On a sunday evening with a half-moon passing through the russet willow in the garden and the Finlay Macdonald Band on iTunes all seems well. There have been lots of thought-provoking comments,emails and chats about my last post, loved the one from the North coast, “he is knowledgable but maybe says too much”. I agree with the second part and hope to acquire the later by being open-minded to people who know better than me….which is just about every one. I often wonder if the make up of a people and how they think is affected more than they think by the land they live on. As I was driving past the North Corries on the way home on friday Applecross does seem so remote and self-contained and this in itself may explain some of the reaction to the recent campaign from outside. Sometimes they seem to be buttresses to keep the outside world at bay.
In the past crofters/fishermen got on with life whether good or bad and had a lot less contact with the outside world. I think there is some of that attitude in the Community Company but it is used in a positive “can do” light in that we do go out and get involved in the community network which is 100% helpful and non competitive. Although expected outrage was expressed that some one from outside Applecross could express their opinions about the workings of the community here this “outrage” has struggled to direct itself at anything specific within the community. Much of the point of the campaign has been lost in the complexities of people’s’ anxieties of change and maybe progress? There was one email I received that said it so much better than I could “it is a measure of how far we are from where we need to be, that simply asking that members of the community should have some degree of involvement in an organisation that is supposed to be run for the public benefit, should be considered controversial in some quarters.”The Trust have issued a letter to all Applecross residents and there was nothing unusual about it, a bit if history, info but I was a little confused about the “subsidy” offered to the Community Company and the “favourable terms”. Trying not to wind any one up too much I found the negotiations over the community hydro scheme very difficult. “The professional advice” was that as far as Applecross Trust was concerned, there was no difference between a commercial company and ACC, although I thought one was a community company run by volunteers which had charitable status and the other…. The small-scale of our venture means that the terms we are signing up to could signify that 25% of the net profit goes in rent. We tried and we will keep trying. I have the advantage of SEA behind me and will keep trying for a win/win end result but the mind-set is difficult to break through to. I am starting to wonder if ACC is being regarded as a threat to the status quo instead of a genuine partnership for the future. I hope not.
Beautiful couple of days fishing on saturday and today and every where you look just now above and below it is just stunning although the prawns are pretty scarce. Just being in this environment means it does not matter too much.
It has been a long time since I have answered the question “Did you have a good day?” and gave the reply based on how many prawns I caught. There is so much more to my fishing effort now than just catching prawns. I am fortunate to speak to people when they are eating them and showing them photos of squat lobsters and telling them about the catching,tailing and looking after them. It gives people a connection to the area and the food they are eating.
The moon has passed the window yet again and is starting to fall on her back. The competition has taken another step forward with Kazakhstan visiting on saturday evening.