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Vol 1 No. 26 Dec 2021

The year of Two Retirals and just One Engagement!

Hello to you all ,

It's great to say hello again and with such lovely news of James and Kendal's recent engagement. We have had an exciting year despite the ongoing concerns about Covid.

Joe retired earlier in the year and I decided to follow suite from November and so far so good. We have been able to travel to Ireland a couple of times this year and that has allowed us to celebrate some milestone birthdays in the family. Martina was 60 and Teresa was 50.

Amongst our own gang we are looking forward to the opportunity of travelling next year to New Zealand and catching up with Ciaran, meeting Jorja, seeing his new home and meeting some old friends. Ciaran continues to work in Greymouth which is where they have built their new home.

David has now been in Dubai for nearly 9 years.We hope to see him this Christmas Covid permitting and also meet Georgina.



Ronan has plans to go travelling if and when the world opens up again. Right now he continues to enjoy his time teaching in Aberdeen. Ronan is now a Guidance Teacher for a year.

He continues to do the odd run and the occassional Munro. Munro's are mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet (914.4 metres) there are 282 of them !! It might take him a while.

Joseph is working in Dumfries in the programme known as Broad Based Training which provides another 2 years of a good grounding in medicine. He travels up to Glasgow regularly where Rebecca is based and finishes her Foundation year training next year.

Aoife is also in Glasgow and rotating every 4 months through many different areas of Physiotherapy. She is in Glasgow Royal just now which is very busy and will be moving on again in January to the Golden Jubilee . The Covid storm continues to cause huge disruption to normal services .



My home house in Galway has been empty since my father died 9 years ago. It needs to be refurbished as 50 years old, So Joe and myself spent 2 weeks in Nov making a start on the painting job.

My retirement project of painting some of the 5 bedrooms became an obsession. and 3 coats later some of the rooms are still awaiting a fourth coat.

I will need to wait for Joe and my own shoulder and wrist muscles to recover before we start again. It's not going to be a quick job and the list is getting longer instead of shorter.

But it will be great to have the home house for visiting family members from Ireland and abroad. More details next year on our refurbishment progress.

Happy New Year.

All the best for 2022




Shock News .....James and Kendal Get Engaged in Iceland



We were just recovering from the Facebook crash on Tues evening 5 Oct when the shock news broke on WhatApp Wed evening Oct 6 th at 20.21 and I saw it at 20.24 and was almost speechless !!

James proposed to Kendal in a Blue Lagoon in Iceland . Wow what a lovely surprise . Little did I know The ring had arrived in our house on Wed the day before their departure to Iceland in a "wee box" and I had no suspicion that it might contain an engagement ring. This is no surprise as James often has mail delivered to our house. In hindsight now I should have suspected something valuable was in the wee box as James did ask on Wed evening was there any package for him. Uncharacteristically, he did then snatch it off the table slightly quicker than usual !!! In fact Kendal was totally unaware as well and didn't know that she was carrying it around Iceland in her bag for 5 days. Luckily the "wee box" didn't go astray or that would have been a shock for James!

We are absolutely delighted for James and Kendal with their wonderful news. They are well suited and Kendal being the very quiet silent type fits perfectly into our family !! Being a nurse also helps and as we already know the nurses seem to find the Tangney boys irrestible ! Liz and Kendal are a formidable duo of nurses and it would take a brave man to argue with them ! Kendal has worked her way into my good books over the years by always laughing at my jokes and interestingly since Kendal got engaged not even a little giggle at my jokes and James uses just stern looks with severe glares and prolonged frowns !With a big frown James' forehead has more waves than Bondi beach and I have already cut back on my jokes or he will be needing botox well before the wedding ! Liz and myself are really delighted to have Kendal join our family and we could not ask for a better daughter in law. Kendal brings us all much joy and cheer. Interstingly Kendal is the second eldest of five girls and no brothers. While James is the second of five boys . Kendal is like the older sister Aoife never had ! Liz is teaching Kendal how to knit and Kendal is teaching Liz how to use her smart mobile phone ! (thank you Kendal )

James told me it took him ages to get his hair ready before popping the question !!


Of course Facebook had crashed on the evening of Tues 5th Sept for 6 hours and 3.9 billion people also could not use WhatsApp or Instagram. OMG … as we know it suddenly stopped and people were seen staring blankly at their phone tapping the icons repeatedly in desperation to contact their 1787 close facebook friends in case they might have missed a photo of their dinner …..Some people had to actually say something to the person in the same room as them . An atomic bomb would not have made such a devastating impact on the universe. After a few hours the “young “ people were reluctantly shamed into asking an “older “ person ie somebody over the age of 30 to show them how to send a “text message“ . the “oldies”ie over 30s smiled as they made the young ones wait a few minutes and prolong their suffering before eventually showing them very slowly just to irritate them as much as possible using very thoughtful imprecise jerky index finger movement knowing full well the youngster could not for the first time ever grab the phone off them and do it themselves as they didn't know what to do !! What a moment in time …a once in a generation moment …to savour …. As for years to come they can remind the young ones that it wise to stay friends with at least one oldie !!

