A wee Update From Aphrodies Island
Posted: Saturday, 11 July 2009
The world wide depression has hit everyone hard and we're no exception. The pressure at work has been so horrendous I haven't had a break for weeks. The last straw was Wednesday. I was half way through a meeting with a couple of clients. When it got to the wifes income, she said, "Well I earn1950 a month... but I was made redundant this morning." Then she looked at her husband and said, "I told you I had to speak to you before we came ot this meeting!" That was it. I resigned that afternoon.
The good news is that I started reading Tarot Cards at La Fontaine Market on Friday and that's going really rather well! So moving from the Isle of Arran to The Isle of Aphrodite wasn't such a bad move after all :S
The Jumper is Finished... it may be the answer to the housing shortage
Posted: Friday, 23 January 2009
As I managed to trip over next doors dog while I was walking him on Wednesday and clobbered my face off the kerb I had the rest of the week off. As it's turned a bit cool and Himself is back in Iraq and I'm bored to death as I can't go out without scaring people (see below), I decided to finish the jumper I started three years and four house moves ago at the legendary Arran Spinsters Knitting In A Pub Club.
The club fell apart because we started to forget our knitting and going to each others for dinner and drinks and almost all the members are now engaged or left the island or both. I only had a sleeve left to do so I finished it off in my sick bed and eh voa la! It's big enough to house half the island. I'm gubbed! It was a really complicated cable and I'm gonna have to rip it all out... Boo Hoo!
I did think it might do as a new swimmig cossie... but it's a bit skimpy for that kind of thing!
Sunny in Cyprus
Posted: Monday, 10 November 2008
I'm sneaking this wee one in as I've been missing you all on my travels. I couldn't resist island life for long so I've recolonised Cyprus for Islandblogging. Look, I've planted our flag so it's official! How long will it take IBHQ to add us to the list to islands?
Do we get a Southern Isles page? This corner of Paphos is going to be Scottish for quite some time.
The neighbours are lovely, Scottish on both sides so the coloniseation is going well and as the Spanish branch of the Fank went so well this year we thought this would make a good venue for Fank 2009. I hope the Arran Viking Association hav been practicing, it should only take the a couple of weeks to get here now they've got the sail up. Better book your places now to avoid dissapointment.
As you can see we have already set up the dip for Donald so the ladies can get close this year without catching something nasty.
I must thank Natures Hairdryer for keeping us posted as to the weather at home and the vagueries of Cal Mac. Oddly the weather hasn't affected the ferries here yet.
It's a chilli 26 degrees at the moment brrr so we are battening down the hatches too, I retrieved the inflatable toys from the pool this weekend while it's still hot enough to dry my cossie in a couple of minutes while I lay in the sun. It's murder!
Obviously any bloggers visiting our newest and furthest outpost are welcome to visit, just let me know when you're landing. Calumannabelle, grab Annie Beag and start peddeling your peddalo!
P.S. I had to change the last word as the moderator didn't get it.
What Sunny did Last Month
Posted: Sunday, 09 March 2008
He finally got home after days of being told he'd be getting the next flight then not... aaargh! So a week of making up for the last few months, then we headed down to Cardiff for the Scotland / Wales Rugby Six Nations.... I can only talk about this now after this weekend Calcutta Cup triumph!
We all got our faces painted, JC decided to get another part of his anatomy decorated too.
Scotland got slammed.
The millennium Stadium is absolutely amazing!
The atmosphere was electric! Half of the group of friends was Scots, the other half Welsh and everyone had a fantastic time despite the score. Here's to Wales lifting the Grand Slam. Then we went off to a wild party in Hereford. I ate all the pies... and the steak bakes and the sausage rolls.
I could show you photos of the party but then I'd have to kill you. Someone lost their shirt to a knife wielding maniac which led to some unintentional cross dressing.... Hmmmmmmm
The week after we went over to Arran to Visit family again and I finished clearing out the shop. Best of luck to Viv from Island Porcelain who is taking over.
