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

Autumnal Gales

Couple of very lazy days although managed twelve hours at the Inn. The weather has been pretty mixed and leaning towards the very poor,


lots of rain, wind with the odd blink of sun.


It does not feel hard work at the Inn as the numbers have tailed off in the last couple of days. Still plenty of people about but not queuing for tables and able to chat for longer with some people. Met an Applecross farmer who had come to see his “farm” on Bienn Bhan, never seen it before but that is the EU CAP mad system of agricultural subsidies for you. That Applecross Trust rent out rough hill land at £12 a hectare to an Orkney farmer so he can keep his herd going in Orkney makes no sense to me at all. But the craic was good especially after getting the Orkney bit straight off, been practicing the accents lately and having an Orcadian in the night before helped. It is the system that is crazy, I’m sure there will not be a landowner in the country that does not rent out their rock and heather for a bit of dosh. Difference would be if it was Community owned all monies generated would be spent in the Community to develop it in a sustainable way. I suppose that is what the Community Company is trying to do, not buy the land but generate income to be spent within the community. It is back to the age old question of why you should pay tax relief to the land owner to plant trees instead of giving a grant to people living on the land to do the same. A question a nineteen year old Andy Wightman asked when doing his degree in Forestry at Aberdeen Uni “many” years ago. Generally people who are living on the land will look after it better than the absentee who only uses it for sport. A bit like the nomad fisherman, as long as it is okay for him once a year rather than the resident who makes his living locally and uses it all year round. It must be difficult for some one who does not live in an area to understand the needs and desires on the ground. An example is the Community Company through AEE promoting a heating system for the local village hall so the Hall can be more viable, common sense and should not be extra work for the committee but strengthens the Hall in the work they do. Back to the local pound being worth six times if spent locally. I get a nice kick knowing that the profits from the calendars stay in Applecross and in a small way help the Company through a difficult period of finding a decent income stream. The cost of legal, insurance and accountancy fees have to be found and as the Company is only providing services that are taken for granted elsewhere the profit margins are tiny.

As well as a wee insight into farming I got some good Yorkshire garden tips and possibly confirming why I had a bit of a disaster this year. Hot manure does seem to have been the problem, helps some vegetables but not the ones I put the manure on. Some vegetables, like leeks and onions you can “butter their a@*@s” as much as you want. Yorkshire folk have a very direct, but colourful, way of describing the obvious. Another shift at the Inn about to start so finish this either later tonight or into tomorrow morning. Not looking forward to the cycle home, wind will be more than fresh and rain if there is any will not be falling straight.


It is almost dark when I went up the road on Saturday evening and the wind was getting up with quite a swell coming across the Sound.


Sunday 5.15pm and it’s dark; It was a winter’ evening at the Inn last night with very few venturing out and apart from most residents wanting to sit on top of the fire it all went smoothly, even the couple on honeymoon, she, forgetting to pack just about everything. The most important was the flecainide for her husband. A phone call to the Doc and a visit to the surgery got that all sorted out. It is a good symptom of our community, like when in the shop in the afternoon customer asks for wallpaper paste, none in but the customer behind says he has some, so sorted. Once everyone got their place by the fire things settled down and it was a smooth and quiet shift. The clocks could have had already gone back it was so quiet. Had a good reminisce chat with the Shieldaig Mackenzies, over for a regular meal, unfortunately quite a bit about funerals and illnesses but that is an age thing I suppose. The bike ride home was not too bad and was broken up by a visit to Eagle’s Rock to catch up with a previous Doc, Mark and Damien, up for birthday celebrations. Most of which went on the previous night so things were a bit subdued with a few hangovers scattered around the room, so it was home by eleven. I had taken a snap of a fast flowing Alt na Criche yesterday


thinking there had been a fair amount of rain but this morning there really had been.


I am slowly gathering pots for my honey and am just about there and got a wee message from Kyle saying I had left some in the separator which Audrey kindly sorted out for me.


Dougal and Eilidh are always on the lookout for a walk anywhere and whatever the weather and it is good to get out with them most of the time. You invariably see sights that you would n’t if you were slumped in front of the computer. Sums up the season and the weather.


Can’t really say telly now as we no longer watch live TV and do not have a licence any more. To be perfectly honest do not miss it in the slightest. Lunch shift was a solo one with back up from the Boss. Again quiet due to the pretty atrocious weather, so quiet that Steve was turning his hand to new dishes, a starter cockle, steamed on a bed of rocket.



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