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

Posts tagged ‘Cullin’

Honey and Wood

Lots to think about and process with all the discussions I have had over the last evening or so. I was nailed down to give my view on the “Independence” debate and it really does make you think and also speak respectfully about who you think you are and where you belong and even explain to some one what it is to be “Scottish”. Generally the “pub conversations” are healthy and are two-way as you can quickly walk away if it takes a dive and chat to more interesting people.

Sometimes when I talk to people I am not in a position to say what I really think to what I am hearing and let some pretty heavy racism/stereotyping go unpunished. It is not as though I am going to change any one’s opinion.  Yesterday I was some one’s company in the afternoon and I have never heard so many stereo types in such a short time. Felt like having a shower after, find the only way to deal with this is either ignore it or make fun of it. Evening at the Inn was far more thought-provoking although when I mentioned what I was talking about to another table, an hour later I was pulled up as I had set them off on their own discussion. It brought to mind when I came in at six, looking around the bar my first thought was no wonder people like coming here it is just like some one’s front room.

Anyway yesterday morning showed a little more than a dusting on the Cullin but still windy,


not gales but too fresh and the same went for today as well. Looking at the forecast for next week it is looking pretty shoddy from the west and south-west. Dougal and Co will get lots of exercise. The bike can be used as a wee cheat when you cannot be bothered going for a walk, going around the long way to the shop on the bike is almost like being on a scooter. As usual the dogs love it although the sheep are nervous.


One of these years I am going to be doing wood at the right time of year. A little short of time in drying the wood before it ends on the stove. The beech is stacked off to the side and will stay there until next year. Once the larch is dried from being out in the rain it will be ready for burning a lot sooner. So this batch is all blocked and just needs to be chopped and stacked.


It is not too bad a setting to do this and even into the evening.


Always think of the title of one of Jim Hunter’s albums when this moon shows it’s face. Fingernail Moon. It is a slightly fatter fingernail, more a cuticle but still beautiful.


Always like breaking up the day and fed the bees in the afternoon, this way you do not get fed up stuck on the one job. Been a couple of weeks since I had last been there and was surprised that there was another full frame I could take out.


Proud of my little workers. Even today they were out flying although not sure if there is much about for them. Although I may be corrected but I think this will be the first honey produced in Camusterrach in over 40 years. I love being part of the living heritage of a place as my uncle, Robert, would have been the last to keep bees in the Schoolhouse garden. Just a nice thought. Hoping to have enough next year to either purchase or at least use a separator. Note to self, must order garlic and oxalic acid, to plant and check on varroa. Undecided even now but may head to Inverinate to see Sketch, weather and fishing, are part of the decision.

Well Managed Forests are an Asset.

Nice breezy day where, completely justified decision was taken in not going fishing today. Fine morning for looking across to the Cullin




while the Dog family race around checking for any rodents. Although it seems not a lot of constructive work was done, prawns were delivered to the Inn and a few headed down the A9, watched from the wires,


sent a few emails, and pondered a few sticky local problems. Despite a positive outlook on where I live there are always little disputes going on most of the time. I tend not to concentrate on these issues as there is too many positive events and projects going. Maybe there is a need within a community for some people to focus on items that do not work to balance out the more positive actions taking place here. Our growing trachles surrounding the community minibus are starting to get just a little embarrassing, it will be sorted but only hope there will not be too many casualties on the way. Some of the afternoon was taken up with a bit of bee keeping and well impressed by their efforts, will manage to get some honey of the hive sometime next month.


Nice flower by the back door, bit invasive but shows really well, as you can probably tell I have no idea what it is called.


Time is an interesting concept and also the fact that you are established in an area and not part of the now mobile population who stay in a place for 5/10/15 years and then move on. It means that some people come and go as you see changes, or not, taking places and as you age maybe you get less impatient. At the ALPS meeting tonight there were a couple of items that I found really interesting, the building of the pier at the Coalshed, and the replanting/management of the 45 odd hectares of the Gateway project. As it is going to be in the minutes anyway writing about tonight’s meeting is not revealing anything confidential. I am really interested in the replanting and the management aspects of the woodland after the clear felling especially having gained a little knowledge over the weekend’s chat. The ideas that were put forward that could mean that if the newly planted area was managed with the community in mind then it could become a huge local resource. If it was a planned planting it could provide the community with a sustainable wood fuel supply which could encourage people to move over to wood burning rather than picking up the phone to get another lorry full of oil in to fill up another tank for central heating. If this was demonstrably cheaper than fossil fuels then it becomes a no brainer. The plan would involve species selection and thinning over the next 30/50 years which keeps the woodland as a community amenity, rather than it be closed down with scrub, becoming impenetrable. Also a thinning program is proven to be beneficial to wild life. The only conflict may be how important deer are. Local employment and a sense of community pride in a well-managed woodland…what’s to lose? Over the years it has always better to fund an idea with the intention of using public money to make it sustainable and providing the public with an asset while helping the community survive and provide the services needed by that same public. Far better than knowing there is funding available and thinking what to spend it on. That to me is a misuse of public money. Pier discussion went quite well as the only contention is whether there is enough dosh to stone cad or concrete facade it. Always the conflict of keeping archeological features or the pragmatic approach of building a structure that can be used by the community after the original purpose has been completed.

Night was finished off by a saved new ice cream flavour to hit the boards….Blackcurrant which is up there with the Ripple. They just keep coming.

Growing in the Cold.

While the snow is still falling on the Cullin, as seen yesterday morning,



the kale and cabbage making an appearance in the cold frame/green house.


Most things seem to be a bit late this year, with long spells of east wind and now this persistently cold spell only broken up by a day here and there  of warmth.

Squat Lobster Fishing.

A grand day to be back out on the water but the prawns are a little scarcer although still plenty. Working the harder ground where there are lots of squat lobsters.


One fleet in particular but it all goes into the same pot only with a bit extra work having to tail them for the Inn.


Often wonder how starfish get around, they must be patient animals. not very fond of them but they do a good job on the seabed keeping it clean of the detritus falling through the water column.


Sky was looking very heavy today and the Cullin mysterious in the gloom.


Good shift again at the Inn despite Cheffie still suffering from toothache. No mistakes allowed tonight. It was a night of teaching customers how to tail and shell langoustine and show and tell them about the squats. All very much appreciated, twelve hours of fishing, dog walking and front of House….its early bed as tomorrow its more of the same. Keep saying it’s going to be the last sunset shot but tonight the whole Inn stopped to watch the sun sink behind Skye.



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