23rd September, 2011

It's definitely getting colder now and some of the trees are beginning to turn, although scientists say it's a false autumn and the real one has yet to come... The Centre is cosy though, with the wood pellet boiler proving its worth as the temperature drops. We've just had our electricity and gas meters read, so it will be interesting to compare costs with last year when they come in. The other energy saving measure we have planned for this year is to get our single glazing double glazed. Plans are well underway and hopefully it will be done by the end of October. We recently introduced recycling bins in our public areas and they are proving a success, so the process of making the Centre a greener place is well underway.

For the past 2 weeks we've had Graham & Aggie staying with us. Aggie is in a wheelchair so for a 2 week holiday Iain has given them 2 rooms in the chalet (one to sleep and one for a living room) and a fridge, so it can serve as more of an apartment for them. We have a self-catering apartment upstairs, but Aggie can't manage the stairs and now needs disabled washing facilities, so upstairs is no longer suitable for them. This flexibility means that not only can we cater for Aggie's needs, but also effectively we have had 2 apartments being used throughout the 2 weeks as well as residential groups in at both weekends. During the week community groups continue to meet regularly with the new computer training classes already started. It's really good to see the place so well used.

I went to a funding clinic this week to think about how we can raise the money for all the alterations we are planning. While we wait for the results from a funding search they're doing for us, we are having a visit from disability access specialists to make sure we include as many features as we can to make the rennovations as accessible as possible by today's standards. It will be really good when the chalet is properly converted to a disabled self-catering apartment, but at least we're flexible enough at present to be able to offer a half-way measure while we wait.

5th September, 2011

September already. Just been to a wonderful baptism in the loch yesterday, where the sun shone brilliantly.  To see the pictures just go to www.pitlochrybaptistchurch.co.uk. Glynnis our secretary is away on holiday & we're missing her. B&B has stopped officially til the October holidays. Amaia returned safely to Bilbao and sends her love and all the students who have helped us over the summer have returned to school or university - some just starting uni this year, so it will be a great adventure for them. The lunch club visit went well and then we had a quiet week. This week it's ME sufferers. Helen, local therapeutic & sports massage is coming again this year to ease their sore muscles and Allan, a local enthusiast for Scottish clan history re-enactment, is coming to do a show and tell. We're really pleased to get this support from our local community, which helps tailor the ME week to their needs. The Highland games are on this weekend in Pitlochry and we have a young people's pipe band from Eire staying here for the competition. It's great to be part of what's going on in the community and this event is always a big day. My favourite part is when all the pipebands march down the main street together. Well worth seeing. We've got another council of management meeting this week. We're gearing up for a big splash of fundraising in October to be launched at the Baptist Assembly, and it's incredible how much organising needs to be done. We're raising money specifically for the structural improvements over the next few years - better accessibility to better serve - and will hopefully soon be ready to submit the plans for planning permission.