View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 8 May 2010


This evening, I reached a minor milestone in my 10 year activities on the Internet: I posted my 5,000th tweet on I opened a Twitter account in October 2008, but did not become fully active on the site until February 2009. This was at the behest of a local contact. As the weeks and months went by, I focused my Twitter activities on local issues and contacts, disseminating information of local interest to a wider audience. And using the account also as a relay for fast developing situations, such as the Queen's Day attack in Holland when I became a pivotal user in the supply of information on that tragedy. Information, incidentally, that was available to all on local TV, by the way.

Another social networking site that I started using around the same time (October '08), was Facebook. This came about due to the closure of AOL Journals. AOL's loss was our gain, even though I do not use the site as much as I did in the beginning. Facebook acts as a relay point for several of my on-line activities, such as blogging and photography. And of course keeping in touch with my buddies from J-land - the AOL Journals are gone, but the community remains, in a different form.

Saturday 8 May

The sun is setting on the 65th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day), when the Second World War ended in Europe. The forces of Nazi Germany surrendered to the victorious allies, ending twelve years of national socialism in Germany and a war in which six million Jews, twenty million Russians and hundreds of thousands of nationals from all over Europe had lost their lives. It ended the unspeakable atrocities of the concentration camps, the persecution of the Jews - and it ended the unwholesome politics of the 19th and early 20th century, where one conflict was put up as a pretext for starting another. It was to be another three months and two nuclear explosions before the Second World War was over in the Far East.

Negotiations to form a government here in the UK continue. The Liberal Democrats are presently talking to the Conservative Party, which gained 90-odd seats in Thursday's elections. Labour, which lost 90-odd seats, is not likely to form a government again - unless the Liberal / Conservative talks fail. It is a very delicate process, which is not likely to be hurried. It is for the first time in 36 years that there has not been an overall winner in a British poll. Coalitions are the rule of the day in many other European countries, Holland, Belgium and Germany being prime examples. The recriminations in all parties are already starting, but I wish all involved the wisdom required to make a deal that best serves the interests of all.