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

Sometimes you go through a week and you think nothing much going on and then Friday evening is suddenly upon you and a reasonable amount achieved, just sometimes it does not feel that way. Started on Sunday and it was with some trepidation that I was on the road to the Inn. The forecast was not good for a barbecue, charity bike run and a car rally. Snowing on Shore Street and sure enough the word from the top of the Hill was the bikes were not coming, the car rally never phoned and did not appear and the barbecue was called off.


9Q7Q9436 Maybe a barbecue in April on the north-west coast of Scotland was not the best plan, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.


Scored with Pammie’s scones though and even had some to take home. Fewer people about with the Easter Holidays over and the May Bank not till tomorrow. Although all the gatherings cancelled the Inn had to prepare for everyone arriving and all the supplies were brought in for a busy day. Some of the home-made burgers appeared last night as mince and tatties for the staff. Managed a plate and got a plate for Willie, the plain eating forester. They have come to the end of their job here and have just got to tidy and pack up before leaving in the next week or so. As with anything of size, economies of scale does produce a lot of waste. There must be hundreds of tons of wood lying on the ground, much of it mulched but some fine firewood that would keep the home fires burning for a couple of winters. Mind you with the weather just now the fires are still being lit.

Three days into the week and the wet stocks at the Filling Station are all up to date and lots of envelopes opened and the next jobs lined up for completion. Decided not to go fishing to try to clear decks a bit. Volunteering does cost sometimes, and more than money but stress free sleep is important. The wet stocks needed to be written down again as I had thought wrongly they were being computerised. As we were still dipping the tanks all it meant was going back to the beginning of the new system, working out how much was in the tanks at the change over and deciding which was the right total in the end of day reports. Cracked after two and a half days but with little sense of achievement. Used to love finishing jobs I hated doing, now just another job. Still get out and about, down to the pier to fuel up the Auk passing the whin bushes in full bloom


and noticing the odd lamborghini turning up at the Inn.


Also the primroses are out in numbers and some lovely but unknown wild flowers.


This one knocked over by and exuberant, rodent chasing Dougal.


Despite all the community work going on it is very pleasant to stop and take time out to enjoy nature whether a flower or an evening sky.


Although fewer visitors about still plenty around. Inn full and enough to fill the tables with the dinning room in use. Met up with a keen blog reader from Milngavie, Brian with his wife Anne, Did a Judith and sat and chatted over the last couple of evenings although he knew just as much about Applecross as I did. In the background of the Inn is the new till system. like anything new it will take a bit of time getting used to and is still being modified. Bit of a stressful feeling as I take a little time getting into a new IT routine. Luckily there are several younger guys who are fairy patient in showing the older generation how to carry out the various tasks needed to keep the floor functioning. Not the best timing a couple of days before May Bank but in the grand scheme of things it will not register as a hassle of any size.

Last night there was a lot of politics about and none of which was initiated by me and I think I handled it okay while still putting my own views across. At one of the bar were the Conservative group who did not think Scotland could survive on its own, Nicola was dangerous and the price of oil would have brought the country down. Next up were a couple of camping Scousers who thought the best way to deal with said Torys was to “drown” them. Then it was off down the bar to have a wee chat with the Ukippers…..only in Applecross. It was only afterwards that I realised that I reckon I could take an educated guess as to what newspaper they read by what they said in bar chat. Again the politics fade into the distance when you cycle home with the moon shinning over Milton Loch.


So it was good to clear the head and go out to sea today. Planned a start the summer hours this morning it being the 1st of May and at least for the first day it is working. It has been a slower start this year but hoping it is now properly under way with a beautiful morning,




nice and quiet,


and with slightly more prawns than expected. The afternoon however had the northerly wind increasing and there was the tide running with the boat so it was a little awkward hauling into the wind. Not much to report on the sea life apart from wondering how the sea urchin gets around.


Two big bits of news on a community level is the Westcoast HUBS is closer in coming to fruition. As far as I can make out it has received some state funding for its roll out. Means our broadband will be coming up from FortWilliam and we should have speeds far in excess of what we are experiencing now. There has been, and always is, a lot of work in the background to keep the system going and recently we have been notified of a fault in one of the BT leased lines which is giving non-existent upload speeds. Resulting on people being transferred off that line onto the other four. Means more contention while the fault gets sorted out. This will be in BT’s time not ours. We never have to look for problems. The other big news is the deposit for the turbine has been lodged today. Without going into too much detail as there is a huge amount of work, phone calls, emails, legalities and meetings going on currently, I can safely say if we did not have the current contractors the scheme would not be being built this year. And as usual it will be built in a way no other community is doing it. Not sure why but this just seems to be the way of it here in Applecross. And to finish off a lovely end to the evening in the western sky,


colours changing by the minute.


Comments on: "Colours of Politics and Nature." (13)

  1. Janet Lamb said:

    I’ve missed your blog the last few days Ali. Your photos are getting really good but they do make me miss Applecross! As ever Steve and I are thinking of you all. By the way I am a Scouse Conservative but fortunately I am 50 miles from the sea!

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      It made me smile to have such different views, and only I knew them,in such a small space. Only in Applecross. Sometimes you think there is nothing going on, you sit down to write a few words to go with the photos and a thousand later…. Interesting times whatever any ones views, going to be an allnighter I think next thursday. Not sure it will make much difference either way in the end.

  2. Ha ha thats my 5 minutes of fame! Ali we really had a great time and it was a pleasure to meet with you, share some stories and have the “craic”. Good to put a face to the words and beautiful photographs. Good luck with all the ventures. We’ll be back up again for sure.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Aye it was good to meet you. Still getting used to how social media works, but thanks for the chats and photo comments. Not looking forward to tonight though, people queuing for tables all evening….won’t be much chat on a Bank Holiday weekend.

  3. Janet Lamb said:

    We will be up all night too. The result seems a foregone conclusion in Scotland but I’m not sure what is going to happen in England. The pollsters should head up to the inn. Keep up the good work with the photos Ali – we love them.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers on the photos, new calendar out this week. Politics really interesting up here. Since Indy Ref people are engaged and no matter what anyone’s view that must be good. Always believed that as soon as you get out of bed in the morning you are involved with politics. Don’t go for this “nothing to do with me”. Don’t believe the polls, it is very complicated up here but as long as it is peaceful …

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      And forgot to say that my colour is Green, but may have to be tactical until next years Scot election when every vote counts with PR.

  4. Moira Blurton said:

    I’m not an expert so I looked it up for you, your delicate wildflower is a wood sorrel, although my tablet keeps changing it to wood squirrel!

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers, I agree with you in the no expert bit. Uff suggests lady’s smock or cuckoo flower.

  5. The wild flower that you show is lady’s smock or cuckoo flower Ali. The Latin name is cardamine pratensis.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thanks, you have more knowledge than me. It is still flowering and beautiful.

  6. Wood sorrel is in flower at this time of year but it has five petals and clover-like leaves and goes well in a salad. This one looks like Cuckooflower – I used to wonder how it got it’s name until I noticed that you always spot this flower on the same day you hear the first cuckoo of spring.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thanks for that, seems to be the one and you are right it does coincide.

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