Daily Archives: July 9, 2013

She Sells Sea Shells from the Sea Shore

She Sells Sea Shells from the Sea Shore – seems there’s a bit of truth in that tongue twister if the presence of a mighty barge in our lil old harbour is anything to go by. Scallops and Queenies and the harvesting and processing of them is probably the main local industry since the creamery across the bridge had it’s machinery shipped overseas and it’s buildings demolished.

An interested bystander such as myself doesn’t need to be an Einstein to guess that the meat of the scallop is the high value end of the process. Most of it will find itself in the posh restaurants of France and Spain while their national debt issues puts them deeper in hock to the European Union and the larger scallop shells have also got a market value as decorations after sterilising.

The smaller queenies are a different animal and after removal of the meat the shells would appear to have little value. Some have been crushed and found their way onto farm and forestry roads but I believe there is a limiting factor here. The end result is that they are either tipped back into the Irish Sea outwith the Dee estuary or stockpiled – but – that might not be the case any more for rubbing shoulder with this little lobster boat and scallop dredges at the quay wall today —

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we had the two hundred foot Montivideo registered barge the River Pride —

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With hatches nailed down she is waiting for the tide to take her down-river and out to sea. Her cargo? I understand she is loaded with queenie shells and the last time I saw a barge like this she was powering up through the Loreli Gorge on the River Rhine bound for Switzerland —

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Ok – that particular barge in the last photo was heading downriver but what goes up must come down – same thing unless you are the skipper. Gottit?

I digress – our barge stuffed with bare queenie shells sitting on the mud by the quay wall this morning has the same pair of ‘big brute’ motors that my Rhine barge had —

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For the robust old bargee leaning on the stern rail English wasn’t his first – or forty first language come to that but he did say his destination was Rotterdam – or was it Amsterdam?

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If it was the latter this could possibly be a Rhine barge and it wouldn’t surprise me if the enterprising Swiss sold our re-modelled queenie shells back to us as part of the ingredients for false teeth or suchlike. After all I can remember when I was involved with the Skye marble quarry at a particular take over and was intrigued to learn that one of the many uses for Skye Marble was to be ground down and added to the mix in certain brands of toothpaste.

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Doesn’t life improve when the sun shines – and Andy Murray wins Wombledon. Was embarrassed though to see our chief puddock, Alec Salmond making a complete prat of himself by pulling the saltire out of his wifies handbag in the Royal Box at the moment of victory.

Nothing like ‘seizing the moment’ eh Alec 🙂

Justa Minute! There’s more to follow after a Quick Edit;

Seems my fanciful suggestion that we might see our queenie shells returned to us as Swiss false teeth is just that – fanciful!

The word on the street tonight is that the queenie bits were destined for Rotterdam where they would be processed and fed to Dutch chickens so there is more chance they will arrive back here on Tesco shelves as egg shells.

I preferred my solution to the disposal of queenie shell problem 🙂

She Sells Sea shells from the Sea Shore

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in out and about


Solway Tide

Solway Tide – in this case it’s the bistro cum café I’m referring to. Tidy and old fashioned in the interior and street frontage —

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But I had biznez through the alley this morning and stumbled on a hidden gem in the sunshine out back. There’s a tree shaded garden with a few scattered tables but what caught my eye this morning was the mural taking place on the south facing back wall —

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An artistic couple are giving the old place a Mediterranean flavour with their choice of colours as they paint the sunflowers while on the right we have a typical Scottish hill shepherd and his collie dug in the hills with his flock —

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The only thing lacking with their shepherd is a puff of pipe smoke and it could have been my father-in-law who spent a lifetime as a shepherd in the hills above Loch Awe and Loch Lomond.

Callum had started smoking a pipe as a ten year’s old schoolboy and lived till he was 83. I fondly remember the early days when I courted his daughter and would be regaled with a lifetime of tales of herding sheep on the old drove roads to Dalmally market as we drank dram after dram in the old bar at Inversnaid Hotel. As well as being a midgie deterrent an occasional puff of pipesmoke under the blankets was apparently a surefire way to pacify the fleas in some of the hovels around Port Sonachan where they would overnight on the two day drive to market 🙂

Solway Tide

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in out and about