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

Quiet at the moment but the Inn has had its moments. Saturday was a routine and mid winter evening ended with a game of scrabble as no one was out. Sunday every man and his dog came out for lunch. Even the dinning room was opened up although the customers came through to the bar as soon as there was a space. The Boss was over the Hill until it quietened off and it was a day for running to keep up with the folk coming through the door.  Food and craic was great and every one from Formula 1 connections to a new-found relation…..I think. Turns out the Doc’s mum is from Stockinish, Harris. Three generations ago my family left Leac a’Li just up the road so the conversation went along the lines of who were the relations. Thought we drew a blank when the Morrisons an McCuishes were ruled out but Donald Caley came to the rescue. Not sure what the relationship is but I know he is related to my Dad’s first cousin and also to Doc’s mum. So there we are, the Doc and I are now calling each cousin, sure that will wear off. The London banker and the Australian salmon vet were interesting. He could not really answer the question “Why can we not print money to put into the NHS as we have just printed 375 billion to put into the stocks, shares and bond markets to keep the people who caused the crash afloat.” Did not receive a real answer, just a Zimbabwe reaction that we get that for land reform. Always put these reactions down to people not really able to provide a genuine answer to the problem in hand, but have to watch one does not overstep when serving. They left happy having a birthday cake served and sung to her.

Not even sure when the above was written, that’s what I get when I do a couple of short posts that show sunsets



and dancing on the deck of the Varuna.


It is now coming to the end of the first day of the year and it involved being in recovery mode, annoying as no alcohol was consumed. During yesterday afternoon I thought about a Crabbies or two but the head told me otherwise. Turned up to work at 2pm and caught the end of the lunchtime feeding. This was after a morning at the creels. Went out a little earlier than usual as Son No3 was expecting a visitor from Plockton.


Hauled 250 for a better than expected fishing, even squats on the menu for a short time, so may keep everyone happy at the Inn. And the weather was pleasant for most of the morning.



Had a pleasant surprise in meeting Andy Wightman and family who were over for lunch. Wee catch up before he headed down to see Alison and call into Jack’s Gallery. The afternoon passed quickly as apprehension rose knowing the evening was fully booked. Change into the “Spirit of the Highlands” tartan kilt, Scottish music on the iPod and the scene was set. Turned out Chisholm the kilt man’s son was in one of the big groups and involved a fair bit of banter. And he was looked after even when he spilt his peppercorn sauce on his kilt. A remarkably smooth sitting mainly due to Judith constantly looking after where everyone could sit in comfort. All we had to do was serve the guests. The kitchen got panned around 8pm with three big tables all ordering at the same time alongside the other orders. Huge compliments all round and it was a happy bunch who headed down to the Ceilidh at the Hall. As the community bus was out of action Judith spent the last hour of the year transporting people to the Hall. Throughout the evening I was pumping myself full of painkillers and was in a spot of bother by the time of the Bells. There was a great atmosphere with lots of happy revellers but little dancing. Bit frustrating as the one tune that was played in the hour I was there, a Gay Gordons, had the floor full. Despite the headache had promised to teach a couple of partners a Scottish dance or two but not to be. Son No4 piped in the bells, we think, as there were three count downs and Son No3 played a fine set of tunes as the backdrop to an intricate dance off by one of our visiting transvestites. Only in Applecross comes to mind. With the crowd there and the buzz it could have been a night to remember with a little organising but not to be….maybe next year.

Most of the rest of the week that was in the slightest bit productive involved turning up at the inn and putting a few hours in, watching a spectacular sunset and walking the Dougal



on the Bay sands,






ordering the Celtic Connection tickets and nipping up to the Hydro


to watch the money ticking over. With Sons No3 and 4 home Dougal has had a fine time, at Sand on one occasion being given a helping hand on the Sand dune.






Accompanied by our new Mexican friend, Marieclau. The last one was one of the final photos taken by this camera due to the capering Dougal who managed to get it covered in sand. All in all it has been a happy friendly thought-provoking and interesting few days and the home will be lonelier after the departures tomorrow of Rachel, Marieclau,No3 and 4 and they will all be missed but everyone has their own lives to lead.

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