Now there is a rumour circulating that James' shock proposal was the actual cause of the Facebook crash ! Mark Zucherberg has reported that the evening of the crash James had posted that he had got married to Kendal in a big blue swimming pool in Iceland. Of course, this news sent shockwaves around the world so he pleaded with James to give him some time and just get engaged. This option suited Kendal as it also gave her some time to plan her escape or push James over a waterfall ! Kendal checked out several waterfalls!

The one featured below was her favourite and that is our last photo of James Haha !.......


WhatsApp has been lively since James' announcement with the boys slagging each other off . David ,Ciaran and Joseph are so relieved that James has taken the pressure off them and we finally have a family wedding !

Kendal flashes her new ring at every opportunity while James struggles to hold back the tears when looking at his credit card bill !!

The other big news for James and Kendal is that they have moved into their new house in August which is specially adapted. It is ideal with open plan sitting room and kitchen. Amazingly it is very close to our house and the two gardens are beside each other. I will need to put in a flying fox to connect the two gardens but James is not keen on this idea for some unknown reason !! Living in a bunglow is some much better for James and he is able to get his wheelchair in and out of the car himself which is great for his independence.

James has enjoyed returning to the office for work during the year as working from home can be very socially isolating. Also James who works for Alvance got a promotion at work and now a Project Lead working on a multimillion pound billet plant project. Covid has impacted on the world economy so hopefully things will gradually return to normal in due course. James continues to be involved in the shinty club and has been coaching the second team this year and was recently elected Chairman of the Fort William Shinty Club.




Home sweet home
The moving in team pause for a brief moment
Liz the Legend Retires after 43 years of nursing

The end of an era in the Belford A/E Dept.

17 th Oct is a special day in our house as not only Ronan's 29th birthday and we don't need any reminding for his footling breech delivery at home in New Zealand but also Liz did her last night shift ever in the Belford hospital after 43 years of nursing and doing many a hectic night shift.

Liz looks very cheerful and unusually happy as she goes out the door for the last night shift .

As everyone who has ever worked with Liz can testify she is cursed with hectic shifts and if a crises is to happen it will be on Liz's shift……Murphys law always applies to Liz's shifts.

Just in case you are wondering ..yes……. the last shift was hellish as usual.

As per usual Liz had a frenetic last day shift on Fri 29 Oct all was going well in the morning and there was a farewell lunch for Liz in the hospital canteen when there was a serious road traffic collision with a retrieval required and multiple other ill patients all arrived so Liz's curse continued right to the end of her last ever shift.

Several of Liz's colleagues could not attend her farewell lunch as they were stuck in a huge traffic jam due to the RTC . There were poems , “ Limericks “ and lots of cards and flowers for an outstanding, kind,caring, hardworking and fearless nurse our Liz the Legend ! Liz has strived relentlessly to maintain high standards of care for every patient she encountered and the A/E Dept. Liz's paediatric skills were invaluble and she helped a huge number of sick children over the years. Also many a cup of tea was made to help patients or relatives cope in their hour of need and was much appreciated.

Liz has a huge range of experience gained over the years having first worked in care of the elderly after qualifying in St Vincent's Dublin 1981 and got top of the class in Paediatrics in Temple Street Dublin. Then Midwifery in the Coombe hospital Dublin labour ward (delivery suite) for 7 years with over 7000 deliveries a year ,Liz won the prize for the best clinical student nurse. Then off to Kenya in 1989 to work in a Mission hospital mainly the labour wards.Then a Plunket Nurse(Health Visitor) in New Zealand 1991 -1995 and back to Fort William in 1995.

On return to Fort William in 1995 Liz worked in the Belford Hospital Maternity unit followed by Surgical and Medical ward then A/E in 2000 and Emergency Nurse Practitioner since 2002. I almost forgot that Liz in between her nursing shifts had 6 children and got her nursing degree as well !!!

So, you name it and Liz has seen it !

Liz starts her Nursing Career 1978

Liz has worked for 40 years as a qualified nurse and we first met at Liz's finals party in Blinkers in 1981. The rest as they say is history …..