We sat every evening looking over the magical view from Balegra.... The sun beams breaking through the hills, watching the horses frolic and the heavily pregnant ewes and coos munch and wait... The sun breaking around Ailsa Craig and spill over the waves of the firth of Clyde right out to Ireland and the ocean beyond. You can see straight into Belfast loch on a clear day. I can't tell you how sweet the air or how beautiful the birds outside our window. The old sheep dog (will call Dog to preserve his privacy) Came every morning for his treat and craic. He's not allowed ben, He's a sheep dog, they're working dogs so never house trained. People are surprised to see Shepherds and their dogs walking onto the car deck of the ferry. It's because, if they go up the gang plank and walked though the carpeted decks they will widdle on the carpet. The Car deck is shortest, easy clean rout to the outer decks.
Mither in Law excelled herself as usual with guid scots quisine, proper breakfasts: Lorne (square) sausage, bacon, tattie scones, drop scones, eggs, black puddin, white puddin, eggs, mushrooms & Haggis. Great dinners... oh I'd make you weep id I went into that but if you ask I may tell Mmmm. And great céilidh. Now that's the way to start the day. I've never got "cereal"; I know goat feed when I see it. That's true h'elan' hospitality.
My Uncle and Aunt have been living with half a house full of art shop and Uncle W went way out of his way to help me pack up and move, the stuff I couldn't take he's been storing in his shed and all over their house! We got the vast majority of it out this weekend but they're still plagued with a lot. Uncle has sold off some bits for me. He might get rid of the rest at the famous Kildonan Auction! I will keep you posted of the date as it's a great time to pick up some major bargains. From antique quilts to stained glass and works of art!
I once bought a bird cage at the auction. The parents then had to give in and get me the Budgie to go with it. He was brilliant! We taught him to speak. He knew his name and address and he always wolf whistled when a lady came into the room and shouted “Show us your knockers!" This went over exceptionally well when the Minister visited with a Lady Elder of the Kirk.
Everyone has been so kind. From family to all my wonderful ex customers who have been so supportive, especially all the people who came to my classes. We proved that everyone who wants to can express themselves satisfyingly through art.
All the groups on the island that I am letting down... I will miss giving talks and demonstrations to the Women’s Rural, The Women’s Guild, The Free Church, Arran Visual Arts who do much to bring art to everyone especially their work with Art In Mind, but also, giving workshops in so many varied arts from beginner level, with no snobbery or elitism.
Also Holy Island and the retreats. The beauty of the art id fascinating and I love discussing the rules of Buda :) Looking forward to meeting the guys when they come out of their 4 year retreat this June! It will be fascinating to see what 4 Yeas of such isolation brings.
And of course the painfully underfunded Youth club, toddles group and the nursery, the Brownies, I loved taking the Brownies through their art badges. The Brownies were a pleasure to work with. As we worked. I saw how they are working together. Many would say regardless of race, creed or colour as an off the cuff remark. The Brodick Brownies go beyond that, they are sisters who work together under exceptional leadership. One young lady is quite handicapped. As part of the group the girls just make adjustments as necessary without being told. Her Mum is there all the time but doesn't have to be with her all the time. She get to be just the same as every one else.
The whole Scout and Guide movement. The NTS and RSPB, The High School and the Primary Schools. The Local Authority has no idea how many the Teachers on the island spent of their own money to give the children decent art supplies to work with. Not just the art departments. Many Primary and High School teachers came into the shop and spent their own hard earned cash to give their pupils good, safe materials to work with. As did people working with youth groups and so many diverse community groups across the island.
That’s what kills. That so many different groups benefited. So many older people love to paint or sculpt or craft. Everyone knows children do too. But! But there are so many other people who want to do something creative.
That was my real joy, seeing those who were so tentative, just wanted to see if they could make a model or draw something. When they came back and showed me their work… That was magical.
Babies looking around in wonder. Toddlers making their first work of art in wax! And their parents having a go and realizing their babe has talent: D I loved that!
I miss all. Everyone who came into the shop, visitor or local, were so interesting to talk to, to learn from. I most loved solving their problems or just helping someone get started.
There is such a wealth of talent on this tiny island. I am proud to have been there to supply it for a short time.
We finished the month off with a week at Centre Parks in the lakes. Oooh it was lovely, very relaxing, even with four teenagers. It was Herself Juniors 16th birthday so she brought her insane friend with her and we took the nephew and his girlfriend too. The boys played golf, the girls got pampered in the spa and himself and I had a mud bath for two...mmmmmmmm. Having our own sauna, steam room and hot tub was a godsend. Between all that and the tropical swimming paradise we've all got webbed feet now and had a great time together.
