‘I know that even langoustine were looked down on as late as the 50s. The French white fish fleet came up to fish the Minch in the 50s and went back home as their nets were clogged up by langoustine!!!! £5/tonne so not worth their while to catch. I only can guess that squats had little appeal then as the waters were rich with fish, from herring to cod…..’
This response to my request for info on squat lobsters typified Alasdair Macleod, kind with his knowledge, of which he had a lot. His loss at sea a little over two weeks ago is a tragedy for his family, the close knit community of Applecross, and for those who love the north west highlands, or simply believe in a better world.
It must be over 25 years since I first met ‘Snoddy’, and while never knowing him well, it was always great to see him at the Inn. His blog ‘applecrosslife‘ is a joy to read, indeed one of the very few blogs I ever read. I always looked forward to his posts filled with hope, love of, and passion for Applecross, and the northwest highlands in general. The odd Twitter exchange would ensue, usually around seafood, politics or my missing Applecross calendar on Ne’erday this year which caused much hilarity, and because of this I recently asked him to write a guest post for this site. Typically he thanked me for asking him rather than waiting for me to thank him for saying yes, and said he would do it after the one he’d promised someone on his trip to Iceland.
Alasdair’s family have continued to post news of the search for him through applecrosslife and if you’ve never read his writing then you should. Each time I see a langoustine I shall smile about the anecdote of the disgruntled French trawlermen, and remember a genuinely lovely man. The sea is an unforgiving place, never take your fish and seafood for granted, because each day others you’ll never know risk their lives to deliver it.