Here is one of the poems at Liz's farewell lunch

A fountain of knowledge is our Liz

Over the years what a whizz

Anything from the Glen to high on the Ben

Liz always came across the charming men

from a broken bone to an achy knee

There's always been time for a wee cup of tea..

from bringing up children to years of nursing

We all know there's been plenty of cursing !

You served your time well which we all agree

So it's time to finally celebrate and shout "I am free "


Another one


A whirlwind is our Liz

She never sits still

And when you are ill she''ll be there with a pill

Telling everyone what to do is her thing

We all answer yes Liz don't be getting yourself in a tizz

The department will sorely miss our one and only Liz



Joe Retires at last !

Here are some of my wonderful GP partners L-R Front row Dr Elvire Feeney, Dr Craig MacMillan ,Dr Lesley McGlynn Back Row Dr Becky Weir and myself.

I have given many farewell speeches over the years for colleagues who were retiring and it was strange to have to say my own farewell speech on my last day at work in Glen Mor Surgery. It was certainly a day of mixed emotions but mainly one of sadness and also a feeling relief and pride having worked with such a great team over many years. We have shared some great fun over the years together and also great sorrow . General practice is never dull and there are constant changes !

Our reception front desk.
The waiting room

We had a staff farewell in the office about 10 am and I was able to say a big thank you to all our wonderful team who are really my extended family. While working full time it is a very close relationship with partners and all staff members. There are of course highs and lows with lots of challenges in the type of work that we do. Our Glen Mor family is a very strong and powerful team always there to help each other out when needed.

It's incredible looking back at how some major life decisions can arise by pure good luck and chance.

I spoke about my chance arrival in Fort William Mar in 1990 meeting Margaret MacMorris and Donna Brown at reception both welcoming me and the good karma I felt in the surgery. Then meeting Dr Chris Robinson and we were the best of friends in a few minutes. Interestingly we now don't have anybody from that 1990 team. Carol Mclean came in 1992 and then we only had one female GP Dr Merry. The "good old days" were not all easy and we were always busy then as now when Heather Clark and Cathy Campbell came in 2000 and Eileen Hester in 2002. By sheer good fortune Dr Elvire Feeney arrived in 1991 after a chance conversation with her brother Mark in the Belford A/E where I had worked during weekends for 6 years. In 2001 I set up our first practice website with the help of our GP trainee Glenn Mitrasing and at that time very few practices had a website. So we were at the cutting edge ....Oh how the years fly by !

Looking back at highlights I was very pleased to have a publication of our cardiovascular study in the British Journal of General Practice in Sept 2002. This was the culmination of 3 years of hard work and now after a gap 19 years I have had a second publication with Joseph in 2021 in Forum the journal of the Irish College of GPs. So the "double" has finally been achieved !! All comes to those who wait ..

In 2002 I also became the approved trainer that year having been deputy trainer for 6 years before Dr Merry medically retired. Then in 2005, our trainee Rinky and myself went to a critical appraisal course and on return we set up our weekly Journal Club which is still in existance today. This has been an invaluable CPD educational tool for all of us and definitely changed our practice with a wide range of papers being discussed weekly. I am proud of this educational legacy as teaching is one of my main passions. Also I was fortunate to be chosen for the pilot study of Practice Based Small Group Learing in Scotland in 2006. Dr Elvire Feeney and myself were group facilitators for over 10 years for these educational meetings which are now all over Scotland. I worked as medical advisor for the salmon company Marine Harvest now Mowi for about 10 years which was interesting. Aberdeen University were looking for tutors and I first became a tutor for Aberdeen medical students in 2006 and the now famous Dr Finlay Wild was my first student. Finlay is an international Fell runner breaking records repeatedly. To see Finlay return to Fort William as a great GP has brought me much joy.Simarly Dundee University were looking for training practices for students and we have enjoyed having their students. It is very rewarding to have had a role in the education of so many General Practice Specialist Trainees, medical students from Aberdeen, Dundee elective students and more recently SCOTGEM students. A good student is a joy to have in our practice and having such a supportive educational environment is wonderful. I have always said to our students to enjoy their time with us and they are fully integrated into our team immediately. Watching our GP Trainees and students gain confidence and knowledge over time has given me huge satisfaction in my job over the years and I hope I have been able to impart my enthusiam for General Practice to our students. Having a cohesive team and sitting around the table in our staff room for a half hour every morning has been an incredibly simple yet powerful educational tool with peer review and support there in abundance. There were very many happy days in our staff room and some great fun !

