Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Dèan sabaid airson do àm ri teachd. Stailc gnàth-shìde na cruinne. Dihaoine 20mh Sultain. Taigh-cùirte Inbhir Narann ​​9-10m


The slow retreat of cash from our lives continues

One of our readers informs us that Graham's Dairy will no longer accept cash on the doorstep from the end of the month. The options are now payment by Direct Debit or cheque. Our correspondent is most disappointed by this and just doesn't like the bother of setting up direct debits or writing out cheques. 

Perhaps it is marvellous that doorstep deliveries of milk continue, it almost seems like part of a different age but obviously there are those that find this service important and are of a mindset that is not happy doing too much with setting things up with the bank for payment etc. 

The move away from what we have known for generations continues - we still have two banks and a post office but soon will there be anywhere in our town where you can deposit your cash? That unpleasant scenario has already been reached in other Highland communities. Things are changing fast, many younger folk are quite happy to pay for things on their phones these days and lots of us sit at home buying things from the comfort of our armchairs with our credit cards by our sides. Soon will we have more choices too about what currencies we pay with, such as a Facebook form of money perhaps? As artificial intelligence increases exponentially money won't be the only thing that changes, how long before the driver-less lorries are coming up the A9 to supply the supermarkets?  

Perhaps governments would indeed love cash to disappear as far as taxation and crime are concerned.  Still a lot of cash around though but is a tipping point not far ahead in the future where we all have to adapt to electronic transactions or starve? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Confused at Gurnnurn.com asks: "Do the LibDems think Nairnshire is part of Ross-shire?"

Here at Gurn HQ the postie brought us a LibDem leaflet today and we didn't think much of it (didn't read it at all, it was destined for the blue bin) but then one of our regular readers in the West End contacted us and asked why something called "Craig Harrow's Ross-shire Summer Survey" would be delivered through his door in Nairn.  Looks suspiciously like it's been delivered all over town then. 


Perhaps we woke up today in a parallel universe and Nairn is now part of Greater Ross-shire? So, intrigued, we did something we don't usually do and paid attention to LidDem material:

"Time to do politics differently - compassionate, respectful, green and locally focused", the leaflet says. Well different perhaps but locally focused? 

What good is a survey for Ross-shire if it is going to include stats from Nairnshire?  Are Ross-shire folk getting the survey for Nairnshire?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Meanwhile in the electric car charging point this Sunday morning

An electric vehicle user takes to social media draw attention to a Highland Council vehicle parked in a recharging space
A Gurn reader also passed this vehicle and reports it isn't plugged in and has seen the note too - so there must be some mistake here Highland Council?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Coast to Coast Rat Race leaves town again

It's all a bit Brigadoonish, it's usually all over by 9 o'clock with the last batch or runners leaving but once a year this event sets off from Nairn. Probably the biggest event this Nairn Festival week but nothing to do with the festival although perhaps some of the many runners that stayed in accommodation in Nairn might have visited one of the Festival goings-on yesterday.

Here's a video of the first batch leaving "the experts".

 

And some images of the 8.30 departure. Individual images here. 

Oirthir gu h-oirthir - Rèis nan Radain- 14 An t-Sultain 2019

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Scottish Government to plant 24 million trees - any chance of including apple trees in that Fergus?

Earlier today Fergus Ewing put a post up on twitter. This observer was quick to reply to his post. You can see the details below.

In recent years the orchard revival movement in Scotland has made remarkable progress. You can get some idea of what has been going on by popping into their social media blether and think tank page "Scottish Orchard Collective" here. 

Nairn is just one town in Scotland where a lot of orchard related stuff has been going on. These pages here give you an idea of some of what has been happening in the town and nearby.

Of course there are many things you can do with apples, including making cider, and across the nations that make up the UK some exciting things have been happening there in recent years too. 

Caledonian Cider, made in the Highlands, is indeed a very good example of this activity, and here is a map of all the cider makers in Scotland just now. 



