Archive for February 2012

How quick are you?

Apparently, the average reaction time of a car driver to any road incident is about 0.75 seconds. You don’t think that’s very much? Well, it works out at around at one car length for every 10mph. So 50mph = 5 car lengths. Errr … SMASH!!! How’s your insurance policy looking??

Try THIS to test your speeed of reaction.

It comes with a warning. It can become quite addictive!

Editorial comment

I’m sure by now most of the residents of this island have read the news letter recently put out by Eilean Eisdeal. I would like to draw residents’ attention to the misleading information in the news letter with regard to the change of accountants. In the article it states that the members agreed to change accountants to a company with more experience in the charities sector, the company being Simmers and Co in Oban.

Last Wednesday I had a chat with David Hodge of Simmers and Co to get some clarification on the matter, and he told me that “it wouldn’t make any difference to the Eilean Eisdeal accounts if we were to draw them up or if they had stayed with Jean Ainsley”, the charity’s previous accountants. In fact both firms audit accounts for many charities in Argyll, so WHY the sudden change?

In a year where Eilean Eisdeal has been investigated once again by the charities regulator, OSCR, and found to be somewhat wanting in their report with regard to transparency  and openness, add to that the stone walling of residents questions about  how, on what and to whom the £130,000 from the Scottish Gas Green Streets was spent, it all appears pretty odd – and has a faint whiff about it? Perhaps you would agree?

So, we are still left asking, why the change of accountants? Was Jean Ainsley not prepared to be EE’s accountant any more? Had she concerns about what the charity was up to? Did the directors feel she knew to much about their activities, and it was time to move on and start afresh with a new firm who knows nothing about them??

As usual with the Eilean Eisdeal directors, so many questions and NO answers.

You don’t have to shout!

If you’ve got a boat you’ll already be familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet, recognised in all languages and used to spell out words in such a way that there’s no possibility of misunderstanding. Particularly handy, of course, if you need to convey the name of your craft to folks who can save you from sinking, but it also comes in very useful when you’ve been telling – then bellowing – your name and address over the ‘phone to someone who still persists in mangling it. So, for your convenience, interest and entertainment, here’s how it goes:

A         Alpha

B         Bravo

C         Charlie

D         Delta

E          Echo

F          Foxtrot

G         Golf

H         Hotel

I           India

J           Juliet

K         Kilo

L          Lima

M         Mike

N         November

O         Oscar

P          Papa

Q         Quebec

R         Romeo

S          Sierra

T          Tango

U         Uniform

V         Victor

W        Whisky

X         X-ray

Y         Yankee

Z          Zulu

Now you can tell someone to “Foxtrot Oscar” and still sound polite.

Echo, November, Juliet, Oscar, Yankee!

Clachan Windfarm

The application for the Clachan Windfarm has now been submitted, and  is for:

“Windfarm comprising of 9 wind turbines (77 metres to blade tip), construction compound, substation, formation of access tracks and ancillary works”

 The application number is 11/02447/PP.

If you’d like to comment, go to “Planning and the Environment” the Argyll & Bute Council website, click on “Find and comment on a planning application”, then on “Simple search”. Type in the application number and, when the details come up, click on “Make a public comment”.

If you want to view the application itself click on the “Documents” tab, then on “View associated documents”. Click on the double right-hand arrow at the top of the window, and the application form etc. are at the bottom.

Comments can also be made by post to:

Richard Kerr, Principal Planning Officer, Argyll and Bute Council, Dalriada House, Lochnell Street, Lochgilphead, PA31 8ST.


A wee book fell onto the Librarian’s desk over the Christmas period, entititled:


Its subtitle is “Resigned advice for hard times”. Every page strikes a chord – and raises a more than somewhat cynical laugh!

Try these randomly selected quotes from the various sections:

Politics: “Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought to be necessary.” (Robert Louis Stevenson)

The Art of Politics: “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” (Harry S. Truman)

Debt: “We didn’t actually overspend our budget. The allocation simply fell short of our expenditure.” (Keith Davis)

Debt: “It is only by not paying one’s bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.” (Oscar Wilde)

Deceit: “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” (Adolf Hilter)

Mmm. It could be that there might be some things we recognise on Easdale there, and possibly in the Scottish Parliament as well!

Copies of this entertaining (and insightful) book can be bought from Waterstone’s in town, or from AMAZON (probably cheaper).

Tsk tsk!

It seems from today’s Sunday Herald that John Campbell QC (with whom Easdale Islanders are well acquainted for a number of reasons) has got himself into a spot of bother with the CIA. (No, no. Not the US Central Intelligence Agency! In this case it’s the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.)

Read the Herald article HERE.

Maybe we won’t be seeing so much of him in the future?

Book Club

The Easdale Book Club has been up and running for a month or more now. The book of the moment is “The Black Dahlia”, and you’ve still got time to catch up before the up-and-coming meeting in the next week or so. The meetings are very informal, and folks are invited to bring along nibbles and things.

[Does that mean I can bring along my bottle of plonk? SauvignonBlanc.]

Keep an eye on the ‘phone box for details of when the next meeting will be, or have a word with Suzanne.

Tommy Toes

A recent short article in The Scotsman referred to medical research which shows that cooked tomatoes have anticarcinogenic properties – gentlemen in particular should take note, apparently. According to the Super Nutrients Handbook* all heat-processed tomatoes are beneficial, so even that ketchup on your bacon butty counts! This recipe is quick and tasty, and the filling can also be used to stuff mushrooms or peppers.




For four portions:


2 beefsteak tomatoes, halved

A little olive oil



100g/4oz wholemeal breadcrumbs

100g/4oz pine nuts, chopped

4tbsps flat or curly parsley, chopped

Snipped basil leaves – quantity to taste

50g/2oz pitted black olives

Juice and zest of ½ a lemon

140g/5oz feta cheese, finely crumbled

A good grinding of black pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 200oC/gas mk 6.

Arrange the halved tomatoes (cut side up) in a shallow roasting dish, stabbing the central cores a few times with a pointed knife to make sure they cook. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 10 minutes until they’re beginning to soften.

Meanwhile, put the breadcrumbs, pine nuts, parsley and basil into a bowl. Add the olives, lemon juice and zest and feta cheese. Season with pepper to taste and mix well. Add a little olive oil if the mixture seems rather dry.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven. Leaving the flesh inside the skins intact, cut and scoop out the cores and seeds. If you like, chop the cores finely and mix into the filling.

Pile the filling into the tomatoes, pressing it down well so it doesn’t fall out as you heap it up.

Bake the tomatoes for a further 10 minutes or so, until the flesh is soft and the feta cheese is melting.

Serve on their own with a green salad and crusty bread to mop up the tomato juices, or as an accompaniment to other dishes.


*Super Nutrients Handbook – The hidden power in plant foods that can benefit body and mind, by Lyndel Costain and published by Dorling Kindersley. We got our copy years ago from the Millwheel in Oban. It now seems to be out of print, but there are second-hand copies available on Amazon and it’s well worth getting hold of a copy. Makes you look at brussels sprouts in a whole new light, for one thing!

Congratulations “Wee Mike”!

Michael MacKenzie jnr. and his partner Jess have just become the parents of a baby boy. Born on Friday 27th January, and weighing in at a hefty and healthy 9lbs, he has been named Archie.

Michael (who hasn’t been “Wee Mike” for a long while) trained as a doctor, and spent the earlier part of his medical career working in Africa on a voluntary basis.

Congratulations to Michael and Jess, and to Granny Lynn and Grandpa Mike!