(Sunday)Many countries at the Inn on Sunday, including the Porsche club.
From Holland to South Korea and Moldova on the way. For such a wee place on the edge of Europe it never ceases to amaze how many countries pass through. Bikes, cars, buses and the odd push bike, only planes and trains missing and probably just as well. Busy lunch but really quiet afternoon, big improvement in the weather with people sitting outside. Aron is down the road standing in front of his ice cream-making machines catching up on the ice cream run last night caused by his exploits at the Royal Highland Show. The writing announcing his awards has improved.
The total awards were one gold two silvers and fourteen bronze, Aron winning eight of the fourteen. Good effort. Ably backed by his good lady when he was south.
Fishing on Friday was pleasant although slightly annoying with just about every end tangled with some one else. You just get these days now and again and some days it is the other way around. Still a few prawns about, enough to keep the Inn going although the squats are still proving a little elusive. Octopus
and the odd old squat only things on the go.
Planned to go out yesterday but a short but sharp headache kept me ashore, Got rid of it by mid day so went wood gathering with the dogs and very productive, with a full van load, just left overs from the clear fell and with little effort will keep our water and us warm over this winter. Saturday evening was the usual busy spell but allowed the Boss to take it a little easier and chatted to guests rather than working the floor. Food as usual spectacular.
Lots of regulars about and when you ask where guests are from you realise you know one or two in the company, Achiltiebuie and Ullapool in this case. This from the retirement group of health workers from around the area. One of them, an exhotelier comes across his exbarman who was staying the night upstairs. The small, small world of Applecross. The phrase on everyone’s tongue is “the nights are drawing in and the summer has not yet arrived this year”
(Wednesday evening) And at the end of another very busy shift with some staff stovies heading this way, still raining but not putting any one-off coming. Had lunch this afternoon with Sam and Caroline who lived here for a couple of years, Sam with ALPS and Caroline with the Community Company. Went up on the bike with Dougal and Eilidh. Lots of stops on the way.
Visitor Centre rebuild well underway
and the Filling Station has stabilised with only one failure in the middle of the night since the engineer’s visit.
Needed another stop for a bit of pointless bird chasing.
Pleasant and lazy at the Walled Garden. Had half planned a fishing trip but could not make the effort. Try and make up lost time in the next couple of hauls by adding a couple of fleets at the end of the days. Stovies replaced by a fine beef and chutney and followed by a couple of games of that fast scrabble. Every now and again some one is not having a good day and if you jostle him/her it rubs off despite trying to keep one’s distance. Spoils the shift and the reason for enjoying coming here. Usually it happens in the heat of the moment and heals in a couple of days. That is why I am fortunate to go out on the seas and clear out of the way.
Surprised by a wee post on my timeline saying Applecrosslife got a mention in Parliament on Tuesday evening. More importantly as part of a debate, Ian Blackford, our MP, while laying the background to his questions pointed out my scepticism over a genuine consultation and mention that despite claims to the contrary the expansion plans have already started at Sand. While a little nervous seeing the blog appearing in Hansard the questions are genuine and expose the MoD in their usual obsequiousness.
“When will the consultation start? Why has the consultation process not started? Who is responsible for commencing the construction activity? When the consultation starts, why should we believe that it will be meaningful if the construction work is already underway? Why is there a proposal to take the exclusion zone right up to the shoreline? Why are the expansion plans necessary? Let me also ask: who will be responsible for the consultation exercise? Who will conduct it and who will be consulted? Why is this important?”
And Ian ends his part of the debate by pointing out that the Coast only had a single track road installed as recently as the 70s and suffered serious depopulation prior to this. “In one way or another, people were cleared from Applecross-cleared from the land. I do not wish to see our people today cleared from the fishing grounds: history must not be repeated.”
(Thursday evening) And this evening coming in from the fishing I read in the WHFP under the banner Applecross work ” nothing to do with range expansion plans” I read some of the quotes coming from the minister and MoD and feel very unsettled. The MoD are to consult on changing the bylaw governing the exclusion zone by the end of the summer. I see an exact replica of the language used by the MoD when they first arrived in the area almost half a century ago. “The aim of these talks will be to investigate what options might be available that would allow some fishing to take place at certain times within the revised water space” exactly what was offered in the early 70s when fishing was only going to be restricted from certain times in certain areas. And then we had to deal with an exclusion zone, extended and then the trawl free zone.
Probably what bothers me the most is that we have pretty good relations with RTB and comply with any operations they have on Range. Many times we and other boats have not hauled gear to enable the MoD to carry out their activities. The apparent disrespect they are showing at the moment is not helping future relations.
And the weather is still carp.