A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

Although it is pretty quiet on the fishing front there has been a lot happening in the last couple of days starting with A Community Company Board meeting at the Inn. This was attended by Ron Gilchrist who was scheduled to hold a workshop at the Hall the next day. The agenda showed how much the Company is working on. We are trying to make Applecross more resilient and a bit less reliant on food and fuel being constantly being trucked in by road. This is going to be reflected in the Walled Garden’s new chef Aron. He is hoping to use as much local produce as possible. The Inn also tries to use seasonally produced food both from the sea and land. The Hydro scheme is still progressing although negotiations around the lease could be going better. Our attention is turning to The Coastal Communities Fund which we hope to access this year and the aim of this fund is to increase employment and sustainability. We hope to improve our broadband capacity from a miserly .39 of a meg speed to around 7 megs, progress the Hydro further, keep trying to set up a wood-fuel supply and look at the possibility of improving housing on the peninsular. It was a very positive meeting but also we recognise we have many problems to overcome and have to work to change mindsets that are lodged in the past.

Ron Gilchrist’s day at the hall was fascinating basically telling us all that we have to have a rethink on how we compost. Just about every-one has the black plastic bins and if anything like me just put layers of material to decompose or as Ron said rot in them. As a result of his talk there are going to be a few Hot Boxes built along with some Wormery Boxes set up. He is a big advocate of rock dust as well, specifically basalt. I have come across this before but Ron was very persuasive about the results of mineral deficiencies in the soil both in the quality and taste of what you grow. I am always interested in a stronger local economy which does not necessarily means a poorer quality of life. Again we are back to changing mindsets. All these local changes are going to take place against a backdrop of peak oil and the fact that economies cannot keep growing in a finite world. Takes me back to the conversation I had with Ruth about sorting ‘self’ out and if theat is successful you do not continually want more.

Off to the Inn for a shift,but not before calling in at 6/7 for a lovely piece of lamb and sundries cooked by the eldest. He really is not that bad a cook. Food at Applecross parties is probably the best. The party went on till the wee small hours and judging by the condition of some of the guests staying at the Inn this morning, who had gone along there was a lot more than lamb being consumed. So glad on the morning after when I see the damage emerging from the parties that I’ve given up trying to drink. Gave it a good go for 25 years so can’t say that I haven’t tried. Today was taken up with reacting to our grid connection news and the next steps.

I have come across this proverb before and it seems so relevant to our material times,

“Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.” Ancient American Indians knew where they were coming from and I think we have lost sight of it a little.

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