When Fortrose GP Sally Martin decided to mark her 50th birthday with a charity challenge she didn’t do things by halves. In September she’ll be among a group of cyclists aiming to cover 500 miles around the Highlands in just five days. In our Spring issue, we find out how her preparations are going.

Still in Fortrose, we meet jazz enthusiast and trombonist Pat Strachan who’s not only published two books of his tunes but also released a CD: My Song For You. Nearby, author Ross Tiffin introduces us to detective Paolo Rossi, hero of his novel Raven: First Blood, whose exploits will bring him to the Black Isle in subsequent stories.

There’s more crime to be found in Cromarty where we preview the annual Crime & Thrillers Weekend, this year featuring Ian Rankin, Christopher Brookmyre and Mark Billingham, among a host of top writers.
Visitors may take the opportunity to visit the new Cromarty Cinema. We find out how it’s been going since the first film show in February.

It’s ten years since Avoch Post Office was set up in the Fishermen’s Co-op. We learn from sub postmaster Allan Carmichael about the changes he’s seen in a decade. Still in Avoch, we discover what happened when primary pupils teamed up with Black Isle Men’s Shed for a monster project.

Fifty years have passed since the old Drill Hall became Munlochy Hall – we celebrate a facility that’s been at the heart of the community.
Something else that could take on a new lease of life is the former Highland Birchwood site at Littleburn. Michaela Turner tells us of her plans to turn it into a well-being hub.

Looking back, we recall the life of much-missed Rosemarkie resident Betty Forrester from her war years with the ATS, through work as an occupational therapist, to retirement in the Black Isle.

In Culbokie we look forward to a visit from Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, whose appearance in Findon Hall in June will raise funds for the Community Trust.

Another author on the move is Vee Walker, whose Hogmanay wedding back home topped a book tour of India to promote Major Tom’s War. She tells us all about a memorable few months.

And there’s lots more in a bumper 48-page edition, still only £1.50. Don’t miss it.

Russell Turner


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