Discover what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.
PIPE UP THANKS
Dear Ed, – I should like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow villagers Sean Henderson and Robert Campbell for bringing it to Scottish Water's attention that the problems with frozen pipes in Leadhills were not isolated incidents.
And that the problem was with the mains pipes and not frozen pipes in Leadhills homes as everyone who contacted Scottish Water about their pipes seems to have been originally told.
It was only after Sean and Robert took action by getting our elected representatives – Councillor Beith Forrest, Karen Gillon MSP and David Mundell MP – involved and contacted STV that Scottish Water finally took action and accepted that the problems in Leadhills were its responsibility and it was the mains and not internal pipes that were frozen.
It took them until between Christmas and the first week in the New Year to finally get the 20 to 30 homes without water reconnected even though some households had been without water since the first week in December.
Once Scottish Water gave the authority for the work to be carried out, under the direction of Frank Markey, the teams of men worked from early in the morning until the light failed each day and did an excellent job to get everyone's water back on.
Let's hope if a situation like this happens again the villagers of Leadhills or other Scottish communities are not left with little or no information and told the lack of a water supply is their problem and not Scottish Water's.
I have been told so many stories of neighbours with water opening their homes to allow neighbours without water to use their bathrooms and washing machines.
These actions made difficult situations a bit easier to bear and once again prove that Leadhills has a real community spirit. – Yours etc.,
Leadhills Community Council.
CHEERS FOR BEER?
Dear Ed, – I went to the supermarket to buy two cans of Deuchars IPA. I searched the shelves but could find cans of beer displayed only in units of four.
I separated two cans from the four and took them to the self service checkout till. Who among us can say they have not at the very least had an irritating experience or at worse been severely traumatised when using this till?
A member of staff appeared at my side. "Why are you trying to buy two cans of Deuchars IPA Sir?" he accused me.
"Because I want two cans of beer of Deuchars IPA."
"You can only buy cans of beer in packs of four."
"I don't want four cans. I want two."
"The brewers will only supply cans of beer in packs of four so that is how we sell them," he said with game, set and match finality.
I thought it highly unlikely that any supplier would be able to dictate to a large supermarket but the member of staff insisted this was the case.
He directed me to a counter where I could lodge a complaint if I was
PG Woodhouse accurately observed that it is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.
To say I had a grievance would have been a substantial understatement.
I presented myself at the customer service counter with steam emitting every facial orifice.
What next I thought, bananas sold in multiples of six, milk sold in two litre containers, toothpaste in four packs?
"Well you see sir the manufacturers insist ...."
I accepted the card offered me, requesting that I direct my "satisfaction" or "displeasure" to the address, phone or email number listed.
A letter or email would not serve. Too impersonal. No, it had to be human contact, they had to hear my fury.
I waited 12 minutes for the phone to be answered, feeling sure that my call was important to them. Eventually a voice responded. No, they were inflexible it said, suppliers insist that only four packs of cans of beer are available but I could, if I really wanted, make a "special order."
I was immediately struck with the potential of this offering.
A "special order?" What a good idea. With ramrod back, steely resolve and resolute step, I made my way back to the offending store. Despite these unfortunate restrictions I eventually presented myself once more at the customer service counter. I could smell blood.
"I want to make a special order." I said to the duty staff.
"Certainly," she replied pleasantly. "I'll call someone to attend to you."
Within one or two minutes a member of staff appeared, clipboard under his arm. His smiling face told of the promise at the very least of oysters and a jeroboam or four of champagne and as he shook my hand this enthusiasm was palpable.
''How can I help you, sir?''
My rapier was poised above my head, my coup de grace within seconds of graceful execution....
"Hello Don," said a neighbour pushing my target aside. "How is your wife?"
"Quite well thank you!'' I replied through gritted teeth.
"Tell her I was asking for her."
"Yes, Yes I will."
I did ask for my two cans of Deuchars IPA but the satisfaction of perfect timing was lost, my request denied and my rapier returned unbloodied to its sheath.
I do not suppose that my small efforts will change the strategy of a large supermarket group.
But I cling to the hope that every little helps. - Yours etc.,
DONALD H L MACKENZIE,