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

Wagons Ho.

The evening shift went well out front although the kitchen is struggling as they are having extractor fan problems and the back up is not really working. Doors, windows open and praying for not too many steaks were the order of the night and they all came to pass. Still as you went from the prep to kitchen you entered a wall of heat. Although there were a few big groups booked they turned out to be well spaced out and it was an easy night as far as organising tables and seating. It has to be said that all the pre arranging and planning makes an evening run like clock work, it does not just happen. Tony was out on his holidays, something he always says when he has his plate of prawns.


At 11.15pm there is no one in the bar, everyone is aware of taking in the bells either at home or at the hall. the hall has been open for over ten years now and mainly for visitors. A while back the usual first footing was being a little disrupted by guys who did not really know the protocol and some of the older folk were getting a little nervous with their “open” houses being filled with strangers who did not realise it was not a city style party they were at. The community hall opened to give these people a taste of Hogmanay and keeping an Applecross welcome for them while giving the elders a bit of peace and quiet.

At the Hall I have to say I did not connect as there was no one organising the Bells or “fireworks”. Although no one notices these things it was by the skin of our teeth we got every one out for the Radio Scotland New Year countdown but the fireworks were miserable. I only got two rockets off before giving up in the wind, getting an ironic cheer coming back to the Hall. Only had 8 to set off….not the best of displays but fitted in with Applecross’ new green out look.  Emily before and Becca after the bells, with an interlude of pipes from No4,


provided some fine entertainment. Had some music backup on the Ipod but the Scottish was not in great demand. Stovies and couple of chats and home by 2.30am. Did mean that New Year’s morning started off with a clear head and after a wee catch up with first series of The Bridge it was up the road to paint the front door of the toilets and pick up the filleted ling for the fish pie. Met a couple of waifs along the loch side and was taken with their drinks transport….bit wild west with “wagons ho” coming to mind.


Tongie was doing well as after I had left last night he was involved in a bit of crowd surfing setting off from the stage….the only thing missing was the crowd but that is Tongie for you. So it was home for a bit of wood chopping and fish pie construction and a bit of laziness. Nipped out for an appearance at the Milton Shed party but everyone was on a different level so did not prolong the “appearance”. I was a trifle late but by all accounts it was a fine display of music, camaraderie and food and carried on a tradition through to the next generation.

Today at the Inn it was busy but not manic and there was a lull late afternoon when I had a magnificent halibut with an essence of prawn sauce, wonderful food. A nice feel to the day and it finally felt as though the real New year had arrived when you wished a genuine good year to people when they had recovered from the libations of the last couple of days. There seemed to be a hopeful looking forward to 2014 and I had my first good political conversation of the year, again full of a hoped for change of direction, away from the tired, repackaged status quo. The weather in the Bay although not severe was poor enough for me not to go fishing and this is coupled with a very big tide.


Listening to the forecasts there is a concern for the western seaboard which is going to be hit again tonight with another storm surge. A blink of sun is all we seem to be getting just now.


A lot quieter this evening as the family additions left this morning in a wee car packed to the gunnels, dropping off personnel at Inverness and then Perth before completing the long journey to Dumfries. Dougal seems to miss them already,


and all the walking he did over the holidays. He had four long walks yesterday. His mum and granny however seemed quite happy in front of the fire.


Reading this back maybe it’s an age thing and sitting in front of the fire is becoming more desirable at this time of year and leave the “wagons ho” to the younger generation.

Comments on: "Wagons Ho." (2)

  1. basketbob said:

    Happy New Year, Ali – and well done with keeping up the writing. I need to do some catching up, methinks!
    I think you are right about the “age thing” – I’m finding it much harder these days to get out in the mornings, and the weather down here is far more hospitable than the stuff you’ve been getting.
    All the best to you!

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      And to you and yours Rob, just noticed your comment had slipped by. It is hard work at the moment but there is a little hope in the forecast and today was wonderful. Even when you are fed up I have noticed writing a little does help….stops you doing other stuff but sometimes it is more important to do what you want instead of what the establishment tell you is essential.

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