Life Under Lockdown

Offers of Help & Support

Offers of help and support continue to be made by many of you within the community.  Unfortunately, several offers that were made are now off the agenda, given the most recent restrictions on movement.  (For example, the Borland staff were offering to collect and items from Perth or Edinburgh that people need but can’t get delivered, but that will need to wait until journey restrictions are eased.)

However, one offer that still stands is that Borland are making accommodation available, free of charge, to any key workers who need it.  Please pass the offer on to anyone who you think might be interested. Contact Borland on or 01887 827691 if you would like to take up one of their offers.

Don’t forget Jenny Penfold’s offer, made in the last blog, if you are needing shopping done closer to home.  She’s happy to add items to her regular delivery if you are stuck or can’t get a delivery slot. Contact her on

Kenmore Shop

The Kenmore Shop is changing its hours for the immediate future.  The Shop will be open from 8am – 2pm, and the Post Office will be open 9am – 1pm Monday to Friday, and 9am – 12pm on Saturdays.  This is being done to help protect the staff, following a huge influx of visitors who were not following Stay at Home advice (home being some considerable distance away in many cases) or even the Social Distancing rules once inside the shop.

Kenmore Bakery

Just a reminder that the times for Kenmore Bakery’s Mobile Shop are:

Lawers Hotel Carpark 10am
Fearnan Village Hall Carpark 10.30am
Fortingall Village Hall 11am
Keltneyburn Monument 11.30am

Anti-Bacterial Cleaner

Jo M offers her ‘recipe’ for anti-bacterial cleaner in case you have run out or can’t get any: dilute 1 measure of bleach to 9 of water as a cleaning agent if you run out of anti-bacterial cleaner. Sent to her by a nursing friend.

She had also put forward a couple of ideas for getting exercise, for example arranging a regular walk, but keeping 2 metres apart or joining the ladies golf group. Unfortunately, the latest restrictions on social groups mean these will have to wait.

Ideas and Suggestions for Self-Isolating Times

The Fearnan Book Club has been thinking about the fact that we are all going to have more time for reading over the coming months and has come up with some reading suggestions. Perhaps it’s a chance to get to grips with something you have been intending to read for a while – or a chance to re-read an old favourite

If you enjoy non-fiction and auto biographical writing, you may enjoy some of the following:

Educated by Tara Westover – a  coming of age memoir that chronicles a young woman’s efforts to study her way out of a tough childhood in a Mormon fundamentalist family and find herself through books. Challenging reading! 

All That Remains: A Life in Death’ by Professor Sue Black who talks candidly about death. As a Professor of anatomy and forensic anthropology, she has investigated mass fatalities due to war and natural disasters. A combination of tragedy and humour. This was a Waterstones Scottish book of the month for April 2018 and although it sounds a tricky subject for these unsettling times, there is a lot of humour in the book.

If Only They Didn’t Speak English, by Jon Sopel. A very readable and insightful portrait of American life and politics by the BBC’s North America Editor.

If you enjoy fiction and liked last month’s Book Club book The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley, her latest book The Guest List, published in February 2020, is another atmospheric thriller. 

The Book Club’s read for April is Where the Crawdads Sing, a novel by Delia Owens. It has topped the New York Times Fiction Best Sellers for 2019/20 and is a novel that is a murder mystery, a coming of age narrative and a celebration of nature. It is a story of survival, love, hope, prejudice and nature. We will review this on-line and report back in due course.

If you feel like some humour in your reading (who doesn’t just now), here are some more suggestions :

This is Going to Hurt: Secret diaries of a junior doctor by the British Comedy writer Adam Kay. It is a collection of diary entries written by him during his medical training. Waterstones’ non- fiction book of the month for May 2018. Painfully funny! 

And some classics of the humour genre:

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome (1889)

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams ( 1979)

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend (1982)

Bridget Jones Diary  by Helen Fielding (2001)

The Ode Less Travelled  by  Stephen Fry. (2005)

The Fearnan Book Club’s latest book review appears later in the Blog.

Who’s Doing What?

The Blog asked a few people what they had been up to during their first few days of social distancing and as we move into a more locked-down life-style. We’re delighted to be able to bring you the following exclusive snapshots of life in Fearnan.

Both Linda and Cath McG have been gardening:

Linda has created this impressive garden feature by adding a cobbled border to the large rock that was already in the garden. She says it’s dual purpose – it looks good and will also suppress the weeds and moss. It’s also very therapeutic and addictive – calm yourself by cobbling.

Cath tells us that last year, on Countryfile, she saw a feature about someone who had a field full of cowslips. It looked wonderful. He had brought the plants on from seed, potted them up and when they were big enough planted them out in his field.

‘This was for me!!’ Cath said. ‘Last summer I planted lots of seeds. Today I’ve planted about 50 of the bigger plants that look like they will flower out in wild places around the garden and in the field. The smaller plants (in the photo) I have potted on to plant out later.

Alastair G has been out on his bike, setting out in bright Spring sunshine but finding quite a lot of snow on the road from Bridge of Balgie to the Lawers dam.

Peter has also been out walking and went to the west coast before such journeys had to stop.  He sent us this relaxing, calming video of lapping waves.  Enjoy!

(Apologies for the fact that, when you click on it, the video appears under the Blog Editor’s name. The Blog used its own Flickr account to embed the video, and finds it is beyond its competence to remove its own name from the title. Sorry, Peter!)

We’d love to know what other readers of the Blog have been up to – both achievements and maybe those things that didn’t go quite as planned, or something that might bring a smile to someone’s face.  We’d love to hear from readers in other countries about what it’s like where you are, and how you are occupying your time. If you would like to share your Lockdown Moments, please send pics along with a short description to

Fearnan Book Club

The Book Club is going to continue in a ‘virtual’ form and members are happy to contribute their recommendations in the months ahead.

These will be duly collated in the usual way into a book review. We hope that they will continue to give you ideas for your next read.

Our group’s read for March was The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, a Sunday Times non-fiction bestseller in 2018. The author and her husband Moth, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness called corticobasal degeneration, became homeless after a bad investment and decided to walk the 630-mile South West Path from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. Over the duration of the journey we read a sweeping narrative of inner courage and nature’s ability to heal. 

On the whole we found it an inspirational true story which was upsetting or even excruciating at times, but we concluded that we were glad we had read it. 

A few of us felt frustrated and outraged at the outcome of the court case which resulted in the couple losing everything. Annoyance was felt with the judge, who appeared to lack understanding or empathy for their situation.

We enjoyed the well written pen portraits of the locations en route especially those that had been visited by members of the group. There was also a lovely combination of descriptions of wildlife, fellow walkers and their own feelings, hardships and experiences along the way. The people they met reflected human nature, some being kind and generous, others plainly embarrassed by their appearance and situation. We considered them incredibly brave and hardy in wild camping, having a limited diet, living on a very low budget, suffering pain and varied weather conditions. 

Despite this, the wry sense of humour and positivity radiated from the text. It was summarised by one of the group as a love story as the closeness of the caring, unselfish relationship was revealed. The author made sacrifices and persisted with the very difficult journey as she could see it was beneficial to her husband. 

The advancing growth in sales is testament to the fact that The Salt Path is a genuine word of mouth best seller. Her second memoir, Wild Silence which will be published in hardback in late spring 2020 is about her task to re wild an over farmed piece of land. This book explores the themes of life-long love, nature and what it means to find a home. 

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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