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

“Pardon my Tartle.”

The last couple of days has definitely felt like autumn and late autumn at that. The colours do not match that of the New England Fall but have their own understated beauty.

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Nothing more to report on the Coal Shed Pier as our anticipated meeting did not materialise due to a couple of blown tyres. Was at the pier while waiting for Kenny to deliver fuel to the Filling Station and it certainly got a lovely sweeping line that looks even better when the tide is in.

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Wandered over to the wee hydro river which was flowing well in the autumn rain.

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“Challenging” was going to be the title of the post and it is, that is challenging living in a fragile rural “idyll”. A place where people come to visit, chill out, enjoy the atmosphere and hospitality and head off back to their slightly more frantic lifestyles. We do have a lot of discerning visitors who know how difficult it is to maintain services in places like Applecross, but a large number come and go thinking what a wonderful place to live. It is but the challenges are tenfold. If you let them they can become major events or opinions that can pull you down and for me this is an iffy time of year with the day light diminishing and motivation on the decline.

First challenge came around on Monday when we were informed that the Weekend Trials on the Range were extended for a further day. annoying when we were not told and further annoying that 11.15am to 1.15pm was chosen as a time for the requested 6 mile exclusion. Basically meant that after hauling in Applecross Bay was told that my presence was not requested on the Sound, back home with another day ashore. Simple calculation would show that several thousand pounds were taken out of the local fishing economy. Put it in its box but have to let some one know that this is not the way to go about things, especially as the fishing community had complied over the weekend.

Next challenge turns out to be health, laid out yesterday on the couch, weather not too good and today was worse so not too much missed. Only little bright spot was a dip back into Hamish Macbeth being repeated on ITV3 just now, just good fun.

Today was up the road, as mentioned before, to see Kenny our very friendly fuel lorry driver.

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Keep saying it but it is always a light relief to chat to the outside, just pass the time of day. Mind you we were talking about Grangemouth and selling off the Royal Mail, just wee inconsequential things that do not affect us….more expensive diesel and a closed PO, maybe it will have its effect. But one of my challenges completed, we have diesel to sell again, trying to look on the bright side we have only been out of fuel for less than a week while the Company took over the then defunct Filling Station in 2008. so apart from a major refurbishment and trying to keep some dodgy equipment going the Applecross Volunteer Force has done ok.

So good to see Hamish again. Never have found out if it was just a good craic series to do or was there several layers of satire involved. Lots of little bits in it that you have missed first time round. A conversation about how enclosed a wee place like Loch Dhu can be, where anonymity is guaranteed not to exist. So true but the converse is, especially at sea, if you are seen in the wrong place or not at all then help, if needed, soon arrives so not being anonymous has its advantages. So the next little part of the journey through the challenges is tea before I head out to the evening shift at the Inn. Tea is consisting of home-made beef sausage stew, with carrots, garlic, beetroot and tatties from the garden, which the rowan trees incidentally are being stripped by field fares. There are flocks of hundreds flying around the south end of the peninsula.

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Finally came across a great new word, “tartle”, one that I can use at the Inn. Often I am speaking to people that know me but I do not know their name or sometimes not a clue who they are. It is not a rudeness but if you watched and seated and ordered food for over 10,000 people a year, certainly feels like that, you to would not recognise every one. I can now say “pardon my tartle” as this is from the Scottish and covers a hesitation when you are introduced to some one whose name you cannot recall. Might try it out tonight, what a wonderful word.

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