View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sunday 31 October

The clocks went back an hour overnight, and we now have sunrise just after half past seven, and the sun setting around a quarter to five. Yep, winter is not far away now. Hallowe'en today, but as I indicated last night, I'm not feeling like it. I would like to wish everybody else a happy Hallowe'en though.

Today was a bright and sunny day, with not much wind. The ferry did its customary single crossing back-and-forth this afternoon and evening, returning on schedule at 9pm. November looks like making a similar start, but then is going to give us a nice present in the shape of a late afternoon gale. However, if it doesn't get worse than a force 8, I won't be complaining. It's that time of the year after all.

Later this week, on Friday 5 November, we'll have Guy Fawkes night. Fawkes was intent on blowing up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, but his plot failed and he was hung, drawn and quartered for all his bother on 31 January 1606. Four hundred and five years later, they are still burning effigies of Fawkes and letting off fireworks on 5 November. As is customary, the media are full of gruesome pictures of burned and torn limbs belonging to people who didn't observe the normal precautions in letting off fireworks.

Hurricane update - 31 October

Hurricane Tomas is moving west into the Caribbean, having wreaked destruction in the Windward and Leeward Islands. The storm, currently a category 2 hurricane, will strengthen a bit more before settling at around 95 knots whilst making headway across the Caribbean towards Jamaica.

Tropical cyclone Anggrek is located south of Indonesia, a few hundred miles north of the Cocos Islands near 9S 95E. The storm has an Indonesian name as it first formed north of latitude 10S. The system will move south to pass close to Cocos Island with winds up to 75 knots near the centre. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology are issuing warnings for the islands.

Hallowe'en 2010

Hallowe'en is not a tradition I grew up with, and I've only grown more familiar with it since I came to the UK, 13 years ago this month. It is a relatively inoccuous event, although I resent, like the gentleman in the pic above, the abuse of black cats just because they have black fur.

I'll just stick to the black cat as depicted in this graphic. My family had a black tomcat for 15 years in the 1970s and 1980s, and he was the friendliest creature you could care to find. Other cats, around at the time, would agree or disagree with that vehemently; other toms would get a sound thrashing out of him, whilst the females of the species got all they ever wanted out of him and more.

Donna provided me with this graphic 3 years ago, and I'm glad to see she's slowly getting back in the habit. She was also behind this graphic
which had us trick-or-treating through J-land, meaning this image is at least 3 years old. I had two Hallowe'ens in J-land (2006 and 2007); J-land was closed on Hallowe'en 2008. I was sitting in an airport lounge at Aberdeen when news came through that our blogs had gone. I've never understood why they had to be deleted, rather than being kept in an archived status. It caused a lot of upset, and I've not forgiven AOL for it.

Hallowe'en has a serious side to it. Its full name is All Hallows' Eve, the day before All Hallows, when we remember those that have passed away. 1 November will be the day, 2½ years ago, that my mother passed away, and I'll bear that in mind on Monday. Others who have recently lost loved ones or friends will be kept in mind on that day. November is also the month that I post the links to journals whose bloggers have gone before, and I'm closing this admittedly sombre post with that.

In remembering those that went before us, we will gain strength from their memory and the fortitude they showed in adversity.

Lahoma's Laments - Lahoma, RIP 25 December 2007
The Diatom Project - Walt, RIP 27 April 2007
My Reason for Reasoning - Barbara, RIP 20 November 2007
Dribble by Chuck Ferris - Chuck, RIP 1 July 2008
There are no Sundays - Jim, RIP April 2007
I shaved my legs for this??? - Kim, RIP 26 December 2007
One Girl's Head Noise (UK) - Pam, RIP 16 April 2006
Pennie's Pieces of Ohio - Penny, RIP 1 October 2007