View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 18 May 2009


-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Sunset notes

Sun has just set in a blaze of red and gold - yes, I'm at latitude 58 north, hence the very late sunset hour. I'm always amused to watch the 10 o'clock news on the BBC and see London steeped in darkness. No, I'm obviously not watching the news tonight. I've seen enough of the row around MP's expenses and the attempts to use Mr Speaker as a scapegoat. It would appear he failed in his duty as leading figurehead, trying to stifle dissent and blocking attempts to disclose the scandal of expenses. However, a very large section of Honourable Members appear to be as guilty as hell themselves, and some of the crying wolf sounds incredibly hollow.

Monday 18 May

Sunny day, with some small cumulus clouds about. Apparently the best weather in the country, temperature at 12C / 54F. At least we have the sun.

Try to order something to be delivered to the Western Isles. Same item costs £12.23 in delivery charges from BT, and £0.00 from Amazon. Ongoing problem, in spite of petition to No 10 Downing Street.

A planning application is to be discussed for 3 windturbines, 400 feet tall, to be constructed in moorland off the Pentland Road, 5 miles west of Stornoway. Not enjoying that prospect, and air traffic control bodies have lodged objections. It is to be a community windfarm, for the people of Sandwick and Point (east of Stornoway), generating power and benefits of £17.5m over 25 years. Wish the things weren't so ridiculously tall.