Thursday, 3 October 2013

Sunshine on Dull

Seven days now without any drinking water at the farm.

This came in from the council -

I understand that the FarmAtTheBackOfBeyond cabin and caravan are served by ********** private water supply and that (neighbouring) farm cottage is served by (local parish) private water supply. 

********* Estate have been having problems supplying water to the properties on ****** supply and water was initially tankered to the main tank at (neighbouring farm) before they arranged a temporary abstraction from (the wee local) burn to keep the main tank supplied.  As burn water was being used and the treatment provided at that time was not guaranteed to produce wholesome water PKC issued all properties on the (local parish) supply with boil water notices.  The Estate has also advised occupants not to consume the water.  I understand this situation is still ongoing.

I note that the estate provided you with bowser water from a burn.  This water should certainly be treated as unwholesome and should not be consumed without treatment and/or boiling.

As you are a tenant of *********** Estate you should continue to make representations to them about the provision of water to FarmAtTheBackOfBeyond cabin.  I would suggest you examine the terms of your lease or tenancy agreement to establish who has responsibilities in this matter. 

Yours uncaringly,

The Cooncil

Do you see any reference to supplying our family with clean drinking water? Me neither (sorry for the bold writing all of the sudden).
What I do see is an estate and council who do not care one whit about their tenants/ people who pay tax and council tax.

From what I can glean, a new pipe is being laid somewhere (although the plumbers had not turned up as it was raining) so rather than wear hoods and not be total Jessies, it was easier to keep our supply turned off. We are not informed when the water will go off but find out by turning on the tap.

This rocked up after my requests for drinking water for the farm.

 The dirt is on the inside of the bowser and the water really is a murky green colour.

How do you get the middle tank off the trailer?

"Here is what you could have won" - pumps and everything but sadly.....

The water bowsers, pumps and everything were removed the following morning leaving us with one minging bowser and no means of transporting the water unless by bucket.
21st century Scotland, mind.
(Do the police know that the estate trailer has no number plate?)

Plus this nonsense was going on in the lower field at the same time. The field where the cattle graze.

Looks like a lovely Autumnal landscape until you look right in the centre of the photo. Rather sinister?

Here is a better view.

Blood sport before lunch.

So the list of 'People who could do something to help but are turning a deaf ear/ blind eye' grows. We are only tenant farmers, after all.

Where does the Sunshine on Dull come into the equation?
The answer is that I took such a scunner to the situation that I took off to Dull for a change of scenery. The Birks (birch trees) of Aberfeldy are just beginning to change colour and were beautiful, indeed all the trees between Aberfeldy and Dull wore a different colour.

The people at Karelia House, Dull welcomed me like an old lost friend and plied me with mugs of hot coffee, home baking and all the news.
Their first ever coffee morning at the weekend raised a massive £3034.79 for Macmillan on Saturday. A brilliant amount from such a tiny community and enough to cheer the gloomiest of spirits.

It felt easier to return to the farm after being treated so kindly at Karelia and it helps to strengthen resolve and spirit. A little human kindness goes a long, long way.

Home to a different glen and an indifferent estate.

Home to no water.

Update: Saturday 5th October 2013 - Still no water. Supply was on for a short while but went off again at around 4.30pm.

Sunday 6th October - water still off.

Monday 7th October - no water. Is this now permanent?

Tuesday 8th - No water. Not a drop, plumbers are now digging holes on a neighbouring farm and the huge pump which is supposed to be feeding our farm is  switched off.

Wednesday 9th. Not only is there still no water, the taps are acting like hoovers in that they are sucking air in. I have never seen this happen before. The water supply has literally been sucked dry. No word from the estate.

Friday 11th October - small amount of water yesterday but it went off again and none at all today. I have discovered that other members of the community are afraid to complain to the estate in case their water supply is cut off too. All they can do is refuse to pay the full council water rate which the estate charge each person. Some are afraid to do this.


  1. It feels so useless to say that I'm sorry that you are all going through this and that it has lasted so long. Sadly, it is all I can do apart from trying to spread the word. I hate platitudes so I won't indulge myself.
    It makes me angry that, in this day and age, you are at the mercy of an uncaring landlord.

    All I can realistically do is hope that the situation improves. Which is quite useless for all practical purposes. As far as good wishes can do any good you have all of mine.

  2. Thank you, Katherine. It does mean a lot to us to know there is understanding and support. Spreading the words helps and I have been amazed at the number of people in different countries who are reading this blog.

    The estate switched the electric off in the farmhouse six years ago (for safety reasons *cough*) and the water supply has been non existent or greatly reduced since July. It is beginning to feel like Clearance by drought.

  3. It's difficult to believe that such goings on are still possible in the 21st century. Scotland has a long way to come before it can consider itself a civilised nation.

  4. It is incredible, Sarah and this morning has been spent trying to get someone to listen and act but to no avail (as yet).
    This is not a civil act. Scotland is stuck in the 18th century as far as understanding feudalism and acting upon those who bully and harass others.