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

Day for Dougal and Ducks.

Broken but not too windy weather. Southerly blowing up the Sound. Few customers and prawns on the menu means more book work. Replied to one accountant and emailed another. registered online for Vat and now await my access code. Good to get it done before Friday but if not at least everything is underway again. Falling so far behind means you spend an inordinate amount of time looking for stuff that has slipped unnoticed into another box or is still in an envelope. Only trip out was down to the shop with the pooches and another break was making venison sausage stew for tea. Right weather and time of year for this kind of comfort food.

Little event in the evening entailed going out to attend the Community Hall AGM.


A lot of pre meeting chat in the community and the bus has come up in the Community Council so a mild apprehension felt leaving the house. Great to see so many young guys out showing interest in community assets. Thinking back on it and hearing about todays reaction it was very positive with four new members voted onto the committee. There was a little disquiet to the statement that committee members were voted on for life, making the Hall Committee one of only two committees in Applecross where that happens, the other being The Trust. But that apart and a degree of misunderstanding about the need for an S19 for the community bus there seemed to be an acceptance to move on and get the bus back on the road and the Hall seems to be getting a new burst of energy. It is the cycle of every event, asset or committee, a fresh look from enthusiastic people gives the institution an impetus that it was lacking through nobody in particular’s fault. The only thing I would say that although it is brilliant things are moving again some guys have done a lot of work in the background to try to legalize the bus over the last year and a half and it has been quite painful and so unnecessary and I suppose the motto of forgive but a wary not forgotten is the best policy. Events are planned already for fund-raising and bus hire will start straight after group constituted and usage will be encouraged to build up a good history of use to be able to qualify for any replacement. These assets are so important to the communities as toddlers to pensioners use them.

Today, although quiet on the weather front, more book work beckoned and that was held off while I went on a longish low-level wander up to the Bay. It is automatic but you always have a look at the Filling Station OPT


and yes it needed another reboot.


Feel bad about showing the down sign as it gives Gilbarco some coverage but this shows it is not working, IT expert that I am, I switched it off and then on and it is now working. Turned wet on the way back but at least it was falling as opposed to driven rain


and the Dougal family were rampant as usual him doing about fifteen miles to my five. Managed a couple of shots of the swans before they make their regal way across the loch away from Dougal, just in case. Lots of mallards about as well just now but they usually see Dougal first and paddle offshore.


Not only that but they get another walk back down to the shop to send off more paperwork. It was a big hole that I had dug and I have now made a late new year’s resolution that I have already started keeping “Do it straight away”. So nipping off to do some more, before posting this evening.

As it is only one more “job” to do tonight and that can take place in front of the telly, finishing this now. Since I stopped earlier on I have gained Facebook “friends” from Bolivia, Ghana, Nepal and Bangladesh, some of the masters students heading to Applecross next month. Hoping to take one or two out on the boat and we have the Kyle Ceilidh Band coming over on the first week, so a bit of Scottish country dancing coming up as well. Need Sandy to do a bit of calling to keep us all right. Also hoping to get some Americana over from Kyle to keep the entertainment going on the second week. Music is the theme at the moment as we are heading down to Glasgow’s Celtic Connections on Friday via the SCFF’s AGM in Inverness. Meeting up with the Scottish Fisheries minister and will be trying to tell him what needs to be done on the inshore fishing scene on the west coast. Can be sure I will never meet the UK one, and although I may disagree with Mr Lochhead on several matters at least I will have the chance to put my opinion to him. One of the reasons I will be voting yes later this year. Dougal, despite looking wet,


is contentedly snoozing/twitching on the couch. The tick, spotted when I saw the photo, has been ejected and accompanied by a wee growl. Ticks in January, there is no doubt there are changes under way.

Comments on: "Day for Dougal and Ducks." (5)

  1. Nothing better at this time of year than a brisk walk with the dogs. Great photo of the swans I never tire of seeing swans so elegant and graceful but you know they are paddling like mad underneath to maintain the grace and pose.

    Hopefully going for walks again very soon, new Springer pup on the way.

