View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 20 April 2009

Closing notes

Been busy today, cleaning up my database of World War I casualties from Lewis. I detected 15 duplicates (resulting from men being mentioned at their parents' home as well as their own married addresses), one duplicate resulting from an error on the database of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and one duplicate resulting from a look-up error on my part. The last two did not lead to a deletion. Total number of names is now 1,285.

Iran's president Ahmedinajad continues to have my grudging respect. He acknowledged that the American / Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi should get a fair appeal hearing, after being convicted of espionage. That went down well with the West.
Today he grabbed the headlines by referring to Israel as a 'totally racist' country. That statement went down like a lead balloon. The substance of Mr Ahmedinajad's speech was nowhere near diplomatic. But then, he has never hidden his extreme hatred of the state of Israel and has vowed its destruction. Dozens of diplomats, attending the United Nations convention in Geneva, walked out in protest. My respect for the Iranian president stems from the fact that he is a clever political player - and that's where it ends. I could not disagree more with his politics.

Once more, I don't have time this evening to go round journals, will do my best tomorrow.

Monday 20 April

The weather has turned, and I'm looking at an overcast sky with a few chinks of brightness in between. Overnight, we had a little rain which disappeared to bother the mainland by mid morning. Temperatures remain moderate, at 12C / 54F. Although it is very nice to have 21C / 70F, as is forecast for southern England, I prefer the 12C for mid- to late April.

A British soldier was shot in Afghanistan - but the bullet just passed through his helmet, missing his head by 2 mm. Although shaken up, the man resumed his duties within the hour. He is hailed as the luckiest soldier alive.