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

Quite an up and down three days, glad to say that it is finishing on the up. Wednesday morning and I was almost excited about going out fishing. Just too long not being on the water. Did not expect many if any prawns but was under instructions to get some for the Inn and some squats as well. Dave, Ryan’s dad managed to catch one on the shore up the coast so needs must. Lovely start to the day with the sun shinning on the stern on the way out,

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an unusual number of gulls on St Island

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and Eagle’s Rock looking resplendent under Bienn Clachan.

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Surprising day on two counts. There were a few prawns and there were very few snagged gear, considering how long since they had been hauled. Lifted one or two from the south ends and found quite a numbers of this years marine growth.

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Always look forward to seeing this regeneration as it tells me that we are not destroying the eco system completely and hopefully there will be a harvest ready for the next year. Unfortunately although I had started the day with a dull headache and thought nothing off it it slowly progressed into a much more severe one to the extent I was for heading home. But displaying a bit of pure Scottish thrawn I kept going to the next fleet, always keeping in mind Dave’s one squat lobster. My misfortune was that I had only about twenty squats on board so I had to head for a 35 fathom fleet of Applecross Head. Very relieved to be rewarded with a basket of squats so kept it together, managed to shoot the fleet back very badly but by this time I was thinking of getting to my couch for a lie down. Tailed and landed the catch and crashed for an hour before heading back to the Inn for a shift. Boss away so knew staff were light on the ground. Still head was not in good shape but no migraine so thought I had worked throughout it not getting one.

Not so. Yesterday morning started bad and deteriorated to just bad. The pain is special, for me it is so bad I cannot lie down as it hurts so much, so the day was spent holding my head throwing up and dozing not always in that order. By 3.20pm I had given up any hope of turning out at the Inn and Caroline stepped in to cover as Judith was not back till half way through. Luckily it was very quiet so did not feel too bad in letting them down, Mind you ten o’clock before I felt slightly human. Bed again with a couple of bananas and a glass of water. Not over yet as a half one and half four painkillers had to be consumed to see the night through and back on the couch. Thinking back it is interesting remembering what you think about, mostly the mundane but in this instance there were two things that came to mind first was a couple of Saturdays ago there were four people in the Inn that night I knew who were in trouble with their health, serious trouble, and they ranged from very young to middle-aged so to some extent that eases the pain as I know in a day or so it is okay for me just a memory. Reading that back sounds really selfish but a migraine is just that it is a migraine. The other thing of comment was I was thinking of the NWMCWCo Ltd having met one of the movers and shakers from the island. Albeit they have good ground and have teen over a well-managed forest but they have taken on a £600,000 debt and paid that off in two-year, established twelve forest crofts, building a Hydro scheme and now are getting stuck into providing affordable housing. Yesterday could not help thinking if only…… They have people in their community who rail against what they do as well as we have. It is just the nature of things, “an armoured back” he said is needed.

Today’s start was a little confused with dregs of painkillers floating about but after a healthy breakfast and some caffeine things got underway. The offer to work a shift tonight was not needed so it was over the Hill to Shieldaig to Sarah’s for much-needed Thai Massage. Been suffering from a very sore neck muscle pull needing a fair bit off attention. Arrived on time but no sign of Sarah so went to Nanny’s for a fine cappuccino and coffee cake and Sarah arrived twenty minutes late….Lynne backed me up on this so Sarah really confused as she thought she was forty minutes early. Turns out she was, don’t know what Lynne’s excuse was, mine was I was in migraine recovery phase. So for at least a couple of hours Sarah was under the impression she had lost one. Cracking workout and not too painful so made it home through the mist and rain with ease. On the way I had stopped to take a shot off how bleak it looked

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but on the way back even on a day like this, dismal and wet, the colours were still there by the roadside.

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The water was racing down every hill you passed, the Bealach looking the at its perfect Highland best. White water appearing out of a glowering mist, a good place to drive up and over to home.

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Stop off at the Inn, shed building progressing,

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to drop off some more calendars, thanks to every one who are buying them, you are helping our community live, and more at the shop before coming in for the dogs and a walk round the Camusterrach/Camusteel circuit. Put the headphones on and for no reason at all stuck Runrig on. Apart from mistiming the walk during the rush hour, must have been passed by more than ten cars in the forty-five minutes, the misty dusk, wind and company of Dougal and Eilidh

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were the final part of the recuperation. Felt as I was returning a favour as they knew I was in trouble yesterday and they tried to help, lying beside me, on me in the case of Dougal,

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and licking my neck and head. Lovely dogs and Jenny has done well by them. With Runrig playing, this completed the day especially when “Every River” came on “Every river I try to cross” the first line of a powerful chorus took me home in no time in the gloom of the west coast, but it is home. All that was left to do was cook off a couple of Grant’s of Dornoch sirloins via the Inn and watch Martyn Bennet’s Documentary about the album Grit, something I have to buy. Brilliant but so poignant. So as usual nothing much to say and signing off with the sonorous,melodic sounds of Sorley Maclean reciting “Hallaig” on Bothy Culture.

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