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16 October 2014

Digital sands

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I have been banned from my local shop for blogging negatively about it (this isn't a big loss)(to me, or the shop). nb also it wasn't my islandblogging blog but my silversprite one.

Has anyone else suffered consequences or sanctions through their blogging or other online dissemination activities?
Posted on Digital sands at 00:39


I just read your Silversprite blog and the pics of your trip, also your criticisms of the local shop. No wonder they banned you, but it doesn't sound like much of a loss. "Eat local" - that could leave some of us with very restricted diets! Hopefully you will get new owners who will improve things. Talk about a captive market... I enjoyed your US pics, thank you.

Jill from EK

Banned from your local shop? For the sake of your health - probably the best thing that could have happened

duncan from birmingham

You will be welcome at emporio alanjohn in Lionel, Ness' answer to Harrod's - tick offered and nectar points on sheep dip for this month only.

calumretail from Lionel (ness not blair)

Free The Banned One!! This goes against the countryside access laws, it's contrary to natural justice. If you want to buy substandard sh*t, you must, in a democracy, be free to do it! Rise up oh ye Westernislers and right a wrong!

Flying Cat from dusting down the soapbox

Groucho that is, wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me. An Island business, shop no less, that can afford to ban customers out of sheer huff? They must be making one heck of a profit to be able to afford that. Alternatively if they are, as I suspect from the reason you give, one of the ,thankfully, dwindling band of Highland and Island businesses that believe a) they have a captive audience and therefotre don't need to try and b) that customers don't count. Go elsewhere, even on line, they don't deserve to survive.

Hyper-Borean from A Marxist Perspective

How about getting some friends and doing a voodoo dance (accompanied by suitably lugubrious incantations) in front of the store? Film and youtube.

mjc from NM,USA

have they let you back in again?? do they have a good selection of fuit and veg as in the other shop(on silversprite blog)??

carol from where its hot and windy

Mr K was not 'banned', I asked for an apology for this latest attack on his website. I stated that if there were no apology, then he would not be welcome. Not the same as a ban I think! He merely needs to apologise for the libelous comments.

John from Berneray

Oh well, John [by the way, Ds, I could not find the offending article on your website], if Ds is supposed to eat crow, where on earth is he supposed to get it? According to my research, no establishment within hundred miles of Berneray offers it (whether frozen, canned or fresh). Any helping pointer from the blogging community? Oh, and still no Krispy Kreme outlet in Berneray?

mjc from NM,USA

Re: Ban. John, your letter concluded with: "I am saying no more on the subject for now, but I do expect an apology in person and on your website for the slur on my character, and should that not be forthcoming by this weekend [2 weekends ago], then you will not be welcome on my premises thereafter, and I may take legal advice on the matter." That reads like a ban to me.

Digital Sands from Berneray

As Tws might say, Lillian Gish! If you can't take relevant criticism get out of the kitchen...or shop, as it were.

Flying Cat from a hard stare

Sounds like censorship to me. "Write nice things, else you're barred." Perhaps if the shopkeeper put some effort into his shop instead then most of Berneray wouldn't be shopping in the Co-op near me?

David from Grenitote

I've looked through the website (great beach pictures btw) and apart from the entry about the frozen coleslaw can't find any attacks. More to this than meets the eye? Oh, and isn't coleslaw at the wrong temperature a health hazard as it contains egg? Maybe Silversprite should have reported this to health and safety instead?

Ewan from Baffled

It's a shame about the opening hours. My husband literally had the door locked in his face because he turned up at 5.30 and 20 seconds. If the shop was more flexible, taking into account the times of the nearby ferry, it would be better.

Mairi from Stornoway

Sounds more like Edinburgh..."Ey, ye'll hev hed yer tea..."

Flying Cat from highland hospitality hoedown

Found it! (The coleslaw posting). That's libellous? I've left more scathing notes for the milkman (in the days when milk was left on your doorstep, sigh). It doesn't even mention anyone; methinks someone's being a touch sensitive?

Maureen from In stitches, laughing

I'm aware of the wider situation; this has been rumbling on unpleasantly for a few years now. Nearly all of Berneray residents now shop in North Uist or Benbecula, for a variety of reasons, some doing just a top-up at the shop. It is a shame how this has spiralled downwards. Best for all parties if the shop is bought and a fresh start is made.

Donald from North Uist

Good grief! Flying Cat is right. If you can't take criticism or bad reviews then get out, and stay well away from, the service industries.

Sidders from Paddyfields of Yorkshire

I've found the allegedly 'libellous' coleslaw posting too...Maureen's right. Perhaps it hit a raw nerve. If the cap fits...

