View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Midweek pictures

MV Isle of Lewis docking stern-first, because the bowdoors cannot be opened. Repairs will be carried out this weekend.

The weather today was very iffy, with beefy showers - which is great for cloudscapes. It is also good for generating rainbows, like what showed up at 9.30 tonight.

Sunday ferries

Up here in Stornoway, I continue to be dumbfounded by the ossified attitude of certain groups in the local community. I mean, planes fly on Sunday, ferries sail out of other Western Isles ports on Sunday, so why not out of Stornoway? Because it would degrade a way of life. A way of life that degrades family-life, by denying off-island workers the opportunity to spend a weekend at home? I don't think so. I am not in the business of gratuitously offending those with sincerely held religious beliefs, but there is a small group of people in Lewis who exercise power by "virtue" of those beliefs. Although I'm not Roman Catholic, and am severely critical of the Pope's policies, I do agree with him that using religion as a pretext is unacceptable. Whether this be a pretext for violence or denying people their basic liberties is immaterial.

Wednesday 20 May

Late entry for today, as I have spent the past 6 hours upgrading the software for my ADSL modem. What an absolute nightmare that was. Anyhoo, got it sorted and that's all that matters.

I was relieved to hear that the MPs' expenses system is to be overhauled. I have never understood why MPs could set their own salaries, expenses arrangements and what not. Without outside scrutiny, the abuses that have been exposed over the past two weeks were bound to occur. I totally agree with PM Gordon Brown that the House of Commons was being administered like an old boys club or something like that. Speaker Martin is paying the political price; his pension will be of regal proportions, don't worry about that. He is lucky he came away with his head; 7 of his predecessors in centuries gone by had to go without theirs after a stint in the chair.

Today is a day of heavy showers, and a severe weather warning is in force for Grampian (NE Scotland), on account of heavy rainfall.