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Yes, I call this work


My mission this week involved driving 150 miles through some of P1060086Scotland’s most glorious scenery to interview salmon farmers on the far west coast. I’ve been deprived of snow all winter in my frost-free, east-coast cottage, removed from mountains and the spectacular raw wildness of the west. I jumped at the chance.

I saw snow alright, on the tortured hills of Glencoe, the mighty Buachaille Etive Mor guarding the entrance to the notorious narrow pass. Late afternoon sun broke through the snow clouds to create lighting effects that accentuated the drama – if that’s possible in such a place. I followed labouring lorries loaded with straw bales bound for livestock farmers on the islands. And I stopped to get close to ducks looking longingly for food.

And the work? A ride on a boat; questions about how salmon farmers handle protected predators like seals (scare them, deter them or shoot them). And finally a sea loch-side hotel and a sleep within hearing distance of the tide.




19 Comments Post a comment
  1. It is not work if you enjoy what you are doing surrounded by beautiful scenery.

    March 18, 2015
  2. No, this isn’t work, this is an awesome adventure! What a great job!

    March 13, 2015
    • Ok, so my latest “adventure” involved spending an hour in a piggery. Lovely to see and hear the littte piglets and big fat baconers but the washing machine is now on and turned up high …

      March 14, 2015
  3. Deb Farrell #

    Awesome Nance,look cold but beautiful , !!

    March 13, 2015
    • Probably too cold for you Deb! Thanks for commenting. Nx

      March 13, 2015
  4. An interesting gig, for sure. I’ve heard really bad things about salmon farming…how detrimental to the environment it is, how farmed fish is not as pure as wild-caught, how antibiotics have to be used to keep them healthy. Did you learn quite the contrary?

    March 10, 2015
    • Salmon farming has been under scrutiny here ever since it started more than 30 years ago. It has a terrible environmental reputation; lots of chemicals have to be used to control sea lice; predators like seals, otters and herons have suffered; escapes from fish farms have polluted the genetic purity of wild salmon and food for the farmed fish is imported from thousands of miles away in South America. There’s very little to commend it, but people like buying cheap fish and it creates jobs in remote areas. The industry is now working hard to improve their reputation but it is a long haul.

      March 13, 2015
      • Yup. That’s all the stuff I’ve heard. Even my vet got worried when I mentioned that I’d started treating my aging cat to salmon when I cook it. I had to reassure her that I buy only wild-caught, undyed, yadayada. The balance between jobs and environmental depredation plays out all over the world.

        March 13, 2015
  5. Malcolm #

    Going to Arran in 2 weeks time. Hope the hills look like that…Stunning..

    March 8, 2015
  6. Incredible scenery, although I prefer snow in the far distance.

    March 7, 2015
    • Unless it’s in the searing heat of the Meseta – that’s when I fantasised about walking in snow! How long till your next adventure begins?

      March 8, 2015
      • Just four weeks. Camino Mozarabe. Glad to say that I have found a walking buddy to start off with. Just wearing in my new boots!

        March 9, 2015
  7. Wish I had a job like that

    March 7, 2015
    • Ah, like every other, there are good days and not-so-good days!

      March 8, 2015
  8. Scott Jordan #

    A tough job Nancy, glad you came through it!

    March 7, 2015
  9. Sounds like heaven.

    March 7, 2015

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