Feels a bit like having walked up and over Liathach a couple of times in the last couple of days. Although still very part-time at the Inn I knew that they were a little short-handed out front and also there were a few big bookings for Saturday evening, so offered to come in a couple of hours early. Accepted with some alacrity and so at 4 pm there was a constant flow of customers until things quietened down at around 12 pm. Had a little dip into the past as well as there was a little local/staff session going on concurrently with the amazing food that kept coming out of the kitchen. The only difference is that I have moved on from being involved in the said “sesh”. Such a better feeling the next morning both physically and financially, that is not to say that it is not good banter you hear from that corner. The Boss intervened at one stage to keep things under control, sounding ominous with out shouting is a skill honed over the years and receives instant quietness, lasting 15 mins. Actually Saturday evening was a stroll to this lunchtime when we were panned again, may be what the season is going to be. The big groups are easy for front of house but the kitchen have to deal with 10/15 orders all at the same time and hats of to them for getting it right every time. All I had to do was get the orders right. Have to say over the two days the number of compliments about the food and how it all works are endless. No delays, lots of banter and great atmosphere are some of the reasons why people from Mexico, Germany, France, Norway, Manchester and Lochcarron have all visited this weekend. There are so many familiar faces now, just working the two seasons through the week. I missed many of the regulars only working the Sunday lunch shift, but now am starting to see them year in year out. It is a very personal Inn and people want to know what has happened since the last time they visited, having made the connection to the community through the Inn and it’s working. New faces in the form of Lena May and Charlotte have bolstered the defences for a wee while so leaving at five today was not too guilt ridden. Hopefully with Son No1 and Jill leaving for the Walled Garden that will take some of the summer’s pressure of as visitors sample another amazing eating place on the peninsula.
Although it feels as if I was at the Inn all weekend Saturday saw me ankle-deep in the proverbial….. loading up a number of fish boxes for the garden’s raised beds, lovely black mature compost produced by Jimmy’s cows now long since gone. may have moved around a half ton, so my back says and as I had the Dougal family with me I wandered into Torgarve and then down the Carnach track.
Always such a peaceful place and feels so ancient and timeless,
stones and rocks covered in thick layers of moss and lichens.
Dougal and his Mum love it being new ground for rodent hunting.
Through ALPS there have been some experiments on how to regenerate a bit of new growth, and with some success, as the area is scattered with many fallen birch and hazel. You can easily imagine the inhabitants of the Broch using these grounds as a working forest. It also ties in with a little post that got me back into a little meditation which hopefully will keep a balance with the frenetic world of rural Applecross during what I think will be a busy summer season. The appearance of Spring is finally breaking through the winter gloom, it always does, but it was a little late this year. The arrival of the compost, the seeds and seed potatoes are all indications the cycle of life is started again.
Leaving the house this morning looking across to the south end of Raasay looked as though south of Sconser was an island in the light.
Another little excitement was a phone call this morning that had so much in it over a period of 45 mins. It was genuinely exhilarating and if a fraction of what was talked about comes to fruition then Applecross will benefit immensely and it will experience a growing capacity to be able to look after itself and may be a model for other communities to regenerate in ways that overcome the restrictions they are coming up against at present. Some communities are well down that road already in many ways and I really liked the story I heard from Knoydart. The community shop is being refurbished, good story in itself, but the local community building company is doing the work and the wood they are using for the shelving has been grown and processed in Knoydart. What more do you want from a community, so often said that a local economy is six times the worth when the money is generated locally and spent locally. And this is what happens through the Inn with its local employment and local produce generating money to be spent in the local shop or Community Filling station. This morning’s phone call was based on human value and not sterling value. The sterling value comes automatically when the human value is to the fore. Regular visitor, Mike always sparks of these thoughts which never deny the reality of day-to-day living but question the true value of life and he is back in town. I suppose some of the thought provoking part of the weekend was fielding quite a few enquiries as why there was no music on Saturday evening. Pinny and the Breakers were supposed to play but cancelled due to the untimely death of Dougie, one of our very popular electricians, some members of the band coming from the same village. There is still a sense of disbelief in the area and one can only offer sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of a popular and helpful man.