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

Better Laws.

(early Sunday evening). Tiring but have to keep going as we are starting out on the last leg, the Oran Mor next for ALDOC and Songhoy again. Morning was the first laid back one as our outing was on for 2.30 at the O2. A series of five acts of which three were very good


and the other two were okay.


Had a bit of a weird experience on the way there. Just crossed the road in front of a marching band and did not like it at all.


Felt the aggression from them as they passed. Strident music with loud harsh drumming making a statement of who they were and almost daring me to look at them, of course the camera came out.I reckon I am passionate about a few things but they took the biscuit. The other downside is walking past the beggars, quiet, polite and looking pretty miserable. No doubt everyone has a story behind them and who knows but them, made me very uneasy and sad they could not enjoy what we were. The music was fine with three of the five very, very good and the other two good, but not to my taste. Busy place this town.


(Later) Just back from the Oran Mor and buzzing. Love writing these snippets when you still feel the music in you. Find of the weekend was ALDOC, a mix of Irish, New Zealand, Dutch and others, playing bass, electric and acoustic guitars, with flute, whistles, trumpet,drums and decks.


At one stage the could be described as rapping to a reggae beat but the flute was still prominent….simply fantastic.


Set too short but iTunes getting a visit tomorrow. Longish before stage set for Songhoy and we thought we had heard what they could do as they played last night. The venue, intimacy and crowd made for a special end to the weekend. Sometimes not knowing the language of the songs matter but not in this case, music is universal.


Even the subway not working did not matter, taxis ten a tenner. Banter on the way out was superb, he tries to stay clear of Sauchiehall Street, Saturday nights as the lads “after three pints of lager tops think they are King Kong”. His wee story of the Commonwealth Games. His neighbour, an elderly wifie was telling him she was watching the opening ceremony when she heard thunder and rushed to get the washing in. He could not understand it as weather great, worked out after she told him a couple of times that it was the fireworks she had heard…. she was watching them on telly but never twigged. It felt a short journey out. Bit of football on now and it just occurs to me that we have probably spent less on the whole weekend than we would have if we had gone to see overpaid superstars kicking a ball about a pitch for 90 mins. Poor comparison I know but makes think about priorities.

And home, it’s a long journey and a stop in at Birnam for a coffee and scone before Alison taking the van up the A9.


Roads clear, Treacherous playing on the iPod, and head full of memories of an epic weekend. Straight through to Applecross with a brief stop at the top of the Bealach for a view across the Sound.


Just a bit of House and a sleep. Busy in the other room as the tenders are in for the Hydro and lots of big, important and informed decisions to be made in amongst all this music. As we had stopped in Birnam on the way I sometimes stop and wonder how more people do not know about land issues, generally issues over legal rights and the like. I sat beside a tenant farmer who would not say where he was from, bit damming considering we have abolished Feudal Law. Outside Dundee we were told about a development which was objected to by all residents and CCs but went through at higher levels, the developer is based in the Isle of Man. It must be what the Africans on the ground feel when their land and resources are sold from under them by their own governments. Interesting to hear other people talking about the value of land and why as soon as you put planning permission on it does the value go through the roof. Housing a human right?….. it does say that in the laws we are supposed to be following, so many considerations that will be regarded as being less radical in the future. I often feel I am a little out there is what I believe in but am somewhat protected by my lack of desire on things. Collecting and selling holds nothing of importance as opposed to giving and helping . There is a structure and legal system to live within but when you read about how these laws come into being…….Why is it shooting a deer has become a right but cleverly the deer remains a wild animal so liabilities are nullified if the deer “causes” a car crash? Why can no one catch a wild salmon, a fish that has swam 4000 miles to Greenland and back, without paying a private individual extortionate amounts of money? Why do Sporting Estates have tax exemptions? The only reason I can think of is that those who make the laws actually benefit from them and they will argue to keep them the way they are. The way ahead is for the people to get together and make better laws in which the many benefit over the few. So three consultations to reply to in the next week or so, otherwise how can I continue to complain.


Comments on: "Better Laws." (6)

  1. We simply don’t know about land issues and all the skullduggery that goes on because we are not told. We only get told about the majority of developments when they have gone through, when there is precious little time to do anything about it.

    I didn’t know about sporting estate tax exemptions until I read it in this blog.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      It is quite hard to write about land issues without sounding a little harsh and as soon as you do you are a target, but over time you get used to it and if you stick to the arguments it can be a healthy debate. One size does not fit all though an there are probably many we’ll run estates but if they are not run with the communities in mind……….since the ref we have a lot more media outlets that are not main stream so there is more info out there and since the Community Company has been set up we have come across a good network of active and intelligent people.

  2. Brian Whyte said:

    Hi there and thanks for your latest posting. I really look forward to your words and in particular your beautiful photographs from the Applecross area. So much so my wife and I have booked a few nights at the Inn during the last week in April and we’re really looking forward to it together with the opportunity of sampling some of that much talked about seafood. 

    We’re from Milngavie just north of Glasgow and I’m wondering what is the best way up – A9 via the “sneck” or A82 via Invergarry? Probably go one way and back the other as the scenery going up the west coast can be magnificent…….given a wee bit of decent weather!

    Taking in some Celtic Connections stuff also and looking forward to Transatlantic Sessions on Saturday. Hope the natives were kind to you!

    All the best and keep up the good work.

    Kind regards

    Brian Whyte

    Sent from Samsung tablet

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thank you, will probably see you when you come up, still not used to having these conversations face to face with people who read the blog but thanks form the reading of it anyway. We naturally go down the A9 but west scenery takes it. North of Glasgow maybe means starting on the west route. Back down tomorrow, did Transatlantics last year so heading to Oran Mor and Old Fruit Market this weekend. cheers Ali

  3. Anybody can get Tax exemptions even those great moralists Tony Ben and Ed Milliband on their properties.”We are all part of the same hypocracy”Michael Corleone,never a truer word spoken.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Like you say anyone who can afford accountants will try to pay as little tax as possible. That is the way this system works, the more you make the more you can afford to pay some one to enable you to pay less tax. Little different when you also use the self same tax laws to deflect a community’s aspirations on its survival if all you are doing is to provide some one with a playground. Not sure where Charity comes into this equation.

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