Finding that doing a post is not work but a break. Sitting here with just Dougal and Co for company and doing some VAT returns, the fact that I am still doing some maybe gives some indication of how far behind I fell in this department last year but sorting it is definitely relieving the stress levels, although a way to go. Yesterday was in the same mode with a three-hour solid stretch at one stage, accounting is not an occupation I would consider if the fishing got even worse than at present. Although the weather was quiet yesterday I decided that this paper work has just got to be done and it helped that I was not required for work in the evening. Knowing I was not working at night meant I could do a few wee jobs out and about and the garden is calling. Planted three of the small raised beds with garlic, only three weeks late, and covered then in seaweed and some good compost. Also sorted out the compost that Dougal had dug out from two of the bins and spread this on another bed. He has his uses, although I have to admit most are not intentional on his part. He is always looking to clean up after you and lives in permanent hope as you see with his head stuck in anything empty.
Middle of January and it was on up to the Inn for a quiet relaxing shift and it was although thinking back it is amazing how many and diverse an audience that turns up even in the middle of winter. The weather has turned benign although a little overcast. But still the BBQ on the top of the Bealach did not appeal in the slightest. Put on for our Aussie girls as they wanted one in the snow. Although enjoyed by those who went there was very little snow. The guy from Sunderland who started life as a miner and saw the writing on the wall so spent the next thirty years as a merchant seaman, he was accompanied by his Welsh wife, whose surname I was challenged to spell but did not even try. They had popped over from Banff for lunch. Then the young couple who had stayed in Torridon and were from Sussex, the couple from Warrington who were on the move after staying in Skye for a couple of nights and were heading north. Then stopped for a chat about junior football with Ewan. This stemmed from a remark he made yesterday before he headed to Dingwall to see his team, Dundee United, get beaten 3.0 by the Staggies. Turns out he had played junior football himself and his son is now captaining the same team as he had twenty odd years ago. There was the Your Move chap in with his girlfriend whom he introduced as from the Black Isle and could drive a tractor. Only on his fifth date as well, the things you find out. Another four from London who stayed in Torridon, walkers and cyclists who had to go out and walk off the lamb and prawns they had for lunch before coming back to tuck into some Sticky Toffee Pud and Apple Crumble. Met John, from Ullapool direction who is fencing off the Tor Mor broadleaf plantation. He was at a bit of a loose end as it was preferred for him not to work today, so he provided his own entertainment with some medium rare sirloin, washed down with quite a few Black Cuillins. Over from Plockton, one of the local prawn creel boys with a couple of mates from Cromer. And yes he is a Cromer crab fisherman telling me how relaxed we are up here in the competitive stakes. Bit of a chat about inspections and the generally dire state of the fishing and then it was on to chatting to the local contingent from Lochcarron and mainly about birds, which I am slowly becoming interested in. Luckily I do not care about showing off my ignorance and just ask about the simplest of sightings. Turns out this week I now know what small gulls and turn stones look like and got the descriptions of the Great Northern Divers that were out in the Bay. Realised they have been here for a couple of weeks as I had taken a couple of blurred shots of them and asked a few people what they were. Almost forgot the apprentice mechanic who had made his way over from Sleat with his girlfriend, some one else who did not realise how far Applecross is from any where, but they seemed happy to be here and no complaints about his steak. Anna and Justin were over, they are annual visitors, and will be back in March and had a wee catch up with them, more so as they are usually in such a big group you tend to miss some out. And so with the tide out
and the weather still pleasant
it was off down the road to let the dog family out and took them down along the shore to Craig Darroch. With only a couple of cars passing it was so calming to wander along the shore and to connect with a lovely background whispering/shushing noise of the sea broken only by a gentle breeze around the ears. Does the soul no end of good these strolls about Paradise. Reminded me of staying on a few weekends just to the north of Harlow in Essex. Fine times but the background noise was the M11. Enough and back to the books with a nice shuffle background on the Ipod. I was lucky enough to spot a post that had me listening to The Highwaymen and that eased the pain earlier. So to keep on course for a clear head for next weekend at Celtic Connections and although it is always good to live in the present I have Aron’s new Scottish Fudge ice cream to look forward to in an hour or so.