Thursday, May 01, 2014

DIFFICULT LIVING IN THE HIGHLANDS IF YOU HAVE IDIOTS IN PUBLIC SERVICES



Imagine. You live in Mallaig, an historic busy little fishing port on the West coast opposite the Southern end of Skye.
You need to make a hospital visit to Inverness. Not too difficult, but it will take all day to go there and back. You get the early morning train to Fort William. Then you wait five minutes for the bus to Inverness at 7.30. No probs. Same kind of thing coming home.
Until the day when parents in a local school beside Loch Ness complained that this long running bus service got their children to school five minutes late. This needs the bus to leave earlier.
It obviously needs to be discussed with the local Transport Forum on which sit local people, plus the bus people and the local authority people.
But it wasn't discussed at all. Not with anyone. Somebody just decided to start the bus service to Inverness before the Mallaig train arrived!
They are not idiots really. Just idle. Don't think and don't care.
John


  • Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe
  • Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage
  • The Vikings in Glencoe, the Terror, the Glencoe Battle
  • All the facts you need about Self Catering Scotland
  • The facts about Scottish rain
  • How to find your ideal self catering property on the internet
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    WONDERFUL WONDERFUL CONDITIONS FOR SKIING. EAT YOUR HEART OUT SOCHI


    Glencoe weather in the Winter has been wonderful by comparison with the rest of the country. Right now Glencoe is 600 miles to the North of where I am. Here, it is an amazing 9 degrees for February. It is exactly the same in Glencoe! Snow is at 1,000 feet, roads are clear. Spectacularly beautiful in the sunshine, and there has been sunshine.

    TO-DAYS SNOW REPORTS. Feb 18 2014

    GLENCOE
    "Snow Level: 1000ft ft Vertical Runs: 2700ft ft
    Lifts Operating: 6 of 7 Available Uplifts
    Last Update 18/02/2014 at 12:20 pm

    All lower and middle slopes have excellent cover of soft snow offering lovely skiing. Main Basin, Happy Valley and Rannoch Glades All Open. Runs totally irrelevant as so much snow you can ski everywhere and anywhere.... The Boys have done a great job overnight and the Main Basin T-bar is back in business ... What would we do without them, massive thanks boys"

    NEVIS RANGE
    Last update - Tue, 18 Feb 2014 07:55:54 GMT

    Great sliding all over the mountain - wind packed fresh snow wetter on the lower area but not sticky. Grooming up well. Masses of snow everywhere and runs are irrelevant.

    John


  • Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe
  • Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage
  • The Vikings in Glencoe, the Terror, the Glencoe Battle
  • All the facts you need about Self Catering Scotland
  • The facts about Scottish rain
  • How to find your ideal self catering property on the internet



  • Friday, January 03, 2014

    THE SELF CATERING GAME IS CHANGING

    Is this the most photographed house in Scotland, just at the foot of Glencoe Mountain ski range?

    We've had to alter our methods at the cottage. The market is changing rapidly. We must change, too.

    Folks now want to go on holiday from any midweek day to any day, Google has ravaged small cottage searches with its new searching system, and the big directories have got their act together on the internet.
    We used to be on Page one for "Glencoe Cottages" but now that page is full of Directories, most of whom are advertisers with Google. 

    We used to be able to offer only Saturday to Saturday, get our website on page one of Google and fill up 40 weeks of the year. Now, if we go on as we have in the past we'll be lucky to let 25 weeks a year. 

    People are using Trip Advisor, which has now swamped the VisitScotland agency. 

    So with the help of our housekeeper Michelle, we have decided to offer the same daily £80 rate from the end of October to the end of April, just a minimum of 2 days. A week stay rate is heavily discounted to £350 for 7 days. We are not bothering to charge more at half terms holidays nor to increase the rate in March and again in April. 

    But from May onwards we'll revert to weekly rates, from Saturday to Saturday. Having only one property we cannot offer the full range of daily possibilities, and a special cottage for pets, another for smokers. Hey ho, it is not a business luckily, we do it just to have our lovely little family cottage used more. Not fair to have Scotland holiday properties empty.   

    John

    SPECIAL OFFER
    If you "LIKE" our PAGE on FACEBOOK (not just liking the post) then we'll give you the chance of a free break in the Spring for three days. Look middle top right on Facebook to "like" the page.


  • Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe
  • Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage
  • The Vikings in Glencoe, the Terror, the Glencoe Battle
  • All the facts you need about Self Catering Scotland
  • The facts about Scottish rain
  • How to find your ideal self catering property on the internet






  • Monday, December 23, 2013

    TO-DAY AROUND BEN NEVIS

    It will not stop the Scots. Nothing stops them. But no one will be doing this to-day.


