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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
'I'm feeling nervous on G8 day'
By Karen Whitelaw
Whitelaw Antiques Gallery owner

Karen Whitelaw
Karen Whitelaw owns a shop in Auchterarder

It's a rather nervous day in Auchterarder.

When we first heard the G8 summit was coming to Gleneagles, our initial reaction was, why here?

For security purposes, surely a cruise liner in the middle of the Atlantic would be a safer option? Obviously not, so on our doorstep it has to be.

After weeks of apprehension, it's day one of the summit.

The frequent buzz of helicopters can be heard overhead as the G8 leaders fly in to Gleneagles.

As I entered the shop just after 9am there were eight protesters, each wearing masks showing the faces of the world leaders attending the G8 Summit.

They were standing, chatting and certainly didn't appear ready to cause trouble, but what I can't help thinking is will it remain like this throughout the day?

Day off school

The police have been great, they have kept us well informed so far, and I believe they are doing a damn good job.

One thing we had hoped not to do was board up the windows at the front of the shop, but we felt we had to do that this morning in order to feel secure.

We are an antiques shop and we have a lot of valuable items which we don't want to be damaged.

However, the premises remain open, but if we have to put the closed sign on the door and pull down the shutter we will.

Whitelaw Antiques, shop sign
Boards were put up on the windows of Whitelaw Antiques

From my seven-year-old son's point of view, one good thing from the uncertainty of the day is that I decided not to send him to school.

He attends a prep outside Auchterarder, and while I was pretty certain I could get him there okay, I was worried about getting him home.

My son was delighted by this stroke of luck because he's got out of doing a two-minute talk to his class on the subject of goldfish.

Well, the big event is here and we've just got to get on with daily life as best we can.

Let's hope that Gleneagles, along with Auchterarder, escapes unscathed, and the thousands of people visiting the area, be it the G8 entourage or media, spend a few pounds in the local shops.

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