31st January, 2011

We had a very good write up in Connect, the Scottish Baptist magazine this month, so we're hoping to generate lots of interest through that. Our newest innovation is a voucher scheme, giving discounts for return visits: £1 off for B&B, £10 off for the flat & £50 off for large groups. Please take a look and see how you or your group could benefit in the future.

Our first residential group of the year arrives tomorrow for a 3 day training course, so it feels good to get going on that side of things again.

Simeon has just arrived from France to spend 3 weeks with us doing a placement for his tourism college course. He & Chris are getting on like a house on fire as Chris shows him the housekeeping ropes.He's already taken part in a worship jam at Pitlochry Baptist & has been earmarked for a football session. Nothing like chucking him in at the deep end!

A team will be coming to remove the old boilers next Monday. The new one is due to arrive in the country this Friday (it's coming from Austria). So it's all go. The main thing is trying to ensure we have sufficient resources to get alternative heat and hot water for groups while the changeover is taking place. It's a shame it has been delayed for so long or we could have had it installed at a quieter period, but c'est la vie, as they say.

18th January, 2011

Great News - our building warrant has finally been granted. (The hold up was that the frame for the solar panels needed an engineer's certificate) Now we can order the solar panels too and real progress can be made. The boiler is on order and the boiler house has had a good clear out. There's a meeting this afternoon to co-ordinate all the work.

The last couple of months we've been working on publicity for the year to come. The Centre is now on Facebook. See what you think. We made up a leaflet for the Landmark catalogue which goes out to every school in Scotland and we've just received the balance of the print run - an extra thousand - to send out to other schools & children's groups.

We've just updated our price list. Take a look at the new pick & mix menu & see if there is anything that would suit you or a group you know this year.

It's good to welcome back our day groups  which have started up again.

7th January, 2011

Happy New year to you all. Christmas was a quiet period for us, especially with the snowy weather, which resulted in some cancelled bookings, but the flat was being used all December and into the New Year. In fact quite a few people have booked it recently for personal retreats coming up this year - well, Pitlochry is a beautiful & inspiring place to take time out to take stock after all - so if you want to book please do so well in advance. It's getting quite popular you know! The freezing weather  gave us some frozen pipes but our friendly plumber was very good at  fixing it even though it was Christmas Eve. Iain had to keep an eagle eye on the system throughout the holidays, meaning he never had a day away from the Centre. Christmas was a time for "thank you"s so Iain was invited to a prize giving at Pitlochry Festival Theatre for the adult literacy group and the Centre staff got together with volunteers for a Christmas meal. It was a time for pressure as we realised that time was running short to get the boiler project into its installation phase & many urgent phonecalls were made to push it along.We will shortly be placing our order for the new boiler (at last) and hope everything goes smoothly from now on. Hugh Henderson is now on board to project supervise & we're very grateful for his help & advice. It has also been a time for coughs and colds, some spending their Christmas holidays feeling distinctly under the weather, but we're back now and raring to go. We start the New Year with some  freshly revamped chairs for the upstairs lounge thanks to a local upholsterer. We're really grateful to have so much local loyalty within the community & as local day groups start up again we get the chance to play our part again in serving our community.