A Nisbet Abroad

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Holly Nisbet recently jetted off for the ski slopes of Val d’Isère in France. Here’s a wee recap from Holly of her first few months.

After leaving Colonsay a week before my flight was due, due to the unpredictable ferry sailings, I began the first leg of my ski season in Val d’Isere, one of France’s most popular ski resorts notorious for its great ski runs and home of Dicks Tea Bar and La Folie Douce. It’s ...

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Calmac Update – A Living Wage

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Caledonian MacBrayne is first UK ferry operator to gain Living Wage accreditation

  • First ferry operator in the UK to be Living Wage accredited
  • First major transport operator in Scotland to gain this recognition
  • Joins a list of around 300 other companies and organisations in Scotland which have also been accredited, and 1600 throughout the UK
  • Underlines the company’s commitment to its staff, many of whom live and work in some of the UK’s most economically fragile areas
  • Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment endorses ...
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Doctor in the Wildnerness

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It would be good to be fit and healthy for as long as possible, and any pointers in the right direction might be of value.  Many Colonsay folk will remember that the late Dr. Walter Yellowlees had some theories on the subject, and that he seemed to be living proof of their validity.  His book, Doctor in the Wilderness, is unfortunately no longer in print, but a copy was obtained online for £0.01 plus postage – a brilliant investment.  It ...

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Holiday Lettings

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The phenomenal success of AirBnB is apparently distorting property values in many places; seemingly people purchase residential property and then rent it out for short lets without seeking change of use or meeting the relevant legal constraints.  Things have got so bad in Paris that they now have a law (widely flouted) whereby anybody converting a residential property to short-term holiday letting must either build and provide a replacement or purchase a commercial property and convert it to residential use.
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Gortin

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Because it is looking so smart in our warm winter sunshine it deserves to be seen.  Persons with acute vision can see that even the chimney pots have been painted – Santa will be chuffed!

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Just Fancy That:

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  • Owing to some antediluvian anomaly (going back at least to the time of David MacBrayne) Colonsay suffers from mind-boggling freight charges – a lorry travelling from Oban to Colonsay return is surcharged £300 for the privilege, compared with the charge for the same lorry from Oban to Coll return.  Transport Scotland has been challenged about this, says it is not interested in doing anything about it before 2116, if then (despite the fact that the surcharge is clearly illegal under ...
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MV Columba – Secret Agent

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Most readers will remember the familiar side-loading car-ferry MV “Columba”; in fact she is still a regular visitor to the island in another guise.  Anybody who ever travelled on her will recall the unusual layout, the extensive accommodation, and the remarkable hermetic seals surrounding all the external openings.  She was one of three special vessels of a so-called “citadel” class, built during the Cold War on behalf of the Secretary of State for Scotland and chartered bareboat to David MacBrayne ...

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Vale of Leven Inquiry

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It is interesting to note that the recent publicity about the death rate at Vale of Leven is a curious echo of the outrage concerning the high death rate at Scutari during the Crimean war.  Famously, Florence Nightingale was sent across to introduce a very high standard of nursing care, but the death rate actually increased.  Sir John McNeill was also sent across, to investigate the commissariat; he was a native and future laird of Colonsay, a qualified medical man ...

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Odds and Ends

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Rumour has it that there is the possibility of a newly-arriving family for Colonsay; Seamus is finding it hard to run both the farm and the port, so is standing aside for a replacement recruited from within CalMac (applications have now closed);  Colonsay Estate has plans to develop a new “woodlands policy” which will aim to protect existing ancient woodland, rejuvenate where necessary and explore additional opportunities (maybe Biomass?) – there is even the possibility of work for a wood-ranger;  ...

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