interesting material for discussion and sharing experiences. 

Diary Dates

The Pop up Coffee Shop will be back on Tuesday 18th June at 10.30, and on the 20th July, we have that annual feast of deliciousness, Strawberry TeaZ.

About Fearnan Village Association

Fearnan Village Association was formed in 2007 to provide a means through which those who live in the village can come together to discuss and respond to issues of importance to the village, particularly those that will have an impact on our quality of life. We also organise social events, such as the very popular Pudding Night in February, Strawberry TeaZ in July, and other events and coffee mornings throughout the year.
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