Letter: Bigotry in Scotland

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The Independent Culture
Sir: James Dalrymple article about the Scottish Highlands made me sad ("A toast to my surly waitress in Skye", 14 August). I have to show another side to his postcard.

As a former waitress and relation of hoteliers in Oban I have to assure Mr Dalrymple that the "tourist dependent" can not only be human, kind and caring, but also wholly committed to their clientele.

This year's plight is partly due to last season's disastrous slump. Virtually half of the bookings were cancelled because of the constant bad weather. A lot of families will have moved elsewhere for ever.

Your experiences were dreadful but to penalise the region with higher taxes would be unfair.

My relations in full gear are inspiring to watch. Their commitment is complete and they are genuinely nice people. During the winter they gut entire suites, and springclean at a ferocious level. Between April and October they are never sick, but they can look peaky in November.

If I had the money I'd walk back to Oban tomorrow and live there for ever just to see the sunset.

I do hope Mr Dalrymple gives it another go another time.

MARILYN J HAZLETT

Glasgow

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