View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 14 November 2009

In retrospect

Tonight, I was browsing through the J-land Central blog and came across a listing of journals, once kept by journalers who have since passed on. Go across and remember Lahoma, Walt, Chuck, Barbara, Jim, Kim, Pam and Penny (in no particular order). It only seems like yesterday that we followed their struggles with ill health, supporting them every step of the way. The transition to Blogger appears to have broken the link, so please nip along.

Hurricane update - 14 November

As the northern hemisphere hurricane season draws to a close, the southern hemisphere tropical cyclone is firing up. The first tropical cyclone was born this morning, and Anja is expected to reach hurricane strength. Fortunately, this storm is more than a thousand miles from land of any description, and Diego Garcia is watching it disappearing to the southwest. The customary November storms around the Indian sub-continent have put in an appearance; 04A made landfall south of Bombay earlier this week.

The southern hemisphere season always draws in a large number of visitors to my tropical cyclones blog: back in 2007, cyclone Gamede, a category III hurricane, was a cause for grave concern for Mauritius and La Reunion and raised the daily count to 2,300. A record - the daily average (according to Sitemeter) stands at about 115. Since July 2006, when I commenced the TC blog, I have clocked up some 68,000 visitors.

Through the northern hemisphere winter, I shall continue to refer to cyclones threatening land on Atlantic Lines.

Title picture

I have once more changed the front picture, now taken in daylight. It shows the Blackhouse Village at Gearrannan near Carloway, some 20 miles west of Stornoway on the west coast of Lewis. I took the picture at around 4pm, just before sunset, last Wednesday. The Blackhouse Village is not home to permanent residents; the last ones left in 1974. In the early 1990s, someone took it upon himself to restore the homesteads and turn them into self-catering accommodation, a restaurant & shop as well as a youth hostel. Gearrannan (Garenin) itself lies a few hundred yards up the road, and is a normal village. Apart from homes and crofts, it also houses one of the three Harris Tweed mills in Lewis.

Saturday 14 November

Overcast and wet today, but nowhere near as bad as the weather in southwestern England at the moment. Plymouth, on the Devon coast, is reporting gusts of 69 mph, with gales widespread along the English Channel. The high tide combined with heavy rain is likely to cause coastal flooding. The stormy weather, according to the Met Office, is likely to continue into next week, with a storm headed for the northwest of Scotland by the middle of the week.

The attack at Fort Hood, Texas, is now known to have caused injuries to 43 people, including the assailant. He could be facing the death penalty. I am slightly disquietened by the backlash against Muslim people in certain sectors of American society. I understand that this is still a very fraught subject, 8 years after 9/11, but until it is known what prompted Maj Hassan to his actions, it is best to reserve judgment - and leave such judgment to the courts.

Channel Five is going to have its newsbulletins read by people with a facial disfigurement. One of them has scarring resulting from burns, sustained in a car crash; the other has a rare congenital disorder. More here.