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

Arctic weather by yesterday afternoon with a very strong northerly whipping down the Sound. Quieter in the morning but as the forecast was poor phoned Martin to call him off and good to see the ‘cast accurate. Martin was coming over from Kyleakin so it was a long way not to go out. Not much on the go today…too cold for the garden so it was just Dougal and Co that got me out on the day. Very different today with the wind well down on yesterday but a big run in the sea from yesterday and although it was fine for a few hours before the west wind increased I decided not to go out. Another pleasant day planting, sowing and digging up a patch that had to been touched for 20 odd years, full of bind weed, ground elder and nettles. The plan is to sow some bee friendly seeds there and ox eyes and wild pansies are in the green house and they will be joining the corn flowers and poppies to make happy bees. Planting some digitalis further along and some Dianthus. Seeded some cabbage, kale and sowed some more beetroot and radish adding some lovely manure that has almost returned to a dark loam. Also got some chillies under way as well.

Wandered down to the shop and passed as always the Massey Ferguson at Camusteel. These tractors are scattered around the Highlands and in their time transformed crofting in the 50s/60s. This one is not going to do any more ploughing. Often they stopped and were parked up waiting for a part that never quite got round to arriving. When I came over on my school holidays I remember two little grey ones in Toscaig. They were almost an unofficial machinery ring where most crofting townships had one or two and the went round the townships as needed. Reminded me of a program made by a nature camera lady who went home to her dad’s traditionally run dairy farm in Cornwall and she was really interested in the carbon dependency of food. I have never forgotten her description of the tractor her dad had and it was a 400 horse John Deer and then got us to imagine that was the equivalent of having 400 horses doing the work on his farm and that showed how dependent we have become on fossil fuels.

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Tonight was spent in the Inn and I was not looking forward to it as there were masses of booking and with the inclement weather there was no chance of the garden tables being used. There were some Porsche drivers, about 12 of them, 9 over from Lochcarron, 6 cyclists,10 who were backing the guy running over the Hill, raising funds for the Erskine War Veterans Hospital. I do not think I worked a night where guys sat at tables and never moved, which is fair enough for the customers but the list of people waiting for tables was very difficult to shift and for the first time I suggested to a 4 that it would be better to come back tomorrow. People turned up looking for accommodation at 7.30pm, they got it and then wanted to eat. They did but at their accommodation!! We just plated up and sent it along. Three guys came over from Garve and to come that far they just had to be fed, one of them ate his fish and chips of a bar stool. It was about 8.30pm that Judith decided that it would be a good idea to get some Pot Noodles in for nights like this. I got the impression she was only half-joking. A good night though and left about tenish with the accordion, whistles and mouthie playing away. Promised to be a late night.

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