View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Hurricane update - 20 July

A tropical disturbance is moving over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, leaving very large amounts of rainfall behind. The Virgin Islands and surrounding islands report rainfall totals of up to 8 inches (200 mm). The National Hurricane Center in Miami is warning that there is a high (60%) likelihood that this could turn into tropical storm Bonnie by Thursday. The projected path could take the system into Florida in a couple of days' time.

Just to reiterate: no tropical cyclone has formed and it is not certain that one will actually form. 

Please monitor the NHC's output for further updates.

Tuesday 20 July

Quite a nice day, with a lot of brightness and even sunshine about. The mercury once more topped 18C / 64F, which is an acceptable maximum for this part of the world. Here in Stornoway, the Hebridean Celtic Festival organisers are offering money back to those who purchased drinks tokens for the concert on Saturday, but were unable to buy drinks due to the 90 minute waiting time.

Those who have been reading my blog output for a long time may remember that there was a fire at the mail distribution centre on Sandwick Road in November 2007. It gutted the place, and the ruin has been sitting there ever since. The mail is since being distributed from a site on nearby Rigs Road. A final solution could now be on the card, if a local company can organise a swap of sites with the Royal Mail.

The burned-out mail centre immediately after the fire in November 2007

In August last year, the Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny Macaskill, released the Lockerbie bomber Megrahi to "go home to die". At the time, Megrahi was thought to have a life expectancy of 3 months. We're now 11 months down the line, and Megrahi is still alive. The American government has never been happy with that decision, and US senators want to discuss the issue with the UK prime minister David Cameron. Kenny Macaskill has said that the issue was one for the British government. I think Mr Macaskill is trying to dodge his responsibility. It was (and I quote him): his decision alone. No pressure from the Foreign Secretary (then David Miliband), who was quite happy to leave it all to the Scottish Government.

Monday 19 July

After watching the ceremony at Fromelles, I went on the bus to Ness, in the north of Lewis to visit an acquaintance in the village of Eoropie, near the Butt of Lewis. It was a nice, sunny afternoon with a gentle breeze and quite acceptable temperatures of around 18C / 64F. I had wanted to go to Ness to see the machair flowers, for which the Outer Hebrides are famous in July. Unfortunately, the recent spell of high winds appears to have blown them all to bits, as there were only buttercups and bog cotton in evidence. On the way back, two llamas were spotted in the village of Skigersta.


Road to the Butt of Lewis at Eoropie (pronounce: Yoropee)

Butt of Lewis lighthouse as seen from Eoropie

West of Eoropie on the coast: Cunndal

Village main street, Eoropie

5 July 2006 - machair flowers