Flying Cat from Stromness and... the shopping's easy

thinking about the frozen coleslaw made me think:- instead of banning you from the shop,they should be grateful you didn't send a health inspector to them

carol from over here

May I choose the tree, and the branch? Or, this being a tree deprived island, should I instead go hunt for a sturdy lamp post? I could not find the meat of the matter, but clearly there is a closing of ranks by ibloggers, and ole John does not stand a chance. Insulted, scoffed at, made light of, dismissed: I suggest a name change and a one way ticket to the mainland. Peace be with you. And don't forget the cole slaw.

mjc from NM,USA

Mairi from Stornoway: sorry your husband missed the cole slaw. However, some might argue: those were 20 lucky seconds.

mjc from NM,USA

MJC: got another good wine for you:- "LES VIGNES ROUSSES" made by the collines de Bourdic a local village excellent a nice white one for the aperitif serve really well chilled!!

carol from over here

We spent a wonderful couple of weeks on the islands in a VW camper this time last year. We'd really enjoyed an overnight stay on Berneray but were conscious that we hadn't spent any money so we popped into that shop to buy something - a few basic supplies, a souvenir, whatever. It was a real struggle! I think we came out with a goat's cheese and a book on the origin of island names. In answer to the question, I don't think I've ever suffered consequences from online activities, other than the usual falling out with people and that was many moons ago when newsgroup flame wars seemed like fun. I am thinking of starting a blog about "greening" our new house though, so I might get into trouble with eco-product manufacturers. :)

Phil from Wantage

DS, I hope you haven't been frozen out of the tearoom as well...

Flying Cat from all over the joint

No frappuccino either. No clotted cream and equally clotted arteries. Poor DS. # Someone on that island will be getting post tramautic stress disorder syndrome soon, and I venture it won't be DS - not unless he is forced to eat the cole slaw. Of course, my prognosis could change if TWS and AC would make peace long enough to pay DS a friendly, joint, visit (and finish off the scallops. Any left, DS?)

mjc from NM,USA

Thanks Carol for the tip. A previous note of mine in this regard must have been thrown onto a cow pat in Aberdeen.

mjc from NM,USA

The actions of the shop "owner" do not surprise me. Previously, he sent round a disgraceful letter blaming, amongst others, the elderly people who take the Tagsa Uibhist bus elsewhere, for his declining sales. I believe the distasteful phrase he used was "nail in the coffin". The reason they use that service is that many are of frail condition, and there are support staff on board to help them with their shopping. Not surprisingly, describing elderly people in this way greatly upset some and their relatives. I myself am related to two people who regularly use that bus service. The shop owner has no shame and has never apologised for his comments, content to continue blaming everyone and everything except himself for the decline of what was once a good shop.

Roddy from Western Isles

MJC: liked your last remark to diggy:::--joint??? do you know that means here in sarkoland?????

carol from just back from physio so feel soooo guuuddddddddd

Carol, not con-joint as in Segolene Royal and her ex? But joint as in puff the magic dragon?

mjc from NM,USA

Probably the same as it means here...unless there's a French word for a reefer.

Flying Cat from Roach Resthome

MJC and FC yup! aussi mjc i put a commment re getting hitched on a blog of AC's all details are on it!!

carol from fridaymorningandhavenotsleptbutfeelok

hope you can help, we are a young family wanting to return home to Scotland and are interested in the shop/tearoom for sale on Berneray. However are slightly concerned about the number of comments above refence the decline of the said store. Wondered if anyone could post any messages letting us know that the said store has a future with the islanders under new owners. Many thanks, slightly nervous about our possible dream hope you can help. K, A and the our 3

wannabe residents from gloucestershire

There's nothing to say you couldn't pull it up by its bootstraps with hard graft and long hours.

Flying Cat from not wanting to run a small business

The shop has a great future when it is sold. It has no competition for 10 miles, and the nearest competition is not that great. The nearby ferry terminal provides an ample source of business. Which is currently not tapped. It is possible to make a good living from a well-stocked shop here. For example, Neillies on Benbecula. Many locals would use Ardmaree Stores more if it was well-stocked with essential goods. And they would like to, especially with petrol prices making it expensive to shop elsewhere.

Resident from Berneray

Shops, like farms, are often viable if you don't have to leverage (i.e. no debt), and if your needs can be satisfied out of (hopefully) growing profits. The problem is often too much debt to begin with, and not having enough capital to wait out the first few months or years. These are general reflections, not specific to the shop you are considering buying. My father once learned the hard way. Good luck to you. Be realistic.

mjc from NM, USA

John K why have you made so many comments using different names. Every post here bar two is you!! Why not get a life and stop slagging Berneray off, on line. Maybe it's time you move on away from here!!!!

D.M.C from Berneray

Well we spent a few weeks on the Outer Hebrides this summer and visited Berneray and the wonderfully Lobster pot restaurant housed in Ardmaree Stores. The proprietor John made us so welcome that we almost bought the place. Nice one John. I see you are open all winter for soups, wish I could visit again for more of your lovely food.

Hebert from Nevada

D.M.C. (No proper name? I wonder why...). Incorrect about the false names and content - if you check the other island blogging blogs you'll find many of the commenters on this post run blogs or are long-term commenters there. Incorrect about the slagging - have put much more positive stuff about Berneray online than anyone else e.g. island website ( That includes promoting the shop online at my own expense, which I will continue to do. So it looks like you should get a life (or perhaps contribute something to island life?) - plus a proper name (also odd that the comment from Herbert appeared at about the same time)...

Digital Sands from Berneray

Are you still banned, DS? What's the update on this....

Heblife from Lewis

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