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

Posts tagged ‘football’

Ringnet Fishing and Football.

Thursday evening at the Inn was one of reminiscing about days of yore, particularly around football and fishing. Football was high on the topics of conversations especially if you get a couple of guys in their mid to late fifties are around the current generation of players. The upcoming event of Oliver’s wedding brought in not a few bods from the south end of Skye. Not quite up on who is who but conversations quickly went on to the standard and quality of the local football leagues thirty-five years ago to how they compare with now. I spent most of my growing up in Kyle playing, practising (I needed to) and spending time down at Douglas Park in Kyle. When not good enough to play for Kyle I played for Balmore and Plockton, there being slightly less competition for places. Vague memories of being in the winning team of Balmore winning the Macleod cup, their only winning trophy as their team members drifted back to their native villages. There were the traditional “old firm” matches of Kyle/Plockton which was replaced by the Kyle/Kyleakin games. I think Plockton faded a bit as the Byrnes, Finlaysons and Hays were not replaced in sufficient numbers. Good to chat with Chris and remember incidents of yore, no big-headed stuff but lots of banter. Makes you think, the Kyle defence of D.Anderson, S.Moore, I.Munro, A Macleod, D.Macleod and S.Barckley, was part of a team that almost won the “grand slam” missing out on only one of the available trophies. Sad to think that two members of that group are no longer with us but good memories all round and we were probably not better than today’s players.

Fishing was another topic when I came across Will who was on board the Kyleakin ring netters. Seems he has done a study of the ringnet and has numerous photos of the boats including the Mary Ann BRD 423 that my dad was on. There was a bit of confusion as we sorted out which Macleods were which as there were three altogether on the fishing boat. I am pretty sure that the photo is one of Will’s and she laying at Canna.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 21.09.34

Remember he did say that Canna was part of his research. It certainly of a bygone era. Chris also mentioned that he remembers the day when the Fortitude came to Kyleakin. That would have been a big day for the village, seeing a new boat arriving in the small port. So it was certainly an evening of memories both on and off the pitch. All this going on and a family I have got to know over the recent years, the Boyds from Lewes, were in for their “last supper”. You make good friends working at the Inn and I was fortunate to get off a little earlier on Wednesday evening to catch up with them as they were staying down at Pier Cottage. Dougal and Eilidh were impressively well-behaved during the late night visit.

The week has had its usual rendition of fishing


and working at the Inn with a blip at the Turbine to sort out. It is off just now as we have not had any rain for quite a few days. The predicted snowfall has not hit Applecross and there was enough sunshine for the wedding to be enjoyed by all including Son No3 who had come home for it. The 150,000 kWs is on target for the projected income so a dry spell is welcome at this time of year. Lambing is going full pelt so it is inevitable that we have some snow flurries although with the wind in the east to north east the sunsets have been okay.



There was a breeze from the east forecast on Monday and as the day was bright and rumours of adverts being filmed on the Hill I took the dogs up for a wee look.


Ended up walking to the mast and enjoying the views from all quarters.



There is a spate of people using and wanting to use the Bealach these days, whether for tourists, cycle sport ifs, car clubs and filming and one wonders where it will end up. Road closures, if only happening once or twice a year can be met with a shrug of the shoulders but as there is more and more demand for its usage which includes closures it is little wonder that this is a topic that is now coming up in our Community Council Meetings. There is little direct benefit from all this activity to Applecross and the road is deteriorating fast with small prospect of much money being spent on it. Maybe if HC put some of their monies offshore they would have some to spare to spend on the Bealach. No wonder however that there are so many who want to drive over the Hill.


The views on a day like this


are at the top end.


Inspired Social Enterprising and a little football.

On thursday I headed off to Sal Mor Ostaig to the fourth part of our Social Enterprise course. This is turning into an inspiring little journey where you pick up methods and meet people who seem to be improving ways of looking at how you deals with issues and processes in our own communities and organisations. This part of the course was about delegation and negotiation and almost without realising it I have changed my way of dealing with what seems insurmountable problems. It is now coming up to a year since we started to negotiate the Heads of Terms of the hydro lease and we have learned so much about how the legal process works, mainly slowly and expensively, and that is usually paid for by those who can afford it least. The course however suggests that you look to what you have gained and not what you think is a poor deal, also I am proud of the fact that I have shaken hands with those I have fundamentally different views and have managed to depersonalise the whole process. Also the fact that you try to keep a long-term focus while you are bogged down on what you think are trivial or poor counter arguments is very important and will see us through in the long run. The course is run in such a way that you take different methods and aspects and turn them to individual circumstances in your own communities. There are many examples of really good Boards who are all active and have their own individual expertise. The speaker we heard this time was from Oban and was a director of the Atlantis Leisure Centre and while realising that this is a perfect model it is something to aspire to. There is a lot of personal reassessment going on amongst the participants and everyone is saying they are far more reflective in their dealings back home. While we have a limited capacity here in Applecross just due to our numbers I think there is a huge amount of untapped and underused energy here and there may be some little appearances from the Social Enterprise course at our Board meetings in the near future. I think one of the things we fall down on here is that not enough of us go out to see what is happening in other communities. Looking at other people’s success stories are inspiring and you head home with lots of ‘new’ ideas.

On the way home I went north through Broadford and armed with binoculars I did a recce on the Applecross hills, basically making sure that we could see Tor Mor, the proposed site of the broadband reception and there are several possible host buildings at the north end of Broadford. Talking to people on the course there is laughter when you tell people who our broadband speed is .39 of a meg. This is another aspect of the course that has come through in that while you get bogged down in negotiations you do not lose focus on other important issues. Probably the hydro scheme may be the single most important event in our recent history possibly pulling the population and school roll decline round but we still have to try to make living here easier by increasing or at least retaining services taken for granted in most other parts of the country.

Back home felling good but not that well physically and scrambled a shift at the Inn without anyone but the Boss knowing I was not up for it. Staff is falling like ninepins at the moment and there are troops arriving from Australia to fill the ever-increasing gaps. It always good to see some staff offering to fill in just through a sense of loyalty to the Inn. Some guys offer hours way beyond their alloted shifts just because they know how stretched things are. Saturday was another 300 meal day but not for me. Used it as a recovery day with just a short quieter day at the Inn. This was followed by a couple of Manchester United fans from Australia accompanying me down to watch the final game of the season at Mark’s. Only in Applecross. Unfortunately for all concerned it did not go well and I think am becoming a bit of a jinx in Mark’s eyes. Five minutes to go I said it should be all over only for Manchester City to score twice in injury time. Never mind Ross County are in the Premier League next year, surely more important.

Meanwhile we are watching with interest and not a little apprehension at what is happening to the European economies and how all this will affect our prawn markets.

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