When I returned from New Zealand in 1995 to the High Street Surgery as we were in a small office block in the high street in town which was by then too small and unfit for purpose. We moved to our new premises the Fort William Health Centre in 2007 and the new building has been wonderful. It took 10 years of planning and thanks to Dr Chris Robinson and his team whose determination made the dream come true. The new premises has been a "one stop shop " for Fort William's health services and we were lucky to have it before the crash in 2008. All health services are in this new building which is great and lots of parking. We also went paperlite in 2007 which was needed as missing files were a constant problem. Of couse the server can crash but it is relatively rare when compared to the daily task of looking for missing paper files.

On my final day which was a quiet day clinically for me and with much glee I managed to clear out my endless Docman ( letters/ lab results ), email and my room. Each staff member said goodbye as they left and thanked me for being such a good boss.(I was tempted to do random drug tests on them !) I feel very lucky to have worked with such fine people over the years . I said good bye to some individual patients who thanked me for all my help over the years. Working as a GP is such a privileged position to have and having a honest confidential conversation with patients in our room is the essence of general practice. Knowning the patients since childhood ,their familes , their homes ,their work is such an important part of being able to place the person and their problem in context to enable us to help them. On a good day being a GP is the best job in the world with a fascinating range of problems presenting to us and often the simple things are what matter most to people. If you listen to the patient they will often give you the answer ! Apart from teaching my other main interest has been paediatrics and to spot the sick child is an acquired skill over time. It takes nerves of steel when working as a GP as we have to deal with huge uncertainty every single day and knowing when or how to intervene/refer is never easy. The hospitals are constantly full with huge backlogs in all services due to Covid. Also reassuring patients that they do not have a serious illness is now more difficult with Dr Google !

Taking on "Dr Google" and beating him was a joy to behold on a daily basis but that's a big topic and not for now . On retirement I feel that I have now taken off the heavy coat of responsibility and it feels good to have a weight off my shoulders. Being able to sleep better not worrying about patients is an immediate benefit of retirement. After using up my remaining annual leave on Fri 26 Feb I went into say goodbye to everybody in the surgery about 4pm.We had a great laugh and all the girls were in good form. All our staff were there except Pat and Carol. So Annie, Louise, Eileen, Cathy, Lesa ,Debbie, Christine , Eilidh, Heather and Donna, Catherine Cameron ,Craig and Becky were there working away and Finlay was in my room covering for Jane. We chatted and had a good laugh at the photo album I gave the girls. Also I gave our staff “young Geraldine” to mind as "old Geraldine" my much loved geranium since 2007 has also retired and came home with me.

The stories she has heard over the years ……maybe she could write her memoirs !!

Then the girls gave me a photobook and a lovely watch. I just need the monacle now ! There were some old photos from the Christmas nights out . I have a vague recollection of a few of them and the Cruachan in 2002 was the best ever ! That's Fergus Travolta Glynn below and we had many a good night in the Moorings as well ...say no more !

Retirement is a process which I haven't experienced before and it has been an emotional roller coaster with rushes of different emotions during the days and it was difficult almost like an emigrant leaving home to be leaving the team/family after almost 27 years but also a warm feeling of satisfaction having provided and established/continued an ethos of high quality care and teaching in our practice. It is reassuring for me that I can go now as I know that our team will provide good care to all our patients .

We are all looking forward to getting back to normal when Covid settles and working our way through the celebration bank backlog list below.


When I got home I decided I must definitely write a wee book. Then I started writing and thoughts rushed into my head at great speed…Not sure if this will be published any time soon and I will let you know in the next Christmas newsletter.

Christmas 2018 Glasgow trip to see Aladin

Some of our very serious but wonderful Glen Mor office staff.
Joe's Room Number 7 (Chinese lucky number could have fooled me !) Geraldine my geranium smiling in the corner on the window sill .
We are fortunate to have 8 consulting rooms and a practice nurse room. All needed every day.
Our cosy staff room very quiet since Covid but a refuge at times !

It's The Olympic Games for Gardeners.

The Chelsea Flower Show

On Thurs Sept 23 Liz's birthday off we go to London for the Chelsea Flower Show. The Olympic Games for the gardeners no doubt. It was a case of third time lucky as we had a present of tickets for the the show which was cancelled in May 2020 due to Covid and again in May 2021. So for the first time in the history of the show since it was first held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea 1912 the show was held in Sept due to Covid.

We flew from Glasgow at 08.15 to Heathrow , got tube into London and stayed in the Hilton hotel in Kensington. With no time to waste afternoon we set off to see the Natural Science Museum which was great.


