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

Posts tagged ‘migraine’

“Every River I try to Cross”

Quite an up and down three days, glad to say that it is finishing on the up. Wednesday morning and I was almost excited about going out fishing. Just too long not being on the water. Did not expect many if any prawns but was under instructions to get some for the Inn and some squats as well. Dave, Ryan’s dad managed to catch one on the shore up the coast so needs must. Lovely start to the day with the sun shinning on the stern on the way out,


an unusual number of gulls on St Island


and Eagle’s Rock looking resplendent under Bienn Clachan.


Surprising day on two counts. There were a few prawns and there were very few snagged gear, considering how long since they had been hauled. Lifted one or two from the south ends and found quite a numbers of this years marine growth.


Always look forward to seeing this regeneration as it tells me that we are not destroying the eco system completely and hopefully there will be a harvest ready for the next year. Unfortunately although I had started the day with a dull headache and thought nothing off it it slowly progressed into a much more severe one to the extent I was for heading home. But displaying a bit of pure Scottish thrawn I kept going to the next fleet, always keeping in mind Dave’s one squat lobster. My misfortune was that I had only about twenty squats on board so I had to head for a 35 fathom fleet of Applecross Head. Very relieved to be rewarded with a basket of squats so kept it together, managed to shoot the fleet back very badly but by this time I was thinking of getting to my couch for a lie down. Tailed and landed the catch and crashed for an hour before heading back to the Inn for a shift. Boss away so knew staff were light on the ground. Still head was not in good shape but no migraine so thought I had worked throughout it not getting one.

Not so. Yesterday morning started bad and deteriorated to just bad. The pain is special, for me it is so bad I cannot lie down as it hurts so much, so the day was spent holding my head throwing up and dozing not always in that order. By 3.20pm I had given up any hope of turning out at the Inn and Caroline stepped in to cover as Judith was not back till half way through. Luckily it was very quiet so did not feel too bad in letting them down, Mind you ten o’clock before I felt slightly human. Bed again with a couple of bananas and a glass of water. Not over yet as a half one and half four painkillers had to be consumed to see the night through and back on the couch. Thinking back it is interesting remembering what you think about, mostly the mundane but in this instance there were two things that came to mind first was a couple of Saturdays ago there were four people in the Inn that night I knew who were in trouble with their health, serious trouble, and they ranged from very young to middle-aged so to some extent that eases the pain as I know in a day or so it is okay for me just a memory. Reading that back sounds really selfish but a migraine is just that it is a migraine. The other thing of comment was I was thinking of the NWMCWCo Ltd having met one of the movers and shakers from the island. Albeit they have good ground and have teen over a well-managed forest but they have taken on a £600,000 debt and paid that off in two-year, established twelve forest crofts, building a Hydro scheme and now are getting stuck into providing affordable housing. Yesterday could not help thinking if only…… They have people in their community who rail against what they do as well as we have. It is just the nature of things, “an armoured back” he said is needed.

Today’s start was a little confused with dregs of painkillers floating about but after a healthy breakfast and some caffeine things got underway. The offer to work a shift tonight was not needed so it was over the Hill to Shieldaig to Sarah’s for much-needed Thai Massage. Been suffering from a very sore neck muscle pull needing a fair bit off attention. Arrived on time but no sign of Sarah so went to Nanny’s for a fine cappuccino and coffee cake and Sarah arrived twenty minutes late….Lynne backed me up on this so Sarah really confused as she thought she was forty minutes early. Turns out she was, don’t know what Lynne’s excuse was, mine was I was in migraine recovery phase. So for at least a couple of hours Sarah was under the impression she had lost one. Cracking workout and not too painful so made it home through the mist and rain with ease. On the way I had stopped to take a shot off how bleak it looked


but on the way back even on a day like this, dismal and wet, the colours were still there by the roadside.


The water was racing down every hill you passed, the Bealach looking the at its perfect Highland best. White water appearing out of a glowering mist, a good place to drive up and over to home.


Stop off at the Inn, shed building progressing,


to drop off some more calendars, thanks to every one who are buying them, you are helping our community live, and more at the shop before coming in for the dogs and a walk round the Camusterrach/Camusteel circuit. Put the headphones on and for no reason at all stuck Runrig on. Apart from mistiming the walk during the rush hour, must have been passed by more than ten cars in the forty-five minutes, the misty dusk, wind and company of Dougal and Eilidh


were the final part of the recuperation. Felt as I was returning a favour as they knew I was in trouble yesterday and they tried to help, lying beside me, on me in the case of Dougal,


and licking my neck and head. Lovely dogs and Jenny has done well by them. With Runrig playing, this completed the day especially when “Every River” came on “Every river I try to cross” the first line of a powerful chorus took me home in no time in the gloom of the west coast, but it is home. All that was left to do was cook off a couple of Grant’s of Dornoch sirloins via the Inn and watch Martyn Bennet’s Documentary about the album Grit, something I have to buy. Brilliant but so poignant. So as usual nothing much to say and signing off with the sonorous,melodic sounds of Sorley Maclean reciting “Hallaig” on Bothy Culture.

