28th March, 2011

Hooray! The boiler and solar panels are finally functioning. Scottish Baptist ministers' wives were the first group to enjoy our new eco heating system and that week the church (which is connected into the heating system) was so warm people were taking their coats and jumpers off - after freezing the previous week because the electric fires had tripped the circuit and gone off and the free standing gas fires had suddenly run out of gas. The contrast certainly was appreciated. When they're on the place is really cosy... just need to get on top of programming the  boiler clock ! (We were nearly caught out by the time change this weekend & Iain had to dash down again on Saturday night having just got home from work at 9.30 pm to set the clock forward an hour so there would be heating & hot water first thing on Sunday). It's quite a job to claim the grants, which are paid out after the contractors have been paid - lots of paperwork, but that's all on target, and while we're waiting for that money to come in, an interest free loan from Perth & Kinross has to be paid back. Fortunately when we told them our circumstances they offered to hold onto our cheque until one of our donors has paid in full.  Isn't that great! There's going to be 2 open days in May: May 5th will be a Friends of the Centre Open Day and all the weekend user groups and Centre supporters are warmly invited to that. May 10th will be a Community Open Day with the emphasis on showcasing the Centre and the new heating system to the locals.

 This weekend we had URC ladies fellowship. They had Bible study & talks while their husbands went out for hillwalks. They enjoyed their stay so much they've booked up for the next 2 years. This week is the last week of the Youth Cafe (run by Perth & Kinross Council) before the holidays. So much work has beeen put into it, but there are still only a few youngsters attending. It would be really good to see it take off properly. Adult education is in full flow and seemed to be able to work around the disruption caused by the boiler installation without any problems, and we've got Madcaps in tonight - a local music and drama society who do a lot of fundraising performances as well as having a good time together.  So it's business as usual in a cosy and greener Centre.

2nd March, 2011

Well, Simeon has gone home and we're all missing him. Aww! He made a brilliant tourist guide for a Pitlochry walk from the Centre to Moulin, with a wee spiel about all the sights on the way. He spent ages reading up on it all and then used publisher to make it.

The boiler's now installed, and it is on course to be operational in the next few days. We're now waiting for a wood pellet hopper to arrive and get set up before it can have its maiden run. The solar panels are up and connected too. Can't wait.

We had deacons from Dundee Central in last weekend. They raved about the food - especially Iain's porridge! - and seemed to have a profitable time here. Some hadn't been to the Centre for a few years and were really surprised  and pleased at all the changes we've made. Prior to them it was the SU young leaders' training, who were a self catering group. Largely due to Iain's good management, no-one has had cause to complain about the heating during the changeover of the boilers. He's been running about setting up electric heaters and portable gas fires to make sure every room being used is cosy, especially during the cold weather.

The sun is out now and it is actually 10 degrees today - something that cheers us all up.