Then back to hotel and off in the tube again to the "Gherkin". Our friends Declan, Angela Antony and Jacki were all there waiting for us. Up to the 38 th floor all dressed up to have dinner in Searcys. Beautiful panoramic views of the London skyline. We had a lovely birthday dinner celebration for Liz and my retirement and great to catch up with old friends. Thank you Declan and Angela for the lovely meal. Then off to All Bar One for a few pints and cocktails for the ladies. Not a late night as we had all been up since 6.30 in the morning. I had to go clubbing on my own as the "oldies" all went home early !

Fri 24 Sept back in the tube again and off at Sloane Square . A huge crowd in the streets all heading to the Chelsea Flower show. It was like joining a pilgrimage of gardening enthusiasts on their way to the Holy Land ! The pace was brisk as it was now 10.30am The gates open at 8am but this event is not for the sprinters and we were there for long haul. A big breakfast and I briefed Liz on the forthcoming days events and even asked her to learn off some plant names like begonia ,chrysanthemum , antirrhinum, dahlia . It's important to have the appearance of a knowledgeable gardener even if you don't know a peony from a pansy. Appearing to have the confidence of Carol Klein is everything in these flower show arenas !

It was a glorious day with a blue sky and 22C absolutely perfect. Along with about 40,000 people we reached the Chelsea Hospital grounds where the show is held. It is a massive site and huge arena.

On entering we bought a programme which contains a map...say no more ...a little fraca broke out when Liz insisted on using it while holding it upside down. I could not use Tom Tom so was willing to wing it !!

Luckily Liz caught up with some of her old boyfriends.

The scale of the show is almost overwhelming and the excitement was tangible.There was a fantastic buzz about the place and a festival like atmosphere. I must qualify that it was a festival for the " Oldies" and I felt like a teenager there ! I am worried that there was nobody under the age of 50 to be seen anywhere so who will look after the gardens of the future is keeping me awake at night.

Anyway "my student" ie Liz and myself wandered around the grounds in a dazed like state as we tried to take in all the different items being showcased . A vast array of gardening related goods such as Pods , sculptures, art, tools like robotic lawnmower, gadgets ete etc.


Then into the huge Pavillion to see the displays. The highlight for me was meeting Billy Alexander a fellow Kerryman who had won the Gold medal for his fern display. This is the Everest or pinnacle of achievements for every gardener. No doubt years of work and preparation went into his fern garden. A big well done to Billy and huge credit is due to him winning the coveted Gold medal. We had a quick chat with Billy and his two colleagues from Wexford. There were long queues everywhere for coffee ,lunch etc The COP 26 show garden had a huge queue and at least 30min to get in. The Florence Nightingale garden was beautiful as were all the show gardens in their own special way. The Organic garden won the Gold medal and was wonderful. The pace was hectic and we were starting to flag by the early afternoon and had lunch in the band area listening to Louise.

We met Declan, Anglea, Antony and Jacki who were the early birds and by 2pm they had seen everything.

After lunch we saw all the show gardens and later caught up with Carol and Elaine. Liz and the girls hit the Pims as a souce of much needed solace in these trying times. Sounds like an excuse for a drinking session !

The Pimms Team

Then by fluke Carol on her way back from a long comfort break (away from me I suspect ) alerted us that Monty had been spotted not too far away from us. Elaine suddenly had a new lease of life ..instantly put the Pimms firmly on the table , stood up and straightened herself, chest out and with the stride of a springbok being chased by a lion she sprinted away and eyes in a fixed gaze. God help any granny gardener who came in her way. She was like a woman possessed ........

I was worried so had to follow her immediately to ensure her safety in this emotional highly charged "fight or flight" situation …in Elaine's case it was clearly "flight" ….needless to say I caught up with her as she strugged throught the vast crowds who were all trying to see their hero. This was akin to a pop star being swamped by teenage girls all in a frenzy. It was like Beetle mania again ....

There HE was I repeat THERE HE WAS in front of the awe stricken crowd …all standing there frozen with their mouths open ..speechless …dilated pupils ….ready to throw their knickers at Monty !! You would have to be there to feel the frenzied atmosphere and the sheer adoration shown by all of the ladies towards the Gardening Guru Monty Don.


Elaine was close to fainting a few times and even I was feeling a bit strange( but resisted the tempation to throw my boxer shorts at Monty) as this Dali Lama like atmosphere was highly contagious. Elaine is still smiling and has not been herself since meeting Monty ....

So now, I can die a happy man having met my fellow gold medal winning Kerryman Billy and Monty all in the same day. It doesn't get any better in the life of a gardener !

At about 7.30pm after nine and a half hours of pure joy we slowly walked out the gates after a wonderful day. The sunshine,the crowds and the beautiful displays made it the perfect day.

