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

It’s been a busy wee spell and have started several posts so its going to be a pictorial as the snaps are still being taken. the words are going to wait for another time. the Hydro is going well but still having to keep an eye on the screen at the Head as it clogs up fairly quickly. The scrub today resulted in an extra 5 kWh for a while. With a good breeze from the west, fine company



and colours


it is no chore climbing up the steep slope. Twice in a couple of weeks


and it needed the clean. This was todays screen.


Doubly checking.


View is not bad though.


The weather has been fairly settled





only breaking on Tuesday


making today the first day in nine when I have not been at the Inn, fishing or both. Not a lot to report at sea but very patchy fishing, most poor catches with the occasional good day thrown in. Shallow water throws up some colour and large berried females. Good for the future.



Bit late in the year to be so busy but still time to watch the arrival of huge flocks of field fares on the last morning of good weather.



They came in from the north west and headed to Toscaig before working their way north decimating the rowan berries.


Been a very good year for the rowan


so plenty of feeding. Morning and afternoon photos of the same tree.


Quite timid and very noisy.


The highlight of the ten days was meeting up with Grandpa Stones from the Black Isle, the driver who delivered this weeks fuel. Some one who professed his love of oral history and dislike of computers. He asked after Uisdean as he had delivered fuel to the original Filling Station at Camusterrach and then told me stories of his time at The West Highland School of Adventure and a certain Flight Lieutenant. Of a night they did not sleep to order but did, after all being made to get up in the middle of the night, outside in the snow followed by cold showers….they were the days. He regaled me with some tales of Shetland, having an empathy with his wife’s uncles. These men headed off to sea as did their compadres from the western isles. Story of one crossing the Bay of Biscay, he told him that the weather was foul, he was up in the crow’s nest and the weather was so bad that when he came down the ship wasn’t there.

The next one took place in a mixed race bar in South Africa, where an uncle along with a native American, delicately described as a Red Indian, were having a pint or five. Sometime after one or two drinks were had a man of “darker skin” came over and inquired as to their place of origin. Shetland came the first reply followed by an explanation where that was and then the native American explained where he was from. A pause and the black guy turned to him and said there were pretty few of his folk around, to which the Indian replied ” If the cowboys had come to Africa there would be few enough of you Black guys”.

Finally I got the story of the malfunctioning baler in Shetland which he eventually got going. This was accompanied with the remark that it must have been pretty sic if the owner had to go as far sooth as Rossshire to get it sorted. The conversation finished with evocative memories of guddling for trout in the burn by his home growing up in Cromarty. And this was where his ashes were going. His descriptions were magical and from being a little grumpy in going up to the Filling Station, I ended up having spent a wonderful hour in his company.


Comments on: "Grandpa Stones’ Shetland Tales." (4)

  1. Moira Blurton said:

    Beautiful photos as ever! It’s good to know that the Rowan berries get eaten, the trees were laden when we were up in September. It always does us good to listen to the older folk, their tales are usually of a simpler time. Thanks as always for your news, Moira

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thanks for the comment….it is always good to dip into the tales of other people and times, especially if they are unexpected.

  2. Yet more great photographs – fantastic.
    Oh, and congratulations on your success in bidding for the M&S funds. What happens next?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thank you. The Board are looking to find funds and info for the way ahead. The “system is not very conducive to this at the moment. Consultants can be a bit unrealistic and not very conscious of costs to the communities concerned. Small local networks although exist seem to be very expensive to set up, we will get there, maybe not as quickly as we would like.

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