Letters to the Editor – 23.12.21

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Positive experiece of getting Covid booster on Seil

Having read for the last few weeks about the unpleasant experiences the citizens of Oban have endured over the administration of their Covid Booster jabs, I feel the need to recount my own experience here on the Isle of Seil.

Not only did our GP Practice take it upon themselves to book our Community Hall for two days to enable us to avoid the trip to Oban, they prepared the hall themselves for NHS Highland the night before, on one occasion at least, after 9.30pm; they cleared up after the event and even organised people to manage the car park. They phoned up to advise the time to attend, giving a 30-minute window and phoned a second time nearer the event to suggest the best time to go to avoid queues. A prime example of ‘going above and beyond’ or ‘going the extra mile’.

It’s not only the Booster jabs they excelled themselves in either. During the two initial jabs, they phoned us to give us a day and time and we could walk to the surgery as it was so close. This amazed my sister-in-law, who living near York, was left to phone round various centres to set up a suitable day and time and at one point it was suggested she try Manchester as an option.

So a huge thank you to all involved at Easdale Medical Practice and all the other volunteers. In the words of the song, ‘You’re simply the best’.
Janet Scott, Seil.

Turn out for local by-election was very disappointing

It was extremely disappointing to see turnout of just 25.6 per cent at the recent Ward 21 (Fort William and Ardnamurchan) by-election and I hope people will be less apathetic when we have the full regional elections in May.

An SNP win is hardly surprising, since I was told repeatedly when campaigning in 2017 that you could put a yellow rosette on a stuffed teddy bear and they’d vote for it.

Thankfully far more said they would vote for anyone other than an SNP, which seems to still be the case since the vast majority (60.3 per cent) of those who did vote, voted against Ms Fanet. At least Sarah Fanet lives in the area which is more than can be said for two of the candidates, the Conservative and Lib-Dem. Not only do they not live here (although one attempted to imply that they did, in their Lochaber Times candidate statement), they clearly weren’t interested in doing the most basic of research about the area. Had they done so, they’d know that we make higher-than-average use of Facebook as a means of communication, presumably due to the large geographical area and small dispersed communities.

Both of these candidates have Facebook pages, but neither bothered to use it to communicate with their potential constituents. Whether you love or loathe Facebook, if they aren’t interested in doing basic research about the area, they really don’t deserve our vote.

It was excellent to see the Green candidate get so many votes, demonstrating how seriously we are all taking environmental issues these days, and Kate lives locally and knows the area well.

Too often I hear people complaining about Westminster, Holyrood or Inverness being completely out of touch with those of us living in small, or remote, or rural communities – the only way to fix that is to vote for people to represent you that do know and understand.

I sincerely hope that more people will vote in May, and that more people will vote for local residents in May.
Joanne Matheson, Acharacle.

Christmas verse

Recent on-island discussions about whether to try to maintain a Christmas concert or social gathering with some music, have led to the idea that, instead, maybe some ‘safe’ carol singing efforts before the break might be possible. These discussions prompted a couple of light-hearted verses, which I jotted down over lunch today.
It occurred to me they might also be a bit of light entertainment for readers of the OT?
Sebastian Tombs, Isle of Lismore.

It is the carol singers,
Come to bring us
Something cheer
In this drear and weary dark!

Welcome, my friends –
Ah! Only one?
So, tell me, do:
Is it just you –
Where is the choir?

“Good Sir,
I am surprised you ask –
Have you not heard
The word is
‘No more masquerading’
Nor, in public, much parading –
Everyone is tucked at home,
Many of them all alone
Where, quite safe,
They can un-mask!

“So, here I am, a solitary,
Singing to my heart’s content
All my favourite Christmas Carols!
The harmonies, I must pretend,
Provided by the sounds of birds,
The wind in trees,
My feet in gravel – and
By angels, as I travel:
Can you hear them
In the breeze,
Like a wing-beat
Keeping rhythm,
Soft and slight,
Reminiscent of the
Iridescence of
The ethereal
Northern Lights –
A kind of descant
Borne by Nature,
Fleeting, fleeting…?

“Well, I must away – I’ve
Many a house to pass tonight!
I wish you every Christmas Greeting!”

And with that, the carol singer
Vanished in the gathering night.