Happy Accountant and Bank Manager.

A mug of  yogi liquorice tea, with its little tag saying ‘Enjoy the breath of life” and a couple of oatcakes laden with butter and Camusterrach honey seems to have completed the recovery.  Two bananas and a paracetamol at 8.00pm followed by breakfast at 8.30pm tells me it was a long migraine today. It was not so intense as the usual ones and was only nauseous the once but it went on for ever or felt like that around six when I should have been relatively healthy again. Not had such a debilitating one for a long time, stayed on the couch while Angus, the window cleaner was in, and could not get the diesel for the generator as requested. I actually headed off down the road but got as far as the church before turning back. Tomorrow morning if they did not manage it as fishing is planned, weather good and looking forward to it although not expecting many prawns but lots of tangles. Always connections around here and yesterday I was chatting to one of the ladies at Highland Wholefoods and talking about just this gluten and headache reactions. She was telling me her fifteen year old was suffering terribly from bad headaches and the gluten-free was introduced last easter….result no headaches, just that simple. So decision made gluten-free diet coming up.

Enough of that and yesterday was such a good one, leaving to see the accountant with the pier books done, I hope. Family all settled in for a hard day ahead.


Trip involved going to Kyle first and the Bealach was looking broody.


Called in at the Bank of Scotland and came across the first very pleasant surprise of the day. Met Nigel and brought back memories of an old style bank manager. Not that the recent ones were bad, in fact just the opposite as they had there hands tied by central office and were not allowed to make any decisions themselves and they did not like it. Today I got all the statements I had lost and more so first hurdle over and it was through to Inverness via Loch Ness. The Five Sisters stopped me at Shiel Bridge


and then further along the road noticed one of the feral goats with her young trotting behind, grazing on the roadside verge. Spur of the moment stopped at the next lay by and walked back to where I had seen them. Took a few photos but was more concerned when the mother nipped up the side of the hill


and the kid could not get across the ditch.


With cars charging by and the kid very nervous, running across the road seemed to be an option so a wee rescue had to be undertaken and a lift across the ditch for a reunite with her mum.. Nice quiet drive through with a fair bit of snow by the road side and now regret not stopping again for a few more snaps, just the one and without the snow.


Next it was to see Keith and the usual banter. “I thought I was going to see you in July” that was last year’s promise. Did not make one this year, not a public one anyway. Get on with him which is just as well, borrowed a room and half an hour later I had every transaction noted and only my VAT workings to give him and maybe no fines. More banter and off to Highland Wholefoods, book buying, and the Co-op and Gaelforce before picking up Greg for the journey home. A short one as we chatted most of the way and back before you know it. Head only started after getting home so with today out of the way I am back to enjoying the breath of life. That and enjoying the company of a happy accountant and happy bank manager, a good couple of days.

Day of Dogs.

Heard a nice wee tale about my Mum yesterday evening relayed by Ali Mackenzie. Seems after the war   she was over here doing some district nursing. To get around she had a Ridge bike, 200cc seemingly, and it was a troublesome starter. So this day she was in Milton and trying to head off but failing miserably when Murdo Macrae, boat builder and Robert’s grandfather, wandered up and began giving her a series of suggestions on what the trouble was and how to fix it. Younger then, a fair bit flustered and a little out of character she turned to Murdo and snapped “I know too much about this for you to be telling me what is wrong”. To which Murdo quickly replied “You are the first person I have ever met that knew too much about anything”. I think a quick spark plug clean took place and off she went, possibly a little chastened.

Turned out to be a long day, after a late night I headed off to bed with a slightly ominous feeling and sure enough I woke with a bit of a “head” which by the time I made it to work was full-blown. Only the Boss knew and just managed to function through the day. Far too many pain killers but needs must. Yorkshire boys here providing the entertainment for the last couple of days and continued throughout the afternoon. Was not much else on the go apart from the weather which was varying between stormy to gale force.IMG_6595


Enough to take a phone call from the Press and Journal as they had a report of gusts of 102mph. Evening was still windy but stunning light to the south.



