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

(Over the next few posts I made a few little jottings down in-between some immense music and craic over the four days we were on site at Cambridge.)

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In Cambridge now settling into a BBQ at Andy’s after what seems like three days on a train. After an early start on Monday to avoid the afternoon’s breeze managed to get round 350 creels for a decent catch, the last for a week, so both Inns will have a few langoustine while I’m away. Went through to Aberdeen to take part in a workshop organised by the NEF and they are working on a report about coastal communities, their survival and future. It is really difficult to define coastal communities when you have Margate, Mallaig, Stonehaven and Applecross all classed as coastal. Managed to say a couple of relevant pieces and will certainly email a more lengthy synopsis about our potential and barriers. It was a good day out with a lot of brainwork involved and even including my little spat with a well known east coast fisherman with differing views about MPAs. Met some really interesting people but the only problem for me was there were not enough people on the ground from the places, rather too many academics and council workers. Good but you could tell there was a lack of experience of what it was really like on the ground. The afternoon was split into workshops and it was then I realised that I could have been in any one except aquaculture. Tourism, inshore fishing and energy and the connections between them all. I think there is going to be a missive sent to NEF about what it is like on the ground battling to keep the communities alive. The report is a huge undertaking and will be difficult to collate with so many different problems to identify and deal with. Lots of enthusiasm and made a few new contacts, as usual it helps coming from Applecross.

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Thursday involves an early start and by 7.15am we are queueing at the gates waiting for opening at ten.

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Banter good and time flies by as the regulars start appearing.

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Before you know it the new bigger tent is up, following instructions makes it easier (Alison is good at that) and a wander into a now familiar site follows while Alison catches up on sleep. The same camping area is bagged and it is good to meet up with familiar faces. Weather so so by mid afternoon but forecast right in that it just passed through. Some waited though.

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Planned a pre music nap but a few ciders got in the way and before you know it Imar

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were blasting out a fine set,

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so much so went to get their cd signed and had a wee chat with Tom after the gig.

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There was a little hiatus with a couple of acts that did not appeal. Most of the time it is working out which to go to as there are so many good ones. English hand on the ear folk has never appealed but I gave it another try with little success. Couple of good songs and another cider filled the time before a fine Bluegrass band from the West Country came on, Flats and Sharps, were very, very good despite their sound problems with instrument pickups. Back to the tent for an early night after welcoming the late comers from Argyll. They did not take advice on setting up the tent well and made some remarks to the effect they were holding fairly sharp tent poles so wandered off. They are always late and made up for it in imbibing as I was back up at one to join them. Far easier doing this than getting grumpy in the tent trying to get back to sleep. So day 1 ends well into the start of day 2. It is going to be a long week-end but so looking forward to what turns up.

(Friday afternoon) It is only mid afternoon and blown away already by Megson

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and Mike and Ruthy Band. Stunning and could go home already with what I have heard and the craic has been immense. Megson from the NE of England singing beautiful penned songs from their homeland followed by the guys from Massachusetts and that area. Brilliant story/song about a trip south,”the road goes on for ever and the party never ends” alongside Vincent 52 with great banjo playing.

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“The road goes on……”lyric was a frustrating lost memory but the young ones in the camp found it on the net while we tried to guess who sang the lyric. Straight to the marquee to buy a couple of CDs and back to the camp for a wee break before more and more and more. Robert Earl Keen for those who are wondering.

 

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