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

Friday saw us going over to Strathcarron to meet with Alison’s HIE boss/mentor. The Community Company is her employer and we could do with being better line managers but that is often the case with volunteer boards. Every one on the Board is either self-employed and/or have two jobs so time is usually limited in the due governance department. The result is that wages are a wee bit late and fishing is covering the costs,just. When we catch up Xmas should be good although being brought up a good presbyterian does not figure to large on my calendar. There are lots of positive projects underway regarding the Company and the meeting generally was productive but there are huge frustrations. We discussed the current campaign re the Trust and the overall picture over here and over an hour and a half you do realise how much can be done and will not if every one is not on board. It is good to speak with some one who has experience of other communities who have similar problems to us and how they go about dealing with them. Although it does not actually help us we do know that we are not alone and these situations cannot realistically continue. Before leaving we tap into the local network to see if the Hill is clear and although tricky it was fine by half nine.

Fishing days are few and far between these last couple of weeks. There have been a couple of mornings that the weather has been fine but forecast has been poor but right and its been blowing by 12 pm, justifying not going out. Back home via Shieldaig where I called in at Sarah’s for another massage. Although it was extra ordinarily painful it does appear to have lots of benefits and painkiller intake is on the decline again. A couple of shifts at the Inn, saturday evening was a lot quieter although the accommodation was fully booked. Speaking to a couple who own the Kylesku Hotel and they were talking to Judith about berried prawns and how their fishermen were telling them that discards do not survive. Cannot tell fishermen not to land berried prawns but can say the science of survival is on my side. Creel caught prawns were used as a control on a study of trawl discards and there was a 98% survival, trawl was 50% by the way and that were the ones that were not damaged.

Today’s shift had some great moments and good chats with lots of different people. I keep getting people coming up to me and saying how reasonable the blog is and that was the case again today. Although the conversations I have about it often cannot be blogged as they do explore fairly radical scenarios that taken out of context would be used against me. As Gandhi once said an open and free democracy would be great to try out to see if it would work but until that day one has to be careful. Later on a chap from the north-east as he was paying his bill commented on everything good about the Inn with so much feeling that it changes your day. The welcoming atmosphere, the fantastic food, even the fire. They left very happy and another job well done for the Inn. Later on some residents who were staying along the street had some lunch and spoke to them about various things. Turned out they were from the north of Holland and ran a 30 metre sailing ship in the tourist trade, 28 berths I think. Chatted to one of them at length and he could not say enough about how welcoming we were as a country. In a non nationalist way it sort of made me a little proud that there are lots of people who understand the meaning of a welcoming hospitality. Again he was saying what a homely and atmospheric place they were at and it was quite moving how he explained it in his broken english. If nothing else we seem to do this well. Ok I know he did not visit Possil or Ferguslie, sorry no offence meant to these estates. From 3 o’clock the musicians from Lochcarron played until 6 and this added to the ambience and was really appreciated by the customers Although the half term holidays are over you would expect the season to tail off but not yet. I suppose when you see the steaks, the seafood platters and langoustines it no surprise that the punters keep coming. New flavours of ice cream keep arriving, creamy mandarin being a recent addition. Time flies when it is good and busy.

With so much going on there are still spells of good weather and the Dougal is always out checking things are in order around the house.

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