View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Four years ago

Was browsing through my archives (remember Northern Trip?), and came across a diary entry for 8 January 2005. At the time, I was in the village of Kershader, 22 miles south of Stornoway, and the bus journey there was a seriously wintry affair, with a thick layer of ice on the road just south of Leurbost. Three days later, hurricane force winds slammed the islands, with gusts up to 134 mph. Five people lost their lives in the South Ford between Benbecula and South Uist, when the two cars they were travelling in were swept into the sea by a huge wave. Since Boxing Day, people have been scouring the island of South Uist for a 21-year old seaman who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. On land, at sea and under water - not a trace.

The first 100 days

I noticed that my Blogoversary button announced that the (first) anniversary of Atlantic Lines will be in 266 days' time. Meaning, that we've been on the go for 100 days tomorrow. It was on September 30th that AOL kindly informed us that we'd lose AOL J-land on October 31st. Consequently, a lot of us shut up shop with AOL and moved to Blogger. Much has happened since the shut-down. My own participation has dwindled substantially for various reasons, to a few posts each day, down from about a dozen every day until May 2008.

I hope that things will continue to come together, and that we can pull a long nose at AOHell come October 2009.

Remembering Today - 8 January

On this day in the First World War, these three men from the Isle of Lewis lost their lives in the service of King & Country. RIP.


Last address in Lewis: 3 Back,
Regiment or division: 2nd Gordon Highlanders
Service number: 3/5956
Date of death: 8 January 1915
Killed in action
Interred: Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix
Memorial reference: I. C. 41.
Lewis Memorial: Back

Last address in Lewis: 18 Brue,
Son of Malcolm and Christina MacKinnon (nee Matheson), of Brue, Barvas, Lewis; husband of Effie MacKinnon, of 61, South Bragar, Barvas, Stornoway, Lewis.
Regiment or division: Royal Naval Reserve, SS Torcello
Service number: 3322C
Date of death: 8 January 1917 at the age of 37
Died of dysentry in Alexandria
Interred: Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery
Memorial reference: A 25


Last address in Lewis: 48 Carloway,
Son of Malcolm and Marion Macleod MacKay, of 48, Carloway, Isle of Lewis.
Regiment or division: 1st Cameron Highlanders
Service number: 6896
Date of death: 8 January 1915 at the age of 34
Killed in action at La Bassee
Had served with the Camerons in the South African war and rejoined from Canada in 1914
Served in Egypt with 3rd Bn. Seaforth Highlanders.
Memorial: Le Touret, Panel 41 and 42
Lewis Memorial: Carloway

8 January

This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, writer of the book on evolutionary theory - survival of the fittest. His theories still provide much food for debate today. He published his magnum opus, backed up by observations, in 1859.

I have so far not commented much on events in Gaza, and will not say much about them now. Except to say that the Israeli and Palestinian people are condemned to each other, gnawing on the old bones of strife, resentment and pain from the past. Others in the region use their unfortunate circumstance as an excuse to fan the flames of hatred. The Israelis are to blame for the current conflagration as much as the Palestinians. I don't see a way forward in that crisis at all.

Not much happening here today - the sun has disappeared behind clouds and the wind is picking up. Not showing my face out of doors, trying to get rid of the last of my Christmas cold.