    To-days Snow Report NEVIS RANGE
    Last update - Sun, 22 Dec 2013 09:15:54 GMT
    Run Conditions
    Gondola only is open but wind is quite gusty. Overnight snow has drifted in the strong winds to form drifts of up to 50cm high around the top station area. Dry slope beginner’s area has around 80 percent snow cover but too windy to operate Alpha at present. More snow is falling further up the hill.

    Be aware that the forecast is for stormy weather to continue over the next few days though we hope for some weather windows to allow access to the mountain.

    Snow/hail showers are helping accumulate snow on the runs again. We need more to complete the runs and the forecast is indicating snow for the next few days. Lightening has taken out most of our weather instruments. We have not yet been able to repair all the storm damage to the ski lifts, buildings, webcams and weather station due to the continuing storms. Lightening damage has added to the list. The number of ski lifts able to operate are limited until we get a couple of calmer days.
    Snowsports School will be operating on the artificial slope or on snow whenever they can get up the hill.
    Snow Level Vertical Runs
    800m
    Lift Status
    Gondola - open
    Rope Tow - closed
    Linnhe/Lochy Button - closed
    Alpha Button - closed
    Quad Chair - closed
    Goose T-Bar - closed
    Summit Button - closed
    Warren's T-Bar - closed
    Great Glen Chair - closed
    Rob Roy T-Bar - closed
    Braveheart Chair - closed

    Merry Christmas everyone.
    John

    If you "LIKE" our PAGE on FACEBOOK (not just liking the post) then we'll give you the chance of a free break in the spring for three days. Look middle top right on Facebook to like the page.

  • Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland

  • Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe

  • Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage

  • The Vikings in Glencoe, the Terror, the Glencoe Battle

  • All the facts you need about Self Catering Scotland

  • The facts about Scottish rain

  • How to find your ideal self catering property on the internet


  • Friday, December 06, 2013

    Wow! What a wind that was...




    Michelle, our housekeeper has just told us by email what it was like.

    Only just got electricity and phone back. Land line and mobile were down. I've lost a few trees, poor Dorrie has a huge one down, nearly in the front room. Worst Ive seen it ever. I thought our roof was comming off! Still to face the outside clear up. Hope all is well with you both.
    M

    We have to get the aerial checked now. I'm glad no one was in the cottage. It must have been scary.
    John.

    If you "LIKE" our PAGE on FACEBOOK (not just liking the post) then we'll give you the chance of a free break in the spring for three days. Look middle top right on Facebook to like the page.

    Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage Our cottage details and photos More details about the cottage 20 brilliant walks around the cottage area

    Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    Scots sold as slaves in Istanbul markets. I'm not kidding.

    MINGARY CASTLE TO BE RESTORED TO ITS FULL 13th CENTURY GLORY
    The old Scottish stories are wonderful, but there were some dark, horrible times.


    Take the Corran ferry, by Onich, drive for an hour and a bit and you'll find Kilchoan. A lovely delightful remote spot, just opposite Tobermory on Mull. Back down the coast a little way and you'll see an old Lord of the Isles Castle. Mingary.

    It has a most gorgeous site. But in the dark days of the Vikings, it would have been the scene of many savage events. Between the 9th century and the 12th century there would have been raid after raid.

    Vikings had a habit of attacking from the sea, at night, taking the men and women of a village back to the Orkeys, then shipping them on to Sweden. They would be transported then down the Volga River as far as Istanbul where they were sold in the many slave markets. Yes, I promise you, they went that far. Mingary probably had an old wooden structure for a castle to warn of Viking approaches. But the force used was usually overwhelming against a predominantly fishing community.

    The men who resisted were beheaded, and their skulls mounted in Castle Walls. Not nice.This possibly led to later skull and crossbones carvings. You can see one of these at Ardchattan Priory, dating from the 15th century.


    John
    ps. If you are around Fort William  then a really lovely way to go to Oban that no one ever thinks of is to get the little Corran Ferry, drive to Kilchoan, get the Ferry to Tobermory on Mull, then Oban via the ferry. Takes you about 6 hours with stops. Wonderful. See Mingary castle as in the photograph. This is God's chosen country isn't it?

    If you "LIKE" our PAGE on FACEBOOK (not just liking the post) then we'll give you the chance of a free break in the spring for three days. Look middle top right on Facebook to like the page.

