We knew it was all too good to be true.
We're within short driving distance of the Highlands as well as the lovely Wester Ross, so our guest houses and B & Bs are often packed to the rafters during high season. This brings some good footfall to our local pub and village shop, which have wonderfully profitable summers. For years, the 700 or so inhabitants of our village subsisted off the money brought in by the tourist trade. Our children were fed and clothed, and we had enough leisure time for a hoe-down every Friday night in Jim's barn. Our quaint little village might not be a 5-Star attraction unto itself, but we can still be proud of it. [caption id="attachment_77" align="alignright" width="300"] Oh Tim, you ruined us.[/caption] This was before the internet, before the proliferation of global knowledge and celebrity culture. Once the entire village was wired up to Broadband and Digital Television, we started to see our community in a different light. We weren't the happy townsfolk of Scotland that we used to be. Our collective Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds amounted to an online presence that we knew was not 'cool' or 'hip' in the slightest. When we posted on our Instagram accounts, we were vilified for our traditional dancing garb and un-manicured nails. We wore no brands, and our selfies were literal self-portraits. The people of the internet, hence the world, condemned our abandonment of filters and were disgusted by our realistic images. [caption id="attachment_89" align="alignleft" width="300"] She's wonderful, so many followers.[/caption] We weren't satisfied. Now being slaves to the capitalist system, we wanted more money. More and more cash in our back pockets - which we could use to buy exorbitant flat screen TVs that don't even fit in our lovely cottages. Money which could buy us Ivy Park tank tops and Beckham Perfume. Once we had our things, we could post our new purchases online and then - then we would be loved.
But it didn't work.We needed more money, more approval, more fame. So we were seduced by the Monorail man. [caption id="attachment_86" align="alignright" width="250"] Look - his suit is red, his skin is yellow.[/caption] We'd all seen the Simpsons episode. But we thought: "This man's not yellow. His striped suit is white and blue, not white and red.' Duped - all of us. Our money, cash, rammed into a leather suitcase and strapped to the top of a taxi; on its way to another town desperate enough to believe in a dream. All we have to show for our efforts is a bunch of GIF files, created by a lovely graphic designer from London and a dormant Facebook Group Page that is being trolled by our neighbouring Auchtercairn. Serves us right for abandoning the old ways.
Sometimes, the old ways are the best.... Read More
The beautiful Lake Gairloch.
"After my marriage fell apart I was low for a long time. I spent a few years moving through various stages of a sort of grief. Not grief for my marriage if I'm honest. Or grief for the pain of my wife. No, nothing so noble. It was grief for myself, for my own life, and my own ability to love. I wanted to get better. I wanted to get better for me. I put it all together in my head as guilt, I wanted to believe that I was heart broken over breaking her heart, but I was just scared. Scared once again that, just like I had feared before she ever came along, that love was not for me. 'I thought love was only true in fairy tales, then for someone else but not for me'. If you can't love though, it's a lot harder to feel pain. Anyway, I thought I had got through all this, and I met someone new. I was dancing on rainbows again. Then we hit a few stumbling blocks, and I fell apart.
Eilean Donan Castle.
My emotional mind is like an old manor house. Long ago some of the biggest rooms became cluttered and messy, I looked at them and couldn't fathom how I'd sort them all out. So I turned of the lights and I locked the doors. After a while I convinced myself that I'd solved the problems of those rooms, that I'd cleaned my house. But meeting her, it opened those doors, and it turned on those lights. And you realize that the mess is all still there. You'd hidden those rooms away, and now you're finding out you need to live in them. So I ran away. I closed the doors, I turned off the lights and I shivered in the corridor for a while. That's when I came to Gairloch. I'd say as a place to run away from your past, your present, and all your potential painful futures, it's beautiful and perfect."
Looking pretty good eh?
And that's just a couple of our local characters! Visit Gairloch today and you can meet all of them.
The Visit Gairloch Team.... Read More