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

“Jock Thompson’s Bairns”

Got the must do list done by 2.00pm. There was only “Wash 100 creels” on it, so it was not too bad.


The weather was not nearly so bad as the forecast made out and it was good not to have any midges about. Wind at the Pier was West to South West and nice and safe on the moorings. Strong on the Sound.


It was a Lochcarron Musician weekend as many of them stayed the night at the Inn on Saturday evening, started playing when I left around 10.00pm, and played again on Sunday afternoon. Every now and again you come across a theme at the Inn and these couple of days there seemed to be a universality about with a strong sense of community. Reasons behind this was meeting our Room 8 couple, Zeno and his partner, and chatting to them about our hydro scheme, specifically about the excess power that will be produced and cannot go onto the grid. Turns out that is their speciality and after the chat last night I have to do a fair bit of reading to catch up on some of the technicals before this weekend. Another example of the small world is they have done work with Highlandeco and have got nothing but good to say about Jamie/Mick and co. Although we had the same opinion it is always good to get a wee confirmation on the way. Met again this morning and got a genuine offer of help on the basis of the community side of the conversation. A couple I hope to meet again.

Called to the Filling Station twice over the two days and it was working first time but needed till roll the second call out but both times there people making the mistake of not selecting the pump. We are going to have to change the instructions to help people in fuelling up. Annie and Sean still working away at trouble shooting the system and have had 2×9 days of it being trouble-free. Here’s hoping.

On Friday evening the Inn was host to a group of Malawians who came in to eat. Seems a fine time was had by everyone and there was an exchange of culture second to none. Ruairidh, playing the pipes, and a response of singing and dancing by the Africans.https://www.facebook.com/applecross.inn?fref=ts. Ruairidh, standing at the back but the pipes in view beside Greg. Love the idea of the pipes getting together with a bit of Malawian song at the Inn in Applecross. Always maintained that Applecross is the centre of the world.

Over the day there were the full range of visitors from across the world, good craic guys from Canberra who immediately were pulling the mickey out of the “Ballarat girls” calling them Mexicans, Mystified them a bit until they were told they were “south of the Border!!” Response was all they do is “drive around in circles” Seems all Canberra’s roads do tend to be circular so it was honours even. Two tables down there were a couple from Melbourne and they got together. As morning went into afternoon the All Blacks arrived with their friends from Beauly, joy to serve, appreciative, friendly and generous about everything we did. The Italian family arrived mid afternoon and sat at the table next to the German couple, had “scampo” and loved everything.  The lady from Singapore noticed that we did not have a pin on the world map on her country. I suspect we have had but some one may have used it to put it on their one. Met the couple from New York as evening drew in, so pleasant to chat to people from all over the world. Turned out his partner was from Sweden and they were living an hour’s commute from NY city in a small place in the sticks and, like so many , were blown away by the Scottish West Coast and Applecross. Ended up relating my NY adventure of 30+ years ago when I got a lift to the Queens’ turnoff and started walking down the 6+ lane highway towards Harlem, well I did not know at the time. A flower delivery man took pity on me and took me south past Harlem on to the subway and safety. I can only shake my head in disbelief at how naive I was then. Luckily I still am and it feels good. And in amongst all this were the families and couples from Gairloch, Contin and Coulin, not forgetting the regulars from Tornapress and Achintrad.  From just after 3 the music kept every one enthralled and happy. Made it to the back of six with the help of a fish and chips and still have the excitement of a raspberry ripple and strawberry and cream ice cream to come….the joys of living in Applecross are endless.

On the way home I was listening to the repeat of Bruce MacGregor’s Travelling Folk, just in the background, on the two miles back home. Suddenly I zeroed in on a story related by Fergus Muirhead who has just written a book called Piper’s Tales. Coming to Plockton to launch the book with the intention of raising money for the School of Excellence next Thursday. The story was a piper called Jack Lee who won a competition at The Braemar Gathering and found that Prince Philip refused to present him with the prize because he was not from this country. You could feel Bruce’s shock at that wee story and I honestly could hardly believe it. He was given his prize round the back of a shed out of sight of the public. Afterwards I thought wow and people actually look up to our royal family admiringly and feel they are fine symbols of our country. How sad. What a contrast from what I enjoyed over the last couple of days at the Inn. “Jock Thompson’s Bairns” rules. “King and Country” becomes meaningless when you hear stories like that. Fancy going to war to support that kind of prejudice. I suppose one has to be amused.

All that was left to do this evening  was to take the Dougal family out for a wander, noticed the rowan tree just down the road must have had a blast of salt air earlier in it’s berry production.


And now all is quiet


Comments on: "“Jock Thompson’s Bairns”" (4)

  1. Judith Fish said:

    I think it must be that Jack Lee was a very shy man .

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