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

Posts tagged ‘reminiscing’

Ringnet Fishing and Football.

Thursday evening at the Inn was one of reminiscing about days of yore, particularly around football and fishing. Football was high on the topics of conversations especially if you get a couple of guys in their mid to late fifties are around the current generation of players. The upcoming event of Oliver’s wedding brought in not a few bods from the south end of Skye. Not quite up on who is who but conversations quickly went on to the standard and quality of the local football leagues thirty-five years ago to how they compare with now. I spent most of my growing up in Kyle playing, practising (I needed to) and spending time down at Douglas Park in Kyle. When not good enough to play for Kyle I played for Balmore and Plockton, there being slightly less competition for places. Vague memories of being in the winning team of Balmore winning the Macleod cup, their only winning trophy as their team members drifted back to their native villages. There were the traditional “old firm” matches of Kyle/Plockton which was replaced by the Kyle/Kyleakin games. I think Plockton faded a bit as the Byrnes, Finlaysons and Hays were not replaced in sufficient numbers. Good to chat with Chris and remember incidents of yore, no big-headed stuff but lots of banter. Makes you think, the Kyle defence of D.Anderson, S.Moore, I.Munro, A Macleod, D.Macleod and S.Barckley, was part of a team that almost won the “grand slam” missing out on only one of the available trophies. Sad to think that two members of that group are no longer with us but good memories all round and we were probably not better than today’s players.

Fishing was another topic when I came across Will who was on board the Kyleakin ring netters. Seems he has done a study of the ringnet and has numerous photos of the boats including the Mary Ann BRD 423 that my dad was on. There was a bit of confusion as we sorted out which Macleods were which as there were three altogether on the fishing boat. I am pretty sure that the photo is one of Will’s and she laying at Canna.

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Remember he did say that Canna was part of his research. It certainly of a bygone era. Chris also mentioned that he remembers the day when the Fortitude came to Kyleakin. That would have been a big day for the village, seeing a new boat arriving in the small port. So it was certainly an evening of memories both on and off the pitch. All this going on and a family I have got to know over the recent years, the Boyds from Lewes, were in for their “last supper”. You make good friends working at the Inn and I was fortunate to get off a little earlier on Wednesday evening to catch up with them as they were staying down at Pier Cottage. Dougal and Eilidh were impressively well-behaved during the late night visit.

The week has had its usual rendition of fishing

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and working at the Inn with a blip at the Turbine to sort out. It is off just now as we have not had any rain for quite a few days. The predicted snowfall has not hit Applecross and there was enough sunshine for the wedding to be enjoyed by all including Son No3 who had come home for it. The 150,000 kWs is on target for the projected income so a dry spell is welcome at this time of year. Lambing is going full pelt so it is inevitable that we have some snow flurries although with the wind in the east to north east the sunsets have been okay.

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There was a breeze from the east forecast on Monday and as the day was bright and rumours of adverts being filmed on the Hill I took the dogs up for a wee look.

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Ended up walking to the mast and enjoying the views from all quarters.

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There is a spate of people using and wanting to use the Bealach these days, whether for tourists, cycle sport ifs, car clubs and filming and one wonders where it will end up. Road closures, if only happening once or twice a year can be met with a shrug of the shoulders but as there is more and more demand for its usage which includes closures it is little wonder that this is a topic that is now coming up in our Community Council Meetings. There is little direct benefit from all this activity to Applecross and the road is deteriorating fast with small prospect of much money being spent on it. Maybe if HC put some of their monies offshore they would have some to spare to spend on the Bealach. No wonder however that there are so many who want to drive over the Hill.

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The views on a day like this

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are at the top end.

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The Wedding

Saturday morning and up not at the crack of dawn. The dogs were out for the morning stroll and ablutions when out west I heard the echo of a sonorous fog horn. The Sound was half covered in a thick fairly unseasonal fog. Immediately thought of “Snow Falling on Cedars”, the story based around an unfortunate accident at sea. In a calm foggy night a fisherman was thrown off his mast doing a repair by the wash of a passing freighter.He clipped the gunwale on the way down and was unconscious when he went into the water. Brilliant book and film and it was the atmosphere of the cam and fog that brought it to mind. So it was finally wedding day and although quiet it stayed dry and improved as the day went on. Guests

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arriving to the sound of the pipes,

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setting stunning and very Scottish, mist, glen and pipes.

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Lovely simple humanist ceremony at Clachan, followed by canopies and hog roast at the VT. One or two photos taken, I know I could never be an official snapper and only took the one posed. Quite pleased with it though.

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Nipped down the road, called in to the Inn, busy but not silly, and took the dogs out.

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Back up to the ceilidh and a fine one it was, to the tunes of Iron Midden.

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Despite not drinking I find these events go just fine and can enjoy the craic and gossip with anyone.

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When I gave the booze a miss around ten years ago it was quite hard work as a lot of Highland socializing involves a fair bit of alcohol, or at least mine did. Usually helps to be doing something or organising to help the evening along but seeing guys from many years ago

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all together and chatting politics, land issues

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and great banter with lots of laughter and reminiscing,

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the time just flew by.

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Of course there was the odd dance or five to get through, Orcadian strip the willows, dashing white sergeants, eight some reels and the odd boston two-step. Made it to the end of them all but could have done with an oxygen tank to recover with in the corner. Managed to head off as it thinned out towards the end of the evening.

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Home just after the witching hour and the advantages of not drinking come into play at the end of the evening.

Easter Sunday and pretty full on, heard some one say that we passed the 180 lunches by half two and there was still another six hours for me and a few more for the rest of the staff to go through. It was a fine day, bright sunshine and just warm enough for eating outside, which made it easier for us but kept the kitchen on its toes. But the food kept coming out and was superb, been a while since I have heard so many compliments. The dover sole was impressive. If not so busy the camera would have been out. In amongst it all there was a flat battery to sort out and with the help of Padgett’s leads, the Inn van we soon had them underway again. Left about the back of eight to enjoy a fine mint chocolate chip ice cream before another chat and a plan for the upcoming Cambridge Folk Festival. Andy and Jill are our guides, the music line up speaks for itself and the weather will not matter. Looks like this will be the annual holiday for the year. Events such as the Community Land AGM will break up the summer nicely. The sunset was sublime

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for the journey south on the bike

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and Andy and Jill had a fine walk out to Ardban to finish off their weekend.

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Monday morning saw me up bright and breezy to sell prawns to a Russian, a lady married to an east coaster who come this way every year. Not many and really just a wee favour as I could not do it yesterday, they normally grill them in Applecross but took these ones away with them in the morning. The rest of the day did not really happen with a breeze from the south making it a bit uncomfortable to fish, just use up my reserves.

Tuesday’s wee excuse was a meeting up with Landward to say how wonderful the fishing is in inshore waters, just feeling a little sarcastic when I think back into the past and what we had fishwise from shoals of pelagic, salmon and white fish and now it is bottom feeders. Gets me out of the house anyway.

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