Then on Sat off to see the Portobello Market and met Katrina and Shona. Went to Kensington Palace at 1pm no tickets until 4pm so kept going . We saw Diana's garden then off Royal Albert Hall , Hyde Park Corner and then Buckingham Palace. Visited the V and A museum which has a lovely café.

We had a delicious dinner in the Ceru restaurant in South Kensington and had a drink across the road in the Zetland Pub. What a day, 20km 28,000 fast steps and we were jiggered. Being a tourist is harder work than might first appear ! Sun off to Hammersmith Apollo then Heathrow then back home. We had a great few days and we really enjoyed our trip to the Chelsea Flower show and London.

Liz says "is that our Ciaran up there with Elon Musk?"


The New Decking

Joe has been talking about building a new decking out in the back garden for years and this year it finally arrived. The materials were ordered and delivered before the Easter weekend. Due to Covid building materials have been in short supply due to increased demand as many people working from home have become garden and DIY enthusiasts.

Now the labourers were all I needed and luckily the gang were coming home on Good Friday 2 April. Aoife, Joseph, Ronan were all back home so plenty of helpers which were badly needed for the big job.

We got started on the decking Good Fri with Joseph which was a lovely sunny day and Sat. We first had to dig out a few tonnes of soil which we used to fill a new raised bed. Other wise the decking would be like a skyscrapper.

Then we got the outer and frame posts set in concrete all 16 of them.The new auger was great but a two man job especially if you hit a rock and its hard to get it out of the soil. Ronan excelled in this department going solo !

The "workers" had a day off Easter Sunday as they were all hungover and it snowed heavily . Lucky for them it snowed on Mon as well. So, our schedule was delayed and everybody scattered Mon evening. But lucky for Ronan who was home for a week...a very long week.

On Tues Ronan had nowhere to hide and helped me dig a drain and paint the joists in between the flurries of snow . We stuck at it and I had to encourge Ronan that we were getting closer every day to finishing and I assured him that I would be generous to him in my will. I repeatedly warned him that if he were to go unexpectedly missing then he would be cut out of my will !! Ronan by the end of the week was willing to take his chances by escaping during the night and said he thought slavery was outlawed !

On Friday 23 April we had our first new decking barbeque and Elvire was down for coffee earlier that day. James and Kendal's barbeque was taken out of the shed was assembled with Aoife.Then we had a lovely barbeque of burgers and sausages, chili, corn and potatoes to celebrate the opening of the new deck.

We have had a fantastic dry sunny summer (the second driest in over 160 years ) and we have really enjoyed having the decking to sit out and chat with friends . So all the effort has been worthwhile and I have to thank Ronan and Joseph for all their help with the construction.

The workers ie Ronan and Joseph get stuck in
The workers like their long breaks
The bosses aka "Deck Consultants" look on with interest
The boy's prayers have been answered as it snows heavily so a day off for the workers .
Taking shape now .
The "Catwalk" on the left is now finished
Joseph makes the railing.
Elvire and Kendal get the barbeque fired up for the inaugural barbie.
Finished at last
Yves relaxes.
Teresa and Colin
The Ben Nevis boys
Elliot , Olivia and Daisy
Very inviting (even if I say so myself !)
Elvire and Becky enjoy a morning coffee.
Aoife birthday celebration


Aoife continues to work as a physio in Glasgow and is on a rotation changing posts every 4 months. With Covid ongoing it has been another difficult year for all the NHS staff. However Aoife is enjoying her job and gaining great experience in the rotationing posts. She is hoping to go travelling next year when restrictions ease off. But it is difficult to plan anything just now with every the changing Covid situation .

Sport has also been affected by Covid during the year with many clubs struggling to field a team with players in self iolation etc .

Aoife continues to play Shinty for Glengarry and Camogie with the Ceann Creige team in Glasgow. There are several Irish girls in the team as camogie is a big sport in Ireland.They have been away on weekends to play teams in both Belfast and Liverpool. Photo below is when playing East Belfast.


Aoife and first cousin Ailbhe and Lily



Some very Bad unexpected Family bereavement.

" She's gone Joe ..I am so sorry ..we did everything we could "

Mon 7 Dec..... a date to remember in fact instead of "Black Friday" it was a very Black Monday for the Tangney family as we got some bad news....

