Lovely start to the day with a fairly unusual sky, that is a very uncommon one up here over the last six weeks. To the north there was a warm glow to the day.Always the chance of an interesting conversation at the Inn. No doubt that it is very quiet, although still did twenty odd lunches. A wee project I have under way now is putting Applecross Inn at the centre of the world and linking it to all the countries that have visited here. Starting to look good but ran out of thread with the more long distance ones to do. Later on was speaking to a guy with a vaguely American accent and he mentioned he had been to most of the places where the pins were so asked him what was the score.
Turns out he was a New Yorker living in Inverness and was n’t in oil but worked in special effects for the film industry. Last couple of big films were King Kong and The Witch in the Wardrobe. Of course had a bit of Spartacus banter and he did think you could dine out on that for quite a while ……so sorry Boss. Never know who you meet and when, just good to talk.
Lots of staff around chatting and had a really good work out about the Referendum debate, being asked pertinent questions about why would you vote and why would you vote yes. It was a good chat which I felt quite challenged but also with a good feel. I have discussions recently where I have felt really defensive and found it quite hard to explain that being Scottish is actually ok , it is just that simple. I would never ask a Frenchman or German woman to explain why he/she cannot have a country where you have a say in your own affairs. Having read a lot recently and dispelled a lot of economic myths I used to believe I was able to say that resource, economically etc we would survive very well and to the argument that would only last until our own politicians screwed up well at least it would be our politicians and we could kick them out. Lots of other aspects came up, borders, racism etc and found them quite easy to debate on a personal level. I think Scots find it easy to be Internationalists. The argument has a really local feel to it for me following a conversation I had a couple of years ago over whether the Applecross Community Company should try to attain charitable status. It centred around the fact that there was already a charity set up in Applecross and they could “do” the hydro scheme or at least take the money from it and then hand the monies out to the community. Thinking back on that day when this was suggested to me I realised then that some people had been left very far behind. I suspect that these situations are going to be harder to maintain and certainly justify as more and more people realise setting up ones own organisations for and run by their communities one lives in is the answer on a local and “national” level. The old way of being run by the patronage of the establishment depended on the disempowerment of the people, hopefully a thing of the past. ACC is going to have a hard but hopefully rewarding year ahead where it will be running a community broadband network, continuing with the Filling Station, the imminent opening of the toilets, setting up the hydro scheme and the potential of lots of smaller projects to be pursued. Despite the problems of the Filling Station, yesterday, I went along to help some American ladies fill up as they had swipe card with them so could not access the fuel. These little things are not available without the ACC being in existence and continuing to serve the community. The conversation of yesterday sparked off this train of thought and the bottom line for me in September is that does a country have the capacity to run itself better rather than give its resources to some one else and wait for what they decide to give back to you while keeping all the important decisions away from you. I would rather be in charge of our own mistakes than blame some one else for them. There is also the danger that these decisions from the outside are made on a completely different agenda and affect adversely people caught in their implementation. On a local level some communities have been so far run down that the base from where they are starting from is so low that survival is the name of the game and development is so difficult. But the place supersedes all this.
This political chat is all around, went up to the toilets but did not end up doing much but did get a hold of some masking tape that will make my edges proper edges,
and ended up in another discussion, this time-sharing the same views of both the local and national position. Weather , by the way, after yesterday’s promising start has run true to form, windy and mainly wet.