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

The Magic Fountain

Christmas is almost on us, just a quiz and a shift to see off. Believe it or not I am planning a fishing trip as the xcweather forecast has the largest number of blue arrows for quite a while. Nothing happens before three so missing little and being out on the water on my own is appealing. It will be busy with No1 and No3 home with partners. International gathering including South Africa and Mexico, the venison and prawns will be appreciated. Inn filling up so better sign off.

Easing through Christmas Day with the minimum of fuss. Although the weather was a steady gale





for most of the week





yesterday showed a slight chance that today would turn out okay. Dougal as usual was in attendance and a little wary of the boiling sea coming at him on the shore.


Nipped out at the first sign of blue skies


and the sun dipping below the Cuillin.


And today turned out very pleasant, although a bit of a struggle getting up. Once that was out of the way and seeing DJ already on the way out of the moorings I decided going fishing on Christmas Day was not such a bad idea.


Strange little conversation last night with some one saying that I was only going out to be different. So far off the mark as to be on a separate page. Good to be out on a calm


day with lots to go through the head. Did not even have the radio on and maybe a little bothered by the number of foul fleets, all of them even if only four hauled, but good to be solitary for a while. Forgot the bait but that did not matter either, as despite the attention of four cormorants, I used some pout and squat lobster bodies to try and attract some prawns into the creels. Still calm back on land and time to say happy Christmas to a few at the Inn.


Over the last week there has been a sadness in the community. Firstly my last remaining aunt passed away. Sybil, married to Robert (Snookie) used to live in the Schoolhouse as he was the Primary teacher for quite a few decades, during which any stag entering Camusterrach feared for it’s life. Robert would be tutting if he saw the state of the garden just now. My efforts have been overwhelmed and the come back is planned for the New Year. Sybil has spent the last seven years in Dingwall at the Wyvis Care Home, where she was well looked after and where I did not visit often enough. She knew where the Sons were and what they were doing none the less as she kept up to date with Applecross visitors. She was a quiet passing away as there are not many people in Applecross who knew her when she was here.

Roger, an archetypal Yorkshire man you can ever imagine, passed on on Saturday morning after a massive heart attack.


The whole community knew Roger and for himself, not just through the Inn. Both will be missed being of their time. I no longer have anyone from Sybil’s generation left and it is quite a striking thought as you grow older , especially as you see the sons round the table how time marches on. It is times like these when you realise so many characters you took for granted are no longer around. Toscaig was full when we arrived,Danny, Mary Anne, Jessie, Tarzan and Pollack to name just a few. New faces and empty houses now. Good to be on the water to contemplate in a positive way, to have your own conversation, and no need to explain your thoughts to anyone. Working on your own on the water is an ideal place to put things in order, and then you think of Roddy and Elliot, always the cycle of life goes on.

News on the Community front is the expected has happened to the Raasay mast and intention is to get out as soon as possible to fix and strengthen the structure. As the Hydro is not geared up for an automatic restart and we had a brief power cut on Wednesday morning Ewen went up to restart the turbine. Seems it is a relatively simple procedure although once up and running will have an automatic restart procedure fitted.

Christmas evening has arrived rapidly and with the music on and maybe followed by a bit of Netflix and as the youth leave for the Christmas evening party wherever, just a couple of photos from the Panto


where Bloggy was one of the seven dwarves but more importantly there was a Magic Fountain.


This magic fountain may possibly have a wee tail race and arrive in a pipe. Like Roger who built the extension to the Inn it is pleasing to have a positive if small influence in the community you live in. Twenty seven years ago Roger told everyone who would listen back home in Yorkshire, “I found heaven before I died” Applecross had found another fine fellow and they will all be missed.

Comments on: "The Magic Fountain" (6)

  1. Christmas is a time of sadness and happiness and Roger’s passing is a great sadness but he will live on long in people’s memories. I am sorry for the loss of your aunt too. Merry Christmas Ali and to all in Applecross particularly those mourning the loss of loved ones, now and in the past with very best wishes from Janet and Steve.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thank you it is much appreciated what you say and although gone not forgotten. Losing them does remind you of the ones already gone.Wishing you and Steve a good New Year.

  2. Margaret wright said:

    Beautiful post. It has all of life – the joy and sorrow of it – all there in what you have written. Can understand completely why being out on the water on Christmas Day would be just grand. Unique characters whether in organisations or communities are to be treasured as are ordinary folk who go about their business day by day. Sounds like Roger and Sybil might fall into that camp. Think you could write a book on Applecross life! after all Sandy Mcauley Smith has written quite a few around Edinburgh tenement life.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers Margaret. It is the folk that you meet every day that makes every thing turn. Thanks for your comments and hope you and Stewart have a great 2016.

  3. Lovely post Ali, shows what life is all about. Hard time of year for those needing light but the days are now lengthening.
    Heres to a good New Year to all and lots of rain at night with sunny days.

    Mick Hydro

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers Mick it is great to know it is running with this carpy weather around. Have a good new year when it comes. Cheers for the comments.

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