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

Posts tagged ‘Mairead Greene’

Immense Day Off.

You would think that having a day off would be a recuperation but not if you travel for two hours, go on a walk with the dogs for four hours, then take in a bit of music before the two-hour drive home. Having said that it was an immense day, the aim was to hear a bit of music at Sabhal Mor Ostaig provided by a range of very fine musicians.

Decided that fishing did not fit into the day so set off with Dougal and Eilidh and after calling in at the Kyle Coop, hearing a wee story of NC500 road rage, checking the venue and off down to the Aird of Sleat. Although the sign says leads on dogs, knowing that Dougal and Eilidh are not sheep chasers but more interested in grubbing about looking for rodents they had free rein on the track to the edge of Skye. This part of Skye is by no means full and I met around twenty people in the four-hour walk, after a family left had a wonderful remote beach all to myself,

and the dogs of course.

On the way met a couple from Cape Cod and the inevitable Trump conversation ensued. Laughed when one of the ladies said she emailed Trump all her contact details in response to his latest demand. This was to collect all the details of people who had gone onto an anti Trump website. She and her mate were proud marchers, trying to stand up peacefully to a rather bizarre part of American history. Established a routine on the beach where I threw the stick into the water, Dougal goes out swimming for it and Eilidh waits on the water’s edge

to try to wrestle it off him.

The decision to stop was mine, would still be there if not. Caught sight of the lighthouse further along the shoreline,

below which was a gathering of cormorants, looking satisfied after a day’s fishing,

so we ended up there before making our way back in plenty of time for the musical evening, and a fine evening it was too. The walk back was beautiful,

and was very fortunate with the weather, it rained both before and after the outdoor part of the day.

Dogal quickly became very muddy on the way back and the dip in the Minch was a distant memory by the time we were back at the van.

The music and banter were top quality with Applecross getting a wee mention in the story about Gary of Avernish and why the tune was composed and named. Seemingly all about a party that Adam invited Gary to that did not take place due to Adam being 180 miles away and forgetting completely about the invite. So the tune was a way of apologising to Gary. The invite took place in Applecross by the way. Lots of stories about Teviots or Cheviots and songs from Anna and Hamish. Wonderful music all evening played to a packed Hall by Adam,

Anna, the always smiling Mairead

and Hamish, finished off with a rousing set of Sound of Sleat and Road to Errogie. Managed a couple of discrete shots, have to say I am quite conscious about spoiling other people’s appreciation of the evening by taking photos so try to keep that to a minimum. An explanation why there are none of Hamish or Anna.

So back home around half past midnight tired but replete.

The Parrot Visiting from Germany

It is beginning to seem that I could start any post with, “a bit of variety this week” and that was certainly the case this week. Going back into the time line of the last post to Tuesday, I had done a day’s fishing and came in to meet the ladies for a bit of filming on the Varuna.

They had come up on Sunday and I met them over the weekend when they had come down for a meal on the Sunday evening.

Seemed to go well enough on the day and I am pretty sure I will not be watching the programme just in case I am on it. The Bloody Project has struck again and it was good to see Graeme and to meet his partner, just finished his French detective mystery and good it was too. Interesting from the boat perspective as we could see Culduie, where the deed was done, scurrilous Ardhu, Camusterrach, the Big House and Shore Street which was Applecross village in the book.

So up to Friday and a day off. It began at 7.00am, selling langoustines to the Loch Ness Inn and ended at 1.30am on Saturday morning loading just short of a half ton of herring into the back of the van at Aird. The time in-between was the day off. We headed north after twelve, stopped for lunch at Gairloch and a trip down to the beach with the pups.

Then going further north we took a detour down the Inverasdale/Cove road, mainly because Gemma proclaims it is the only place she knows that is better than Applecross,

so it had to be seen.

It is truly a beautiful part of the Highlands and Dougal and Eilidh seemed to agree.

Another beach walk with Dougal having a discussion with the white cow, who seemed very disinterested in him.

Then off to Ullapool to an exhibition/private showing of how plastics are entering our world in not the best of ways, even becoming part of the geology. Not an edifying prospect but well underway and out fishing the next day I pick up a plastic bag floating by

just to reinforce the message of the way we live has to change. Met up with Sara, a contact from the Inshore Fishing Conference and the discussion about sustainable fishing carried on to the Ceilidh Place where we were treated to some awesome music by King Creosote and Mairead Greene. Time just flew by and it was an hour later than I thought before we were back on the road home. Me in the passenger seat after a couple of Thistly Cross ciders and just as well as we were met on the road just outside Shieldaig by our local custodian, Craig. Not knowing the van he rapidly turned round and followed us down the Coast Road to stop us enquiring as to our late travelling home. Think Alison was quite excited to be stopped by the bobbies with blue lights flashing and all. Mason and Thor would have been impressed as the last time I saw them they were in said car outside the Schoolhouse. So the last stop was for the bait and salt and home by 2.00am, asleep by 2.05am and up at 6.00am to go fishing. Not even enough time to take off the wrist band.

It was hard work leaving the house at that time in the morning and staying on the couch with these two was very tempting.

Days off are tiring but the sights, sounds and conversations were all so worth it. Maybe Dougal could have done with more than the Pinewood walk at Inverewe and the two beach walks but his form was still good and he enjoyed the trip down to the Ullapool Harbour, fishing boats

and tall ship included.

So from the fishing to the shower and straight to the Inn where we had a tricky evening dealing with many bikers, a closed Walled Garden for Calum’s wedding and lots of visitors wanting to eat good food. And again on Sunday, the full twelve-hour shift, with a half hour for a bit of food. Lots of good food, laughter, good craic and a parrot,

a German one at that.

Seemingly she stayed at the Inn couple of years ago and was back for a return visit. She came out briefly for a wee look around during the quiet spell in the afternoon. Busy but a well run if a times tense day and even the nine bikers who turned up at 8.55pm for a meal were happy to be served nine fish and chips. They had just rode down from Thurso, turned up late at the Campsite and came straight down to the Inn. You could not serve them so another group were treated to the Highland hospitality of the Applecross Inn. The visitors were from all over, Kazakstan to Holland and all parts in-between. Hope the two Dutch girls who were to be in Mallaig for 2.00pm on Monday made it. They were to drop a hired car in Portree  and make it down the road to Armadale to catch the ferry across Sleat Sound and I think it was going to involve some hitch hiking. Good “we are all European” chat with them and while acknowledging we all come from different parts they hoped we would finally have the nerve to become Scottish in our own rights. All the european visitors are really sad about Brexit and hope that Scotland will stay around. We shall see.

Finishing on a sad note though I heard off the sad passing of John, who used to live in Applecross and worked and inspired many troubled youngsters. He also had a pretty troubled past which unfortunately caught up with him. I only have good memories of John, taking me out with No 3 and doing a spot of sea rescue before my trip to Canada with the kayak. So there was an appropriate sunset to finish off a memorable weekend and to remember him by.

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