View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 20 February 2009


Isn't it easy to sit at your computer, and read a blog. Or two. Or perhaps one hundred. Maybe even several hundred. That's how many are on my Google Reader. Many of us write down their lives on their blogs. Whether publicly or to a select few, we impart those bits of our lives to the world that we choose to disclose. Many a time, it is particularly at the darker moments of life that we write. And blogging being what it is, we appreciate comments left by friends, acquaintances or distant readers.


How can you place yourself in the shoes of the writer. What makes you think you are selecting the right words and turn of phrase to suit the occasion. Well, it is fairly straightforward when you talk about a death in someone's circle. It is also fairly clear when a blogger says they have had a diagnosis of serious illness - or someone very near and dear has. You can't go far wrong there, can you? No, not really.

Where it can go very badly wrong is in situations where someone is discussing the challenges they face in life. Money may be tight. Relationships that are strained. Past events that are haunting them. Guilt, remorse.

Call me naive, but I'd think that in our blogging community, we are there to support each other. Seems there are exceptions to that rule. I can't believe that there are actually people who see fit to criticise the way someone has dealt with a situation in their life - to come to the point of this post (once more) - which they have described in a blog. How can you, exclusively through this medium, gauge what was right and wrong? I mean, how can you if you weren't there. And even if it was patently incorrect, what right does anyone have to criticise? Nobody.

Nobody whose blog I read fits the above bill. It applies to nobody that comments in this blog either. I am merely highlighting the shadowside of blogging, which sometimes peeps above the horizon of one or two blogs I come across.


Zimbabwe is trying to think of recovery. May require $5bn. Not a huge sum, if you consider that the US government recently put aside 300 times that amount for its recovery from the economic downturn. The new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai, has said that for the moment several foreign currencies may be adopted. I wonder what he is going to do about inflation, which is running at 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000%. That's 10 sextillion percent. Anyway, I'm pleased that at least they appear to recognise that there is a problem that they should solve, rather than blaming everybody else for it.

Friday 20 February

Pouring with rain, bit of a breeze going - wet day in Stornoway, what more do you want for an excuse to stay in all day. There is a stack of good books to be read, I may do a bit of work on my collection of pictures on Flickr. On the other hand, someone is going out to Ness later on, and I might just join them for the ride. No chance of taking much in the way of pictures in weather like this. We shall see what transpires.

47 people on board a Boeing 747-400 were hurt when their plane hit severe turbulence east of Tokyo. The flight from Manila to Los Angeles via Tokyo was coming into land at the Japanese capital when turbulence struck. Six people flew up and hit the ceiling of the cabin hard, leaving several holes. They are seriously ill in hospital in Tokyo.

I have less than pleasant memories of a flight from Rome to London in 2001, when the plane hit turbulence over Southwest London. The flight had flown straight into a rainstorm with very strong up- and downdrafts. One person suffered a panic attack, another had an epileptic fit. The exclamation of the person next to me, as we touched down, was "Terra!" - Earth. Otherwise, it was eerily quiet as we bumped up and down.