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

It’s Fresh Outside.

The journey home completed with me picking up the van at Strathcarron, number plate and side panel back on and bumper back in fine shape to get through another MOT. Handy when your garage go and pick up and sort your transport while you are enjoying a break with the music. Only down side was sitting at Dingwall train station for half an hour waiting for some signalling problem to be sorted out.

In the evening it was back into the swing of things at the Inn with not an awful lot to do but do the hours and lock up around twelve. Two interesting guests were consultants working for the Trust to help them out with forming their next ten-year development plan. Sounds slightly Soviet but I jest and will try to keep an open mind that this new-found interest in sustainable community development is genuine and not a reflection of the politics surrounding the passage of the Bills going through the Scottish Parliament.

Friday saw the arrival of the first lot of wind of the weekend. While it is blowing a howling storm just now, Friday was more at the gale level but with a fair bit of damage to the power lines. First a pole was blown down round the coast and then after it was switched back on a transformer blew. This meant a welcome trip back into the old days, no internet, just the company of dogs,



a few candles and a Jo Nesbo to while away the evening. It was our longest power cut for quite some time. Seems there was an SSE hired catering van on the go and the word was that it was going to be at the Inn for around six o’clock. It was coming from Uig but did not arrive until ten when they fed a few hungry imbibers. During the day there were some bright spells


throughout the day and a wander down to the shop was called for.


Eilidh is getting rid of her limp although she is not impressed with her medication. She does not bear grudges though. Dougal as usual likes to feel the wind through his fur.



Bit quieter over the weekend although still a fair old breeze,


there has been lots of conversations about broadband, visits to the Hydro to restart, and now more wind. The broadband has suffered through the bad weather and the continued delays with the new fibre optic line from Mallaig. Conversations at the Inn are not very pleasant at the moment and it is slightly frustrating that areas of the community are harder to serve than others. Our broadband at the Schoolhouse has been fine as has the Inns. We are going through a series of snags at the Turbine House but we are up to the 90kws now although power cuts are not helping. Restarting is sometimes not so routine as just pushing the resart button. It is back on manual so it means a visit when it trips. We can now monitor from the house to see if it is powered up and just checked and we are up and running again. Ewen restarted this morning on the way to work but the hydraulics did not kick in,  so after an attempt and a phone call I found the hydraulic motor breaker had tripped. Only went for a while before closing down again in the afternoon this time for “Export Excess”, short-term stresses but long-term gains for the community, like the broadband. The Filling Station is going well for the past few months, as it has dropped out of the story, it usually means there is little to worry about and it is just routine deliveries and dipping and keeping legal that is in the day-to-day running.

Back to the weather and today we have experienced the first storm of the winter, forget all these names, they were just gales. When you hear the forecast at 12.45am as “Hebrides south-west to west severe gale 9 to violent storm 11, increasing hurricane force 12, that s when you get a little nervous. Ignoring the pointless and silly naming of gales that have started this winter. This morning began with a wander down to the dinghy, pulling her in and straight back out to hang onto the endless line and to bail with my other hand, before setting off for the short distance to the pier. It was a nippy little passage as the engine needs some gentle tweaking of the choke, keeping an eye out for the rollers coming in from the west. Pulled shoulder muscles but still have two boats on the water. Do not think she would have survived todays pummeling. Even Milton Loch was pretty lively.


Wandered round the Bay after going up to the Turbine House late in the afternoon.



The power of nature was in full flow as the wind strengthened


and the Bay became a cauldron of white water. The odd brave oyster catcher was still about.


Good fortune to anyone who is out there just now. Dougal just laps it up,


wind in the fur again.


Comments on: "It’s Fresh Outside." (2)

  1. Glad you had a spiffy time in Glasgow at Celtic Connections.

    Not Soviet at all, just good planning. We (KCFC) revisited our first community action plan from 2003, to see that we had accomplished almost everything, so went through the whole exercise with the village again, ten years later. It’s taken about 18 months of meetings, surveys etc., but it’s well worth it. Our problem is that most of the difficulties are outside our remit — roads, pavements, etc — but there have been some excellent ideas, and we’ll try to follow those up.

    Love the photos of Dougal in the “breeze”.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      The problem we have is the consult is coming from outside for an absentee landlord by consultants from Perthshire. Not really sure of the basis but we will see,try to stay positive. The community is getting together with a Lateral North project where we visualise what could happen without any constraints. Should be fun. Understand what you say about taking stock. Good to look to where you get to especially when it feels like walking through treacle at times.

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