View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 1 March 2010


Missing from the Hotel Hebrides in Tarbert, Harris:
- one chef, James Stocks, thought to be headed for Glasgow
- more than £6000 from the hotel safe

Chef vanished from Harris before the weekend, is thought to have caught a flight, as the roads on the mainland were blocked by snow.

James Stocks is a celebrity chef, aged 26, who has a less than enviable track record. A quick search on Google shows a trail of opened and closed restaurants and alleged embezzlement. Until police have found and interviewed Mr Stocks, no formal link can and should be made between the two missing items from the Hotel Hebrides.

The Hotel Hebrides, situated a few yards from the ferry terminal at Tarbert, was previously operating as the Macleod Motel. It was recently reopened after a major refurbishment. The image below shows the premises in October 2007, when it was still the Macleod Motel.

Monday 1 March

Well, it may now be March, but I woke up to a snow shower this morning. We should have a few more before the day is done. I'm glad I'm not on the mainland though, as the overnight low tonight will be -12C.

Yesterday, Western Europe got battered by hurricane force winds over the weekend, causing death and destruction in a wide swathe from Portugal to Germany. The UK just missed it by a whisker. German meteorologists referred to this storm as Xynthia, which originated in the eastern Caribbean Sea. As the vigour of depressions at our latitude is governed by temperature differences, Xynthia's encounter with cold air over the UK had the effect of strengthening it to the most violent storm this year. It says enough that the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris experienced winds of 175 km/h, that's nearly 110 mph. France has declared a national disaster.

Radovan Karadzic, the former leader of the Bosnian Serbs, has spelled out why his movement acted the way it did in Bosnia in the early 1990s: with extreme brutality. He claims the Bosnian Serb cause was "holy" and that they acted in self-defence. Karadzic is making a two-day opening statement at the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, where he is standing trial on an indictment of war crimes and genocide.