After two hours sleep it is back to it. There is a lot to think about today. Looking back on the last few weeks one of my main aims was to pursue my hopes through the ballot box without losing any friends and acquaintances. Time will tell if this is true. I know that I have lost a little connection with one or two people through postings or tweets but such is life. What I will say is I have rarely experienced the feelings and emotions that I had while working last night at the Inn. I called in at the Polling Station to cast my vote, to hope instead of fear, to put we before I, to live in a sustainable environment and economy. It was n’t about nationalism, or separation for me. It was n’t about who said what to whom in whatever debate. It was n’t about what expert said whatever about the currency, NATO, EU, personal pension plans or whatever else was used to worry people who just want to survive. It was about something bigger, an ideal, a better way to live our lives within our environment. A belief that the way we live is unsustainable and we have to change our greed for need. I have read much over the past six months and been inspired by the incisive thoughts of many people and groups who have provided a different way of looking at life. I have been in the company of inspirational people, read their tweets and posts, watched them on television and thought they spoke for me. As I write this I am going to make it one of my ambitions to try to make some sort of contact with these inspiring people. I feel so down hearted at the moment the only light I see is to keep believing in the better world of community. I sincerely hope that people like Lesley Riddoch, Derek Bateman, Gerry Hassan, Jean Urquhart, Jeanne Freeman, Ian McWhirter, Jim Hunter, Andy Wightman, Alastair MacIntosh, and many others, groups like RIC, The Jimmy Reid Foundation, The Common Weal, WomenforIndy stay to the fore. There may be a celebration of “the union” just now but when does £1.4 trillion debt and rising in one of the wealthiest countries in the world become too much to handle. Corporate power allowed to burgeon and use services paid by the working population without contributing anything to the taxation pot. Quantitative Easing, another word for printing money does not make our inherent problems go away. We have become used to living well beyond our means and I do genuinely fear for the future. I feel hurt and sad that most people look to their own circumstances when they vote and work out how they will individually gain or lose rather than see the common good for what it is. We edged towards the common good in the last few months but last night were afraid to take the plunge and experience the immense and sometimes intoxicating rush you get when I becomes We. I wish those well who voted No yesterday, probably as many reasons to vote No as Yes, but there we go. Over the years I have grown to love this place, the community and my life as a fisherman and all the other bits and pieces I do and every day of my life there is risk, maybe even fear. As a fisherman I have always hoped and I think that is where I will get my strength from. Taken a risk in writing this so soon and it hurts, it hurts badly but that will ease and I will have a good malt today to raise a toast to those fearless and good people who voted for a better way of living.
Years ago, yesterday I went out fishing to catch prawns and mainly squats for the Do in Inverness which the Inn is cooking for. An interesting day and one I would normally have not stayed out in as it was dark and misty.Lovely ethereal morning looking across to Ardhu
and out to the Sound over Norman’s dinghy.
Did not really register the fog bank until I was on board and steaming north, but suddenly we were in it and actually I had to pick and choose the fleets I hauled as it was easy enough to find them with the help of the GPS some were close to other boats gear and when shooting back you are liable to go foul on their gear if not put back exactly . Only saw the Boy Ryan and that had to be close up.
As I came across to the Applecross side of the Sound it cleared up now and again. Landed prawns with my head full of Indy thoughts and home, showered and posted a thought on fb before on my bike to carrying out one of the most important task for my country. Son No1 was just leaving and asked him to take a shot of me at the gate.
On the way up the road going past Milton Loch looking west was special.
It was emotions of the highest degree and found it hard to communicate with anyone for the first half hour of my shift. But apart from a couple of customers it was a shift that flew past and was exhilarating in the extreme. Had wonderful conversations about hope and the future, full of expectations and taking responsibility, conversations that included Germans, Americans and English bikers, all were hoping they were witnessing an event that could shape world politics. The food fantastic as usual with the Texans enjoying a seafood platter in the dinning room while the bikers
got tore into some slightly bigger langoustine.
It was n’t a naive hope but one that was going to shake the entrenched Establishment to its core. The Glasgow girls were excited, regulars, to be in Applecross but missing out on the George Square party. Surprised by a local Yes declaration and also by an undecided going Yes. The shift was interspersed with lots of humour and banter and only had to be careful around a couple of guests, one in particular who had thirty years service in the forces behind him, very adamant and humorless in his view of the world. And how others see you….I was brought up in a Presbyterian home with no Christmas celebration so have never become attached to this Festival and this is fairly well-known locally. So when Joe wandered up to me and said “Ali this is what ordinary people feel like on Christmas Eve.” Burst of laughter and said it all. Unfortunately it feels like the middle of January now with the long winter ahead. The big question of the evening was Applecross Ices a Maybe Yes or Maybe No. I know but do you?
But already after a few consoling hugs at the Inn and a couple of conversations with equally devastated Yes voters and a look at Twitter we have to emerge stronger and “Keep the Faith”. Although I do not really care about party politics I suspect that Labour in Scotland will be in trouble. The other emerging stat is that the older folk voted to keep their security and the younger voters voted for Hope. Less access to Social Media for the older generation possibly meant they were not able to counter the bias of Mainstream Media about pension security and general fear. I do have an advantage in that I have been fishing for over thirty-five years and know all about risk. I have always had an inherent hope over risk, the weather will improve, the catch will be better, I will arrive back on the moorings safely. Voting NO does not increase anyone’s certainty about anything. We have been sold a Dud and not quite enough people realised that but succumbed to their own fears (I think). One certain casualty of the campaign, no more BBC News, Ch4 for me and Social Media for my sources. No more introspective pondering as does not achieve anything. I feel nothing but pride for my tiny involvement in a Movement that at times felt momentous.
Life goes on and looking after a Hotel tonight and fishing tomorrow followed up by another shift in the evening. Will still be feeling raw so hope no one says anything too silly. So goodbye flag but just for a while, you will be back out sometime in the near future.