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

Survived Valentine

What an extra ordinary day so far, one keeps saying that. Woke up early doors and was walking down the road in bright sunshine and clear blue skies thinking so far so good at the Inn when I noticed a movement in the water and so walked from Milton


to Camusteel


while a dog otter swam south with me. When I say with me that is what it felt like, popping out of the water to investigate any movement among the kelp swaying in the swell, before continuing our journey to the schoolhouse.

Now just back from an astounding walk and cycle to Coillieghillie, blue skies, easterly breeze, and could say not a care in the world but that would be going too far. Lots to think about but trying so hard to destress and prepare for the coming evening making sure things go okay. With the inevitable Dougal and Eilidh in tow, Dougal giving me the impatient “must go for a walk” eye,


down to the bike, still parked by the roadside from Fridays trip to Kishorn on the boat, and then cycled to the Ardban path



and headed west.


Left the bike as I am not a Danny Macaskill. Made it to the back of Coillieghillie and took in such a beautiful seascape, Ardban to the north,


Cuillin to the south-west


and watched a small flock of oyster catchers gather on a rock just offshore,


far enough from Dougal to feel totally unconcerned.


By the time I arrived there I was almost twice round the clock with Grind, the Treacherous album. I know some people here have not connected with it but I find it quite astonishing. Sitting on a rock looking out to sea with only the company of my dogs,


the oyster catchers, blue skies,


and a passing seal is the best of therapies. If only for a few moments you can feel a calm but also a rhythm when you watch the slight rise and fall of a northerly swell swirling around some bigger stones below the seaweed line. We force things a bit sometimes and like last night when the question was asked if you believed that Independence for Scotland would happen it was a universal Yes but it will be over time, like community empowerment, like land reform, maybe our task is to open the door for others to go inside. Back home after a quick visit to the shop you feel the frustrations rising again and when you compare some of the other LDO’s achievements ours have to be so hard-won it feels exhausting. One Community Company is employing nine people now, a smaller population, but shows what can be done without the shackles. This was followed by some lovely blinks of sun


through the gathering


clouds to the west.


The extra ordinary continues, just finished the Valentines session and quite a one it was.  We had forty booked so walkins brought it over the sixty. Have to admit I was worried, Boss 500miles away and back up on hen party duty so nowhere to run. Seems a koala bear involved but story best told by those present. You just want it to go okay and missing out a halibut for the dinning room did not help but luckily Rachel took it well and it was a fine piece of fish when it arrived. On thin ice with the kitchen after that and that is when it is bound to go wrong. Again it was salvageable with Ralph and Gillian having their starters after their mains. Turns out I knew them and all was well. Two holes and shovels worked fine and climbed out. The night went really well, and the venison loin with rosti potatoes were top of the tree. My reward from the kitchen despite the mistakes. Unfortunately as I was eating my tea there was a coming together of the lady, the candle on the window, followed by a gin and tonic. The G and T was to put out what the candle did to the lady. The gin was hers and afterwards it emerged this was not her first “accident”. Previously she had re-enacted the Martini lady advert, the one on roller skates, and ended up across a car bonnet, danced and fell of a pool table, not exactly sure about the Eddie The Eagle incident and was helicoptered off the Isle of Sheppey. The Inn rests its case for the defence. In all seriousness, my fault, and one that could have gone badly wrong. It wasn’t her night as this was followed by a red wine over her. She was bearing up really well and back on fb within half an hour, despite the rather large hole in the back of her dress. Our fire officer was on the scene helpfully pointing out that candles and alcohol do not mix. That went down really well. Always good to sit beside some guests for an interlude amongst the mayhem, the Kylesku ladies helped along with the Calum’s daughter.

On Sunday lunch, to cut a long story short, we were thumped, queuing out the door, or would have been if the weather allowed. Apart from laughing hysterically all you could do was serve, tell people it was okay and the end result was every one had a fine meal with high praise for the kitchen. It’s an adrenalin rush, meeting people you don’t know, people you do know and some you should know. Wee connection to Kyle in the past, a relative of the Budges who used to live by the main road to Plockton, small world, lots of connections. They were part of the fifteen booked for 1.00pm. Was told later in the afternoon that it was a 90+ lunch, so not too bad for a two man front team to deal with.

Now knackered.



Comments on: "Survived Valentine" (2)

  1. Well done Ali-we had a good dinner too. Weather was splendid as we drove back to reality..

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      This reality thing is a bit of a bummer, not sure we sorted the world out properly on the night may need another gathering to do that. Always good to work on nights like these. Good to see you all.

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