View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Evening notes

I am very relieved that the aircrash in New York City, where an airbus came down in the Hudson River, claimed no lives. The A320 struck a flock of birds, disabling its engines, and forcing the pilot to bring the plane to an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Passengers then evacuated the aircraft and stood on its wings and fuselage awaiting rescue. Ferry boats quickly came to their aid, and all 148 passengers and crew are safe.

The British government announced today that Heathrow Airport, west of London, will have a third runway. This means that hundreds of houses nearby will have to be demolished. It is claimed that tens of thousands of jobs will be created, and the congestion in the air alleviated. More details here.
John McDonnell, who is the MP for Hayes and Harlington, the constituency in which Heathrow lies, walked onto the floor of the House and seized the ceremonial Commons Mace in protest. He was named by the Deputy Speaker, which means the Honourable Member is censured - in the case of Mr McDonnell, he is banned from the House for a week.

If you are in the eastern or central USA, please take care in the current extreme conditions. I have access to a website showing weather conditions across the States, and I don't envy anyone who has to put up with daytime temperatures of -30C. Strange to see temperatures in California up to +25C at the same time.

Remembering Today - 15 January

On this day in the First World War, this man from the Isle of Lewis lost his life in the service of King & Country. RIP.


Last address in Lewis: 23 Lower Garrabost,
Son of Donald and Christina Macleod, of 23, Garrabost, Stornoway, Lewis.
Regiment or division: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, HMS Attentive II
Service number: Mersey Z/769
Date of death: 15 January 1917 at the age of 22
Died of wounds, in hospital
Interred: Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery, Belgium
Memorial reference: IV. D. 4.
Lewis Memorial: Point (Garrabost)

Windy nook

We're in for a couple of rough days out here. The lampposts swing in the wind, you can barely walk up or down the street and bits and pieces go thump in the night. The Calmac disruptions table (that's the ferries, shown above) has more red/orange than green, meaning that nothing moves. And it's only a force 7 (gusting to 45 mph). On Saturday, we can look forward to our third storm of the winter. One positive note: after my iced-up feet of yesterday (outside temps of 4C), it is now a lot milder at 10C, as I indicated in previous posting.

15 January

Breezy day, with the wind up to force 7 at the moment. Temperature has risen through the night, from 4C at sunset to 10C at the moment. Saturday looks like a very stormy day, possibly the third force 11 storm this winter.

The islanders of Rum voted 15 to 2 in favour of taking control of their own island. No indigenous islanders are left, they are all employees of SNH. However, they are determined to make it a place for themselves, and I wish them every success. Kinloch Castle is not included in the buy-out; that remains in the stewardship of SNH.