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

Posts tagged ‘thistles’

Do Chickens have Twins?

You learn something most days at the Inn, usually something completely useless or innocuous. And tonight’s random question from the kitchen was “Do chickens have twins?” This has an origin in the fact that there are large numbers of eggs being delivered just now with double yolks.

Yesterday was a 450 haul and all went well although the fishing remains fairly poor. Quiet day weather wise and not much activity on the sea, occasional yachts motoring by with no wind in their sails but lots and lots of jelly fish.


Am slightly obsessed with them as they are both painful and beautiful and always like opposites in nature.


Faithful fulmars alongside most of the day. They do not give the impression they are the sharpest on the water and hardly ever get to the bait first, and give the impression they get really hacked off and scurry about after everything that moves. They come in really close to the boat and show little fear.


Community Council Meeting last night and as Janet is leaving town I did the minutes and Barry Chaired. Lots on the go and some tricky issues that have to be dealt with and hopefully not too many casualties but suspect there will be. Signs, minibus, GP, good news on that front is that we have a salaried appointment that covers our practice and next door, so progress,the contentious issue of bracken spraying, and finally Kishorn. Lots to do and no time to do it. It will be done though as it tends to be embarrassing if you do not get round to doing it. Had a good bee chat with Audrey after he meeting and she has got her one hive up to two again by creating an artificial swarm. Used to think thstles were a pest until I realised they are good bee food.IMG_4654

Beauly, Loch Ness Inn and Inverness took place today. Went out to the Varuna for langoustine for the Inn and another couple of boxes for The Loch Ness Inn, calling in to Beauly to drop Jenny and Eilidh off with Alison and Dougal. Sure that Ted groaned when he saw even more visitors, especially more of Dougal’s family. Lovely view across to the Beauly Firth from his holiday cottage and watching the circling red kites was very peaceful.


They were far better at catching rabbits than Dougal turned out to be., although he ended up taking road kill home. Anyway they headed off down to Rosemarkie while I rattled round buying stuff in Inverness. Did not quite plan it but ordered 150 creels from Gaelforce along with rope costing around£3,500. So that keeps me fishing for the next month or so. Constantly need to buy replacements or the standard of your gear goes down and you catch less prawns and it becomes a spiral. My favourite shop is Highland Wholefoods



and it is really handy as Dougal’s favourite is just across the road. Although they do not know it Dougal and Co have a great day planned for them on Cuaig Beach with treats and pig ears thrown in Jill and Kenny heading there on their day off.


Back home in time for a quick shower and on to the floor. A strange night as it threatened to be silly busy with 2x 6s,a 9 and a 14 booked along with all the residents but it was a bit of a stroll, slotting people onto tables with only a couple of tables waiting a little too long for our comfort. The sort of shift that you get through but when guys shake your hand on the way out you must have done something right.

And yes but it is very rare for chickens to have twins, Steve. If there are two fertilised yokes as they grow a chicken heads for the air cell at the round end. But if there are two they will fight and usually both die. There have however been cesarean twins produced.

“Beautiful Evening.”

Little busier last night at the Inn but we got it together despite the variables we had to deal with. One group of bikers arrived unexpectedly, expected next week. But as there were three it was just ok and accommodation was resolved but then the mention of another on the way….That was sorted as well although hearing that the fourth guy on a Kawasaki was trying to get here as fast as possible you were willing him to be safe, serving him at 10.30pm alive would have been no problem rather than any rush causing an accident. All was well. Very occasionally I mention a grumpy customer but we broke her down after three visits and she left with a broad smile and many thanks!!. Star of the evening for me were a German couple who had an accident 3 miles north of Ullapool, ended up with no injuries but fairly badly damaged car. They told me this story after they had eaten langoustines and haddock and drank a couple of bottles of wine. They said coming to the Inn had been the perfect antidote to their day as they were so relaxed and the atmosphere food and welcome were “beautiful”. Met them this morning and after calling off Dougal’s welcome, helping them get diesel they reiterated what they had said last night. Coming from Essen they kept saying what a beautiful place this was and this them having a very unpleasant road experience. Hopefully the memories of the “beautiful evening” will be stronger than their accident. She was already saying that it was a piece of metal that can be sorted. Always reinforces the thought that the service industry is so undervalued and looked down on. I see it as one of the best vocations out there as you have the ability to “make people’s day”. Making an honest contribution to people’s well being, there is little more you can ask for in life because it always comes back to you…”the circle of life”

Mark Newton on his www.aroundbritainchallenge.org.uk/ has been stuck in Applecross since the 25th of June. He was coming up the Bealach and at the second hairpin his motor burnt out on his mobility scooter as he was towing his mini caravan with his two cats. Seems the spread of 30amps each to his trailer and his scooter ended up being 60amps to his scooter.


Result burnt motor.


Kishorn Mechanicals called into action and yesterday the scooter was back in place only for Mark to find that his battery has cells down and he is still in limbo. He is using Skype, following instructions, diagnosing the problem. Our Community Broadband being a very helpful tool for Mark.


He is well behind schedule time wise although he is enjoying the food and atmosphere of the Inn. Taking him out on the Varuna next week. It is a busy week as Robert is out as well with a couple of butcher friends. Forecast remains very good after tomorrow.

Very conscious of energy use these days and burning fallen timber is one way of contributing in a small way to lessening the carbon footprint of the Schoolhouse.


Already got an air to air heat pump which is working well and by the end of the summer plan to have thermal panels on the roof. Most of the older houses on the peninsula are hard to heat an insulate and innovative ideas are being sought to overcome these problems. The Community Company has been involved right at the start in trying to make Applecross a little more carbon neutral by looking at setting up the hydro scheme, using the excess power generated locally, trying to set up a sustainable wood fuel chain, this has been very hard to implement, while at the same time providing information through the Applecross Energy Efficiency programme to reduce bills and hence reduce carbon impact. www.facebook.com/ApplecrossEnergyEfficiency The next event is at the Clachan where a talk about Moving Forward from Ash Die Back will be given by Dr Sophie Williams from The Royal Botanic Gardens. This takes place on July 18th at 7.30pm.

Since getting my bees from Audrey last year focusing on the Applecross environment is in danger of becoming a bit of an obsession like ice cream. There is something happening everywhere you look , there always was but now I am looking. Noticing a big year for thistles and, before well so what, they are a nuisance, but now I know they are an important source of food for the bees.


Done it myself but not good to see many of the ones close to the Beechwood pass broken by passing walkers.


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