Thursday, February 14, 2008

Comment from Bill on the previous post

Thanks Bill, don't agree with a lot of it but it deserves to be elevated from a mere comment that many might miss.

'Bill has left a new comment on your post "Anyone need their heads turned back round the righ...": What an amusing story. Ah! Nairn, what is to become of it? I share your reaction to this Daily Mail 'expose', but if that's the kind of rubbish newspaper you read (I don't!) then that's the kind of nonsense you can expect to see.However, talking about the habits of others (specially, to be blunt about it, 'outsiders' who take up residence there) is common in Nairn, as I know myself. When I first moved there and mentioned to people in several of the shops around town where I lived they more or less knew my whole life story already; the fact that I was still bleaching my hair in those days was an extra juicy talking-point; in many ways I'm not entirely 'conventional' I suppose. I do also recall being at a social event a few years ago along the Moray coast (near Fochabers actually) and one of those present used to live in Nairn (a 'native' I believe) and when I mentioned where I lived she immediately (and these gossips are almost invariably female) mentioned a rather unusual former Nairn resident in unpleasantly derogatory tones (I still had my bleached hair then of course) - I speak of the late Tanya Arkipova, who happened to be quite a good friend. I'm afraid that I froze-out that particular gossip-monger for the remainder of the evening!It is highly unusual for people in Nairn to be openly unpleasant or dismissive or anybody when face-to-face with them, but they sure do whisper about others behind their backs! One has only to recall some of the rather nasty gossip circulating around town about the widow of murder-victim Alistair Wilson.I have no doubt at all that tabloid reporters find no difficulty in finding Nairnites to feed their little bits of supposedly salacious gossip; it may be wrong of the Daily Mail to write silly stories like this, but I expect some locals played their part, too, with so-called 'background information'.I like Nairn a lot, but I can get out when I feel like it, thank the Lord!'
Yes Bill, Tanya was great craic and if there were some that were willing to slag her off for whatever reason the majority accepted her as part of the community, which she had every right to be, being born in the town. Nairn is a great place to live and we have a strong sense of community, there is gossip like anywhere else but it is by no means a retarded Wickerman type community à la Daily Mail article. We don't buy it, just take internet newsfeeds that mention the town. No sun tody here hope you have some.


Bill said...

... the majority accepted her as part of the community, which she had every right to be, being born in the town.

My goodness! This is at least the second time that a comment of mine has ended up as a new posting; I suppose I should feel flattered ;)

However, your remark quoted above encapsulates very neatly, I'm sorry to have to record, the rather closed-minded attitudes of many in Nairn and indeed the Highlands in general.

A few years ago I made a remark about recent press criticism (in 'The Inverness Courier') in the form of a letter from a tourist from England who had, I would say completely justifiably, criticised certain aspects of the 'hospitality' shown to visitors to the Highlands, specifically in the case of a certain B&B establishment and a shop/cafe/restaurant in a popular tourist spot. The owners had reacted with fury, in their turn criticising the temerity of the person for writing in to voice his views, when they thought the service they had provided was "as good as anyone had a right to expect". The reality is that tourists can choose not to visit the Highlands, but instead to spend their holiday money in other places which make them feel welcome.

I was asked what right I had to criticise things in the Highlands "since you don't come from here". The establishments concerned are in Inverness and the conversation took place with a person who has always lived in that town (now city); I lived there at the time, too. I responded quite truthfully that I am in fact a native of Inverness, having been born in Raigmore, although I never lived there as a child; my parents lived in a very remote spot on the west coast at the time and my mother went to Raigmore for her confinement - one parent as it so happens was born and raised in the Black Isle and the other in Glasgow.

I said then to that person as I do now to you, Graisg: Of what relevance is it where someone has been born to judge their eligibility to be treated as a part of the community (in the Nairn case) or to express a viewpoint (in the Inverness case)?

I'm sorry to indulge in this word-splitting, but you perhaps gave an impression that you did not mean to? I hope.

Graisg said...

Hi Bill, I thought I might risk that question from you and I nearly changed that comment but went ahead.
I was thinking of Tanya's case alone, she went away as one persona and came back as another and despite that she should have been allowed all the community currency she possesed beforehand, which I believe, thankfully happened. Not everyone gets accepted into a community they move to and not everyone wants to.

I wasn't born here but never had any problems settling in. Wanted or not, everyone of course does have the right to say what they feel about anything at all, wherever they live.

Spelding said...

Hey ho, here we go again. I can never understand if people think Nairn is such a bad place, why do they continue to live here? In my opinion, and I’ve lived in a few small towns, Nairn is no worse (or better) than other places. It’s a small town and that’s what small town’s are like!

With regards to Tanya, she liked a good gossip as much as anyone else which falls into line with Bill’s assumption “(and these gossips are almost invariably female)”:-). She also had a very colourful and sometimes thrawn personality which some people (locals, non-locals and outsiders) just didn’t get! Too bad for them as she was a great, and sadly missed, character.

Nairn said...

I thought Bill had his own blog :)

I have lived and worked in many towns and cities but still feel very privileged to be resident in Nairn and working in the Highlands, I cannot think of anywhere I would rather be.
Gossip is the way of the world, not always pleasant or nice but certainly part of our society.
I wish our resident film star and her family well, and hope they recover from the remarks of the gutter press.

Bill said...

I thought Bill had his own blog :)

I do - actually I have two. However, I also comment on other blogs, as do most other bloggers from time to time and just as Graisg is kind enough to comment in one of my own little blogs from time to time.

Yes, Tanya was a character and I miss her.

Bill said...

... and just to clarify, I like living in Nairn a lot and most of the people I come across there. The reason I am not there now is that, like all of Britain, it has a lousy climate at this time of year. However from May to Setember there's nowhere else I'd rather be :)

Nairn said...

We can only hope that global warming will change things for Bill so he can become a full time member of Nairn's community?
Mind you... I don't remember the climate in Nairn being much better during May - September of last year?
Maybe Bill gets up long before I do!

Ekim said...

I enjoy seeing the comments on the blog. Please be aware that you folks live in a beautiful part of the world with much to be thankful for. There are great and wonderful folks everywhere and a few jerks. Savor the former and endure the latter. On the weather, I too, live in a northern clime where summer starts on July 5th each year! BUT, it is most always green, not dead brown. Thanks Graisg.