Sitting here with a half-moon streaming in the window as it lights up The Sound it is sometimes hard to believe you can pack so much into one day. The Inn has been taking up a lot of time this week due to birthday celebrations and staff off sick. A north wind blowing most of the week means that there was very little fishing activity since monday’s effort. Stocks of prawns at The Inn were low especially as every second order on friday seemed to involve prawns so that meant a long day at the office. But what an office. The day started at 5 am as day light came in and after the shipping forecast, breakfast,sorting Dougal and family it was off down the road to the boat. As I was crossing the Bay to my first fleet of creels the sun rose above the Applecross hills. Although I was under a bit of time pressure to catch prawns for the Inn’s menu board and be ashore to start my shift at mid-day there was time to look around the office, watch the blackbacks scrapping with the ‘bonxies’ over the meager bits of bait. Yesterday’s 30 knot wind had decreased overnight and just being on the water was a pleasure again. Ashore on time and with plenty prawns and squat lobsters for the Inn it was off to work although I struggle to call it that.
A hectic evening was anticipated going by the bookings. On evenings like this it feels as though the Inn takes on a life of its own borrowing some of the magic of Applecross that is all around it. There is a huge amount of hard work behind the front of house welcome and service. I often say to customers that it is easy to work front of house as the food is fantastic, the situation is magical and there is genuine contentment all around. It seems to be sensed by so many people even as they see how busy we all are serving them. I still think I have so much to learn and still make far to many mistakes but if explained openly people appreciate what you do and it does not spoil their enjoyment. So many different people from so many different walks of life and countries express their pleasure verbally, people you have met two hours before for the first time shake your hand as they leave all because they have had a special experience. The glorious weather,the landscape,the food and atmosphere touches many people in a way that I think is on a different plane than the material. The kitchen, under pretty severe pressure still manages to have a bit of banter with front of house and this filters through to the customers. Some of the repartee is not to be heard out front but it keeps every-one sane. Exhausted but happy at the end of the night I go over the mistakes but far more important I recall conversations,with visitors from,Switzerland,Denmark,France, Inverness,Lochcarron and Applecross, lots of chats about life, fishing, Applecross, anything. Like my involvement with Community Company I feel very fortunate to work at the Inn where you can connect with so many people and still have a quality of life that is second to none.
Twenty hours after starting my day it was off home and as I left the Inn I put on the radio only to hear Sailing By the melody that introduces the night shipping forecast. A full circle with so much in between. It does take a while to wind down from the adrenalin rush of earlier but with the moon a bit lower in the sky but still shining over The Sound it is to bed and a dreamless sleep.