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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I Love Ullapool

Hometown: Hampton, Middlesex
Your website makes me feel so at home. I (and my family) love Ullapool: I’ve been visiting for almost forty years first staying at the then brand new (and somewhat different) Seaforth. Today The Ceilidh Place is our home from home and we are so privileged to feel that Jean and Effie and Sheila are friends.

This is a great way to keep in touch, and as I write this I’m seeing the seals popping up their heads in the harbour alongside The Summer Queen; the sunlight falling across the far side of the loch and the Calmac ferry making its way out towards the Minch…

We’re bringing six very good friends up to Ullapool in October to celebrate joint 50th birthdays, our 25th wedding anniversary and my wife’s recent recovery from multiple cancers. Lucy, our 12 year-old daughter, longs to splash around in Ulla’s Pool and spend a little time with the friend she’s bringing up with her.

Our friends, two from the US, two from NE England and two whom we met in Sweden thirty years ago are all dear people and we thought it was about time they all saw Ullapool. We’re having a celebratory meal at the CP, staying for a couple of nights and hoping to have an excursion on the Sunday (21st October). I really wanted to take them to the Summer Isles but understand that the boats will all have been laid up by then. Anyone know anyone who’d be prepared to take us for a couple of hour ‘cruise’ around The Summer Isles (we’d take our own picnic!).

We’re all professional couples (mostly in education), know how to behave, respect highland culture and morality and just love to be in your neck of the woods: it’s life-enhancing, and although I enjoy living in London and am thrilled by the galleries and museums and theatres and bookshops and coffee shops and… well, you get the picture, I’m sure, I nonetheless value what Ullapool has to offer and has given me/us over the years.

My only regret is that apart from coming up annually and spending a few quid I’ve not found a way to make a contribution, to repay the kindness, the friendliness, the warmth, the generosity and the sheer decency with which I’ve always been met there.

All the very best to all of you.
STEPHEN KEELER


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