Day 300 of the year 2009. Only two months left until Christmas, and the shops will explode with Xmas paraphernalia on 1 November. First though, we've got to get Halloween out of the way.
Today is wet in Stornoway as a large area of rain passes through from the Atlantic. It appears to be restricted to Scotland only, if I look at the rainfall radar. It's not warm, 10C. Yesterday, the birdfeeder was filled up and hung on the tree, and the sparrows and starlings did not take long to discover its delights. More than half a dozen birds flutter on and around it at any one time. The strange thing is, they tend to disappear at lunchtime.
Yesterday, the trial began at the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, Holland, of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. Mr Karadzic refused to be present at proceedings, claiming he needs another 10 months to prepare his defence: which he is planning to conduct himself. The trial was adjourned until today, when it will be decided whether to impose counsel on Mr Karadzic (which he has already rejected). The delaying tactics by Mr Karadzic have been met with anger by the relatives of those killed by Bosnian Serbs in the Yugoslav conflict of the 1990s.
The fall of Srbrenica in July 1995 was one of the worst atrocities of that bloody war, and the involvement of Dutch UN troops, who appeared to collaborate with Bosnian Serb forces, still sits very uneasily within Dutch defence circles. In 1995, I myself worked for the Dutch MoD, and know a serviceman who was at Srebrenica.