Have to admit doing a post to keep me away from the old paper work but looking out the window there is no prospect of anything happening outside today. Dougal and family have already had their run out on the sand at the Bay. Dougal does like playing with the oystercatchers and the gulls, not sure the feeling is reciprocated as he charges around trying in vain to catch one. As this is the end of the summer the birds are in good nick and are not expending much-needed energy as they would in winter. He is not allowed to play with them in the middle of winter when their food supplies are lower.
On more community related matters things are on the move again after a brief lull in setting up our community broadband. Finally after a couple of false starts BT have installed the land line in Broadford Hall and broadband is promised by tomorrow. This means we are on our way to increasing our speed up to 8 megs from a miserable .39 meg at my last check. I have been in contact with the installers giving them info about IP addresses, passwords and users name, all stuff over my head but it seems to have helped. Looks like we are on schedule to have some thing installed by the end of September. The cable is lying at the hall and will be run up the Tor Mor as all the permissions have come back in. This will be an addition to the hall as it may attract more usage. We have also received our connection offer from SSE and it is slightly less than feared and we are now processing the loan application from CARES loan to cover the charge and the big hold up is the negotiations with the Trust, our landlord. These “negotiations” have been going on for over a year and a half and we still have no Lease signed off. This has halted our next step as we cannot apply for planning permission without the Lease. This has so far been the most unhelpful area of our voluntary work and is very frustrating. There is a world out there that is full of unnecessary legalese and finance that seems to be self-serving and at the moment is not serving the residents of Applecross. Really enjoyable shifts in the Inn on Saturday evening and Sunday lunch. Saturday morning saw me taking some residents round to Kenmore for them to walk back through the glen . Served them in the evening and they were very effusive about the chat on the way round and were very appreciative of the local knowledge they thought I had. People matter. Both shifts were full on, hundreds of people fed on both occasions and lots of happy people. Even if customers are waiting for tables or food if you just let them know how things are going 99% are happy to have a chat and most remember they are on their hols. Lots of Continentals this year and the Portuguese Irish were good craic. Had a good afternoon and a dip into the past when Peter and Joy came in for a late lunch, both ex teachers from Plockton. Had a good reminisce about a lot of things. Fascinating to see how two people see things differently. I told Joy that, to my great embarrassment, I was the first pupil she belted in Plockton, persistent offending if I remember, and I was quite surprised that she was also embarrassed but for her own reasons. I just remember that I deserved it!! and reassured her. Also got a memory of Peter who taught me geography in sixth year. I took it out of interest as I was lucky enough to know I was already going to Edinburgh Uni in that autumn. I was not really putting the effort I should have been and waffled a bit in my prelim. Ran out of time and finished my paper writing this as my last line to which Peter when marking it added “just as well”. Some things you never forget and when you chat to people you are comfortable with I think it becomes oral history. Also when you speak of old times you realise that one or two classmates are no longer with us and you remember them in conversations which keep them alive. Messing around in french class with Phyllis was the reason for my tawse experience. Alison is attending a very important day for Applecross tomorrow in that she will the community representative on the panel deciding what happens with our future medical coverage. Remote areas are going to be proving more and more of a problem to Health Boards even if simply on a cost basis and the Boards are looking at innovative ways of keeping medical cover going. I have been saying for years that we NEED at least a 100 more people living on the peninsular for lots of reasons and a viable medical practise is one of them. If we have a diminished practise then people are going to think twice about moving here and if that happens we will not survive. There has been a bad run of tragedy recently with Alison losing her mum very suddenly last week. On a lesser scale the boss Judith headed off to Raigmore with a pretty bad case of blood poisoning and will be out of action for a couple of weeks. But life goes on and the arrival of autumn is in the air this week with the wetter and windier weather arriving last night. The rowan although a portent of winter provides a wonderful splash of colour in the garden. This year the honey suckle at the gate has been rampant with wonderful smells in the evening.The Inn competition took a couple of strides with the arrival of Belize and Fiji giving us a total of 68 countries who have visited.