An example of how it works here drowned in irony. Saw a social media post asking for a wee bit of help from Heather up the road. So decided that I would combine taking Dougal and Co out with seeing what I could do.Pleasant enough morning, breezy but a good covering of snow on the Cuillin.
Duly turned up but was too late as Louise had already sorted out what was to be done. Anyway offered to cut a couple of logs to keep things going and possible dog walk. It was pointed out that Holly and Jenny are not best of friends but I thought, being the dog whisperer, that it would be okay. Well Jenny and Holly had other ideas, were on different sides of the gate, and just as well. They kicked off with the usual snarling and snapping at each other. Tried to calm them down but was not helped by Dougal who initially not interested decided it was great craic to join in from his side of the fence and was leaping up and down the height of the fence but still on his side. I tried to settle him down by naively putting my hand in his jaws, that did not work. Result being a course of antibiotics and me catching up with my tetanus jags. Am finding at the moment that dog bits are extraordinarily sore when carried out by a fit young spaniel. I cannot even give him a row as I don’t even think that he knew he had bitten me. Made me realise, although I am fully aware of it already, how fortunate we are in Applecross. A quick knock on the Doc’s door, who just happened to live next door and twenty minutes later, the time I took to walk back home, I was in the surgery being well attended to. No visit to A&E, no phone call to NHS24, just a chat an offer and a solution. On the way out I could not help but ask if there was anything to pay, but no “This is the NHS” was the reply. Cannot speak for anywhere else but we have it sorted here, it is little events like this that make it easy to volunteer to help keep services going for other people. Dougal by the way is snoozing on the couch blissfully unaware of all the trauma he has caused. Could not possibly give him a row.
Frustrating day and not much done, but maybe on reflection, not as bad as I thought. Morning jaunt with Dougal and Co down to the shop and PO. Some things you do take for granted but not our shop/PO, Doc, Filling Station, they all are essential to the fabric of a successful community. Then the Schoolhouse turned into a hub of community stuff, with Zuzu and Val turning up, organising and discussing energy matters and working out the fine details of the Conference being held next week on the 20/21st of February. Long and protracted discussions about di minimus. I do go on about this but it is crucial to the future of Community Companies like ours. It, if not sorted out quickly, will stop our development in its tracks. Only playing a peripheral part in the Conference organising but getting info and contacting music for the Ceilidh on Thurs evening before going up to the Hall to get lessons from Sean on how to work the lights on the stage, sound system and set up the screen and projector all for the Conference next week.
Before that I headed down to the Pier to wash creels, turn a fleet around and salt the bait I picked up on Tuesday. After getting the pressure washer out, setting it up and then going to get the bait salted, realised that it was haddock frames, fresh bait for crabs. I had picked up the wrong slabs. So it was away back round the Coast, rain up here as well but it is running off,
with the still frozen bait and picked up the last three slabs of herring. Bit of a road block on the way back.
Taken from inside the van, pretty unpleasant weather on the Sound.
Got an order of bait sorted for next week and one of the phone calls to Shieldaig was laced with some fascinating information about prawns survival, habits and even living quarters. Probably already forgotten more than I was told but their survival is not in doubt, that is when they are put back they survive. I have had a discussion with another interested fisherman south of here and feel disappointed by the fact that one of the more prominent members of the Marine Scotland science research department is stating that prawns do not survive when released back in the water. That is against many experiments carried out, although in her defence she is more of a number cruncher than a biologist. We had heard that this was not the case at the Federations’s AGM and that was backed up tonight through being told about experiments carried out in Upper Loch Torridon involving 1000 prawns almost all being recaptured. There has been a whole series of experiments carried out on prawns regarding how they react to creels and how their sight is affected by sunlight. Bit of a shame that this information is not readily available as it is all positive information that supports a properly regulated sustainable creel industry. An aside in all this was the fact that prawns can be tamed and adapt to aquarium life. This was part of an experiment where creels were put in to the aquarium along side prawns to see how they react. there was puzzlement when prawns which were there for several months were not interested but when a new batch were introduced they reacted differently and made contact with the creels. It was realised that the prawns that were there for a while and had been fed had adapted to another way of life. So now you can have prawns for a pet. Learn something new every day.