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

Mrs A’s 14 ticks.

Went like a dream. Up early and off to Broadford to pick up a box of personal bits and pieces before making my way to Glenelg. Met the minister for the first time and again , Iain. Was a little surprised at the number who came out to see her off, but plesasntly so. The weather was certainly changeable with Alison and the boys passing cyclists sheltering from the horizontal hail on the top of the Hill. Spring never mind summer has not arrived yet. Or at least arrives for a day and then disappears for a week. And not much change in sight for the next week. Speaking of Mrs A, just before she went through to pick up sons Nos 3and4 in Inverness I had an unusual request. To take 14 ticks out of her. After the funeral/sermon we headed off to the Balmacara cemetery to lay my mum beside my Dad. Emotions held in check as I am only thinking of the cord list, those who are going to lower the coffin. Had a list made out but have to leave a couple open to see who turns up. Made it happen okay and went down to the Plockton Inn for a cracking plate of soup and sandwiches.

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Seems it runs in the family, climbing out windows that is, mum’s brother in this case. He was not allowed to play football so out the window he went to play for Plockton against Kyleakin. Would have gotten away with it if he had not broken his arm at the game. Don’t think falling out of bed would have swung it. Reminds me of the time I broke the key in my Dad’s car. A big problem as I should not have had the car and certainly not outside the Dornie Hall at 2am on a Saturday morning. A deal of subterfuge and ingenuity later and I got away with that one. Some more gossip, up to date and not to be repeated. You always get these trips back into the past and a catch up in the neighbouring villages at funerals. Took a little run down Cooper Street and Laurel Bank, now changed hands and renovated since I have been in.

Home in time for work although not sure that was a good idea. Stopped of at what seemed like a TESCO pit stop

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but views are always good there.

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Saturdays are becoming an evening to get through these days. The Inn experiences a descending crush on Saturdays now with the big tables booked at 6pm and again at 8pm. It is the only way to cope. Maybe it was because of my day but it was almost out of control at one stage although i think it was more to do with lack of communication. I knew some of the group on the big table and all was going well up to the time they were leaving and the next group were sitting down. They had already started but not the booked group so it was almost unpleasant sorting it out over the next ten minutes and the closest I have come to telling a couple of people what I really thought. But all went okay apart from the spilt glass of wine. It may well be a long season and it seems the popular destinations are all finding it harder to cope as the destinations in between are not providing good service so the load is fairly uneven. Going to have to be more efficient to cope in the weeks to come. Sunday was a busy but saner day although the weather is staying so unsettled. It is the hot topic, a couple of decent days then a dip back into late winter. Cannot remember such a broken spell for May. The broken weather does throw up some interesting skies.

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The bees are going well and out in numbers on the good days, at least one hive is. Not sure the second one is going to survive. It was always the weaker one from the split last year.

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Now Thursday morning and just away to Inverness to the Community Land AGM via Loch Ness. Suddenly no time to do everything so its just a quick finish off and into the van with the dogs as we are staying at Beauly overnight. Once Dougal gets his hair sorted we are off.

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Tuesday evening at the Inn was like the height of summer, without the weather, queueing for tables most of the evening but all goes well. That interspersed with a day fishing and another evening shift takes us up to date. The prawns are going down well just now. I think because they are on and off the menu people are ordering them just in case. They are not bad though. Got caught out last night with a group of four residents who wanted a half pint of prawns tailed. I thought it was one for the ladies to share so offered to shell for them.They ordered four, one each. One plateful of langoustine followed.

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The haul produced a few more than expected, enough for a box going to Loch Ness Inn and to keep them on the menu till the weekend. Not so many bonxies about yet but always good to watch them battle

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and usually win

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against the gulls.

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And a star fish.

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The Americans, last night at the Inn, were grateful to be helped out as their tyre was burst on the Hill. I think they were really mystified that we would help them get the call out, feed them and put them up for the night. If I am broken down anywhere across the world I hope the Applecross factor kicks in.

Comments on: "Mrs A’s 14 ticks." (7)

  1. Janet Lamb said:

    Welcome back Ali after a difficult few days for you. The inn sounds a bit hectic.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Some evenings are just there to get through. You do meet some guys that make it good fun but at the moment with the numbers about it tends to be survival. Winter is not far away.

  2. It’s odd to see a starfish with seven arms instead of 5.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      I never knew they had 5, will keep a look out in future. Suspect it may be species specific.

      • Well, some species have more than 5 but usually a multiple of five. Starfish, brittle stars and sea urchins (all echinoderms) have 5-fold or pentamerous symmetry. I’ll have a look in a few books to see what your creature might be.

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        Okay good info. We do get a few of them. Take some other angled photos when I catch them.

      • I have just learned something I didn’t know before. Although starfish (Asteroids like the common starfish Asterias rubens) typically have five or multiples of five arms, there are quite a few species that have more – 7, 11, 13 etc. One of these is called the Seven-armed Starfish (Luidia ciliaris) and it looks quite a bit like the one you photographed. The description says that the arms are fringed with prominent white spines, and they live on sand, gravel or sand-scoured rock over which they can move relatively quickly.

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