View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Thursday 6 January

Epiphany today; some Orthodox Christian churches celebrate Christmas today. Pope Gregory put the calendar forward by 12 days in 1582, but Orthodox churches did not adopt this change.

It was a wintry day today, with frequent snow showers sweeping over Stornoway. The ferry is sailing normally, after being repaired following a breakdown on Hogmanay. The Muirneag, which carries our freight, is not going out tonight due to adverse weather conditions.

During my absence in Holland, I received a large amount of information on a former president of the London Gaelic Society, who originated from the Isle of Lewis. Roderick Mcleod was involved with the LGS for decades, between 1882 and 1930. I shall summarise his information on my local history blog Pentland Road.

Picture post - 5 January

Rising above a closed cloud cover over western Holland and the North Sea

Amassed snow at Gatwick - remember the snow disruption over Christmas?

Snow showers moving south over Lancashire, leaving snow visible on the ground

Snow over the Lammermuir hills south of Edinburgh

Edinburgh and the Forth Bridges

Last light over central Scotland, 5.31pm

Wednesday 5 January

The journey back to Stornoway went without a hitch, unlike the outward trip. The taxi came as booked around 5.45 am and took us to the railway station in Arnhem, 4 miles away. The direct train to Schiphol Airport departed at 6.16 am, and filled up with commuters for the cities of Utrecht and Amsterdam along the way. Arrived at the airport at 7.30 am, and breezed through check-in to gate D21. Plane was a tad late, but everybody got on fine and we left for London Gatwick at around 9.30. After a flight above clouds, the weather at Gatwick was clear and fine; big banks of snow a vestige of the all the snow bother from before Christmas. I am a bit annoyed that I had to go through the security rigmarole again; I could just as easily have gone through a side-door if I had known which gate. But I did not, so I kicked my heels in the departure lounge between 9.45 and 11.45. Bought an Independent and did all the Sudoku puzzles. Flight 8922 to Edinburgh was pretty full, but it got us there nicely on time at 1.45. Had some lunch at Edinburgh, but the Christmas jingles drove me up the wall. It's January 5th, for goodness' sake. I asked the Flybe desk to reprint my boarding pass (which was not possible before I left Holland), then spent two and a half hours watching planes come and go. Darkness fell after 4 o'clock, and my flight was finally called at 5 pm. Once they managed to lock the hold door, we took off for Stornoway at 5.30. Could still see some daylight on the southwestern horizon, but that soon faded. Showers greeted us across the Minch, and we landed at Stornoway at 6.30. A taxi took me back to town for the usual £6.

I'll post some pics in a separate entry.