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

Yesterday’s trip to Inverness was unavoidable due to lateness of accounts and a visit to the accountant became critical. There is not much to them but last year’s chaos has led to books being scattered to all four corners of the schoolhouse. Now gathered together and a two and a half hour session later meant that things are now under control again in that sector. The good thing was that we were speaking and very amicable by the end of this. She mentioned that she is treasurer for a local group and sat down the other night to do some work for a meeting and ended up working for hours trying to balance her books. So it is not just my affliction although I know of some strange people who actually enjoy keeping books. Always good to meet people and we ended up talking about parents suffering from dementia and other bits and bobs. We often elevate situations and issues above the people who are involved in them and it never works. Of all the lessons I learnt about the political situation last year in Applecross the two most important were that this place is timeless and all the huffing and puffing is hardly going to register in the historic timeline of the place. The LAS campaign has certainly left a little mark that cannot be erased and it is going to be interesting to watch the next chapter. More importantly whatever one’s views the desire to personalise issues must be resisted and I think we did that very well despite what was thrown around. It is the easiest advice in the world to give to two protagonists to step back and not be so personal and I remember being told this last year and found it so difficult to stand up for a belief or principle and not be accused of having agendas. I always assume that once people attack you personally then their grounds for debate are either lost or pretty shaky. A couple of regular guests are staying at the Inn just now and are up for lots of discussion, often quite provocative, and I was asked to answer really quickly would I vote yes next year. I did not answer that straight away although I am probably going to and immediately found myself trying to justify why. The questioner found it surprising that I took so long in replying but the vote is far more than a gut reaction. I think people who are not naturally Nationalist but are more concerned with a more localised system of democracy have to explain why they will vote in this way. And in almost every sphere of life the status quo is not an option. Even our “petitioners” last year found this out. I think being asked these difficult questions brought on this train of thought.

It is always good to have a ramble, back to Inverness, it was a visit to the upholsterer where I dropped of a chair from Toscaig. There was a discussion about it being still in the chair category, dog food stop, Highland Wholefoods and a haircut. Waterstones are an essential visit, just waiting for the JO Nesbo and Peter May books to become bendy. A trip to the Co op, the only supermarket I can allow myself to enter these days and off home, but not before picking up a couple of batteries at Dingbros. Arranged a sparky visit for tomorrow morning as my little electrical issues are beyond me. Entertainment is arranged for the afternoon as a Crofters Hearing is taking place at the Hall. Would have liked to have gone but needs must and it will be off fishing. Some people seem to exist to keep lawyers in a job.

Fishing today and it started uneventfully with me hauling 4 fleets and catching a few prawns and squats. Had Nick out with me and he filmed my operation for a few hours.IMG_1692

Nick himself is not sure how the filming will develop but intend to do three ten minute films about Applecross and putting people in them as well as the natural beauty of the place and not intending them to be commercial.

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Easy guy to get on with. We did have similar views on sustainable fishing and nature in general so the day passed gently, serene was one word he used to describe the day, until I went to see if I could recover the lost fleet down by the Range. Kenny had already been in touch and I reckoned it was not going to be easy. Turned out the fleet was in one big ball and well out of position, the fleet I shot to try to hook it did but in between these two fleets was Kenny’s and this was all at 90 fathoms. Hauled my own top fleet up with a little trouble and took it west out of the way and then went back to the missing one. Kenny meantime hauled his and tried to clear it but had to give up but leant me a crew man for a while. It was just a case of methodically going through the bundle picking creels of one by one. Sore fore arms and a creel exchange later, eventually all my creels were on deck with a three-quarter mile of rope lying in one big tangle on deck.

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So all that was left in the day was to scrape some mussels from under my dingy to make Moules Marinieres  for tea and head up to the Inn for a couple of hour and be grilled on whether I vote Yes or not!! It is good to feel the energy levels come back.

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