Monday 5th August
Michal leaves tomorrow. We'll really miss him:( Michal came from Poland for the month of July on a tourism internship and has fitted in so well. We've just loved having him. As well as being helpful, polite & hard working he's also very sweet: when he set up Pam's room (the ESOL teacher) he wrote "have a nice day" with a smiley face on her whiteboard. Then he painted a sparrow on Wilma's new wall to give her a nice surprise when she comes back from holiday. But people must move on and he's now going to be working on a cruise ship between Poland and Sweden for a month. Meanwhile Amaia has arrived from Spain. She came 2 years ago and enjoyed it so much she's back - and already roped into the holiday club on at the Baptist church next door this week.
B & B finally started for the summer at the end of the first week in July and we've had a steady flow of customers both from the UK and from overseas. Some people pass through Pitlochry on their way up to Inverness and find themselves looking for a bed for the night, while for others Pitlochry is their destination. We've had people doing the Rob Roy way, cyclists, theatre goers, birdwatchers, people coming for respite and even people who've found work here and need temporary accommodation. We've had some groups too - a church family weekend 2 weeks ago, a retreat group last weekend and an elderly lunch club holiday this week. Fortunately we can have them at the same time as the Atholl Craft fair which is on for 3 weeks and there is some great stuff for sale - from bug hotels, which have been very popular (and no-that's not a reflection on the Atholl Centre!) to fabulously leafy screen prints and delightfully tactile wood turning.They also have an art competition and one of our supporters won for the first time with his painting of Bruar Falls. Congratulations Nev.
Work finally started on the staff bedsit in July. It's taking shape nicely and we're really lucky to have 2 great workmen who've been proactive about problems encountered, helping us find solutions and going the extra mile So thanks guys:) So,the bathroom floor had to be raised to allow room for the pipework rather than digging into solid concrete, then that had to be cleared with building control with all the incumbent sketches - time consuming, but the best solution. In the end we bought a compact kitchen unit housing the fridge, sink and hob in one for the kitchen to make best use of space & time, but were able to reuse an old set of drawers and a spare bit of worktop for the rest - talk about mix & match! Then there were trips to Perth to choose carpet & lino & paint - actually a bit of a balancing act to choose something Wilma will like (she'll be the first to live there) and keep to budget rather than just going for generic colours. Nearly there though & the boys have been painting in between preparing rooms for the guests (B&B means a lot of cleaning & sheet changing).
We've also spent a lot of time populating the new website ready for launch any day now. I hadn't realised it had so much content, but I suppose that's what happens when you're trying to cover so many bases at the Centre. The new site should be a lot easier to navigate and to find what you're looking for. There are a lot more photos on it too - and a new colour scheme. We hope you like it. Pretty please;)