There will soon be another one too if all goes well. Common Weal cider will be making an appearance in Aberdeen:

"Common Weal Cider wants to recruit volunteer groups who can donate their time – and their apples – to help put the north-east on the map for cider-making.

The collected fruit would be turned into either cider or juice by the Common Weal Cider group and sold for profit.

Neil Clapperton, who is also chief executive of Grampian Housing Association, said the project came about through conversations with groups Common Weal Aberdeen and Aberdeen Beautiful, which look to improve community engagement in the city." Read more here. 

There is a social media page for Cider makers in Scotland too and whether it be a yearly demi-john or too or maybe you have plans to enter the market yourself in some way, you will be welcome by the folks here. 

Last Wednesday evening this observer  managed to get some decently priced tickets and get through to Aberdeen to a event in Waterstones organised by Neil and his colleagues. " An evening with the Ciderologist Gabe Cook" turned out to be a very enjoyable couple of hours. As well as outlining how he came to be a "Ciderologist" (a name he admits to making up himself) Gabe communicated his passion and knowledge for all things cider. Here's a wee bit from his website which isn't far off from some of the things he had to say.

"Ciderology is an ethos; a way of life, if you will.  As The Ciderologist, I have embarked upon a journey to spread the good word of cider. The principles of Ciderology are upheld by six Core Values:
  • True love of cider: the perfect confluence of art, science and nature
  • Espouse the unique traditions, heritage, culture and identity of cider in its heartland regions
  • Advocate the development of sustainable, authentic cider industries in areas of new growth
  • Champion artisan producers for their innovation and creation of high value products
  • Support cider producers of all scales which continue to uphold the spirit of cider by making a responsible product and contributing to their local heritage, economy, environment and communities
  • Celebrate and share the wonder of cider with the world
Cider is far more than merely an industry (ie the processing of raw materials into a product).  In certain parts it forms the culture, heritage, lifeblood and defining feature. It is where the worlds of great artistry (for cider makers truly are artists), scientific application and the harnessing of nature, come together in perfect unison." 
If you want to find out more about the cider world (totally astonishing what is going on really once you scratch the surface, here's Gabe's website folks, and here's his entertaining and very informative book "Ciderology. Gabe is also involved in a magazine called Full Juice which details a lot of the country's craft ciders made with nothing but full juice - spoiler some ciders out there can contain up to 65% water :-).  There is also interesting cider discussion on the Caledonian Cider blog folks and if anyone is thinking of making some of their own this year, here's a very interesting Leeds based website that gives you a few pointers. 

And if anyone is in town on Saturday there is an apple related event going on in Viewfield: 

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Fitzwilliam String Quartet - Friday 6th September Music Nairn 7.30 pm Nairn Community and Arts Centre

On Friday 6th September Music Nairn are delighted to be hosting the Fitzwilliam String Quartet in their 50th Anniversary season, making them one of the longest established string quartets in the world. An especially warm welcome to Alan George on viola, the only remaining founder member of the group who got together as undergraduates at Cambridge.

Over the years the quartet have built a very fine reputation, and enjoyed a special relationship with Shostakovich and his quartets, the composer personally sending them the 13th, 14th and 15th near the end of his life. The anniversary will be marked by new recordings of Shostakovich, and several of the Schubert quartets.

Appropriately for a Scottish tour, Friday’s programme opens with the beautiful Quartet in C minor by Thomas Erskine, the 6th Earl of Kellie who was an eminent musician in mid 18th Century Scotland. His quartets were only discovered in 1989 as part of manuscripts discovered at Kilravock Castle near Nairn. The programme continues with a very appealing mix of new and old; Delius’ Late Swallows and Glazunov’s Noveletten contrasting with three of Bach’s Contrapuncti, and in conclusion Beethoven’s passionate Quartet in F minor Op 95.

The performance begins at 7.30 with tickets in advance or on the night from Nairn Community and Arts Centre.