It was a really lovely month. Himself is back at work for another couple of months. Spain next time he's home!
What Sunny Did Next
Posted: Wednesday, 05 March 2008
A friend went over to run the shop for me just before Christmas but much to their surprise they couldn't find any affordable accommodation and couldn't believe the cost of living, especially petrol ( this happens a lot, people think I'm exaggerating or just not living frugally enough, this one found out I'm really not). So I had to close up and clear out. The efforts the SNP are making to help small businesses on the island and provide affordable housing have come too late for us but I truly hope they can stop the rapid decline on Arran.
As for what's next? We've had a good hard look at what the future holds and decided that Scotland had out priced itself. High house prices, high cost of living, high taxation. We've decided to make a new life in a fairer place where the cost of living is about one third of Scotland and the weather a million time better! We're swapping the Costa Clyde for the Costa Blanca (where petrol is under 50p per litre). We'll be back to Arran to visit our families and friends but that's the youngest generation in both families on the island gone. I pray that one day Scotland will start looking after it's own and we can come home.
Great new life and reopening!
Posted: Friday, 12 October 2007
After all the horrors of the last year (see the archive on the right of this page) things are looking up! The Store is open again this weekend and I've been on my holidays and I've got even better news!!!
So back on Arran this weekend! Come visit me at the art store in Lamlash, 1st shop on your left coming from Brodick. I t'll be great to see everyone. I'm looking for staff and it's still up for sale but at least I can get it open again!!!
Himself whisked me off on a whole fortnight to Spain! Can you imagine, two whole weeks in September? I'd never do that for anyone else. Haven't been on hols for more than a few days since opening the shop! It was wonderful.. Apart from me going over on my ankle and spraining my elbow too on the first night... oops! So my ankle blew up like a zepplin and I couldn't bend my important arm!!!
This killed all the trips and fun stuff, just hangng round the pool once I could walk! I though this would drive him nuts and I'd be dumped by the end of the hols. As I got better we decided I could manage one trip so booked a trip on the ferry to Ibiza! The morning of the trip himself proposed!!! The last thing I expected! We are engaged to be married! Aaaaaah!!! Euphoria!
The ferry trip to Ibiza was an eye opener. It was a beautiful sunny morning, we set sail about 8am at the latest. We ordered breakfast and settled back to enjoy the views. A swankey Spaniard swept onboard in his cream Armani suit looking like a movie star! Oddly we weren't suitably impressed as he wouldn't get out of the way when himself was coming back with our breaky.
Before we were out of the harbour the staff were handing out sick bags!!! Honest! We hadn't even finished eating. Within minutes himself asked why that lady had her hand in the sick bag... then she explained by replacing the hand with a gallon of hewey! That was it, they were all set off. I stuck my fingers in my ears, shut my eyes and went off into a daydeam planning our wedding! Ahhh lovely. As the entire boat lost their breakfast. Himself had a poor woman collapse beside him and throw for 2 hours, apparently it smelt like excrement... As we were getting off the laddy that came on with the designer suit was being helped off by two wee girl staff, doubled over and green to the gills. How the hell did the Spaniards make it to South America?
So I'm off back to the island this weekend to open the shop, show a prospective buyer around and looking forward to seeing everone again. I better stick a couple of bottles of wine in the fridge!
If you're on the island do drop in for a wee glass!
Misery - It's a place on the mainland. Don't Go There!
Posted: Wednesday, 11 July 2007
I made the colossal mistake of renting the house without seeing it. My boyfriend was in the area and I asked him to have a look. He told me it was fine and there was next to nothing else in Fife so like a fool I took it (he was only trying to help). So I'm privately renting an ex-local authority house on a massive estate. The walls are wafer thin so I can hear the neighbour’s bathroom habits and the drunks in the street all hours. Who has a drunken fight at 4.30am on a Tuesday morning? I was too confused that someone was shouting drunkenly first thing in the morning to be scared! Unlike most nights where the noise of people outside and shouting from either side scares me ridged. The walls are so thin I can't tell if it's someones walking about in my kitchen or the next house. For the first few days every time I heard someone doing the toilet (and I can hear people pooing!) I had to go and look. So far I haven't caught anyone having a whizz in my loo but I'm still not conviced I live next door to a horse, 'cause that's what it sounds like! I'm walking around constantly with the poker in my hand and there's not a fire in the house! It's never quiet; I can always hear someone’s telly or screaming at each other. I thought someone was being murdered a couple of evenings ago.