    Links
    Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands
    Last minute, late availability self catering cottage Glencoe  Coottage details More details about our cottage 20 lovely walks around the area

    Friday, November 08, 2013

    HOGMANAY IN THIS COTTAGE BY THE LOCH. WELL, WHY NOT?


    The New Year in Glencoe is wonderful. At the moment the cottage is still available. We usually sell out late in the year. £595 pr £150 a night, Sleeps 4. This truly pretty cottage is on the edge of Loch Linnhe. So what's on? 

    The spectacular Holly Tree Hotel with its wonderful location by Loch Linnhe is just a 400 yard walk away. Here is what they offer for New Year's Eve.
    "Join us for some mulled wine in the Captain's bar before a wonderful celebratory dinner served in the Seafood restaurant. The evening festivities begin in earnest with a traditional Highland Ceilidh, make sure you bring your dancing shoes!"

    This is what is on offer at the climber's Clachaig Inn
    "A special 4 course table d’h├┤te dinner menu served in the Ossian Lounge each evening.  Live music every night Join in the Hoolie from 9.00pm through to the bells in the Boots Bar. Live music ‘til the wee small hours. 
    Our Hogmanay celebrations are very informal, and it’s this relaxed and informal approach that makes Hogmanay so enjoyable"

    Or you might be lucky and get in at the Lochleven Hotel. It is small.
    "Celebrate New Year at The Loch Leven Hotel with festive food and drink and warm atmosphere.  Dinner on New Year’s Eve, Entertainment, A glass of sparkling wine or a dram of whisky at midnight on 31st"

    Actually the Onich hotel looks good. It may be the best.
    "The Onich Hotel has the perfect night planned. You will be greeted with a Champagne and Canape reception; after which we will seat you in our loch side restaurant where you will be wowed with a  4 Course Gala Dinner


    "The evening's entertainment will kick off with a fun Casino Night, the winner of which will receive a fabulous secret prize. Put on you dancing shoes for the Live Music  followed by our LEGENDARY Fireworks to celebrate the bells. Then dance the night away as our House Band continues to play into the wee hours of the morning"

    Or, maybe the famous Airds hotel, the plushest in the Region. This is where Cherie and Tony Blair had their honeymoon. It will set you back a bawbee or two.

    Join us for a champagne reception from 7.00pm after which our Head Chef will once again serve up a mouth-watering dinner to set you up for the evening!  After dinner we invite you to our Scottish Ceilidh or alternatively just relax in the lounges. Do not worry if you are not well versed in Scottish dancing as we have a caller to explain each dance. Having no doubt built up an appetite again after the dancing, enjoy some stovies prior to retiring to bed.  Alternatively just enjoy the stovies without the dancing! 

    John
    This is our Lochside cottage near Glencoe in Lochaber 

    Short breaks are often available at the last minute in our self catering cottage 
    These are our cottage details and photos 
    Some more details about the cottage 
    Many brilliant walks around the cottage





    Saturday, October 12, 2013

    "Since you had 9 points on your licence it is much nicer driving with you" she said


    Our pal Mark left us at the Holly Tree bar at 2100 on Thursday. The sign at Crianlarich warned him the the Pulpit Rock works would start at 2200, he had 15 minutes to get there. Go on there, what would you do? That's right, he went around Callendar instead. The words Valour and Discretion come to mind.

    This road closes after 2200 at night, opens early in the morning. They are building a viaduct to carry a wider road. Major, major project. £9million cost, the works will last for three months at least.

    As we drove past ourselves yesterday on our way home Gillian murmured something to me about my much nicer driving habits, the essence of which is in the headline. Hm.

    John
    Ps. The opening chapter of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge comes to mind....briefly.

    The cottage by Glencoe.
    Short breaks, at the last minute, Glencoe cottage. £80 night

    Saturday, October 05, 2013

    We've changed. We'll take short bookings now £80 night to the end of April. Or £395 for 7 days. The market has spoken



    We used to take low season bookings on Fridays or Mondays, but the market wants to come at all sorts of times. So be it. We'll not make any surcharge for weekends nor for half term but the minimum would be 2 nights. We'll keep the same prices from November until Easter. Xmas and New Year excluded of course.
    Michelle, our housekeeper says she does not mind doing the house at odd times.
    I spent most of yesterday doing a new layout for this on the website. Ugh!

    If you "LIKE" our PAGE on FACEBOOK (not just liking the post, then we'll give you the chance of a free holiday break in the Spring for three days. Look middle top right on Facebook to "like the page".
    John

    Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage Our cottage details and photos More details about the cottage 20 brilliant walks around the cottage area
     
    Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
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