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

Patronage not the Solution.

Quiet two days and just sitting tight with more severe weather coming in tonight. Just finishing a shift at the Inn with a half dozen customers to serve and one or two pool players. Absolutely teeming down outside and little doubt the Hill is closed. Forecast a little different this time as the storm is passing straight through and the wind is starting off in the South East, increasing, and then swinging round to the North West, my dreaded one. Nipped out to the Varuna on Tuesday afternoon after taking Dougal out for his cycle.

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Timing the tide with a little drop in the wind.

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All was well with the bridal dropping off the bent roller but no damage.

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So a straighten up, pump out, run off the engine and back ashore. Cold weather, with the breeze coming off the snow and then the water, it goes straight through you.

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Just did a little favour that sort of sums up the Inn and the bit of Applecross that I live in. The five on the big table on the way out mentioned they fancied having a look in the Coal Shed, the gift shop at the bottom of the Hill. So a phone call later and it was all organised for the shop to open at eleven tomorrow for a private viewing. What comes of working in a bar that is one of the centres of a community that is desperately trying to survive. Maybe it is the time of year but feeling that our fishery is in a spot of bother. Another local crewman has com ashore and hearing that one or two boats are only just surviving. No incentive to go out even when the weather has slightly improved.

Little fun earlier in the day on the cycle down to Culduie. So good to see the Varuna sitting peacefully on her mooring but awaiting the next blow.

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Went out to the spit where the seals were dawdling,

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the cormorants were lazing around

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and a heron flew away squawking when Dougal came sniffing round the corner. He does get involved

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and was very interested in the seals as was Eilidh.

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They were as interested in them although they nipped into the safety of the water just in case and kept a watchful eye on the shore.

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Everything was a bit dull having missed some good light earlier in the day.

So the Boss heads off, the major carpet clean over and cleaners away, long trip round the coast and the bar is for closing. That was at the back of eleven but the last two customers had other ideas….an hour and a half later,a very pleasant one at that, and we went through so much, division, partnership, patronage, hopes and fears and so much more, all local. They did the previous partners earlier in the evening, but customer confidentiality rules. Think these discussions are always fruitful in keeping informed about some parts of the community you don’t have direct contact with. One thing I do not agree with is that I live in a divided community. That is just an easy excuse for the establishment not to engage and try to carry on as before. Sure there are some people who disagree fundamentally with others who live here but so what. This is an intense place to live, it can feel small at times and you can wonder why some of the things that are said are said, but if you are in a relatively good place what you get from living here can be really special. Huge problems to overcome but the solutions will have to come from the marginalised community rather than from outside patronage.

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