...Our mechanic John Stewart had a very sombre look when I called over to see him and I knew something was up. He kept looking at the ground and reluctant to make any eye contact . He said "Joe have you got anybody with you ?" "No, John I am here alone" John said "Come and sit down in my office " By now I had a feeling of impending doom . John put his hand on my shoulder and said with his lower lip trembling

" She's gone Joe ..I am so sorry ..we did everything we could "

I was obviously shocked and luckily I was sitting down and was almost speechless ..hard to believe I hear you say. The dreaded news that our much loved family member and long suffering Red Polo failed it's MOT.. I sat in John's office staring blankly and tried to work out how will I tell Liz . I walked home slowly with a heavy heart knowing that it was going to be difficult to tell Liz who loved the Polo like a second daughter . On the way home I was having flashback to the day we first we met in the VW showroom when she caught my eye..her christening ...holy communion ...comfirmation the years fly by .....

To cut a long story short Liz was inconsolable when I broke the news to her afternoon while handing her a cup of Barry's tea (her favouite Irish tea). Fortunately, the tea cheered her up as usual .

After only 131,000 miles and just 11 years of tender loving care, a highly valued family member and most of all endured years of hardship and clutch abuse as all the boys and Aoife learned to drive in "Our Red Polo".... This is an emotional message and I am now struggling to hold back the tears as Nana would say "the poor Crator".... heads away to the scrap yard.... in the freezing cold night. 

May our red Polo finally have some peace and she will never be forgotten by all of us

There are times when I can still hear her little front wheels spinning as Mum aka "Liz the whiz"drives her up our gravel driveway at high speed. That few seconds warning that Mum was back was vital as the boys all ran for their life and scrambled for hiding places before Liz came in the door.......



Ciaran and Jorja's new house

Ciaran and Jorja's new house out in the country.

The new decking has been stained.

Ciaran is our Eco warrior

Ciaran and Jorja recently moved into their lovely new house near Greymouth. Ciaran has now been in New Zealand for five years and very happy teaching in the local high school. He is teaching Earth Science and said the Greymouth High School is similar in many ways to our Lochaber High School with a roll of about 800 pupils. Ciaran is raving about his new electric car a Nissan Leaf which is very cheap to run and ecofriendly.

Jorja has recently started her new job with the Department of Environment.

Liz and myself are keen to visit Ciaran and Jorja next year but unable to book flights until Covid settles down.

Ciaran has a large garden so I have been recruited to try and get it into shape. He has just had a new deck built so I can focus on the garden ! I may have to stay a few years as there are over 2 acres to try and tame. (Don't tell Liz )

Handsome Ciaran (like his dad ) is our new gameshow host ?

Ciaran definitely has the chat and if only he could sing I could have retired years ago !
La Ramblers

Liz and myself joined the Ramblers organisation earlier this year. There are scheduled walks twice a week and we are very lucky to live in such a scenic part of Scotland. We have enjoyed joining the group for walks and they are a very social event. Each walk is interesting and having a group leader ensures safety etc. We have been on several walsk that we would not have been to on our own. One of my most enjoyable days was Thurs 2 July which was a Rambler's delight. We had a wonderful day out in Loch Morar and Loch Nevis with the boat back to Mallaig.

Loch Morar


Banavie Hill with Ben Nevis in the backround .
Loch Nevis awaits

Corran ferry
Covid 19 ...Delta caused havoc but now Omicron ....

Lockdown from Boxing Day in whole of UK.

Mar 23 First anniversary of lockdown and still in lockdown since Boxing day.Mon 26 April Happy Monday as non essential shops re open after 122 days of lockdown.At last lockdown eases Monday May 17 Shops reopen at last and pubs have outdoor drinking only."Happy Monday" at last and now allowed to hug indoors.

First Lockdown began 23 Mar 2020 for 97 days until 7 July. Second lockdown began 5 Nov to 2 Dec 2020 and third lockdown Dec 26 2020 Boxing day and lasted 122 days until 26 April 2021 . We are all fed up with the whole thing !


Wed Jan 20th 2021 a record number of deaths in UK 1820

September 2021

Second wave was in Jan 2021 now in July a third wave is coming as cases of delta variant increase daily

Scotland worst in Europe but less deaths as younger affected

Mon 19th July so called Freedom day in England when all restrictions are lifted despite over 50,000 new cases daily . Scotland is more cautious thankfully and restrictions are being eased gradually until 9th Aug. Most of the Covid restrictions in Scotland have now been lifted as the country moved to beyond the level zero rules .

July 22 Thurs now a “Pingdemic” as Covid NHS track and trace apps contact any close contacts of + cases

Over 600,000 cases last week contacted in England ! Causing havoc as industries crippled by high numbers of staff self-isolating .

Supermarkets badly affected and empty shelves . Hotels and supply chains like truck drivers struggling with staff shortages .

On 24 Nov a new variant called Omicron was detected in a sample taken on 9 Nov in South Africa . In the UK on 27 Nov two cases were detected both having travelled from South Africa. It is highly infectious but less people are needing hospitalisation.

