Monday, 23 April 2007

Cleaning Scotland; One Beeches at a Time…

Today’s beautiful photo is courtesy of a talented neighbour; it was taken in August of 2005 and is an example of the glorious sunsets we are looking forward to. Thanks, Bob.

Beach clean up, an exercise in community spirit…a chance for everyone to get together, do something for our environment and have some fun. All of us here at Otter Ferry, pick up rubbish every time we walk on the beach…correction, most of us! The Official Beach Cleanup however, is an important event in the community calendar heralding the start of the season. It’s all very loosely defined really; the first visitors have been (and gone) over the Easter holidays but this is to get rid of unsightly junk, papers, etc and prepare the beach for the summer and a good excuse for a party!

This was our first year and somehow we managed to get it all wrong. Sunday dawned, grey and drizzly but by 2:25 pm the drizzle was gone and we girded up our loins, pocketed the camera, grabbed our cake/offering and set off for the Pub arriving at 2:31, one minute after the official launch time.

And…everybody had already left?
Were we going to let that deter us? You must be kidding! Leaving the cake as hostage, we trotted off after our leader and her advanced guard! And…we never found them.
After walking for nearly half an hour in the general direction they had headed, we decided we had somehow missed them. We turned around and re-traced our steps along the road, stopping and checking the beach ever so often but to no avail. Over an hour after leaving the house, we were back, thinking that we would keep an eye out for the group who would come from the other side, further up the Loch. The plan was then to run out and join them so that the “organising committee” would think we’d been with them all along. Well, they never materialised! Oh no!

I would have made a terrible reporter; I’d told all and sundry I was going to blog about the clean up and M would be taking photos. I’m always looking for interesting things to share here and our little community can be very interesting…but I have all the journalistic fervour of a sleepy sloth. Thanks to the timely intervention of our Chief Organiser and general Morale Booster, Dorothy of Otter Ferry Pub (The Oystercatcher) fame, I have a summary of the key points as they unfolded (beautifully written out and presented on a clean sheet of A4 today - give the girl an A+) – less than 24 hours after the event! Where does she find the time?

Re: Beach Clean 22nd April 2007

Our annual event went quite well (unusually)…almost seemed organised! Plenty of food arrived with homemade cakes, sandwiches, and sausage rolls, etc in abundance.

Even the two parties were of equal numbers; with five hardy souls from the Chalets and six not-so-hardy souls from the Big House end. There certainly was plenty of gossip from our end…as usual.

Even though the weather forecast was for rain, we were very lucky. More rubbish than last year, but nowhere near the mountain we had when we first started nine or ten years ago! Among our finds, the usual pieces of rope, string, plastic bottles, debris from bonfires and picnics, plus a few odd and mysterious “treasures” funnily enough by the same person. Firstly a raw leg of lamb…yes, raw? Later found out that said leg of lamb had gone off, so was put out for wildlife…ah! Secondly a more dangerous find that we decided was a flare, from one of the visiting boats. The big decision was whether it was still live or not? A vote (more gossip) found it best to just hide it in the rocks and let the owner retrieve it.

We all enjoyed ourselves and I’m sure we all slept better for the exercise, fresh air and of course, the gossip…

Thanks Dorothy.

We definitely will do our best to not miss next year’s event! Not realising the distance covered, we had undershot our mark by one cove. Had we continued up the road for another ten minutes we would have found them!


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