However despite having absolutely no sound proofing and massive picture windows so I have a lovely view of the flats and more to the point, they can see right in, The place is like an OVEN! No amount of fiddling with the heating controls work and I can't switch it off! Apart from early evening and 3am when it's freezing, it's unbearably hot the rest of the time. Which makes battling with the washing machine all he more infuriating. First it was leaking, now it won't drain and I can't pull it out to try to fix it! I just haven't got the muscles and the boyfriend isn't home for another two months if he hasn't binned me by then for being such a torn faced besom.
The only community activity seems to be hanging over the balcony of the flats next to the house with a fag, screaming abuse at the kids who perpetually batter a football off the garage doors. I presume these kids belong to the people in the flats but it's hard to make out the message hidden in the expletives. There are no posters anywhere for plays or fetes or gala days or anything! It is the summer holidays?
I tried smiling and saying hello to the neighbours. They stared at me then started sniggering to each other, nice. The fridge in the corner shop is full of special brew and the service is frosty to say the least.
I keep the revolting plastic blinds down so I don't have to see where I am.
I tried to sit out in the sun this morning but the woman next door sits on a bench looking into my garden and started asking really nosey questions so I went in. I say my garden, there's no fence and her bit is higher than mine and happily walkes down the steps and walks through my bit so maybe it's shared. That's the garden out of bounds then.
Then there's the job that I walked out of last Tuesday. I only started on Monday! The big boss was running the weeklong training course. The Sales Manager, not this guy, had interviewed me, so his language came as a shock. He couldn't manage a whole sentence without using the F word and just as we were starting to get used to that he threw a couple of C words in! He started a lot of diatribes with, "I'm not being sexist / racist / anti-puff but..." This was supposed to be a Business-to-Business sales course!
We were in the training room from 9.30am to 6pm every day without any breaks; we got a sandwich and a can of coke at lunchtime while we watched a presentation. At 6pm on Tuesday night he came in and threw our contracts of employment in front of us. Told us he'd signed them and to give them a quick read through, sign them and hand them back. First thing I noticed was the holidays, which we were told and had been advertised, as 25 days, were actually 20 days INCLUDING statutory holidays! So we'd only have 12 days to choose outside Christmas and bank holidays etc! The girl I was training with then pointed out they had our place of work as the office, it's supposed to be from home as it's a field sales position. This would mean having to pay for and be taxed on every 120 miles or so of every days journeys! The notice period was 1 month from me but 1 week from the company, no sick leave above statutory ever and other arbitrary nonsense. The car was supposed to be a Toyota Avensis, I got given.... go on guess.... yes, a Skoda! There was no pension scheme apart from a stakeholder thing and no health care despite the job being advertised as, " Excellent benefits package." Ha! What benefits? The best bit was when he came back and after an hour of arguing agreed to change the holidays although even then he's only go to 25, 5 of which we had to take for Christmas Day etc! I was still far from happy but was thinking, look it's an income until I can find something else, just put up for now, it might turn out ok. I didn't want to admit to myself that I'd left my lovely shop and island to live in a dump and work in a company with a sweatshop mentality.
So he asks us if there's anything else about the contract we have a problem with... We said no, as long as the changes we agreed are put in writing. He shuffles a bit then says, "So you're clear about working a month in arrears? I smell another rat... So I clarify by saying, " Yes, we started work on the 2nd of July so we get paid at the end of July." ..... "Nope, you get paid at the end of August..." Hence another argument. He thought he could just sit on a month of my wages, indefinitely and keep the interest! Eventually he said he's get us paid at the end of the month. He also said we were the only people to complain. Either that's nonsense or he's employed a complete bunch of Muppets!
I gave the girl who was training with me a lift back to her hotel. She seemed to think we'd won some great victory! I felt like I'd been totally ripped off! I knew I couldn't work for a company who behaves like that and couldn't send customers for training with a man who's going to F & C at them! On top of this a conversation came back to me from the interview. The Sales Manager had asked me how close I was to the agency that had organised the interview. When I asked what he meant he'd muttered that he wasn't very happy with them. I said he should take it up with them. He replied he might tell them he was making me a lower offer but the offer made to me that day would stand at which point I said I wasn't lying to the agency! He instantly said no, no, just a misunderstanding we'll just leave the offer as it is.
