Yesterday’s plans did not materialise due to the strong east wind not moderating in time and the MOD wanting their six-mile exclusion zone around the Range for the afternoon. So it was a tidy up day with a few plans in the pipe line to keep things active going into the winter. Only call out was to the Filling Station where i have unfortunately miss calculated the diesel usage and we are out until midweek. One of my three trips in the van since coming back from Lombardy, so filled it with wood for the return journey. Ironic me cutting back on my diesel consumption and the Filling Station running out, means every one will be cutting back. Not my intention. All will be sorted and over the 3/4 years of functioning there has been less than a week with out fuel. We still have 2000 litres of petrol. It was the run on diesel that caught me out.
Diverse day, starting with gate holding for the silage delivery
and down the road with the dogs for a still morning’s amble
before heading up to the Inn. As often the Cuillin catches the eye.
Stopped off at a mirror quiet Milton Loch to snap the growing number of swans. Being on the bike you hear a lot more as well as see what is going on and they were very talkative, calling a lot to each other.
A quieter shift today and I wandered over to the recently excavated Coal Shed Pier at lunchtime as many people have admired the newly uncovered stone work.
The plan up till now was a new pier was going to be built alongside the existing one and that was going to be used as a breakwater from the prevailing west south westerlies. The intention was to lower in place concrete U blocks, fill them with rubble, cap them and work the way down the length of the old pier with the intention of loading up the landing craft at high tide with four already loaded buggies of timber and away before the tide falls. The main reason behind this was to keep numerous timber lorries off the North coast road and cut down the carbon footprint of the timber extraction. There will be a rethink at tomorrow evening’s ALPS meeting. As one member said “bring breakfast”. I think the problem may lay with how the contractor is going to deal with this development. As I have not any strong views and see the problem from both sides it is a classic case of economics verses heritage, solution will be difficult in managing to keep the heritage while still going ahead with a clear fell with a low-carbon footprint. Back to the Inn where Christian Nock arrived from the North. He is on his way around Britain and has walked over 5000 miles so far. Sleeps in huts, sheds and floors. www.christianaroundbritain.co.uk/
After work it was staying on the bike, picking up Dougal and Co and off down to Toscaig to see the new addition to the Community Broadband Network. Ian was over from Rum and with the cable laid out yesterday the mast, cabinet and dishes went up overlooking Toscaig with views back to Arnish and Tor Mor, meaning the south end of the peninsula should be linked up this week.
Another couple of days work to go but no unexpected snags have emerged.
With Judith off to a family barbecue at the head of the bay Jill and I were left with front of house. I am really proud of the fact that she can leave us to run her hotel and not worry about it although she did say that she felt guilty seeing all the cars passing. Jess could not believe that any one would have a barbecue in the Highlands in october. Our first customers were from Brome, NW Australia and coming from 40C they tended to agree. There seems to be a rolling “tattie picking” school holidays on the go just now resulting in a few more people about. Lunch turned out to be pretty busy, with what felt like half of the Black Isle and Inverness turning up, and we reckoned that each table was turned over three times with some out in the garden. We were warned to look out for a special customer who was supposed to come at 2 pm. We do not usually take bookings for less than 4 but there seemed to be a slight “misunderstanding “on the phone so we were on alert for a “difficult ” visitation. As it turned out and after a late arrival at 3 pm the driver and an American with his daughter settled in. With out too much effort all went well and I wondered what the prior alarm was about. They ended up having a really good time, lots of good food,steaks, linguine, cheese board, just the usual best and without fussing over them they were well looked after. Going by the generous tip and hand shake when leaving I reckoned all went well. Showed them to the door when the young girl pointed out the Trip Advisor sticker on the window and then followed up with the comment “My mum owns the company”….pregnant pause while I do a rapid rerun of the afternoon in my head and her father leans over and says she is just a president. Saw the driver again today as I was landing prawns and he confirmed that this was so and that was why he was phoning ahead.
Woke up today out of sorts. I think the politics and mainly the local re-actions are getting to me a bit. Made myself go fishing and it was a good decision. Although there was still a rolling swell coming down the Sound in the morning we just got the head down and hauled 300 creels for a “wage” and keeps 1/2 pint prawns, squats and prawns on the menu. May have prawns for Spain next week. Spending a lot of time on one’s own means you think your self into places you do not want to go and you doubt everything you do and believe in. I suppose this is me reacting to all the petition rumours and Dougal and Alison have gone on a much-needed holiday. Coming ashore and having a good couple of chats at the Inn I felt a bit more settled and the visit to the shop really sorted me out. As I was leaving a long-term resident chatted to me about their not signing the petition and in the midst of their explanation burst into song. It was an Applecross version of Woody Guthrie’s This Land is my Land. I just burst out laughing and still am, thinking of it. I was still laughing out loud going through Camusteel and only slowed down passing the FP manse.If any one had seen me they would have thought I had “finally lost it”. This an amazing place. Only in Applecross can you meet one of the Trip Advisor’s president’s family and the next day get serenaded outside your village shop.
Beautiful weather today and finished off the day that had not started out too well with squats in sweet chilli sauce followed by apple and bramble ice cream served with a quarter pineapple. First snow of the autumn arrived last night and The Cuillin looked stunning this morning.