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

Posts tagged ‘Raghu Dixit’

Colours and Sounds from The Walled Garden to Bangalore.

Tuesday for a day off it was certainly fulfilling. Woke up at five with the intention of going to catch a few prawns but very quickly persuaded myself I needed a day off, next, woke up at nine. The reason for the planned early start was we were set for meeting up with John Finnie MSP https://www.facebook.com/JohnFinnieMsp and standing for the Greens as List MSP at the next election.


First had to send off an email with thoughts on the hydro and another meeting for Wednesday night for the Board. Not really sure how long one can pack in so much but until it gets done there is no option. So it was on the bike and off up the road to the Walled Garden with Dougal and Eilidh. Made it as far as the Fire Station before being caught up by a poorly Boss. Judith to add to her woes has now developed a pretty severe allergy to her antibiotics so is not in the best of shape. Worked last night after checking out in the morning and hauling 250 pots. Do not feel so bad about making Tuesday a weekend day. To the Walled Garden and three hours flew by in the company of John. Very like-minded and easy conversation. Have to admit to talking quite a bit but Alison had the first half hour telling John about the Hydro woes, problems, hurdles….trying not to use sweary words in describing what should be a project that should be eased through on both a local and national level. It stands on its own by providing the community with income, it will provide renewable energy and it reduces the carbon footprint and CO2 emissions. What is not to like? You would think everything, if our road is anything to go by. So it was my turn to rabbit on about the fishing and its problems. This burst of good catches does not disguise a general trend downwards for me and I had a very attentive audience. No topic was left out from Range expansion, Trident, Climate Change, culture, heritage and even a bit of religion. Will be a good and helpful contact if elected to the Scottish parliament next year. Going home by Camusteel and the shop, stopped to watch Kenny


giving Ali


a hand shearing his ewes. Dougal expressed an interest in the proceedings but was not allowed to join in of course.


Noticed on Monday that Raghu Dixit https://www.facebook.com/theraghudixitproject?fref=ts were playing at the Aros Centre on Tuesday evening and thought “might as well”. Bit showery on the way and the view above Kishorn looking east often catches the eye. Layer after layer of beautiful green and Scottish mountains.


Contrast to the colour I was going to see to later.



Did not stop to think as then I would not have gone on a four-hour round trip to hear, an admittedly amazing, Indian band.


So glad I did not stop to think and, like the Mairi Campbell experience,  it was so worth it. As I walked in I was recognised by a lady all dressed up in her sari and although not at first recognised her from the Inn last winter. She knew she knew me but I had to tell her where.


Tables turned when I usually ask.  Chris, Amena (spelling probably wrong) partner is one of the directors of Skye Sea Salt and they had been over at the Inn last winter. The gig was simply brilliant and not only takes your mind off the stress of the Hydro but the stories and music were awesome.


With the music to back up the intros about egos, beautiful people and nature and actually looking around and seeing a beautiful world amongst all the chaos we create as humans, it was so easy to connect with what was happening on the stage and put everything in perspective.


With the new cd playing on the way home it took no time at all to be heading down the Bealach and home. On the way home while passing stags, mountain hares and hedgehogs I realised it was a day of colours, from the Green of John’s party to the bright colours of Bangalore.

Before I made my way to Skye I happened upon Mhairi Black’s brilliant maiden speech in Parliament.http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/aa555458-25d4-4125-96ca-c4c9f834cd4c?in=15:06:05&out=15:14:39 there was some thing in it that reminded me of the 1974 Jimmy Reid speech given to the shipbuilders. Although not so long it said so much about her place, herself and her passion. No wonder they clapped. Some one said at the Inn that clapping was just not on and was only for winding up the south. I would have struggled not to applaud, indeed I was showing just that when I was at the Raghu Dixit gig. Maybe the HoC is really just so out of touch. This has been seen by an astonishing 6.5 million people so far.

As well as this I managed a look at a video showing the recovery in Lamlash Bay https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsDJl5aqEWc&feature=youtu.be  Says a lot about the current outrage the SFF are displaying over the implementation of the MPAs.

And the fishing goes on,


quiet week so far and tomorrow bodes well to get round all the gear which is just as well as the langoustines are going out as quickly as they are coming ashore. Not wall to wall sunshine but very pleasant scenes and calm with the gannets back in


alongside the bonxies.


Has a couple of appreciative passengers today from West Linton. Plenty for them to see and they took delight in the increased octopi which came on board.


Fishing still holding up although had to haul 300 for a decent catch for the Inn.


The Inn is as busy as ever on most shifts with a stream of interesting people coming through, the blue crab fisherman from Maryland to the French disliking Swiss couple, we have them all and certainly as far as I know they all leave with fair amount of contentment. Judith is slowly improving although her allergy is still hanging about, and the Hydro is still in there. Development and decisions still await legals getting together to sort out final financials.


The Common Weal and Amazing Music.

Left about fifteen minutes late due to the Filling Station again.Rebooted it three times to no avail and the trip to Inverness was a little quicker than I would have preferred. Weather on the Hill not bad but you would know it was winter.




Stop off into Fraser Auctions to pick up a rams head poker and made it to the AGM just after its start, missing very little.