So I asked the girl I was training with and she said that she'd had the same thing and she's agreed to tell the agency she was getting £5K less and so had everyone else!
The next morning I rang the agency on the way into work and explained my concerns. I picked my up colleague up at the usual time and went to work on time. We got left hanging around as usual then just as I was about to go and leave my car key at reception the bosses wife came in. The girl I was training with was sent off to look at something and the bosses wife said her husband had asked her to speak to me about my attitude the day before. I said yes, I'd been waiting to speak to her husband. I wasn't happy and had made the decision to leave and handed her the car key back. She then asked, " What the F is your problem?" Charming! I started to explain that I felt the package offered by the agency and at the interview was misleading. She jumped up and yelled in my face, " Are you calling my husband a F'ing liar you B!" I was horrified! I said I didn't see any point in this conversation, I was leaving. She sneered, " If you're no intelligent enough to understand the F'ing contract you're no F'ing intelligent enough to work here, get the F outa the building!" Bizarre! She continued her filth as she marched ahead of me down the stairs and past the office where everyone was staring. Just as well she couldn't see that I'd started to laugh in amazement! As she slammed the door open she started to make threats in my face. I pushed her hand out of the way, walked past her and jumped in my friends’ car that was waiting outside. She turned and gaped, oh, dear god who was that? What a fishwife ( I would like to point out that this was my friends words, I know many fishermens wives and none of them would conduct thenselves so pitifully)! And to think they can't work out why their efforts to take their business upmarket are failing? They're dragging a good concept right into the gutter with them.
So I've spent the week sitting in that house, scared out of my wits at every noise, applying for every job in the paper. I've got an interview tomorrow lunchtime. Wish me luck? If I get a job I can enjoy and get my teeth into things might look brighter?
I've hardly been out because I'm scared, there's no privacy in the back garden and when I do nip out to the supermarket (no village shops with local fresh produce here) I have to drive back with it getting drearier and pass the boarded up shops, even the ones that are open have metal grills over the windows. Grey, rundown buildings, grimmer and grimmer as I get closer to "home", I'm close to tears by the time I put the key in the lock.
People write books and make films and programmes about being deserted on islands. I had wonderful friends, a great social life and a business I loved in a thriving community on a beautiful friendly welcoming island where people pass the time of day in the street. It's Kildonan Fun Week and the Viking Longship is back in the water on Arran!
I've never, ever felt as alone, deserted and trapped as I do tonight on the mainland.
Gulp! Forced off the island to make way for rich tourists
Posted: Saturday, 30 June 2007
Well that's it, evicted from my life, I'm just another Arran Exile. I’m leaving the island tomorrow and I’m gutted. I haven’t been able to find affordable accommodation and my house is about to be rented out as a holiday let.
Long lets hardly ever come up and not at this time of year. A couple have come up since my eviction notice but I can’t afford the rents. A back house (shed) starts at £500 a month, for a wooden shed you can't swing a cat in. Normal size houses cost much more and there's only one available just now and it's more than I can afford, £1200 a month … My landlord can get £750 or more a week or my house as a holiday let. No wonder he wants me out. There is the odd house for sale starting at £150,000 + but I don't earn £50,000+ and never will so that's out. While over 40% of the houses on Arran are now holiday homes, houses that are bought for £350,000+ then only inhabited for a few weeks a year.
There are no council houses available for those made homeless on the island. You only get a council house if you are awarded enough points. Points are awarded for being on benefits, disability, dependants, overcrowding, mental health issues, addictions/dependency etc. I don't qualify for any. My friend only got one after being on the list for six years while living in a wooden hut with an outside loo and shower and the place was dripping with damp. She finally got enough points for over crowding, as she had to eat, sleep and cook on the same space. For some bizarre reason people do get housed here from the mainland but when I spoke to the council I was told in no uncertain terms if I declare myself homeless I will have to accept a house on the mainland despite my business being on the island.
The shop gives me a reasonable income but not enough to live on Arran anymore. I've exaughsted all the options. I have to move to the mainland. My family have been on this island since before the clearances. We survived that but not this. I'm the last of my generation to leave. So that's the end for us. Arran has turned into a retirement and holiday home for the very wealthy. It's not just me. At least two teachers are leaving the island because they can't afford the rent. There is a shortage of key workers in every sphere.
