School closures always provide fascinating vignettes for those watching from the sidelines. Events in Highland have the added ingredient of exotic expats expressing undying affection for their native heath from some far-flung patch.
One expression of "devastation" came the council's way over the closure of the two-pupil Drumbeg primary on Sutherland's west coast from one Elizabeth Macpherson. In a letter to Robert Maclennan, the local MP, she recalled a similar threat 40 years ago when "my brother-in-law Niall Macpherson (later Lord Drumalbyn) came up to stay and managed to have the school kept open and a new one built at Unapool." Unfortunately it is now closed.
Macpherson appealed to Maclennan to encourage population growth in Drumbeg, although not all by himself presumably, pointing out that the man who runs the local salmon business has plans to expand and "new families he will be requiring might have children".
Appropriately, there was a vacancy for a hatchery manager during the consultation over the future of the school. Since it now takes so long to close a school, nine months is not at all an unreasonable period for a local authority to hang about and see what transpires.
Macpherson signs to the MP off by saying she is "so glad you are standing at the next election".