http://www.applecrosshydro.scot That is the website for the share offer, now live, fine work from Emma Noble. Can’t say often enough how much work has gone into this. There is no way that it could not have gone ahead without full-time paid work funded by HIE, carried out by Alison with back up work from CES, LES, CMS. I see this as seed corn cash, tax payers money well spent. People want to visit Applecross but the regulars want to catch up with the familiar faces and meet the new residents, find out what has happened since the last time they visited. That is what all this is about, keeping a community alive and not the place becoming a beautiful but empty destination which has lost its soul. I am sure there are many who may question the direction we are heading but I know of no other way. The Shares Launch last night was successful beyond our highest hopes.
By the end of the night we had raised £101,500 in pledges and monies to buy out the Scheme and today that had risen to £126,500.
Talks from Dave, Jamie and Mick followed by lots of apple juice from Ryfield, Black Isle Berries,
led into a fine ceilidh dance by the Kyle Ceilidh Band. Although numbers at the dance were not very high, a fair number of holidays were taken, all enjoyed and the Aussies had their first Strip the Willows and Boston Two Steps. I had topped up Sean’s Yard of ale, our fund-raising “thermometer” this morning but it is well out of date by the time I get home.
This was it before the shares launch..
It has all been a bit of a swirl as the fishing has started and the Inn shifts carry on. When you stop doing a regular activity for a month or so and fire back into it, especially if it is single-handed hauling prawn creels the result is extreme tiredness. Pulled and strained muscles built up over the last wee while either chopping logs and in the Varuna engine room are just that bit more achy. Thursday was the first day back and it did not go smoothly. I was back on the moorings by eleven after going out, picking up the first end, realising straight away all was not well. Opened the hatch to see the new hydraulic pump fitted for the second time was not performing as it should, spraying oil out of the body was not in the manual. Next it was over the Hill to the Yard, pick up the old one from a puzzled engineer, quick refit and back out on the water. Still, although it was not a flat calm day, managed to get just short of 300 creels up and a day’s catch ashore and straight to the Inn for the evening shift. It has definitely dropped a notch, still busy with all the tables in circulation and a few on the two sittings, but there are no queues. We do still have that half hour to get through when we are wondering whether we are going to sit the residents when they appear. But that used to be the whole shift as now it is the half hour of the shift. Think the boss still feels or expects it to be really busy but then that is from a perspective of day after day. I am back on the boat and it feels so different.
Thinking about how relaxing this all is and although I have missed many days it matters little and the most important way to look at it is fretting does not take over. Beautiful day at sea on Friday and over 400 creels hauled with the body creaking somewhat. The fishing is still holding up although I cannot take too much from this as the first haul in a month.
But glass calm
and blue skies
give you extra energy. routines are good to keep a focused mind-set and it was good to hear Desert Island Discs again. Again a beautiful day and hauling some ropes with a heavy spat settlement gives you hope that there is lots of life in the waters yet. To the top right of the photo are some king scallops while the majority are the queens.
Saturday is Aff The Ba and Foreign Correspondents, before getting in in time for a little rugby,the Inn and The Share Launch of the Apple Juice Hydro Scheme. There is lots of interest locally, some overheard conversations a little sceptical, but it is not a one party peninsula. Although hopeful that the money will be raised it is going to be a nervous few weeks. Meanwhile the building is going on with the turbine coming through custom this week and being set into its frame in Aberdeen. The building of the Turbine House and the Pen Stock continues. Sean has made up the gauge in the Inn showing how much money is being raised. we are very grateful of the cheque from John Finnie MSP, who did not need to read the prospectus before handing over his money. It fits everything he stands for, green energy and community engagement. I am thinking the rugby will take a back seat.
Went out to the Hall on Friday evening, after catching a peaceful sunset over the western isles,
to hear a fascinating talk from Roddy about Folk lore connecting people to place names. Times when maybe learning a bit of gaelic may not be too far into the future. The mix of tales of fights, burial sites, dead boars and tying stones for dogs reminded me of a walk up the head of Glen Lyon where we visited the small house where a pagan ritual still takes place connected to the seasons. Roddy, of course, knew what I was talking about and told a wee story of the stones, borrowed, ill-health, put back and recovery. lovely to drop out of the stresses of today into the folklore tales of ancient times. Only just made it as falling asleep was the preferred option at 7.30pm.
Now on a Sunday evening a quiet hour before retiring, I think Netflix, cannot bear to watch the rugby. Least said about the game the better.