View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 18 March 2011

Friday 18 March

The day started out with beefy showers, which gradually subsided as the afternoon wore on. The mercury is headed down at the moment, with the possibility of a frost in the night.

The UN resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya was met by Gaddafi's immediate cease-fire. Something that was a pertinent lie, as heavy fighting was reported to the west of Benghazi, the centre of the uprising against Mr Gaddafi. Resolution 1973 provides for all measures, save an invasion, to protect the people of Libya against the oppression of the ruling clique. And may they get lost soon.

It was a week ago today that the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami ravaged the northeast of Japan. So far, about 17,000 people are either dead or missing, with half a million displaced. The crisis in the nuclear reactor has finally been recognised by the Japanese authorities, who upgraded the severity of the incident at Fukushima to grade 5 on a scale of 0 to 7.

I have continued the transcription of the war diaries from the First World War, describing wholesale slaughter. A battalion of 440 men was reduced to 80 in one day, during the Battle of Arras in April 1917. It becomes quite wearying to read the battleplans, and the futility of that conflict rises from the pages like a dark mist. I have always enjoyed doing the research into WW1, but this aspect has not been easy.