Off topic : Sunshine Blogs


Much to my surprise, I received this award which is “peer recognition for bloggers who inspire positivity and joy” from Suzanne Craig-Whytock at mydangblog. I have followed her for a while, mainly because she makes me laugh and we all need a bit of happiness.  Also her dog looks a bit like Dougie.  So thank you Suzanne.

This means I have to answer questions she set and in the spirit of things pass it on, although I think she cheated, so since that must be in the spirit of the award, I’ll do that too! Some of the questions she left open for us to choose, so I’ll answer some of the ones I get asked in the shop (questions in colour).  Here goes:

1) What country do you come from?

I come from England but have emigrated to the Isle of Skye which is Scotland.  Before I came here I don’t think I appreciated that Scotland is a different country, now I realise how ignorant people can be south of the border, so much for United Kingdoms!

2) Which way is Neist Point?

For info. Neist Point is the most westerly point on Skye, and the reason that tourists are coming through the glen.  Due to the curvature of the earth, we are actually more westerly here than Cornwall, so I sometimes amuse people by telling them that we are the most westerly shop you can drive to in the UK without taking a ferry (Skye has a bridge).  I digress – take a left towards the sea, past the old school.  Don’t go straight on at the next bend, bear right which is the main road.  Take the second left signposted ‘light hoose’, and follow that to the end of the road and then stop (or you’ll end up over the cliff!).

3) What do people do here?

Generally tourists are interested in how people make a living on Skye.  The sad fact is that most people who live on Skye don’t need to make a living, they come here to retire.  Those children that are educated and brought up on Skye, often move away to university and never come back.  The main employer is the council, and the main industry is tourism.  Those that are left are mainly self employed, so we have a range of tradesmen, artists, archetects and webdesigners….most crofters have second or third incomes since sheep are more a way of life than a money earner.

4) Do you have a bathroom?

This is one of the examples of Britain and (particularly) the US being separated by a common language.  To a Brit a bathroom is a room with a bath, to an American a bathroom is a room with a toilet.  I have to grit my teeth at this one and keep on smiling, because to be frank it is a sore spot for me and the cafe over by.  The powers that be have promoted Scotland and Skye as a tourist destination which is great, however, they have attracted lots of people that are trying to ‘do Scotland’ rather than have a holiday here.  What I mean is they are rushing from place to place with a tight itinery not appreciating that the highlands are still quite a wild place (which is why we like it) and isn’t set up with toilets on every corner.  I’ll just say there are no public toilets in Glendale and the nearest toilets are at least 20 minutes drive down a single track road and stop there shall I?

5) What is your dream destination?

If I had one flight anywhere in the world I would love to visit New Zealand.  We did projects on the country several times at primary school and I have always fancied a trip there.  The scenery, the wildlife and the climate all are attractive, and it isn’t filled with bitey stingy things and people.  Never Australia, which is funny since I have ended up with two sisters there.  Now I don’t fly for moral reasons (see here) but I will be tested in 2020 when my younger sister wants to mark a special birthday with a family reunion in NZ (my mum’s choice rather than Oz too). Do I go or not……

6) Why did you burst out laughing in a meeting on Thursday?

This was one of mydangblog’s questions and I’m trying to think of a good answer.  I don’t go to meetings, so I could cheat and leave it at that.  However, I was in the shop in the morning.  It’s not really like working, because I consider most of our local customers my friends, they are all neighbours.  Usually Brian makes me laugh with stories of things he’s been getting up to (usually involving tourists in vehicles, or BT), although I don’t think he was in that morning so I may pass on that one, sorry!

7) What is your favourite movie?

We don’t go out to the cinema much (although they do show films at the Aros centre on Skye which is only a 50 minute drive away).   We also don’t watch TV and haven’t since we moved here ten years ago, so are not really up to date on any modern films!  We do (very occasionally) watch DVDs and S. has been trying ‘netflicks’ recently, although that is not likely to take off due to the internet locally really falling over….For relaxing I do like a good romantic comedy: anything with Meg Ryan.  Also Highlander: beautiful scenery (even if a lot of it was Ireland), Local Hero: we can really relate to that now! and Gregory’s Girl, no matter how many times we watch it it still makes me laugh (S. can recite whole passages at the right prompt words).  At Xmas we watch all the James Bond films.  Sometimes back to back, sometimes in random order (“tonight let’s have….bad girls” (usually Goldeneye))

8) What crazy thing did you do on Friday night?

Saturday is a working day, although in the summer we do allow ourselves an extra half hour in bed so the craziest I got was just having cheesecake for my dinner rather than a proper meal.  We have taken to eating earlier, because by the time I get home from the shop I can’t be bothered to cook and it’s a bit late for a big meal.  Also see Q 10.

9) Are you happy with your current life?

I am so happy 😃!  I love it on Skye, the peace, quiet and scenery.  I love being my own boss.  I like running a shop and meeting customers (most of them anyhow!) although it’s even better now we can afford to pay people to run the shop for us sometimes and give me a bit more time at home.  I love having a bit of land to play with and grow trees.  That’s not to say I don’t have plans….

10) Do you have any new and interesting bathroom stories?

See Q4?  On my recent trip to the west country I was able to use a couple of composting toilets.  I was visiting sites without mains sewerage and they had chosen to create facilities that enabled them to return nutrients in human waste to the soil.  Urine in particular is high in nitrogen and other minerals that gardeners often pay good money to give their plants the correct dose of.  At EDFG Sagara had a lovely composting loo with a urine separator.  It really looked like a very simple and effective system.  At the field (which I have not yet ‘blogged about yet) they have an equally effective but less conventional hole in the ground system.  They are trying to raise money to put in a more socially acceptable facility for visitors so as to be able to run more educational events and have more volunteers.  I also got really sidetracked on Friday with a thread on permies about why some women don’t like to urinate outside – well you did ask!

About sunshine blogger award

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.

Answer the questions.

Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.

List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your  post.


So mydangblog has bent the rules, we only got ten questions.  I will nominate

The propagator






Anni Kelsey

Your questions are…..

1) what country do you come from?

2) Why did you start your blog?

3) What’s your earliest memory?

4) Who would you most like to meet?

5) What plant is your favourite?

6) What item (not people or animals) would you rescue first from your home in the case e.g. of fire or flood?

Add as many more questions as you like (try for 11).  If you don’t fancy doing it, don’t worry and thank you all for the inspiration you give anyhow!




12 thoughts on “Off topic : Sunshine Blogs

  1. thanks again for the nomination, I’ll mention and give you a link back in my next post, however I stopped doing these memes many years ago, I will answer just 2 of the questions when I blog,
    thanks for thinking of me, Frances x


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s