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

I inhabit a strange world, (to me anyway) just now and am sitting in the middle of Charlotte Sq in Edinburgh going to go in to a private gathering of Kirsty Logan’s book of short stories, “A Portable Shelter”. She came out on the Varuna for background and sent one of the tales up by email for me to keep the technical bits in order, which I duly did and then received an invite. I have got to the stage in life where I now say why not? More often and cannot find reasons not to experience new ventures. Never been to a book launch so here I am. Off in now.

Seeing I was in plenty time and I was sitting with free wi-fi I thought I would write a little just in keeping with the surrounds. My star spotting was complete in seeing Bill Paterson coming out of a marquee, forgot his name but knew him as the father in Ian Bank’s Crow Road. Had planned to go fishing on Monday morning but the east wind was still blowing and decided that I would give it a miss especially as the weather was for a quiet spell on Tuesday/Wednesday so thought that would be soon enough to get round the gear. Took my time in setting off

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down the A9, stopping at Inverness for the Highland Wholefoods shop and again at Ralia Cafe before making it to Edinburgh without incident and took a stroll round the Square before going back for the iPad and relaxing outside the Writers Retreat where the event was to take place. As I was not on west coast time I was on time and only a couple of ladies there. It is another world and mixing with the Scottish literati I thought would be a bit stiff for me. A little chit-chat with a retired lecturer from the OU, also a poet, and then Kirsty came along and the place filled up. Kirsty won an award from the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship, funded by Creative Scotland, allowing her to spend a year on creative writing rather spending time setting up creative writing workshops or tutoring, basically giving a writer space to write. Judging by the signed copy I was given it is money well spent.

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Kirsty came out on the Varuna on a breezy Saturday to do a little research on a short story about a Selkie Fisherman and sent me a couple of emails to check out some of the technical terms. I duly did and she then invited me down to the private gathering where she did mention Applecross and her “queasy day at sea”. Result was after the wee speeches and reading several people came up to me and of course everyone knew about Applecross. Ended up chatting with Tom Pow, a poet, who recently wrote a book called “In Another World” among Europe’s dying villages. And as it is a current concern of mine we chatted about Applecross and its future, dipping into a conversation about Bengali prawns, before back in the van and up the A9. Home by 1.30am and in time for a comatose sleep and into a couple of days fishing before the weather breaking today. This all happened with Alison answering a tweet by Kirsty asking anyone in the Applecross area who fished and would they take her out on the boat. Always take interested people out. Small world syndrome appeared when I mentioned to Alison about Tom Pow and she casually replied that he taught her English at school and had just bought the book.

Just enough time to keep nipping up to the Hydro progress and they are cracking on.

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Graham is down on the Gateway breaking rock while Steve and Ali have been spreading building up the road and the hard standing area.

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They are not hanging about and deliveries are coming thick and fast. The pipe is already here

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and welding and dragging is programmed in for next week when the forecast is for drier weather.

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Weather is not an issue but breezy dry conditions would help.

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Would also keep Dougal cleaner.

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Sad to hear that his grandfather, Patch, is no more, dying of old age last week. Lots of work continuing regarding the share launch with plenty of people waiting for the opportunity to invest and help the scheme. On a quick trip up the road to see Kenny and Jill’s visitors, taking in another fine sunset on the way,

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noticed that it was a cracking year for ragwort, not the best for the farm animals and eradicating it has been going on for some years now but it has taken hold this year.

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A bit of progress regarding the Community Council pleas on road repairs. The work has started on the road between Camusterrach and Culduie.

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These little things mean the Council does work if only at a low-level. Got to catch up on publishing minutes. Bad weather in the next couple of days will help. Was going to wash creels this afternoon but it has turned into a recovery day and only job to do before work tonight is to land more prawns for the Inn this evening. Yet another fish farm heads out west, wonder if the Chinese will be buying our salmon after their stock market crash.

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