Just back from an unplanned trip to Inverness. The morning started off fairly slowly with a bit of reading a new William Boyd book interspersed with book work and getting our e-mails back on-line. Going well with getting the emails sorted and a little reading but all changed at 10.30 with a phone call from Alison. A blow out at 70 mph going through Loch Luichart put the day on a different direction. All was well with getting the van to stop but my last puncture repair did not have the desired effect when Mark and Francis stopped to assist, meaning the spare was flat. Only found out when Mark put the spare on. M and F headed off to town and I got the Inn van insured, fuelled up, and set off east. Picked up Alison and two wheels and headed through, dropped Alison off at her first meeting which was Community Land Scotland. I think we actually ended up having a good day in that after stopping off at KwickFit I signed off the Pier books at the accountants, late but done, another wee shop at Highland Wholefoods and back to pick Alison up at 3.00. Ended up having a good chat with like-minded folk regarding Land Reform in Scotland. Always good to get your views across and explain quietly what is badly wrong regarding land controls in some areas. I’ve met James Hunter before but the first time met up with Peter Peacock and it was good company. Guys from the Coigach were there as well. The suggestion that some legislation may be on the way is indeed good news but I will not hold my breath. On the way back to the van met up with Kay, a one time resident, and she gave us ZuZu,s camera to take back home. Then we set off for a meeting with our new legal beagle and talked over the transfer of the toilets and potential issues regarding the Hydro Project. All very interesting but I struggle holding it together as we go into the second hour, “standard securities,due diligence and assignations” blend into one. I always think after these necessary meetings how we seem to complicate things in our oh so civilised society. The surveyors were on the Hydro site yesterday and the project is progressing to the next stage, planning and finance. It often seems insurmountable but we are still in there.
I went up to have a chat with the surveyors as they made their way across the fields along the intended pipeline and on the way back down looking across the fields tucked into the corner by the trees and in front of the farm steadings you can see the site survey for the turbine house evidenced by the dug earth.
Then it was back to pick up the tyres and meet up with Chris at Starbucks…goes against the grain giving these tax dodgers my money but another informative hour talking about biomass, Coal Shed Pier, district heating systems and politics of the land and communities. 7.30pm saw me putting a new lovely and expensive Dunlop tyre back on the van and it was off west and home. Not before Mark and Francis turned up again, this time on their way home. they passed us,saw the lights by the van and turned back to see that all was ok. Typical Applecross residents,caring and helpful. Quick call into the Inn where the ladies from the North Coast had come down for the Red Nose Dance at the Hall tonight. A step too far for me, a shame because I have n’t heard the Big Field Blues Band for a while. Martin and Paul were getting warmed up at the bar when I left. So all in all what was to all intents and purposes a write off of a day turned out to be constructive and met up with lots of interesting people. Not fishing today anyway as there an easterly gale blowing and has been for two days now. Dougal and family were looked after by Jill but they had one or two extra snacks. Some one made it up onto the kitchen worktop and enjoyed half a tray of flap jack. They had agreed a collective vow of silence by the time we arrived back. Dougal by this time was trying to get into a jar of honey. He always retreats to his “safe place” under the computer desk when he is unsure of his reception and always gets away with it.