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

Posts tagged ‘Sabhal Mor Ostaig’

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.

Work,Learning,Music and good People

Very busy and varied week which started with a trip to the Loch Ness Inn to bring their staff back to Applecross for a night out. The trip back involved a stop off at Rogie Falls for a little treasure hunt which ended up with every one getting a slug of baileys.Then it was off to The Waterside, Judy’s sister’s cafe in Lochcarron. An Irish coffee later and it was back to the Inn in the Community bus. Worked until about 11pm before heading home for a well earned rest. Tuesday and it was away to Sabhal Mor in Sleat where we took part in the third of six two day sections of our social enterprise course. I think it is a combination of us all getting to know each other and a relaxing into the course. We all have to do a presentation about a given subject and I have to say I was very fortunate in that it was a comfortable subject. Covey’s 7 Habits are about sorting yourself out and then being able to interact successfully with other people on a business and personal level. The evening in the pub is just as important for the course where as you trust more you tend to share your problems with other people with whom you build up a confident two-way relationship. Although I often feel a bit out of my depth I do seem to hold my own being passionate about the things we talk about. Extremely nervous about my presentation but got through it because I really liked the subject and the guys I was speaking to were very understanding. I thought the 20 minutes I spoke for was actually 5 mins so must have gone into some zone. Picked up a new tag when speaking to some-one about the success of Kinlochshiel shinty team. They are very professional in their approach to the game now and so are their players partners who now call themselves SWAGs…….Shinty Wives And Girlfriends. Back home on wednesday to another shift in the pub and to be met with Mark’s jubilation at his Iranian visiter to the Inn. I reckon I trumped him today with Norway and Kenya though. The competition now stands at 29 countries which have visited the Inn. I keep thinking how extra-ordinary this is. Weather has improved dramatically and a couple of days fishing ensued. the weather was fantastic with the fishing not bad so contentment is the order of the day. Friday evening saw us off to the Celtic Connections Festival weekend at Broadford. Friday night saw us booking into a great friend’s place at Erbusaig and then heading to the Big Top, slightly later than planned but met with brilliant music especially provided by Raul Malo, The Michael Mcgoldrick Band and the Deadly Gentlemen. Saturday saw us in Raasay where Alison had a good catch up with one of her friends on Raasay House Communtiy Company while I took Dougal and family to Hallaig,a cleared township on the east of the island. I find it very atmospheric and going there transports you back in time almost hearing the life that used to go on there.Although many people do not like the gorse it is great for bees and is one of the early sources of food for them. The last few days of bright dry weather has brought it out. in full bloom.The walling is a bit different over here in that they seem to stand the top stones on end. A beautiful craft that lasts for many decades. I have been twice on this path and its ancient mosses always catch the eye, some up to two feet in height.It was back to the festival in the evening after a visit to my mum at An Arcasiad where she is being well looked after as she enters the later stages of Alzheimer’s at the grand old age of 93. The evening programn of The Civil Wars, Daimh, Roseanne Cash and Niteworks was second to none.The Civil Wars were a cracking harmony duo who rattled of a series of very beautiful songs,they were followed by the scottish group, Daimh who had several guests including Karen Matheson.For me the highlight was listening to the glorious Roseanne Cash and watching her obviously enjoy singing to an appreciative crowd.She was also very complimentary about scotland, its people and music.

After listening to Motherless Child,I’m Moving On,Take These Chains and Heartaches By The Number among many more it was off back to Dave’s.Another shift at the Inn,a walk home via Robert and Marion’s croft and an evening’s reflections of lovely people,interesting conversations, brilliant music, fantastic weather and scenery,and work that satisfies the soul and body the thought that I am very fortunate does cross my mind.

Sabhal Mor in the morning

Social Enterprise Academy

Spent two days on Skye on a training course which will hopefully better equip me to carry out community work in Applecross. Social enterprise is a growing movement and is seen as a way to allow communities to survive the local authority cuts which are only just starting. Communities have to find ways to set up income generation projects to keep essential services going, becoming more business orientated is going to become a way of life for communities like Applecross if they are going to thrive in the future. There are about a dozen people from across the Highlands attending and are from a variety of backgrounds, local Development Trusts,venues, Community Companies, Charities and Funders. I found the event thought provoking and there is a remarkable coming together of everyone, evident from the evenings in the Armadale Hotel. Although it is a course for “leaders” a few of us are slightly uncomfortable with the concept of being a leader. There are a few of us who prefer “enabler” but a minor point I suppose as long as you do not get big headed. There is a good bonding in the group and I would go as far as to say I am making really good friends and can see myself dropping in to see how their projects are getting on. The days are broken up with talks, workshops and little practical exercises which tend to point out our failing in working together. Everyone seems to have issues and we are encouraged to find different ways of finding solutions and also find out how we approach problems. It is also a personal appraisal which tells how you interact with people and how you keep motivated under difficult circumstances. We know that the Hydro scheme will be very hard to finance and it appears it is very difficult negotiating with our landlord. Finding ways round these problems may seem insurmountable at times but if we are to survive as a viable community we are going to have to find the way. The people we are negotiating with and banks are only interested in the bottom line while we are interested in the health of the community, the declining school role, the cutting back of all services. Still had time on a quiet moment to watch four or five trawlers towing up the Sound of Sleat and thought what a waste.

Although this seems to be a down beat post it was very inspiring to be with a group of people that were achieving lots with in their communities and to be honest it was good fun as well. Also good to know that our problems were not the only ones and it does you good to have them shared and reciprocated. There are a lot of good people in this wee country. If we lose that we might as well walk away now. The banter in the pub was top drawer.

Going on the ferry was a little daunting and extremely basic although going all the way to Inverness meant that option was out of the question so the shoogly ferry it was. Getting your wing mirrors pushed in by the operator tells you what little space there was on board and seeing the turntable being spun round by hand takes a bit of getting used to. Anyway safely home and back to work tomorrow with a different perspective, for a while any way.

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