As I am writing this a day later in Glasgow it has been great to look back on such a varied and really positive day. A couple of down sides in Inverness was hearing about the squid fishery on the East coast catching lobsters, fetching a poor market price as they are either dead or dying. Also many of them are prime females carrying berries, you do despair. The other downer was hearing about a Gairloch trawler towing of Barleyport with an Irish skipper and Romanian crew. Coastguard called up for tow as they had their own net and some one’s creels in his prop. He should not have been there as it was closed and of course he is destroying some one’s livelihood while he is at it. We suspect no prosecution and that allows these bullies to carry on. Another story of an email threat from a scalloper seemingly ignored. The threat was I am coming to tow and shift your gear or I will shift them for you. That is a breach of the peace but again nothing done. And it is always the same story, we are not all bad but there is always a rotten apple….easy solution is to bring back the three-mile limit, it used to work and can again. The meeting was extremely positive despite these idiots. There has been a huge amount of work done to get the Federation to where it is now. Financially healthy and now a voice that government listens to, and hopefully doing something about our problems. We did not have one before, it remains to be seen if they carry out any of our wishes. Managed to get a bit in about Applecross Community Company and our problems regarding Di minimus with the broadband. It was Richard Lochhead, himself , who brought the subject of broadband up. I was not just spraying the minister with problems. Did manage to bring up local government or lack of it as well and suggested for some people Independence would just be moving power from London to Edinburgh. Good to hear a politician who is in power try to explain his policies and aspirations. Got a bit of a buzz to hear him bring up the Common Weal. Bit of hilarity when one of the representatives wanted more fishermen and their voice being heard at the Inshore Fishing Conference being held in Perth. He wanted fewer people with Fairisles and beards, at which point most of the room looked across and saw a beard and a lopi, it was a close run thing. The guys mentioned something not complimentary about trawling and got several different kinds of laugh.

AGM photo 3

We had a good wee session on berries as well and again the three-mile limit. Great to hear a buyer’s view on berried langoustine and lobster. Very few buyers talk the way James Cook does. Alistair was telling us about his own experiments on returning prawns to the seabed and catching them again, proving survival rates are high and it is worth returning the berries. James  sounded like he wanted to be buying sustainably caught produce in the years to come and was not into a short-term cash in. Good to know he is treasurer of the Federation. Fishermen from all round the coast of Scotland were there today and although we we did not agree on every thing we did not fall out over anything and were a lot stronger by the end of the meeting. It was accepted that there were different problems in different areas where the solutions are going to be locally worked out solutions.

So then it was just a case of meeting up with Alison and trucking off down the A9 in the wind and rain, getting to the hotel with half an hour to spare, into the taxi and to the Oran Mor. Absolutely stunning music followed. Shelley Morris opened with lots of loving stories about her own life as an Aborigine in the Northern Territorries. Sweet lady with a strong and emotional voice. Seems she was up for Aussie of the year but came to Glasgow instead. She was a perfect lead in to Raghu Dixit. What a night, warm, loving, personal and self-effacing and his music stunning. With both Shelley and Raghu there was a common double theme, the first part was where is the sun and the second which gave you a little pride in where you are from. They told us several times about the warmth of their welcome and reception, both touching their chests in appreciation. Good to feel one comes from a part of the world where friendship and acceptance is important. Headed back, pizza, and kip. One thing is not missed back home  is fast food outlets……mind you the Inn is pretty fast. Back home now but glad I wrote some of these posts on the Ipad as I have already forgotten so much of a packed exhilarating weekend.


Compost and a wander

Although it was a very unsettled forecast it turned out to be a really pleasant day. I had decided early on that it was going to be a fairly relaxed day and as it was bright sunshine meant the garden. Having a list as long as my arm sometimes mean that I end up doing very little but not the case this morning. I made another hot compost box with recycled wood railings that I no longer need with the new deer fence close to completion. I have also purloined some polystyrene boxes from the Inn for the inner. I am not sure of my first batch as I have not seen my temperature increase as much as it should have done but it certainly seems to be breaking down with only about 25% left in volume. Got some more greens from the Inn and started a second batch with cardboard and hen droppings.While I was constructing the box a peacock butterfly landed on one of the many dandylions out catching the sun. No sound of the cuckoo yet but spring is well under way. Peas,brussel sprouts,lettuce and curly kale planted on saturday. Hoping that most of the potatoes will be in by the end of the week and Dougal proofed. Most of the day I have been listening to Raghu Dixit,the result of rising early on sunday morning and seeing him on Andrew Marr’s programme. Brilliant musical mix of mainly Indian with a Western influence.

The day was very much influenced by something I heard on the radio this morning and it was a question/survey in China. Would you prefer to be crying in the back of a BMW or laughing on the back of a bicycle? I remember a comment I made in the Inn to a mate over a couple of pints that I would have a BMW by the time I was 30. I have to laugh at that as my ‘ambitions’ have changed so much through the decades and have found that I get more pleasure from simplicity and none at all from the material world. Building a compost box has given me more than buying my Renault Traffic. Seeing people really enjoying the prawns at the Inn I am fortunate to catch means far more than the money I get for catching them. People are really interested in how we live in such a remote part of the country and want to know about the state of the fishery and how the prawns are caught

Today’s chill out was needed as the Easter fortnight was manic at the Inn and this means double the effort for me, supplying the prawns and then working at the Inn. No complaints though as it means I can spend a day in the garden and take Dougal and family for a walk and not feel too guilty for not going fishing. It is quite hard to turn the live to work mantra round to the real one of working to live. The brainwashing that goes on in our society that we have work and achieve to ‘get on’ I find very destructive. It is very individualist and tends to work against community togetherness. Speaking of which Applecross Community Company was on Reporting Scotland tonight about our ridiculous connection offer from SSE. Alison and Carolyn are going through tomorrow to meet with SSE and guys from CES to see a way forward. It is really frustrating when we are supported by members, friends, visitors and politicians but when it comes to commerce there are some sectors of our society who want too much.

Spring is definitely here evidenced by the banks of primroses everywhere.

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