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

Belching for Beer

Although looking out the window just now it does not feel very like Easter, Easter it is. A good day was had and using the weather forecast to carry out the work ashore that badly needs doing. The third raised bed has been prepared for the second early tatties, with the first two already sorted and planted with Duke of Yorks and Arrans. The wood pile is growing the final VAT Return has been completed (my own) and am now up to date for the first time in over a year. Relieved is not the description, more than that. Feel things are levelling out and becoming more under control. Yesterday was much the same plus a badly needed chimney sweep which will end up with a new chimney in a few weeks time. It was certainly needed and has resulted in a major improvement in the efficiency of the fire. Drawing well and the temperature gauge is in the optimum range. This will be completed with the purchase of a new baffle plate and fire wool over the next couple of weeks. Work was carried out very impressively by Angus and Sara https://www.facebook.com/windiesweep/?pnref=lhc, lots of knowledge gained and a warmer house.

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The stove is like new tonight and makes you forget the weather outside. Always have thought these small self-employed partnerships are the best fit for the fragile environment of the Highlands. The fishing industry has stayed that way to a greater extent on the west coast and as a result is a better fit.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the latest slightly bizarre take on our Community Company. Due to the last year’s full on activity in the share issue and building the Hydro Scheme a simple administrative error was overlooked and the annual return, the list of directors, nothing more, nothing less, was not entered to Companies House. When this was pointed out and professional advice taken the situation has been rectified and once the holiday period is over everyone can go back on the website to see all is well. I find it fascinating how a local rumour mill can operate, non-members, who have always been against the Company and what it does, come out of the undergrowth and spread ridiculous tales of whatever. Same source as ever, last time this happened was during the LAS campaign, when a petition was organised against the Community Council and the Community Company, and originally it was when they did not want, or understand, the formation of the ACC. I suppose it is inevitable that this happens from time to time and it is quite rare being in the majority considering my views on fishing, environment and politics. Not sure what is to be achieved by them, the fuel keeps selling at close to Inverness levels, the toilets, despite problems surrounding the cleaner stay open and clean, the broadband, as far as I am concerned is great, and going by a conversation in the shop improved in some of the black spots. Just logged onto the Hydro and with the latest burst of rain the energy graph is on a steep upwards curve after a wee dry spell. It was always going to be the case that the transition from volunteer to paid work regarding governance was going to take time and effort but apart from this glitch is going smoothly. Applecross is a wonderful place to live but a thick skin, special social skills and a smile is needed to survive the occasional hostile outbreaks. Honestly I feel sorry for the malcontents, life is for living, helping and doing, not destroying. It is not as though we have to look very far for bad news in the community at the moment.

Back onto the real life here. At the Inn over the last couple of evenings and the Easter weekend is on us. Still we did not need to use the Dinning Room and no one had to wait for tables. It was a bit of a dog night especially as Bertie was in, a 78 kilo St Bernard, beats Merlin from Guernsey, a year younger and only 59 kilos. Bertie is still very playful and there was a bit of messing about….carefully and you knew when he stood on your foot.

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Not sure why it came up in a conversation but I mentioned a very respected nurse while training would get tipsy at the end of the night on other people’s drinks, leftovers is better description than dregs. Times were tight while studying, response was “Oh I use to belch for beer”, on occasion one does not have to search for a post title. Served, Basque, Catalan, Lithuanian and Portuguese last night. Sometimes you can just travel by working in the Inn. Caught a lovely and different sunset on Wednesday evening.9Q7Q3112

Going back to Tuesday a day at sea was a welcome break in life’s proceedings. Intend to tie in closely to the Inn’s needs and try to catch just enough langoustine for this very good market. Need a little adjustment but am going to try to catch more squat lobsters as they may well be one of the most popular dishes, served in sweet chilli sauce or garlic butter. Only have a half fleet on the harder ground just now and it is working

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but intend to put some older creels on ground where I hope the squats are. Only trouble is that they are renowned for disappearing if you deliberately target them. We will see. Being on the shallower ground and the creels lie a bit longer between hauls it gives the octopi a good opportunity to have a nice meal.

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The weather has been pretty broken this week

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so the intention is to catch a day at sea tomorrow to get the tails back on the menu for the weekend. Looking at the diary it is going to be a long one.

 

Comments on: "Belching for Beer" (2)

  1. Crickey! Our Company made that mistake once after a particularly odd handover of responsibilities. Cost a bit, I can tell you, but the burnt hand teaches best, I suppose. It hasn’t happened since! We have our unhappy villagers, too, whose feelings are irritating to have to soothe sometimes, especially when they pull rank using the numbers of years they have lived here in order to browbeat young and enthusiastic mums with children in the school. (Young and enthusiastic mum is also a vet — someone you generally want on your side!) You are doing great things in Applecross. Even so good as to be an excellent example for other small places. And yes, exactly, to hiring self-employed locals if possible. Every time.

    Did the greedy octopus go into the pot at the Inn, or end up as bait…?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      We get more support outside the community than here but you end up expecting that. It was a b**ls up and should be sorted reasonably quickly but some people never miss an opportunity to have a go. The octopus ended up back in the water as we do not catch enough for commercial market and too “intelligent” for bait. Always think they are clever opportunists although frustrating at times.

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