View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Magic Smoke

Don't forget that there is also a Magic Smoke journal on Blogger, which is sometimes referred to as the J-land Hub. I'm one of the authors, and have posted on there.

Here is the link:

No more of this!

And there's much, much, more...

Hurricane update - 14 October

A tropical depression is lurking in the Caribbean, and although winds are not a problem (below galeforce at present), rains are. The Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) are under warning for heavy rainfall, with totals of between 4 and 8 inches, locally up to 12 inches (that's 100 to 200 mm, locally up to 300 mm). A danger of life-threatening flashfloods exists in those islands.

Tuesday 14 October

Again, more excitement for the wrong reasons, albeit not as serious as some days ago. Powercut at 9 am, spoiling my trash tv watching lol. Anyway, power was back at 10, although I'm still on my battery-powered laptop. Managed to make a cup of coffee by boiling some water on the hob. That's the way I used to do it in days gone by. I mean, you turn on the hob, light a match, hold it by the hob (yikes! the flame!) and place a pan with water on it. Some 5 or 10 minutes later, you have the boiling water, ready to make your coffee. Oh, the simple pleasures of life.

The debate about timezones in the UK will be taken a step further on Wednesday, when Jersey votes in a referendum to adopt Central European Time, i.e. go forward 1 hour permanently. There is a similar debate ongoing in mainland Britain, where the move is opposed by those in Northern Scotland. In winter, this would mean sunrise at 10.15 am, leaving kids to find their way to school in total darkness, leading to accidents and worse.

Today is the 69th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow. This capital navy vessel was torpedoed by Nazi-Germany's U-boat 47, which had sneaked into the bay (at Orkney) past blockships and other impediments. More than 800 men drowned when the ship turned turtle and sank within 15 minutes. A small green buoy marks the position of the wreck, which, to date, continues to release oil. Diving is prohibited as the site has been declared a wargrave. I visited Scapa Flow last week, and will put pictures up as soon as I have gotten round to uploading them.