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

A Shirt and a Clootie.

Fishing is as poor as it can be to be perfectly honest and if it was not the desire to keep the langoustines on the menu and the squat lobster by catch then it would be a struggle to go out in the mornings. Funny that you feel far more tired when the fishing is bad, maybe to do with a lack of adrenaline to keep you going. But there is nowhere else I would rather be. Managed 350 creels up and took one of the washed ones back out so it was not a complete waste of time. I land at the Inn at 3pm and they were sold out by 7pm, so it back out to the Varuna for some of the reserve. Loch Ness Inn’s supply is starting to look ropey. But ever the optimist the last 4/5 years may have been a blip and there will be an upturn. Smart little sea urchin turned up on the shallows of the middle bank.IMG_4882 On the way to the evening shift met the Toscaig Fergie, with passengers and dogs on the way home. Over the driver’s side wheel you can just see Francis’ face peeping out. Was a case of captive audience with the photo.IMG_4883

The shirt, well, as I was kindly given a new shirt by the Boss, I thought I better take out for its first airing and surprisingly just about every member of staff commented” nice shirt” basically it was probably the best known shirt in Applecross for the day. Thought I had gone through my Ralph Lauren period but now I have another ten years to go with this new shirt. The only problem with these shirts is that you have to iron them and that is not natural.


Cracking shift, very busy and happy. Served 9 soups at 10.30pm to a bunch of guys that turned up late. They had them outside down by the sheds and it felt a bit surreal serving them in the dark.

It is now 11pm and another shift down at the Inn. Have to say around 5.30pm I was starting to struggle as I went through from 10am with a couple of bits of toast and a bag of peanuts. All was well when I sat down with an avocado, smoked chicken and squat salad. Had a meeting arranged at 6pm to chat about wood and that was really good and very informative. Chat carried on over dinner and later with me ending up with a good understanding of what is going on. Interesting day tomorrow.

After the meeting around 7ish Jill asked me to stay on as it was getting a little hairy front of house so four hours later and after meeting some lovely people from Germany, Perth, Dorset, Holland, Spain all’s well in the world. Over the last week the evenings have been spectacular, far better than the photos and talking to visitors about what a wonderful place Applecross is I honestly get a tingle, an appreciation of where I live, of what I do and how people pay me for it.


A Norwegian turned up with his Polish partner around 5/6ish and settled down to have something to eat. They had squats and prawn tails, loved it and went out side to finish their meals of scallops and duck breast, while asking if there was any where to stay in Applecross. Got them a place but they did not fancy the shared bathroom so turned it down. 3/4s of an hour later he was back asking me to phone back the B and B to take the room …they were so blown away by the food the scenery, the light the atmosphere that sharing a bathroom became insignificant. They were still there when I left at 11pm last night and a warm handshake as I left makes what I do special. Turns out he was a professional wild life photographer and was snapping pictures all night.


At the dance auction Judith bid £140 for the “clootie” dumpling, knowing it will go on the sweet board and she can recoup some of the dosh while a healthy donation goes to the RNLI. All was going well until one of her two new best friends of the previous night decided to wake up from having a wee bit too much to drink and start tucking into the clootie. They had gone for an afternoon nap and had missed out on their dinner, so after a second nap at the dance had felt very peckish…. hence the clootie delivered to the Inn this morning with a large chunk missing from the side.

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