View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 13 March 2009

Mission Statement

Originally drafted: April 2005, revised March 2009

I was amazed at the colours at sunset these past days. And at sunrise as well. Normally, I expect light to start to fail 25 minutes after sunset, but at this latitude this is extended to 40 minutes. I am not a native of the islands, but one of the reasons I have come here is the natural beauty. Whether it is in the images shown on Flickr, at a time of good weather - or in bad.

Being caught up in a thunder, hail, snow, sleet (and kitchensink) shower back in January 2005, whilst going down the Lochs Road at Leurbost, with the bus driver being forced to reduce speed to a crawl. No snow or ice at the next village, Keose.

The many rainbows in the spring, going down the Lochs road.

The joy at seeing the first green shoots, in April, out at Keose.

Hearing the first bleating of lambs in a pasture at Breascleit late in March. Walking the island in the bitter winds of February, and seeing the sad remains of the sheep that did not make it through the winter. Or the sheep that was knocked down at the Marybank cattlegrid in April, and was slowly decomposing in peace in the ditch that it was dumped in over a period of 6 months.

Seeing the days lengthen to an incredible extent, sunset at 22.30, with the light lingering to the nadir of the night at 01.30, then returning fully at 03.30. But also shortening of the days, with the daylight hours of 09.15 to 15.35 at Christmas.

The howling of the gales. Clattering of hail and thumping of the wind against the window at night - waking up in the middle of the night because there is no noise.

Watching the breathtaking coastal scenery at Filiscleitir, or the stunning mountain scenery from Rapaire, Teileasbhal, Mullach an Langa. Or beautiful Glen Langadale, where I'm forever fording that river under the frown of Stulabhal. The little mouse on the slopes of that mountain, the one that allowed me to stroke it.

The yellow grasses on the moors of South Lochs, finding your way in amongst a myriad of lochs, streams and bogs. Loch nan Eilean, south of Garyvard.

Place seems to have gotten under my skin.


Apologies for the entry (now deleted, but probably showing on your Google Reader), saying it was a message from a mobile phone. Please ignore.

Easter sidebar

I have changed my sidebar to reflect the advent of Easter (sic) in just over 4 weeks from now. Lent came upon us some 2 weeks ago or so, and I hope everybody manages to stay off whatever they resolved to stay off for 6 weeks. The above-left graphic is one of Donna's creations, and I am sure all readers will wish her a speedy recovery in her current ill health.


I've removed the advertising block from the top of this blog. Google have recently started to introduce picture ads, and I found the busty babe that has been adorning my journal of late not entirely in keeping with my writing. Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate natural beauty, but not to the point of distraction. Adsense hasn't made me packets of money; I used to get a lot of revenue (few dollars) out of my webcam site, which was discontinued last May. There now is a steady trickle. My first cheque will probably come some time in 2011 or so.

Was out for a wee walk round the basin across the street; it is a tidal affair, and as the tide was out, I was able to walk round the bottom of it. I even found a healthily sized scallop. However, one scallop does not fill a stomach, so I'll probably put it back later today.

Friday 13 March

Once more Friday the 13th. I used to have a black cat, and it was a very sweet, half-human cat that ate what we ate, would tap me on the shoulder to ask for a bit out of my plate. Outside our house, it would chase mice, birds and rabbits, bring latter in for live consumption under bed at 3 in the morning with attending screeching by rabbit followed by crunching of its bones. Leaving only its tail. Same cat also went out on the pull at this time of the year, resulting in black kittens all over the place.

The teenager who shot 15 people in Germany last Wednesday was being treated for depression last year. He did not continue treatment after it was relocated from one town to another. More on this story on the BBC News website.

A vast amount of information on casualties from the First World War has been uncovered in Geneva, and is currently being collated. It is hoped to have it on-line in five years' time. British man Peter Barton has been given access to the vaults of the Red Cross headquarters, and details on 20 million casualties were found on index cards and ledgers. Read more here.

Midnight post

I have drastically cut the number of applications on Facebook from about 300 to 50. The number of requests was getting silly, and if you don't get a reply from me on a certain app, it just means one of two things: either I have not added the app, or I have just clicked through.

As far as journals are concerned, I am monitoring Call for Support daily, and will try to reestablish my reading routine. This has been disrupted by Facebook, and some attendant difficulties off-line, as I reported at the start of this week. Twitter I do not find much use for if truth be known; you'd have to monitor it continually, which I can't do. However, if you look up adb44, you'll get my postings, if and when. Many of them are directed at tweeters in the Isle of Lewis.

I have decided to ditch Open I was processing a document that originated from Word, and it was turned into a mess that needed clearing up in Word. I've purchased a license, and now have the program in its full glory (Word, Excel and Powerpoint).