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

The 500 creels are on hold till monday now. Just spent the afternoon,and most of last night, coughing and coughing and coughing. It is the same at this time every year. The Easter fortnight always means a big influx of visitors and as they leave there are a lot of Applecross residents going down with bugs colds etc. Our immunities are not so strong at this time of year and we seem to be more susceptible. I’ve been fairly immune to this but not this year.

Being a bit less active the last couple of days thoughts and conversations have turned to community matters both general and specific. Alison has been to Inverness twice this week, firstly with Caroline meeting representatives from SSE and Community Energy Scotland (CES) to discuss our connection charge. It was a very productive and helpful meeting with the only consideration for us that it should have been held a lot earlier and we would have a much greater knowledge base and could have saved a bit of time on the hydro development. The result is we are re-applying for a split phase connection which will produce 90 kw as the line reinforcement is too costly. It has always been a bit of a conundrum where you apply to a company to use their system and when their system is not up to standard you have to pay to upgrade it and they make more profit from your effort. I suppose this is the corporate world and the bottom line is all that matters. The other mini conference was yesterday and there was a talk about utilising water resources by a prof who opened his talk with a series of circles of importance. The innermost circle is me then the one outside that is the family,then the community you live in, maybe the next one is your country and finally the planet. At the end of his talk about resources and how communities could and should operate he returns to his circles to illustrate how the circles should be. The innermost circle this time is the planet,the most important, and thus all the way out to me in the outer circle. This along with listening to Billy Bragg this morning on Radio4 with another guest, Ben Rothman, whose father led a march on the peak district to demand access to ramble. This was in 1932 and he was only 20 when he got 500 people out from Manchester and Sheffield. Sometimes although we can walk on it there is very little else we can do with our own land. This all fits the philosophy of community work and its raison d’etre. Reminds me of the Objects of the Applecross Community Company which is encapsulated in the following. “(its) purpose is to follow the principle of sustainable development where this meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This says it all very eloquently. It is always frustrating when you come up against policies and working practices which thwart community survival for their own gain.

Enough of that the wormery is up and running despite a small over-night hitch. After picking up the worms on the way home on thursday night I opened the package to check them out ,closed it up or so I thought and went off to bed. Next morning all is well until I noticed a worm on the kitchen work top and that’s when I got my eye in and ended up picking up about 3 dozen escapees. Got away with about half a dozen casualties.So with a visit to the Inn for greens, a bit of cardboard some shredded paper from Norman the worms entered their new home. All seems well today with only three or four casualties in sight. The rest is out of sight hopefully munching their way through all the waste.

Managed a great new walk set up through the ALPS programme, a posted walk through the wood at Carnoch, reputedly one of the oldest hazel woods in Scotland. It’s a beautiful,peaceful and still place where the stones are covered in ancient mosses and lichens.

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