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

In my usual place on a slightly quieter Saturday evening after a gammon egg and chips. Good day at the hall, a very good day, positive people and good demonstrations with everything to do with wood. Progressing my thermal panel, water heating for use age and heating. Spent around a half hour describing and talking about wood with Amanda along with attempts at identifying. Only three people have ever got them all right and they were all wood turners.


Although they are remarkable similar I could not tell the difference between willow and ash. The weight and burning quality of, where they grow and how it affects colours and bark etc, all fascinating information. Outside the Lochbroom Woodfuels,


a trading arm of Ullapool Community Trust. The unit, once the log was lifted onto the trestle, was shunted up to the cutting chain


and then the cut log pushed onto the splitter,


pushed up the ramp


to get stacked in the corner.


For outside stacking bark side down until you get to the top layer where you turn them bark side up to let the rain run off. Although I did hear that there was a series ,5 episodes, that ran in Sweden about log stacking. It became a national debate for a while. Back inside and there was plenty to see and learn and Gordon was there showing some of the old photos of fishing heritage of Applecross along side the new project of interviewing the older fishermen in their native Gaelic,Sgeul an Iasgaich.


We have come a long way from these days as Gordon was mentioning several drowned fishermen. A wee follow-up to the Tom Devine talk was Gordon pointing out the wall from the Coal Shed to the White Gate was probably made from the stone of the houses of  Ach’ a ‘ Choirce. So not only moving the people of the better land but give them work by dismantling their own homes to build walls for those who moved them out. “The marks on the land are there for those who have eyes to see them”. “Destitution works” or should I say for some. Fine lunch of thick vegetable soup and sandwiches for a pretty good turn out.


Lots of work goes into these events organised by AEE mainly in the form of Val. The conversations continued after the wood chopping outside and the Indy Ref still up there with all the follow-up consequences. Even from up here there are many things going on and it was exciting to hear about possible financial moves based on people and community. An announcement on what is going to emerge will be coming and I am under embargo, but positive and encouraging. Cannot help noticing that a week is an awful long time in politics. Last week the oil was running out, the NHS was completely safe from privatisation and the welfare state was better together. Now the oil has up to 120 years life span , the NHS has to saved from privatisation, more cuts on welfare and now we are back at war. Appears we are going to spend more in the next two weeks bombing the US trained ISIS than we would have done in setting up a new Scottish state. Little wonder people are still discussing what could have been. Talking off older fishing photos here are a couple showing us on the Emma Goody, the previous boat to the Varuna, fished for a while with Andy.


Lots more hair in them days


and a nice photo of the “Guinea” weighing the prawns before taking them to the Amazon factory in Kyle.


Last evening at the Inn was busy again with people waiting for tables but enjoyable and many comments about the exemplary food.

Unfortunately we have a dysfunctional  Filling Station again. Hoping against hope that it can be put down to “teething” problems. We also have had a power cut which has not helped. Not being very literate I can handle rebooting the old system but have to be taught how to deal with the new issues. Locked out of the screen at the moment but hopefully that should be sorted by the afternoon. Since, have found out that I am locked out through technology and not ignorance. Another little development that has happened in the last day is the arrival of the first TESCO van in town. Not good for our local shop but the local pound being worth £6 does not wash if whoever is spending it has the bottom line and nothing else as a reason where to spend his pound. If he spends it local then the shopkeeper spends at the Inn who buys from the craft shop and everyone buys diesel from our Filling Station. Not only that but there are people working in the shop and the Inn and the local craft and food shops. If these people were not working in these expensive to run establishments then it would be a barren place to live. If not we might as well all live outside Inverness. Just remember TESCO’s loyalty is to TESCO and no one else. If they decide that it is not worth their while coming into Applecross sometime in the future and in the meantime we lose our shop and postal service then it may well be that the domino effect will be underway. One service goes down which triggers the next and makes the place viable as a holiday destination and little else. The heart of the community will be lost and the lost value will greatly exceed the current cost of keeping these services alive.

Well it is now with a heavy step I am going down to say goodbye to our lovely Jenny. I still have very, very faint hope but have to be realistic. Not going to be easy.

And back now having had a wee dram in her memory and thought lots of good thoughts, walks and good company that she was. Dougal and Eilidh helped by scampering about in the heather in their never-ending search for rodents, stopped me becoming maudlin. That is the whisky drinking done for a while.



Comments on: "Wood, Heritage and Saying Goodbye." (5)

  1. Mbbs,BRD,green,baskets,you,getting,dotteled.”

  2. when were those photo’s of you taken. I like everyother fish farmer in the 90’s had a shirt like that.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Could not narrow it down to better than mid 90s. Andy started around 92 and lasted until around 98.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      HIS I think were the source of all the shirts.

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