Yesterday proved a little bit busy.
The phone rang non stop, visitors arrived, the blog stats hit just short of 100,000 true hits, Scottish ex pat communities from all over the globe have been reading and we thank you for your letters of support.
I was cheered by letters and phone calls from other Scottish secure tenants who empathise with us as they too have been dreadfully treated by their lairds and knew what we were going through. I also received communication from people who are on private water supplies and how their water, despite local authority 'treatment'; still affects their health and livelihood. Tenants rarely receive water notices but private houses do.
We also had a farm to run plus the added inconvenience of my accidental ingestion of raw water on Monday so running a slight temp but hopefully the anti emetics from my doctor will work.
I have a question:
The Scottish Government are aware of the difficulties our family are experiencing, why are they not answering my letters or stepping in to help us and others like ourselves?
Why do secure tenants want the right to buy our own farms? The answer is simple. We can do a better job ourselves rather than wait for a bad estate to fix their houses, mend or replace buildings, secure march fences, etc.
We are familiar with every aspect of our farms, the soil and how best to manage it, wildlife areas, drains, ditches.....and quite frankly, the estates do not have this familiarity and tend to trample over areas which are environmentally sensitive and leave us to pick up empty gun cartridges and screen waterways for lead shot.
How many people who attended the rather exclusive school where the water supply runs through our fields (yet they do not allow us water from their pipe) - how many old boys know that parts of their pipe are asbestos from circa 1930s? How many old boys suffer health problems as a result of drinking the raw water which came from an asbestos pipe?
The nearest public water supply is not far away so why does an entire community including two schools, two inns (both sadly closed down), elderly, children and visitors, why can we not have clean water? The community are charged full council water rates by the laird yet everyone pays the charges and buys in bottled water. Why do they not speak out.....?
The community water supply comes from the hills, gathers in a vile little tank then is fed to a larger tank which is treated by the estate. I would question the qualifications of a land agent who adds goodness knows what to the water but it has resulted in burned skin. Notices sometimes arrive to warn of Legionella and the water tank is not wind and water tight. Rats could easily get in.
Today is my birthday and I am away to the burn which runs through the farm, it is my solace and place of reflection. It is quiet and calm plus it is not the shooting season so I can sit for a while without my nerves becoming shattered.
The stone blocks are the remains of the little water wheel which used to supply the farm with electricity.
I assume that the Scot Gov's silence is due to the fact that they simply do not care for the ordinary Scot. They appear to me to be falling over themselves to assist the lairds, what with the huge windfarm subsidies and whatnot. Fuel poverty for the rest of us who have to pay extra on our bills to pay for those subsidies.
Our country needs strong leadership, it needs Independence, the ordinary people need help with so many different issues, the land must be shared out and tenant farmers must be given the right and the dignity to own their own house and farm.
Clean water, a warm, wind and watertight home, freedom from health anxieties, freedom to roam without fear. Not much to ask for, is it?