Omicron Rules the world now.

Fri 17 Dec a new record of 93,045 new cases

Omicron is rampant
So far, Omicron is causing less serious illness when compared with delta.



Teresa is now a TV sensation



This year a new star was born and Liz's "baby sister" Teresa featured on the very popular Irish television programme Designed for Life. Teresa had recently purchased a new flat in central Dublin and applied to the television programme producers who would then design a complete refurbishment of her flat . She was succesful and the design team visited Teresa and televised the whole process of complete transformation of her new flat. They did a fantastic job and Teresa is delighted with her beautiful flat. Having featured on national TV she is a celebrity and of course all her family are also enjoying the fame.

Tersea was also 50 this year so had a family gathering in Oct and Martin who lives in San Francisco was the only sibling who could not make it.

8 out of 9 Slatteries join Teresa for her 50th Birthday .

Martina and a different 8 out of 9 Slatteries are ready to party
Martina and Mike (Martina is 60)





Joseph and FORUM


After finishing Foundation Year Two one has to decide on a specialty career under the current system. This is a difficult decision to make so early in one's career. I myself spent five years doing various jobs before deciding to be a GP. Joseph had been unsure which speciality career path to follow and declined Obs/Gynae and GP rotations and decided to do Broad Based Training In Dumfries and Galloway which includes 6 months rotation through GP, Medicine, Paeds and Psychiatry over 2 years which is fantastic and in a good location.


Posh and Becks all dressed up

Joe(snr) has offered to be Rebecca's agent when she goes to Holly or Bollywood..still no reply

Thurs 22 July a date to remember as Joseph, myself and Prof Liam Glynn( a former trainee of our practice) get our paper published in Forum which is the journal of the Irish College of GPs. The research study was done in Joseph's final year in Glen Mor and Fort Augustus Medical Practices. It found that "Dr Google " is used by 2/3 of patients before seeing their GP. A lot of hard work has paid off and hopefully very useful for Joseph to have a publication for his future career.


COP26 GLASGOW Nov 2021


About 100,000 people marched in Glasgow on Nov 6th to demand more action on the climate crisis, organisers have said.

The protest was the biggest so far during the COP26 summit and took place alongside hundreds of similar events around the world. Greta Thunberg joined the march but did not speak, leaving activists such as Vanessa Nakate to address a rally.

Police arrested 21 scientists who chained themselves together and blocked a road bridge over the River Clyde. Officers also contained a group of socialist activists after pyrotechnics were set off during the march - one person was then arrested. However the force said the day passed "largely without incident".

Rebecca hits the streets


Joseph makes a cameo appearance for the Lochaber rugby team .

The Ben Race team are ready on Sat 4 Sept and Ralphie looks worried ! (Understandably)

The (fool) hardy Dumfries team agree to carry young Ralphie up the Ben



Dubai David

David has been working in Dubai for over 9 years and enjoying the permanent sunshine no doubt. We all know that the fine weather cheers us all up and as a wet winter in Scotland can be difficult and gloomy. So David might be in Dubai for a while yet unless the global warming reaches the Highlands . Needless to say David is playing a lot of golf and considering the number of hours he plays he should by now be a professional and on the tour. But the lure of teaching is too strong not to mention the generous holidays so he will continue to just play golf 4 days a week and every weekend !

It has been a difficult year again for teachers with Covid and the lockdowns disrupting teaching in classrooms. Having to repeatedly change plans has been challenging but the school is doing very well.

David has been promoted to one of the five deputy head positions and enjoying the new management experience. He is very happy in his school and enjoying Dubai .

Big Stu from Stornoway now Dubai (second from left )promised me a donation to include his photo as it has been years since he was in our newsletter !
The Golf team
David and Georgina
David and Jarvie




Ronan wishes to avoid appearing in this newsletter as it may contain some useful information for the students to remind him at a later stage !



The hard work is over so time to relax

Some of our Visitors 2021


The Dundee Uni Ben Nevis assault team
Calum conducting his dinner orchestra

Elliot, wee Daisy and Olivia

Sam, Terri, Aoife and Michaela

Aaron has his first visit with Ranjit for support.

Robb and Fiona join us on the deck.
Wee dachshund Daisy on Ben Nevis is the tallest dog in Great Britain .....for a few minutes   Liz, Kendal and Mandy
Keir has to wear his shades after a visit to the Fort   Donald sleeps like a baby during Joe's chat

Team Coughlan make their annual voyage from Galway to the Highlands.

  Dani, Rebecca and Liz hit the drink !