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

Part 1. Recovering from my first Bank holiday weekend at the Inn. This started on Wednesday/thursday and wound up to a bit of a frenzy on sunday, the chefs still cooking haddock at 9.30pm for people who were up hills and arriving at the Inn half an hour after service finished. That, after standing at the stoves since 12 o’clock with very little breaks. Front of house was hard enough but hats off to these guys who kept it going for three solid days with not one complaint about the food throughout the whole weekend. The statistics are phenomenal. On saturday the total meals served were 364 and sunday it was 408. Saturday evening, Judith was speaking to a baker from Shetland who was working south of the border and they had 60 chefs putting out 1000 meals. He was a bit taken aback with the Inn’s stats. 32 portions of prawns and 67 haddock meals on sat/sunday were some of the examples and we have three chefs and two little helpers putting all our meals out. Lots of really good craic, banter and noticeably lots of interest in Applecross and the residents and what we all do. Our visitors generally do not go to Blackpool and always have questions about what we do and you find yourself in good conversations about land issues, services, the sad state of the fisheries, the Community Company. Time flies by when your feet hardly touch the ground making sure every one has what they want when they want it. All very satisfying, in fact I never realised how satisfying this work is. It makes you think that making people content/happy must be one of the ultimate aims in life. I suppose that is what musicians are all about before egos take over.We were fortunate with beautiful but cold weather,the northerly winds are still with us. Supposed to be out fishing to get squats back on the menu board but that is going to have to wait till tomorrow as the back went again this morning,that and a northerly force 4/6 forecast meant common sense prevails.

Part 2.  Common sense did not prevail. I went out with the Dougal family up the Tor Mor at the back of Milton with the intention of trying to identify some buildings over in Broadford for our broadband connection. It was off to the Inn after that where I made an excuse to Cheffie about why I was not fishing. However the Presbyterian work ethic kicked and I have since hauled 300 pots and landed the prawns and squats to the Inn. Tea is under way with sweet/chilli squat lobsters being prepared. We have a research student from Edinburgh staying with us just now looking at the various community bodies and how they interact with each other. and then it’s the Community Council meeting this evening. Throw in a visit to the Filling Station and you realise how much goes on and how full a life one leads.

Part 3. A very pleasant meeting was had, introduced to the new Bobby who is now installed in Lochcarron. Sinead, our resident researcher was at our meeting. Sometimes you think that being a community councillor is a bit of a waste of time as you are fairly powerless in the grand scheme of things but every now and again you are able to influence something that means a service is either retained or added to the community. There is a huge amount going on here considering the size of the population, hydro, ALPS, toilets,elderly care, community broadband, housing and of course the Filling Station. The meetings are very warm, and at times humorous,(laughing at ourselves I think is essential) at the moment which was not always the case and we have a good spread of ages and activities represented on the council. It is in fact one of the youngest councils in the Highlands. Good bit of news on the Community Company front is that we have had our application to refurbish the public toilets accepted, currently closed because of blockage due to design fault,and we will now be in touch with Highland Council to arrange transfer of ownership. It is not an exciting project but another essential one if we are to maintain numbers of visitors coming into the peninsular and if successfully run another indicator of the growing capacity of the community to look after itself. Finally Belarus and Singapore arrived over the weekend making the total of countries visiting the Inn now standing at 42.

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