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


Another busy week drawing to a close with another day’s fishing and a shift at the Inn to see the week out. I really like the social enterprise course I am on as it comes into day-to-day life around Applecross. One of the themes of the course that is emerging is the element of trust. We are involved in workshops throughout the course which are meant to show us how to deal with difficult situations through a win/win solution. This however means that whoever you deal with has to be on the same wave length when you work through a problem. The difficulty arises when you find that element of trust is lacking but you cannot give up on what you believe. It is the same when working at the Inn. I have to admit to a little bias but Tuesday evening’s shift was a case in point. Working front of house is easy although you do have to keep your wits about you as it gets extremely busy. Having a son in the kitchen who is an extremely good cook makes your job so satisfying as you see halibut, langoustines, rare steaks, king scallops flying out in perfect condition. No wonder people keep coming back time and again to eat. If you work two or three shifts in a week you get to know who are staying in the community as they come back for meal after meal. Now with Aron under way at the Walled Garden Applecross hopefully will have a good tourist season.

Fishing has tailed of markedly this week and we seem to be back in to survival mode, only the creels beside the BUTEC range fished well on Wednesday and although this does not always happen we do tend to get a better fishing here. Fishermen tend to shy away from no fish zones but I think this is the only way ahead for our industry. I have fished alongside one for the best part of 20 years and the fishing is consistently better there. New Zealand have already gone down this road but we do seem to be light years away from any innovative ways to restore our fisheries. In a less optimistic mood unless there are more local control over local fisheries then I suspect we have very little future. Met with one of our MSPs today and discussed this along with the poor outcome to the community of the hydro lease negotiations. We also have a problem with our grid connection. Being a bit of a ‘lefty’ I think this stems back to the 80s sell off of the national assets and the company operating the grid is finance/shareholder orientated as opposed to helping communities help themselves. The element of trust seems to be so lacking in many aspects these days but as the MSP said you cannot reverse systems that have been put in place over centuries over night.As Andy Wightman said ‘The poor never had any lawyers’.

On a brighter note a day in the garden with Dougal and family. I think I will not be doing too much on the flower and shrub front as he is going through a very destructive/digging phase. In the process of fencing off another area where more raised beds are going to be built.Doing it with as much recycled wood and netting as possible, maybe does not look brilliant but if it works…….. Taken the before photo but it will be a year before things are  in place. Started my first hot composting batch with greens from the Inn, cardboard and the result of cleaning the hen-house. Lid is on and thermometer is in. This will help the Inn as well as the new bin collection is every second week and having smelling rotting food in bins for two weeks is not a viable option for food outlets. Local composting should alleviate the problem.

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