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

Scottish Rural Parliament.

It was one of those days. Should have known as the last thing I said when I left the house was “I can’t be bothered”. Must have really meant it as the better half was surprised that I went fishing. Just as well the weather was good, despite a rolling motion coming down from the north. The wind must have been blowing a bit harder out by the Hebrides and we got the left overs.


Back to the wee disasters. First fleet, came to the end added a creel and then put the rope in the prop. Not deliberately of course, so cut rope, resplice, and get going again. Put knife down and it goes over the side. Next fleet, north end, first six creels foul and is all well until the second end and result is have to haul it on board to sort out. Doing a multi task and the buoy disappears only to jam in the prop/rudder. Another rope cut and take a chance by putting her in gear. Buoy pops out with only a little rope left in prop. Next fleet hauled okay but when shooting back a bundle of eight creels go over at the same time towards the end. By this time I am wondering what I did wrong. The next one is shot over by a neighbour and is quite a struggle to get it up and clear from the other fleet. The buoy gets tangled in the shooting back and a mini chaos reigns for twenty minutes. Keep the head and go for another fleet. And all’s well. No tangles either on the way in or the way out and there were some prawns in it as well. Although there was the heavy motion coming down the Sound the day was spectacular




and by the time I was heading in it was all gentle and calm.


Coming across the Bay always enjoy looking to the settlements at Milton


and Shore Street.


There was a little more to come though as I put the box of squat tails on the shore they coped over and ten minutes were spent picking the tails out of the bladder wrack seaweed like winkles from the shore and to finish off I had to phone the Doc as a tourist had fallen over, been picked up by Rod who was at the Surgery just up the road, and was holding up her pinky which was going in all directions.

There were many good parts to the day but all the mishaps do tire you out and then there is the shift at the Inn. Wednesday evening passed gently through a nice sunset


and without incident, two lobster themidors instead of one was easily dealt with by cheffie. And home in reasonable time. Getting used to not putting on the telly to wind down. Not quite got the smart TV up and running but expected visitor today will be asked for advice.

Thursday began with a little irony pointed out by Marion. Took photo of TESCO van in town and belatedly noticed the slogan, “Recently clicked” as I snap a wee shot of the van going by.


Lots of things going on on the shopping front locally and seems to be a sign of the times. For decades there was a well-respected butcher outlet in Lochcarron recently sold and very quickly sold and currently shut with possible intention of turning into flat conversion. Butcher arriving on Wednesday morning in the form of Kenny Morrison from Gairloch along with Kyle butcher George Macrae planning to make inroads as well.  Same here, long-term shop sold and quickly trashed. At least we still have a good wee shop that tries against the odds to survive.. Ongoing pressure from outside influences from Royal Mail to Supermarkets will test this outlet to the limit in the coming years. So a trip to the Scottish Rural Parliament was a good way to head out-of-town and exchange views with other communities about our problems and opportunities. Good to see so many people there considering some of the low turnouts across rural Scotland. Apart from the interesting interaction and chat three things stuck in the mind. The first being that there is plenty money in the system it is just going in the “wrong direction”. Why would you subsidise land owners and corporations with CAP and FIT payments when they already have everything. In fact estates are bought and sold on the income generated through subsidy now. Land reform needs to be carried out and the spiralling  value of land graph needs to be brought under control. Remember being shown a graph showing business and property values compared to the tax imposed on them and showing the tax exempted land completely out of sinc with other values. This was during a workshop at the Community Land Scotland AGM. And thirdly, why not have local decisions overturn national ones rather than the other way round. A salmon farm which is put in place for national reasons but may have detrimental local outcomes should not go ahead as these reasons can be given more status than increasing the trade balance with China. Do not see any of these aspirations happening in the short-term but if they filter up into the system and grow in strength maybe the establishment and those in power will have to listen to and represent the “masses” better than they are doing now. Drive back through Lochcarron had some pleasing views out on the loch.



Driving my recently MOTed van picked up from DMK’s after getting new pads and discs due to underuse and rust. Can’t win. Had to stop at Kishorn for a wee snap looking out the loch.


Nice drive back, autumn well under way


and straight to work at the Inn. Very pleasant shift with a wee burst at eightish but lots of time to talk to the marine biologist and landscape gardener along with a long and satisfying conversation about the IndyRef. A view from the South and very interested in a view from the North. Like these chats where opinions are exchanged and changed by putting points across without any aggression. And even better later on, the Inn cleared as if by magic and no one there at eleven, so home by twelve.

Today was fairly sedentary as I decided not to go fishing and had prawns hanging so could fulfil last nights promises. Out to the Varuna and up the road with a half-dozen kilos. Low tide




and bright sunshine makes for lots of birds at the low water mark.


Back for a bit of wood chopping and dog walking before digging some tatties and harvesting a bit of lettuce and garlic for the tea. Simon staying the night as he is going up to fit the dish on the SW building at Diabeg tomorrow with Sean. So the North Coast chappies can start getting excited about getting their broadband on stream in the next couple of weeks, assuming of course there are no hitches tomorrow.

Comments on: "Scottish Rural Parliament." (4)

  1. basketbob said:

    I had to chuckle at your mishaps Ali – but i’ll tell you – you are not alone. I kept losing Internet for minutes at a time and couldn’t track the problem for ages. Intermittent faults are the worst. Anyhow, my wifi router suddenly gave up the ghost, so that was evidently the problem. Purchased a new one and fitted it very happy with the result.
    That’s when my mp3 player stopped working. I don’t use it much, but it is very useful at certain times. Ordered a new one that came to day.
    Tonight, my Laser printer decides it doesn’t want to be recognised, but only after I’d fed it 2 new toner cartridges. Diagnostics can’t tell me the problem, other than it refuses to be recognised and stay switched on, although it accepts the print jobs. So, Revive the old inkjet, which costs me another 2 ink cartridges, then the paper jams, and the printer wouldn’t recognise that I’d cleared the blockage.
    It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!
    Better day coming tomorrow! :0)

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Aye just some days…… Haven’t seen the Bucks yet but you know what they say about those pennies.

  2. What are “FIT payments”?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      FITs are Feed in Tariffs which are basically a guaranteed price that we can sell our green electricity to the grid. It is index linked and will last for 20 years. The down side is that we cannot use any grant moneys to build the hydro scheme as that would count as double subsidy. Share issues are the way ahead for Community groups.

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