View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Ill tempered

Mother Nature is throwing a tantrum here in the Hebrides this evening. A severe squall is passing over, with winds of 60 mph being reported in the north of the island. Thunder is heard here in Stornoway and 10 miles away in Lochs. The rainfall radar shows very bright echoes out west, meaning more is to come.

And what did I spy just before the rain started to lash down? The three-masted schooner Oosterschelde leaving port. I wish them a safe passage, but hope they made the right decision in setting forth with this weather heading our way.

Tuesday 28 July

A bright, sunny but windy day - haven't seen a force 5 for some time.

Up here in the Hebrides, there are concerns over a population decline in some of the more remote areas. The island of Scalpay, off Harris, has a population of about 200, but none of them are aged below 7. Following the closure of a fish processing factory there a few years ago, there are no prospects of new employment - and thereby new families arriving. A similar problem caused a terminal decline in population on St Kilda, which was evacuated 79 years ago, in August 1930. Read more here.

The dates have been announced for the switch-over to digital television in Scotland. The Western Isles will transition in July 2010.