Saturday, 30 October 2010

School closures, Awards and Case Studies

This has been quite a week.

Our anticipation of the long awaited Thistle Awards Gala Dinner in Edinburgh on the 29th were totally eclipsed by a letter we received on Tuesday 26th from Argyll and Bute Council informing us, as parents of a child at Ulva Primary School, that they propose to close the school at the end of the summer term.

Suddenly any nerves and apprehensions we may have had about going to this fancy 'do' were put sharply into perspective by the thought of the west coast of north Mull losing its only school and community building. For not only is it a really wonderful small school, but it is the focal point for the scattered inhabitants of that coastal area of the island. We (parents and local community) are going to fight it, and have been contacting our Councillors, MSPs, MPs and anyone we can think of, for support.

On a lighter note - Farmer had his photograph taken to accompany a LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Case Study. The vet came to blood test our cattle for BVD and to train Farmer in the art of Condition Scoring his cows.

And no, the Awards were not cancelled just because we were having traumas with our school. Life had to go on, we had to go to Edinburgh to attend the Gala evening. And what a dazzling glittery affair it turned out to be - with pipers piping as everyone arrived at the EICC, trays of delicious bubbly or cocktails, the Awards ceremony itself in the huge auditorium with comedian/impersonator Ronni Ancona as MC (standing alot of the time in a cloud of dry ice), armies of waitresses and waiters serving 500+ guests (they emerged hurriedly out of the kitchens like ants scurrying in line, carrying the food, to each table, one table at a time) twinkling lights, and thistles (actually Visit Scotland use eryngiums instead of the native thistle...) - there was even a red carpet.

We did not bring an Award home with us, but we were treated wonderfully for being Finalists - lots of people said lovely things, and all in all, it was a great evening and we felt very proud of Treshnish - our 15 seconds of fame!

The red carpet to greet us. (Now that was a first for both of us).

Our table, hosted by Sustainable Tourism category sponsors, Scottish Natural Heritage. 2 of the SNH staff on our table had stayed at Haunn before, so that felt good. You can see the eryngiums.

Some one else's table. You can see the twinkly lights.

And after dinner (it was 11pm before coffee was served) a ceilidh band played and called the reels so enthusiastically it was impossible to talk any more, which was probably a good thing!

Anyway it was a great evening all in all, and on the way home the next day, we composed a letter in our heads to the Oban Times about the school.

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