Who is to blame? The landlord? It’s a business, why shouldn’t he make as much as he can from his property. The Holiday homeowners who’ve pushed the prices up? There’s no law stopping people from buying property where they want. North Ayrshire Council? Without a doubt. They sold off most of the housing stock and have put in place such strict planning laws that land prices are kept at a premium. They will not allow building outside the village boundaries although there were houses and even other villages all over the island before the clearances. My own people were cleared off Machrie Moor. If they relaxed the planning so we could build in the clachans and allowed timber houses we could afford to build our own homes. Is this a radical new idea? Nope. We’ve been campaigning for this since Arran was transferred from Argyll and Bute to North Ayrshire years ago.
Please look at www.hifar.co.uk for the whole story. It’s not just me.
It’s a sad day. People have been coming into the shop all day to say goodbye. Over the last week I’ve moved my worldly goods to the mainland, handed back the keys to my house (I’ve been staying with a friend the last few days), resigned from various committees and put the shop up for sale. That’s the end to the only way of life I’ll ever want. The future is black and miserable and I don’t know how long I can keep biting back the tears. I’ve said goodbye to my friends, can’t stand the thought of breaking down at the ferry.
I love this island. It's in my blood. It breaks my heart to leave. The indigenous people are being priced off our island. This is the clearances all over again. This time we are being forced off our island to make way for rich tourists instead of sheep. As I say I’m by no means the only one.
If IBHQ will let me stick around I’ll keep blogging about my freeloading weekends. I may not be able to stay but Arran will always be home. Cheerybye!
Oh What a Night!
Posted: Thursday, 10 May 2007
I got home and noticed the mail had been chewed, so I've got a rat! I hate rats and am rather frightened of them. Especially after the last one got stuck under the boiler. So I phoned Hazel, being a Country Ranger she should come round and deal with deadly rat! Well she had the NTS rangers and gardeners round for dinner so she asked them what I should do and they all laughed! When I said it wasn't funny they laughed harder!!! Outraged I stropped round there, mainly as I was too scared to stay in the house, just in time for curry and sticky toffee pudding and the only ice cream they had was Magnums!!! Hell! So that didn't deal with the problem but it put it off for a while, had a great laugh with everyone (they thoroughly enjoyed thinking up all the places the rat is going to jump out at me from and doled out no sympathy) and I got to meet Jos' new baby!
When I got home I was a bit freaked as still scared of the rat. I started putting rat poison down. As I lent down next to the bin something jumped, I screamed and the frog bounced across the kitchen. So I got a mug and a bit of card and ran round the kitchen after it until I finally caught the little sod and put him outside. I thought, I'll text Hazel and give her a laugh, went into my bag to get my phone and found that the container of colslaw Hazel had given me had leaked all over the inside of my bag. I had to wash all that out and then pull my phone apart and clean every bit I could get at. To no avail, the mayo was right through it, my mobile is still not working. I'll have to buy a new one when I'm on the mainland tomorrow. Hope that goes better than tonight! Wish me luck?
Goat Fell Wander
Posted: Saturday, 07 October 2006
As it was the morning after the night before we set off at mid day. Julie and Sylvia went from Corrie and I left on my own from my house which is next to the path from Brodick.
The walk uo through the woods is really beautiful, the air was alive with butterflies and big fat dragon flies, red squirrels leaping around like nutters, rabbits bouncing, birds singing and deer pretending to be invisible.
It stayed fairly dry right up to the tree line, then it poured most of the way over the shoulder.
There's a fantastic view of Brodick Bay from up there.
Met Julie ant Sylv at the summit. It was very windy and the cloud had the cheek to come down and spoil the view. Typical! It took vitrually the same time from both routes. The Corrie route is much shorter but steeper, the Brodick route is definitely easier.
We had lunch down from the summit so our pieces didn't blow away, then we walked down together.
I don't know what this bug is but it's good isn't it?
It was a lovely walk. I like walking on my own, gives me time to really look around and soak it all up.
This is a painting I did of Cir Mhor from another photo taken from the Castles. That's Goat Fell on the left. The police presented it to Wilson last Thursday at his leaving do. He's off to police the big bad mainland. Good luck Wilson.