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

Sun has just set and with nothing more to do this evening its good sit down and do a wee post with Babelfish playing on iTunes. Weather has held up over the last three days and I fished on all of them. Almost flat calm on all the days and the evening sunsets have been spectacular. Two shifts at the Inn as we are a little stretched at the moment with Jill away in SA and Judith heading off to the Northern Lights, taking the ferry up the Norwegian coast with her dad. People on the move as Alison is off to Dumfries with Kenny, so it is just me Dougal,his family and the bees for the next couple of weeks. Thoughts turning to a way of getting hens again and thinking of getting a mobile hen-house and run, keeping the hens enclosed all the time but moving the run about the garden.Essential as we have a resident pine martin, saw him/her popping over the school wall on Wednesday night so security top of the list. I enjoyed them last year and want them back even if it was a constant battle keeping them away from the lettuce. There is a proliferation of fowl in Applecross from Toscaig to Milton. Ducks, turkeys,geese and all manner of hens. I hope the reports of mink sightings die down. Donald has trapped three at the pier. One would have been good as maybe it would not have had a partner, but three…..


The fishing has been so so this week although enough to keep the Inn going and a bit more. I have managed to get all my gear back working after hauling my “lost” one, untangling about 15 creels, buoying it and shooting it back and lifting anther that had been left too long. I can always make excuses not to lift creels but working on my own it is only me that is going to suffer for it so you just have to bite the bullet. I still have one on the pier to re-rope and take back out. This came up in the SEA course last year of an example of no one is going to sort out your own mess/mistakes, a principle that got me caught up with various finances I am responsible for….well almost caught up.


Wednesday and last night at the Inn were quite hairy at times with lots of people about and waiting lists for tables but to a customer they were all good people and every one seemed to enjoy their Applecross experience. I am sure the weather helps to an extent but the craic on both nights was very enjoyable. Most people are interested in you as well and having a sort of “local”accent they tend to ask where you are from and that opens up lots of conversations from Harris to University to life in Applecross. Aron came in with his ice cream delivery and that takes things in a completely different direction….Tottenham, Moro cheffing, and of course Krotor in the 5th Element. I am going to have to watch that film. The quote of last night was after being introduced to Aron and talking to me about Monty Hall….”Can’t believe it, we met Krotor and the guy who took Monty Hall out on his boat on the same evening”. Good meeting the family from Lewes, in Sussex, staying at Clive’s and down for the last four nights. I asked the mother if she was her daughter’s sister…went down well. Taxi services were required on both nights and being left on your own front is a little scary but its all good and you feel really good when you take five, look round the bar and see seventy customers all enjoying the atmosphere, food and conversation. It’s good to be a tiny part of that.

A trip to Sarah’s at Shieldaig for my first massage for three weeks has brought everything into perspective and now chilled out. The view back across to the village from the Coast Road was lovely tonight and although the moor burning that has been going on for the last two weeks has died down, looking across to the north of Portree I see another one well under way. The one over at Achmore seemed pretty major as it was well in evidence when I was on the Sound on Wednesday and going through Shieldaig glen the burning was right up to the road side.


Our medical issues are up and running again with the Highland Health Board advert going live again trying to recruit a new GP to Applecross. It is a problem and a growing one for rural communities. The advert is very open-ended and is asking for any one applying to come up with innovative solutions to providing high quality cover for a small resident population with a huge influx of visitors in the summer. Options like linking into another practise, even rotational doctors, cover provided through IT connections, using the practise in an educational program.  Anything goes with the proviso that we do not lose any quality of the service that we have become used to. A husband a wife Dr couple were shown round the area today and seemed quite taken with it….. The two questions that asked time and again are what is the broadband connection like and what is the housing situation for building, buying or living in. The first is in our control and is being addressed on a community level with our broadband roll out this summer/autumn and with the hope of increasing the speeds further with more initiatives in the future. Housing….. that is out with our control as a community. It would be so much better for the community if we had the ownership of a “Dr’s house” to add to the attraction of the practise.I believe there is now capacity within this peninsula to carry out a project like this and everyone would benefit if the end result was to see a continuation of our 24/7 medical cover. I have got to know our locum doctors and they all have loved this place and the people. The accommodation provided for them has left a lot to be desired. There is potential for a genuine partnership between the community and landowner to enable a critical service to continue and security of medical and educational services are an attraction to those people who may want to live here in the future. Here’s hoping there will be a solution in the offing.

And finishing with a last sunset for a wee while going by the forecast.


Comments on: "Fishing,The Inn and GPs “needs”" (2)

  1. thanks for this. here in new mexico (US), many communities are entirely under- or non-served, with native americans, with whom a treaty for health care with the u.s. exists, at the top of the list. small children, for example, die of a tooth abcess because the clinic isn’t open from 5 p.m. friday to 8 a.m. monday morning. young indians die of stomach cancers because there are no MRI machines available within 250 miles, and so forth. it’s scandalous.

    the uni of NM is trying to solve this problem (not least because there’s money in it). but it seems to be something of a real solution. they’re calling it telemedicine. would that work for you all? i’m sure the scots have something like it already in the works, you are so intelligent and every puffin on a granite crag up there has its own laptop.

    do keep us posted, this is fascinating.


    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Medical provision does appear to be a growing problem in rural parts of Scotland. Previously it was done on a managed practise basis where the GP had a contract with the Health Board and 24/7 cover was provided. There was an extreme pressure on these GPs but it was accepted. Now attitudes have changed and GPs do not have the same outlook on how to live their lives. They are no less good GPs but I had a revealing conversation with one of our prospective Drs who talked about the isolation rural GPs suffer and this can be manifested in many ways such as depression or alcohol problems. Todays graduates are not prepared to go down this route and that is the problem faced by the Health Board. One attraction for our community would be to provide good accommodation for a prospective GP but that is outside our control as our Community Company has a public toilet, a Filling Station and a lease for a Hydro scheme,and has no access to house sites or land, but we are young. Interesting to hear about your health problems first hand as I am tending to distrust main stream media more and more. I find it sad in “rich” countries there is so much poverty of care and compassion. We see it here as well. Getting individual wealth seems to be more important than community well being….puffins and laptops, made me chuckle and thanks for your comments, they very often play a part in formulating my own views.

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