View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 3 December 2010


Libya's leader, Col Muammar Gadaffi, has accused the Scottish Government of deliberately neglecting the health of Abdul-basset Al-Megrahi, the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing. Megrahi was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and, according to the Scottish Government, received the best care the NHS could offer. Megrahi was repatriated to Libya on compassionate grounds in August 2009, as he was expected to live for not much longer than 3 months. Megrahi is still alive today.

I don't think it's really very nice of Mr Gadaffi to say things like that, particularly after the compassionate release, in the face of strident objection from the United States. But then, I think we should be mindful of the old adage that a fox may change its colours, but will never change its character.

Friday 3 December

After an overnight low of -20C in eastern Scotland, the Western Isles have seen a thaw. Temperatures here went to +4C overnight, although they are presently declining. When the frost returns, later this evening, this will leave our roads as icerinks. Travel problems elsewhere in the UK appear to be improving slightly, with Gatwick Airport reopening. They say that 150,000 tons of snow have been cleared from the airport. However, another cold blast is due in from the north during the weekend. Oh, a woman in Kent rang the 999 emergency number to report the theft from her front garden of - a snowman.

Monday will see the 93rd anniversary of the Great Explosion at Halifax, Nova Scotia. An ammunition ship, carrying 4,000 tons of TNT, collided with a supply ship and blew up. The results were nothing short of catastrophic. The force of the explosion was so great that a 40-foot tidal wave followed in the wake of the explosion and washed over the main lines of the rail road, sweeping 300 freight cars, 100 passenger coaches and 20 locomotives from the rails, and round houses, damaging most of them beyond repair. 2000 people were killed, 20,000 were left homeless. After the explosion followed the fire, and after the fire came the blizzard. I have copied an article from my local paper, the Stornoway Gazette, on to my local history blog.