  2. Sorry to be again a contrarian, but I’m baffled by your comment re ticks. When we had the two harsh winters a couple of years ago the papers were full of “explanations” that climate change was making icy winters more likely, contradicting previous statements after the mild winters in the 1990s. Now we’ve had a milder winter again and it’s all down to climate change even now? Isn’t it a bit strange that whatever weather we get now it’s all down to “climate change”, formerly known as ‘global warming’. Like in the case of the storms, check the historical records for Scotland and you’ll see that we had much worse storms in the past. Similarly, we had completely snowless winters at the start of the 20th century. Let me make clear that I am in no doubt at all that we do influence the climate with our activities. But I find it very depressing the current climate hysteria, truly worth of the Middle Age mentality. As I say, back in the 1990s the daffodils were coming in early and we were told it was all down to climate change. Then the past four years they’ve come late, I had them out with the rhoddies down here in Fife for goodness sake. Surely we just don’t have enough data to draw conclusions. Models keep getting things wrong (they anticipated decreased ice in the Antarctica and it is instead increasing). If we want to keep people on track with regard to environmental responsibility (and I am all for that, in case you think I an oil guy!) we must avoid this scare-mongering that just puts people off. Re ticks: it is my understanding that the problem got much worse when the EU outlawed certain pesticides that farmers were using to dip their sheep. I’m sure you know more about this than I do, but a lot of people say that’s when the number of ticks started shooting up. Sheep used to mop them up and the dip would take care of the rest. Now it’s not longer like that. The spread of bracken is also not helping. OK. Enough hijacking of your great blog. Rant over. Sorry about that.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      First of all nothing to apologise for and always happy to be pulled up, last week I couldn’t tell a tern from a kittiwake. We agree on our influencing the climate but then it seems a volcano comes along…..I do wonder that we have raised the base of pollution/world temperature to an extent that climate change is under way. But then you can argue that climate always changed. 2013 was the fourth hottest year at a planet level on record. Possibly we are getting more and more extremes and I am aware that we hear about them across the world,100 years ago the Highlander would not have heard about 43c in Melbourne. The numbers of sheep not on the hill is talked about here as a factor in the tick population being more apparent and the OPs being banned is a factor. I have never seen so many ticks and never at this time of year. I do naturally tend towards the doom factor being brought up a presbyterian and I think we have to change how we live to survive. Nature will survive, whether we will or not….. Just speaking to a very ardent unionist today and did not fall out, so no worries, thank you for reading.

      • Good, glad you took it in good spirit. You know, my problem is that I have a good memory… Back in 2011, we had a winter drought and the papers were full of experts telling us winters would get a lot drier because of climate change! Now they tell us they’ll get a lot wetter… And they did the same with summer weather. We had the 2003 heatwave and they told us we’d get drier summers and warmer winters, so I stocked the garden with lots of lovely plants that were not quite frost hardy. Then we got three hard winters in a row and I lost them all! And when we had those 3/4 hard winters (the 2009 was a bad one, and 2010 wasn’t much better, in fact I spent Christmas just up the road from you and the icicles on the shoreline were quite some sight!), I kept hearing people saying, remember those mild winters we used to get, the climate is changing! And again the papers were full of experts telling us winters would get a lot colder because of global warming. No-one explained to us what had caused the cold winters in the mid-eighties, when we just put up with it and blamed no one, we just took it on the chin. That’s what I got a bit off on a tangent with your comments on the ticks. As I say, I’m not questioning for a moment that we’d better think hard how we treat our environment. But I’m a bit wary of hearing predictions that are then not borne out by the facts.

        This winter has certainly bit odd, mild and cold in turns, October was freezing down here, then it got mild, and today we got snow as well. But to be honest, I can’t remember every a “typical” winter, can you??

        As for the ticks, fewer sheep and less dipping must have an effect. Apparently, cold winters with lots of snow also help them, it’s just when there is a sharp frost on bare ground that they don’t like it too much. I think they like wet weather though, don’t they, so it’s probably all the rain that has made them so active so early. It’s Lyme that worries me most of all.

        But I’ll tell you something else for free: I love rain! I love the dark days of winter, I must have inverted SAD, I hate summer and can’t stand the sun and the heat! So that’s probably why I don’t get worried about it…

        Take care and thanks for the good humour! Bottom line is, I do envy you a lot, great lifestyle you have there!

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        The day we stop chatting to people we have minor disagreements with there will be troubled times ahead. I have a strong memory of the cold quiet winters of the 80s. Beautiful, crisp cold morning, even breaking ice on the sea loch to head out.I do prefer that weather to the horizontal rain. Today is amazing and just off out. Just back from Glasgow last night and two more well grown ticks!! Enjoyed your comments as they make you stop and think as opposed to parroting the “official” view. cheers.

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