On the way out today I had a kilometre of tangled rope to sort out. Over the next couple of days that’s the morning job. ‘C’est la vie’ as they would say in Paris. Discovered who the skipper is that went through my gear, he’s back in town. We all thought he had gone to pastures new to bother other guys but we ‘ve to suffer him for the rest of the summer. Kenny and I have got some good feedback after our appearance at Holyrood. What we said seems to have been well received.
Did not let it spoil a good day. Flat calm and a few prawns caught with not many tangles and just two foul fleets. Almost as good as a decent fishing is catching your own tea and today it was fish pie which even although I say it myself was very tasty. Ling, crab, squats and prawns with a little help from the Applecross Inn in the form of Torridon hot smoked salmon. Topped off with tatties and a cheese sauce, hard to find a better meal.
The poor run of weather and having my creel hauler resealed and rebored has allowed me time to do a few hours at the Inn. It has been fairly busy and working there with a different perspective and with Judy’s helping advice makes it almost like a new start. Again the connections are fun to find out. I always like to guess the accents and was at both ends of the spectrum on thursday evening. I thought the couple from Langholm who emigrated to Manitoba were from Fraserbourgh but I did hit the nail on the head with the West Country folk from Bath. The people sitting next to the Manitoba farmers had just came back from a tour of their province….small world. Simply amazing food over the three days, all good but my personal choice would have been the halibut served with vegetables, scallops, squats and a prawn bisque. Last night I cooked my own tea, a couple of sirloin steaks from the Inn with a bit of advice from Robert along with peppercorns, cream and a reduced gravy. Could not go wrong and had a magnificent tea. Life can be good.
Lots of good local chat as well, maybe some not so good although you can always follow those up with an apology or a least a clearing of the air. It is going to be a tricky time in Scotland over the next few months and years as the ‘Independence Debate’ heats up. Nationalism is a way down on my list of priorities but I always consider myself as Scottish. It is something indefinable and very hard to explain but I think harmless if it is not at any ones’ expense. For me the crucial point is being in charge of your on destiny where possible and that means the people living in Applecross should be the ones taking the decisions that impact on their lives. And that does not matter where these people are from, Applecross or any where. It is right what they say about politics and religion in a bar.
Following on from thoughts about nationalism and local control of local issues we go back to the negotiations with our Landlord and have to say that our Board have accepted what we think are very poor impositions but already are moving on a positive frame of mind. There has to be a certain amount of pragmatism when you deal with bodies in a position of power. I will concede it is probably harder to relinquish any control that has been in your hands over decades. The fact that it could be better used in other hands would not come into the equation, but if retaining control becomes the most important factor in the holders’ actions then it is time to move on. May be leaving them with apparel of control and taking the future of our community in our own hands is the way ahead. If the emperor has no clothes and is content I would leave him be. One thing that has emerged throughout the negotiations is the lack of respect on both sides. Among our network of friends,members, contacts in other communities and agencies there has been a growing admiration of our achievements in such a short time and against many odds and also of the aims which hope to make Applecross a vibrant community again. Unfortunately our Landlord could not even acknowledge the fact that we are not for profit charity and seem overly concerned that they are receiving bad press in the community. I believe respect is not a right and has to be earned and I hope the Community Company is well on the way to gaining that respect as it clears each hurdle. Me thinks a missed opportunity. I really do hope we will come together in a more positive light in the future although I am not holding my breath. Maybe the it is simply a case of the Establishment working how to deal with the ‘new kids on the block’. I make no apologies for my views as my reading material includes Schumacher, The Spirit Level and now starting Ha-Joon Chang’s 23 Things they don’t tell you about Capitalism. Quality of life and not the bottom line is the essence. Off out to the Inn now to hear a couple of tunes from Becca Fox.