Allistair and I became Abernethians when we moved into our newly built Muir home in January 2004. We had lived on the West Coast since the 70s. Allistair was a Warrant Officer Submariner at Faslane and I taught at Garelochhead Primary School. We both retired at the same time. We moved because our daughters and families were in Perth and Abernethy. We had lived on the Rhynd for four years and had already appreciated the drier weather and the lack of midges compared to the west. Our house in Rosneath had beautiful views but you dare not step outside after tea in summer or you were eaten alive.
I trained as a Volunteer Generalist Adviser at Perth Citizens’ Advice Bureau. This was demanding but interesting. I learned that people have terrible things happen to them or find themselves in difficult situations without really understanding what is happening. I used this experience to write regular articles in the Crier in the hope of helping our readers. I had to retire in 2019 when Allistair’s illness began to increase in severity.
In 2000 I began working as a part-time Gallery Attendant at the Fergusson Gallery and in 2008 achieved an SVQ in Heritage Care and Visitor services and won the prize for Outstanding Award for Tourism at Perth College.
In 2005 our ponies moved into Hilda Clow’s field at Station Road. Bella was a young, frisky, top class endurance competitor. I acted as support crew while she competed in Endurance Riding competitions, culminating in winning the National 100 miles race at the Dukeries in Nottinghamshire. She is now 27 and semi-retired but still frisky. My granddaughter Imogen began to compete on Fenella, riding up to 60km. I took over the ride on Fenella and rode all over Scotland, even winning a rosette riding for the Tayside team at the Inter Branch Challenge.
Fenella is now retired but is enjoying helping in the education of baby Kashal.
Allistair and I loved singing with the Earn Singers and Perth Choral Society, especially the Messiah, and I am singing with Newburgh Community Choir.
Allistair was working as a janitor for several village schools in Perthshire and at Christmas was a visiting Santa, causing great excitement when he arrived.
In 2014 he changed to part-time hours with Abernethy as his only school. I wonder how many people remember the School Fete where he and the other ancillary staff dressed up and sang Y.M.C.A!
I am a proud granny of seven grandchildren and a great-grandson. Daughter Kirstie lives in the village with her husband, Steve. Their daughters, Imogen and Morven, attended Abernethy Primary School. Morven graduated with 1st class honours in Engineering from Glasgow University and now works for RBS. Imogen is a 2nd year student in Mental Health Nursing at Stirling University. Eldest daughter, Katie, and her husband, Shaun, have four lovely children and run a Riding School at Rumbling Bridge.
I have always appreciated the welcome and friendship I have enjoyed over the years in Abernethy, especially when Allistair’s illness started to show. We were both shown great kindness and support from the community. Grant and Lisa at The Crees, and their customers, were very kind. He loved the church and the Rev. Stan and church members were welcoming and caring. Without this support he could not have stayed at home for so long.
I have been Treasurer of the Village Crier since it started and enjoyed meeting some very interesting Old Abernethians.
It will be great when things are back to normal and I can enjoy the village events. I am looking forward to the Auld Abernethians and the Film Nights. I cannot imagine a better place to live.