Monday, July 13, 2009
Some things are gone ......
Sometimes it's hard to see things as they are now - and so it is with the Achnahaird fank. So many memories cling to it - so many good days spent in the warm summer sun working with good friends at the clipping. Warm fleeces leaving our hands soft from the lanolin, sheepy voices from the pens, dogs loafing around in the shade after the gathering, tea and sandwiches - and a dram or two to refresh us during intervals in the hard work.
Now only the memories and ghosts remain. The fank stands empty, the reeds have grown in to cover the green, and erosion has taken its toll. It was hard for Jack to see it this way - remembering old Alisdair patiently tutoring him in the art of the hand shears - remembering all the jokes and laughter and hard work. Those were the special times - Jack's favorites of all our many happy days in Coigach.
The Achnahaird beach below the fank is still beautiful with its view of sea and mountains. But now there is no campground there, so no one would even notice the burial of a certain rather ripe sheep in those sandy dunes (story in the book). There is hope for a new place to be chosen for a new camp site - but that hasn't happened yet this year and the locals are feeling the economic impact of the loss.
The huge rusty floats and large anchors still lie on Badentarbet beach. But the salmon nets that used to dry there in the sun are gone. The boats the village lads used to net the wild salmon that ran along the coast are no longer there and only old unused boats still lie inverted and rotting along the shore. The only salmon taken now are from the farm pens in the Tanera harbor.
Glad we were there when .......