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

Diesel, Wood and Land.

A time of contrasts, Sunday shift was a ten-hour graft and at times only just in control. Tonight there are two locals in the bar and we have served five meals, one of them mine. Weather has been pretty mixed but resisted the temptation to go to sea. Nipped out to the boat for a few prawns for the menu and you immediately enjoy the deep sense of enjoyment being on the water and in the moonlight as a bonus. That a bit of wood store work and a tank dip was about it.

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The backdrop to the wood store is not too bad.

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Spent a fair bit of time keeping in touch with the fast-moving politics of land reform. I am not particularly interested in the shouty side of things but for conservative Applecross I’m probably marked down as a radical revolutionary. Amusing really as I cannot be bothered with taking possession but what does bother me is the prevention of a sustainable development which results in there being ten in the Primary School while when our boys, who are still in their twenties, were in a school of over twenty. I think we are approaching a time when there may have to be accommodation provided for the summer tourist season as there will no longer be enough people here to service the industry. This already happens to an extent with the Inn and the Walled garden. It seems to be such hard work for some landlords to treat their communities with a modicum of respect. So easy to work with rather than against but not natural for some, especially the old school. Twitter was interesting a couple of nights ago and one of the things that came across was the view and opinion about the situation in Applecross was taken by people who have little or no experience of the place and they base it on conversations with people who do not live here. There is a constant hiding behind “the community is too diverse to be represented” so it will not be represented. I took the decision not to go to The ALPS meeting on Monday evening partly as I had a long day and did not think there was much relevance for the CC representative to be there and going by the report it was a good decision. Chatting round a table is fine and I am all for it, keeps communication lines open, but there comes a time when you have to spend your time on more constructive matters. As long as this is not called community engagement…. Community engagement is planning a future together for the benefit of both partners and that may be a fair way off. It will happen and hopefully voluntarily but for the first time I am starting to see a strengthening of political will that may help communities like ours survive. Looking across at the pre school kids there are just not enough of them but they were having a great time and it is not a bad back drop.

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Back to Sunday and it was food and music all the way with very little staff to cope as yet another staff member heads off to the All Backs wedding of the year. And going by fb pictures it looks like Applecross but somewhere else. As few people here now since the early settlers 10,000 years ago. Can’t blame the landlord this time. I think we probably had three sittings for lunch and the music from 3 o’clock onwards meant for a full on day. Light t the south caught the eye. (finishing this in the morning).

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Now back at the Inn after a day of taking a fuel delivery,

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local shopping and almost completing my wood store. I suppose because it was a new driver,Norman, we were chatting about the Filling Station and that is when you realise that what you regard as routine seems impressive to people on the outside. Despite all the problems the Community has kept the fuel supply going and now these teething problems seem to be in the past. More people are involved in its running and the price is coming down.   mixed feelings about that. But you read the notice and it is with a little pride you cycle back down the road with Dougal and Eilidh lolloping along Never wanting to anything simple I decided to “design” it and it was all going swimmingly right up to the last few logs going on. Admit was slightly worried that the third row was not tying in too well and so proved to be the case as it all came crashing down. Quickly started up again……..after all I was on this course last week and have the words of my coach in my head. May have to cheat a little to keep it in place as don’t want to give anyone a fright if it comes down again. Managed to get two people to admire it before it collapsed so be back on it tomorrow. Bad weather forecast so the outside jobs are the ones to do, sounds like we are going to be indoors over the next few days.

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