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

Every now and again you put in a shift that means a little more than just another day at the coal face. Also it makes you think why you do it, I do not need to, I can blag some “bad weather or poor fishing” to the visitors as to why the langoustine or squats are not on the menu, but it would not feel right. So there I was bouncing up and down on the Inner Sound in a northerly breeze trying to catch the tourists dinner.


Pretty successful as the small langoustine are still holding up. Bright skies but not long before the whitecaps appear


and it becomes a little awkward especially when you lift your neighbours creels as well. Tricky keeping up to the fleet of creels by putting the Varuna in gear while trying to keep ropes out of the propellor. All done and retied in short order and with only a tight shoulder to show for it. Funny how the sense of achievement is greater on a day like this than if it was flat calm and no foul ups. A family of hermit crabs came up in one of the creels


and popped them in a bucket to take a photo as they are colourful additions to the day.


Noticed in the photos that they have those streamers coming from their bodies. Can only guess they left their shell outside the creels as they must be quite vulnerable wandering about with out any protection. So the day completed by mid afternoon


I wandered down in the low tide to try out the new lens on some oyster catchers but they were too sensitive to stay around. Everything has a silvery look to it in the wind and sun. Classic weather for this time of year.


Thursday evening at the Inn and we were stretched to find everyone a table. And the Boss thought this was going to be a quiet week, starting to think we may not have a quiet one until November. Big groups of 14 and 10 with a fully booked Inn, coupled with regulars in the holiday houses meant for a busy but enjoyable night. Every now and again each table tell you how wonderful the food was and this was a night of compliments from beginning to end of service. Did not matter whether people were eating steaks, langoustine or scallops the comment sent back to the kitchen were top drawer. Easy night to work the tables although a grumpy resident possibly waited a little too long for his table. Asking some people if it is okay for the next people to sit at a table they are on is not easy, especially if they are enjoying a post meal wine. The Lochcarron crew who were the victims of my request were by far the better craic and they finished their wine outside in the north wind but left in good humour. The resident was wearing a cravat so possibly was not used to waiting for anything and had little banter.

Now it’s Sunday and ready for another wave of visitors. Yesterday with the North wind blowing and plenty of langoustine at the Inn a wander around for the odd branch to take home was in order. Met some of the new arrivals from last year.


They were very curious and playful although I imagine food was on their mind.


Part of one of the oldest pedigree Highland cattle herds and look in pretty good shape.


While up there came across another causualty,


not positive, but seems to have come down in the recent North wind.


Certainly fell in that direction. Looked as though she had died and was ready to go for a while.


It is spectacular seeing them go down, saw one collapse on a wet Bealach Beag day a couple of years ago. As there is no regeneration going on in this area the bank above the Bay will be denuded of beech trees in the next 10/20 years.


Forces of nature are far greater than our little effort to manage the landscape. I suppose it will keep a few families warm for a couple of winters. On the way to the beech trees I saw the Community Filling Station in full swing.


Friday evenings bikers all down filling up before heading north round the coast. Reminding me of the many conversations with visitors of the hurdles we face but get nothing but encouragement from those same people who face some of the same problems in their own communities. Coming up to mid day so better get in the right frame of mind, my music on so that helps, nothing like a bit of RURA, Rhiannon Giddens, Lone Bellow and Stray Birds to get you going.

So that is the lunch over, easily over 150 meals, but went as smooth as you like. Even when the 20 bikers came down from Ullapool or the 15 French came and took over three tables by the Menu Board. Not one person in the bar now, seems strange when two hours ago you could not move for customers. They came from Wisconsin and Italy to The Black Isle and Lochcarron. Slightly bizarre little scene late afternoon as I went down the beach to try to get close to the oyster catchers working the tide. Failed but on the way up there was a deal of shouting from a lady, a small group of ewes appeared from the direction of the Estate Office, the appearance of a greyhound showing far too great an interest in the ewes turned out to be the catalyst of the shouting. So scattering of ewes and the greyhound was not responding to any pleading. The coats were protecting them so no damage although the greyhound was trying hard. Zeroing in on one ewe was its mistake as the four or five people involved were running in circles. I managed to grab the ewe with the distressed greyhound owner grabbing her dog which was holding on to the wool. No apparent long term distress to the ewes which trotted of in a slightly undignified pace, greyhound back on lead and the show over. To be fair the owner was the most distressed among us all and accidents do happen. What is around the next corner who knows?

Comments on: "Force of Nature and the Greyhound" (2)

  1. Tim Daplyn said:

    Thanks again for a fine blog, Ali. Maybe you are a tad kind to the dog owner. A loose dog at the height of the lambing season is not an accident – it is neglect. Not fair to blame the dog (you don’t) which is only doing what dogs do. Keep up the good work. Tim.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers Tim, know what you mean about the owner. All I can say in her defence was she was the most concerned there and at the end was sitting in the middle of the road holding on to her dog. She would never have been able to catch it on her own though. Was surprised at the attitude of the dog. Never seen a greyhound like that. Ta for the blog comments.

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