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

Sitting a public bar in Ardnamurchan and it brings back memories of what the Applecross Inn used to be like. Although the fish and chips look pretty good there are five, two ladies and three guys round the bar and me. (Six now) Would imagine the Inn is filling up by now even if it is getting post season. Down here for a David Francey evening at Resipole Arts Studio. http://www.resipolestudios.co.uk Called in to check venue and getting excited now. Just Dougal and Eilidh with me at this one as Alison is up in Shetland enjoying a Wool Week. So with this in mind and having decided that on breezy /windy Mondays I am on the road and heading down parts I have driven past for years and wanted to go down but am always going somewhere. Today I made for Kinlochourn, a sign I have often passed and wanted to travel down the 22 miles. And I did and it was special,


beautiful day,


the dogs in fine fettle and I headed down towards the head of Loch Hourn. Brought back a few memories of working aboard the Dauntless Star in my teenage years, although was more interested in the football and working how to get to the next dance than learning about the fishing. We fished Loch Hourn and moored at the head of the loch twice a week.


Was walking for a good two hours and it was so peaceful with only the sound of tumbling water and the occasional call of a disgruntled heron taking off to fish on the other side of the loch. What a place to clear the head, to listen to the sounds of nature and Dougal and Eilidh on their inevitable rodent hunt. The rodents down here must be more astute as I never saw any victims. Interesting how quiet it was, remote I know, but apart from a bit of fish farming at the start of the journey, it seemed the only activity was about the big house, guys checking where the deer were for shooting and a couple coming back along the track from fishing. Always on the lookout and there was a new run of river Hydro, newly built Turbine House by SSE using the excess from the Loch Quoich scheme.  Some of the burns are wonderful to sit beside to watch and listen


making their way down the slopes. Some forestry but pretty barren as you head west so the tree on its own catches the eye.


In fact every where you looked….



You wonder if it is just another walk for them, I think they knew they were somewhere special.


(Cheesecake was pretty good as well) Better not fall asleep during the concert. More later but now off for another short walk and feed the dogs before going back up the road for what should be some amazing music. Salen at dusk on the way up to the venue had inky feel to it, restful.


And that is how it turned out, amazing, (now on a stormy Tuesday evening) and still a little high on yesterday’s walk, scenery, music and people. It seemed it caused a little stir that I had travelled so far to hear some special music. It was a long way and the green part of me always questions my privileged position and whether I abuse it just for pleasure, although satisfying the spirit is important. Luckily, earlier this year I spotted a post on social media from Mairi Campbell, video of Empty Train by David Francey and was immediately hooked. Just so happens I noticed an Eden Court gig by the very same but on a Saturday evening. So looked up the tour dates and the nearest was at The Resipole. Even the fact that when I turned up and noticed my dipped headlights had fused I was really up for this. Surprisingly it was well known that I had travelled and met David at half time and again after the gig, bought one and was given another cd, photos were taken, Dougal


and Eilidh became involved and all in all it was a fulfilling end to a fulfilled day.


The music was top drawer and many songs I knew from the Empty Train album. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKrE2ziF28I Even the drive home was uneventful, the cds getting me to Invermoriston Bridge, meeting very few but puzzled drivers coming the other way when I was dipping at last moment to side lights. Bit of a tense drive back but made it by 2.15am and still high after the day’s music and scenery.

Of course needs must and it was back on Hydro duty and later on another check, this time with Dougal and Eilidh who are starting to wonder about the wisdom of all the fuss. But if you haven’t voted please do as it will help the continued development of Applecross into the future. https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/projects/applecross-energy


I had a wonderful wee visit from Maisie, Freya and Morganna who decided they wanted to test my DNA. Mention of a rugby ball in the garden was just the excuse methinks. Seems I had to give them a fingerprint and then there was a test to see if it rubbed out. It was, then I was told I was a robber if it didn’t, a conversation then ensued as to whether there were good robbers and bad ones……. It is why I get into all the hassle and stress of community stuff, so that there will always be lovely kids running about next door at the school.


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