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


There have been quite a few community indicators over the last few days. On a practical level the community broadband installation has begun. BT finally installed a landline into Broadford village hall and they are going to be our host to improve our coverage dramatically and the guys from Eigg are planning their work to install the dish at the hall and then come over to do the work in Applecross. Managed to read a Guardian for half an hour before the eyes closed but was really interested in a new book by a scientist EO Wilson who puts up an argument against Richard Dawkins selfish gene. It is good to read something that you believe in innately. Basically that you are out for yourself for survival and to keep your genes going is secondary to a sense of community. “Group selection” has been dismissed in the past and Wilson is being panned by his peers but crofting and communities somehow work on this level. I think especially in small communities if everyone was working on a selfish level you would have a breakdown in community relations. Yesterday morning watched an ex apprentice competitor proclaim that she had no interest outside the success of her business and she did not see why she should contribute to maternity leave, bit harsh and uncaring and definitely not community spirited. And tonight I watched a great BBC2 programme on the North Harris Trust. It was the most positive thing I’ve seen on telly all year, a chef going off the island to get trained to come back home and work at what she wanted where she wanted, a dip into the wild life, faith, and culture of the Trust people. It was good to listen to people who were realising their ambitions and responsibilities in running their own affairs on their own land. They believed in themselves as they knew they had the capacity to run their lives and develop a good environment to live in. Eight houses were almost complete and were going to be for affordable rent. The whole place seemed to be buzzing. People now have realised that just because the way it was done previously is not necessarily a reason for continuing to do it that way. There is almost always a better way.

Yesterday on my way down to the boat for prawns for Toscaig I spotted Dan down by the shore so headed off down to pass the time with him. He is one of the older generation I have every respect for. Like Roddy in Milton he seems to have stayed young and although does not agree with every change he sees he always has an optimistic and intelligent way of looking at things. I will be seeing Dan in the future  to try to learn some of his knowledge about bees. Looking forward to spending time with him as every time you feel you have learnt something by being in his company. It was another ALPS meeting last night, following a day where tiredness had kicked in all day. Could hardly keep my eyes open for more than an hour at a time. Not good news on the ALPS front in that Sam and Carolyn are heading off deep south to a permanent conservation job. They are sorry to leave and still have to negotiate terms with wee Cassia who is still determined to stay. The project still has a year to run but the big issue still left to run is the Gateway woodland felling and replant. A couple of new expressions of interest look at the ‘problem’ in a left field sort of way which looks as though it could be an innovative solution to the plantation other than simply felling and trucking the timber out of Applecross.

Struggled to get out this morning and it was only the Inn menu and another order that got me into action. The fishing is very poor or rather the berried prawns are in full flow now. The first fleet I hauled of Applecross Head in about 60 fathoms had some prawns but of the first 100 prawns I caught 80 went back with berries. The ratio improved later but I was wondering if I had made the right decision to go out but when I looked north I saw an unusual sight over Rona, an almost flat rainbow.

The competition came along on sunday with the Chilean divers staying and we were visited by a Namibian couple who had lunch as they travelled round Scotland on their honeymoon.

Comments on: "Community" (2)

  1. Baba (Ashby) Frew said:

    That photo is absolutely incredible!

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      30 years at sea and I have never seen anything close to it. Glad you like it.

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