View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 2 October 2010


As I hinted a few days ago, yesterday was the second anniversary of this blog, Atlantic Lines. It was a complete change from its predecessor Northern Trip, which remains on-line as an archive of four years of blogging. AOL no longer features in amongst my on-line service providers, its functionality having been usurped by Google, Facebook and Twitter. I am contemplating a revamp of my sidebar, which has remained broadly unchanged for the past two years. Keep checking back (said he, who hardly ever reads someone else's blog these days).

Royal National Mod

It's October, and in about two weeks' time, the Royal National Mod will be upon Gaelic Scotland again. The Mod is a showcase of Gaelic culture, not just about music incidentally. It is also about dance, drama and sport. This year, the event will take place in Caithness, the far northeast of Scotland, centred on the towns of Thurso and Wick. Caithness is not in the Gaelic heartland; it has more of a Norse background to its culture. The name Caithness runs as Cataibh in Gaelic, the Land of the Cats. The neighbouring county of Sutherland has a stronger Gaelic connection - Sutherland means Southland in Norse.

In 2005, I recorded some items from the Mod in Stornoway, which you can listen to from my Mod webpage, to give you an idea.

Saturday 2 October

Quite a nice day, with warm sunshine (behind glass) and varying cloudscapes. I have caught up with the tributes from the local paper for men who were killed in the First World War. I have relocated the links to a "page" page on Blogger, the link for which appears on my Faces from the Lewis War Memorial site. I'll have to go back to the library to find more tributes from the Gazette. This paper was published from 1917 onwards, but for the first four months, I have already dug up more than 30 tributes. One of them has me in touch with the Gaelic Society of London, as it refers to the son of one of its former presidents who was killed in action. Am awaiting snailmail, as the current Chief is not on email.

As I glanced out of the window at 6.30pm, the sun is headed for the horizon, leaving me with another glorious sunset. This was the image yesterday.

And tonight is about as impressive