People today, lots of them and some very thought-provoking comments meetings, strupags, fuel deliveries and finished off with Front of House. Seems the Northern Lights were switched but what with work, not knowing until later and a southern cycle they passed me by. Some photos on social media especially from Achiltiebuie were astonishing.https://www.facebook.com/groups/6929696813/ On days like today there is so much to do and at the end of it you think you have done so little. But right from the start, once fishing was cancelled yet again we were visited by Alejandra and Maria and David from Uist chaperoned by Val. They stopped off for a Chocolate, must buy some more in Inverness as it seems to be a favourite beverage. Next door to visit the Primary School and have a look around a very energy inefficient building, and while the children just carried on. Hopefully we did not cause too much disruption.https://www.facebook.com/ApplecrossEnergyEfficiency From there it was up to the Hall for a fund-raising Strupag
where I had my first oatmeal based vegetable soup.
Only complaint was there was not enough. So suitably victualled the dogs in tow, back on the bike and up to the Inn for a meeting with Mark and Sandra representing CBS. Long discussion before I was called away to the Filling Station to take a fuel delivery by our friendly tanker driver, Kenny.
Took a bit of time and the Broadband meeting was almost over. On the way back the Gas lorry was filling the Inn tanks, we are carbon dependent.
As far as I am concerned it was not satisfactory as we still have the same problem as before, yes you have guessed it ” de minimus”. So the email partly composed is heading off to Mr Lochhead explaining the negative effect this ruling has on our community. To make matters worse we are now told that new projects like ours are not going to come under State Aid rules but ours will as there are not retrospective allowances. And we are being asked to draw a line under this and call it pioneering. Other communities are to learn from the mistakes, don’t mind that bit, in fact welcome it,but find it a bit rich that we have to suffer for it as well. The proposed solutions are cumbersome and awkward for a small community like ours, setting up another standalone company, finding new directors, all stuff to divert us from other more important projects.
Back to the house and get ready for a Friday evening shift at the Inn. It was busy and noisy with all the fire end tables full all night. Food fantastic and the banter good, Friday night noise plus the Flensburg guys came in and had a couple of drinks. I do enjoy their company and although one had a not so good experience today it has been worked through and seems okay now. The Strupag chat with Alejandra and Maria sticks in the mind as well as Ishbel’s soup. David asked them about how rural Applecross was and a comparison with their own countries. There is none, Alejandra carried out a survey where 9000 families were without electricity in her university area and the same in Nicaragua for Maria. Maria lives in the city and described Applecross with its services as the equivalent back home , a city that is. I suppose one knows these things but hearing about it first hand makes it more immediate. I know everything is relative and we are losing a struggle to keep the Highland Council service offices in Lochcarron, meaning to register a death in Applecross now means a 175 miles round trip to Inverness. Some things in the “first” world we are not doing too well. Think of the extra carbon for those trips. Now it is all quiet, the bar is empty, Applecross at Loch Ness Inn was a success and the forecast is iffy again for tomorrow. So maybe I will do the things I was supposed to do today before the evening shift tomorrow. A day full of interesting people from across the world, people you want to be around to connect with, to gain mutual benefit and to be happy with. Almost forgot, had the most wonderful meal of pan fried halibut accompanied by a prawn sauce with veg and a few chips on the side. We live well.
This afternoon and the list is still as long. Left the Inn at 10am, down to the Shop for the paper
with the pooches and then back up the road to the Walled Garden where Kirsten was holding her fund-raiser for Computers for Africa. https://www.facebook.com/events/676988619011479/
A great long running project based at Plockton High School and overseen by Terry Heaviside. Son No1 went out and thoroughly enjoyed himself in the process of helping other less fortunate people. This has been a long running charity with the dedication of teaching staff behind it and introducing children from the Highlands to parts of the real world. So then straight down to the Varuna for some large langoustine for the Inn’s weekend menu, low tide.
Must be spending too much time with Applecross Energy Efficiency but here is a photo that AEE will approve off, a load of insulation heading out to the remote habitation of Coillieghillie.http://www.applecrossplacenames.org.uk/
And before you know it we are just about a shower away from starting another shift at the Inn….where does it all go?