View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 7 March 2009

I'm a Blogaddict

With thanks to Traci

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Jade Goody

So this poor woman has now been christened in the hospital, alongside her children. I don't want to appear crass or insensitive, but I don't wanna hear much more about her.

Who is Jade Goody? That is a question justifiably asked by many people outside the UK. Jade was a Z-rated celebrity, who shot to prominence in 2002 as not exactly the brightest spark in the universe on the equally Z-rated Big Brother show. A year or so ago, she reappeared in a celebrity version of BB, and she was quite rude and loud to a Bollywood actress. It almost led to an international incident. Fortunately not - both women have now kissed and made up.

Her current spell in the limelight stems from a diagnosis of metastatic cervical cancer. She was given an abnormal papsmear result earlier in 2008, but did not act on it. Jade's prominence has led to an increased uptake in cervical smear tests among younger women, which is the way celebrity status should work. Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, and she was quite open about disease and treatment. Jade got married in hospital recently, and it is recommended to her that now that the publicity has generated the funds needed to safeguard the future of her two children, she should withdraw from the public eye. Jade only has weeks to live, and is in much pain and discomfort.

The Dark Ship

I'm currently making my way through this Anne Macleod novel, set (mainly) in the years of the First World War. As you all know, one of my current interests is this episode from the 20th century, and the book puts a human face on those affected by it. Dark Ship is set in Stornoway, just before a bunch of young men are going off to the war in France. Occasionally, there is a Fast Forward movement to the mid 1990s or the late 1930s. It's a reasonable read, but a tad long-winded for my liking. However, the fact that I have made it to the half-way stage does mean it is quite acceptable.

More info here.

Afternoon notes

Brilliantly sunny afternoon, with a bank of distant high cloud to the southeast. We are threatened with severe gales, and there is this ominous lump of cloud out in the Atlantic. We shall see.

Just found a solution, of sorts, for my problem with Whenever I add a set, the site would freeze when using Firefox. So, I removed Firefox from the PC and reinstalled it. Seems to have worked, I now get warnings that a Javascript is not responding. Bearing in mind that I have in excess of 300 sets on Flickr, that is no surprise. Just a flipping nuisance.

The picture beside this post shows the interior of Lewis, along the Grimersta River. Not been there for about 4 years or so. The spot shown is reached relatively easily, using one's own legs after leaving the B8011 road just past the Great Bernera turn-off. The only fly in the ointment comes a few miles further south, when you have to cross two rivers. And there ain't no bridges. Click on the location link to find out exactly where this pic was taken.

Remembering Today - 7 March

On this day in the First World War, this man laid down his life in the service of King and Country. RIP.

Quarter-master Serjeant ANGUS MACKAY
Aonghas Uisdean
Last address in Lewis: 31 Valtos,
Son of Hugh and Ann Mackay, married to Christina
Regiment or division: 1039th MT Coy Royal Army Service Corps
Service number: DM2/097042
Date of death: 7 March 1918 at the age of 49
Died in an accident in Egypt
Interred: Gaza War Cemetery
Memorial reference: XXXII. B. 3
Lewis Memorial: Uig, Timsgarry

Saturday 7 March

Today started with pouring rain, but the sun has come out since about 1pm. Ferry just came in, trailing plumes of smoke. The engines were refurbished in its recent overhaul, making them fit for burning cheap and nasty fuel. Well, that's patently obvious. It is supposed to be better for the environment - I don't know what's worse, a large carbon footprint or a large sulphur footprint.

For those that joined Atlantic Lines recently: I sometimes make note of tropical cyclones (hurricanes) that occur around the world. These happen year round, and at the moment one is grazing the Australian east coast. Summer is coming to a close down there, hence the presence of Hamish. The Atlantic and Eastern Pacific season will start in the middle of May, another two months away.