View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sunday 27 February

A cool but very sunny day today, with only the odd shower. One or two hailshowers this morning, but nothing worthwhile since. The shower clouds were visible this earlier, but the rainfall radar tells me they are now peppering the coast of western Scotland. The northerly wind makes it feel decidedly cool, particularly noticeable when we headed across to the Braighe at Melbost, just east of the airport this morning. Although it was nice and sunny, the wind took the edge of the warmth of the sun. March is only two days away, but spring is very late in coming to this part of the Hebrides; trees do not usually come into full leaf until May.

Tunisia has seen some more very serious violence, resulting in a number of deaths and the resignation of the prime minister. Libya looks set to become the scene of a pitched battle just west of Tripoli, as Gaddafi loyalists converge on a rebel-held town. I still do not want to think how the end will come to the strife there, but the indictment to the International Criminal Court against Gaddafi, his sons and their henchmen, will be long. Not just on account of what has happened over the past fortnight, but even beforehand. Files have been recovered from a security compound in Benghazi, showing a methodical approach to torture and imprisonment.

This afternoon, reports are emerging of demonstrations in southern China, and a jumpy approach to them by the authorities. If 1300 million people decide to rebel, there is even less scope for foresight than there already is in Libya.