Lie down for an hour and then a Community Company meeting where there was a huge amount discussed and an array of problems talked through with solutions offered for every one. Although it can be very onerous at times meetings that offer solutions are to be recommended to any one. The other advantage is that I fought a migraine and won through, appreciating a stormy day and doing something constructive. The new Facebook page set up for the Company has been really well received and will improve our lack of communications with the Community.www.facebook.com/applecrosscommunitycompany. The directors are really pleased with the close to 200 likes and hope you keep them coming. At times I have this really strange thought that they are almost worth it when you experience the feeling coming out the other side although they are pretty tiring and have a “mind” of their own. Dougal and Co are equally content now each having part of a leg of a hind in their grasp, possibly can tell.IMG_6615

Another amusement happened earlier in the week when Baxter of Milton received a parcel from his friendly postie, Dai. Although a little puzzled he thought it may be an early Christmas present. On opening it he found a squeaky pig and was totally  bemused. He then got onto the phone to his daughters and slowly the penny dropped, the parcel was delivered to the wrong address. Not only are there two Baxters in Applecross but there are two Baxter Thompsons here. As there was no note or any other message it had not been clear which Baxter the present had been for. As the other Baxter he is a wee terrier,


the squeaky pig was obviously meant for Baxter Thompson, Camusterrach and not Milton.


On reflection it was a bit of a dog day as on leaving the pub I gave Fru and Sprougle some biscuits and Minnie had to have a couple more, all regular visitors. So between them our own lot and Baxter…..

Trying to Make a Migraine positive.

Long day today. That can be the only description for going through a migraine type headache. Todays was a little different as it did not start as one but developed into it. Up at 6.20 am and light headache required a 500ml paracetamol and it was going to be off in an hours time but not to be. By 12 olcock I was holding my head and throwing up through the afternoon. Probably worse on a day like today but such is life. I would far rather not have them but I do think it makes you more aware of other people’s situations and even illnesses. I do n’t think I am quite as dismissive of the headache or back problem as those who right people off as scivvers. I physically could not have put a fire out if it was my own house that was on fire. I detect a lack of compassion in the country at the moment from the legislation being passed and the phone-ins I hear on the boat. Quite shocked at the dispassionate comments from, I assume, city dwellers who were slagging off farmers for not being careful with their stock and it was their fault for losing ewes and lambs because they should have had them inside. More and more I see and hear people drifting away from nature and what is real and it does not bode well for the kids. That’s the moody ill bit over and done with. Yesterday was sublime and a day at sea was therapeutic for the body and soul and hopefully tomorrow will cancel out today.


Again the weather was sublime and I am going to stop apologising for taking pictures of the Cullin and keep taking them. This time in the morning with the sun rising over The Five Sisters there are a wonderful display of shadows on Skye.


Halfway through the day in the shallower water on the middle bank I came across a large family of hermit crabs, one stopping for a photo before going back over.

Working my way south I was getting a little apprehensive as there were three fleets I had not hauled for a while but all was well and no foul ups. Last fleet to haul picked up my last awol fleet and although it will take a bit of sorting out when I haul it next week it is good to get new gear working again.


There are lots of signs of summer about, this time the Hebridean Princess steaming up from the south end of Raasay and the muir burning is in full swing much to the chagrin of  many of the local fire brigade who are trying to get on with normal life.


Not been down the south end of the Sound but the Five Sisters look magnificent with their top of snow and on the way up to the Inn looking west the sky was a van stopper.



The shift at the Inn started off a little slow and slightly disjointed but once you start interacting it comes together and once again we had a 100% satisfaction rating. The Fishing News cartoonist is staying at the Inn and I would never have known but he overheard my conversation with the Irish family on table D about fishing community and life on the NW of Scotland. The Irish family were great conversationalists,unsurprising I suppose, and we sorted out Independence the Irish economy, and just life in general. Does not matter what we said but it felt like I was making new friends My shift finished with a staff drink of a scoop of Baked Banana and the latest offering Rhubarb Crumble ice cream. Another sign of summer.

A couple of stories from the French piper. As he was playing in Marseille one of his onlookers had put a bag down and wandered off forgetting it and not long after Ruairidh found himself surrounded by the elite of French bobbies and a bomb squad. He is now in Lille and couch surfing his way through France. Saving the best till last. The guy’s flat he is staying at has gone to Strasbourg for the weekend and has left the key with Ruairidh. This reminded me of a similar situation north of Salt Lake City when I was hitching across US of A. Wonderful to see such trust given and not abused….

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