View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Tuesday 19 April

As brilliant as yesterday was, so boring today was - in terms of weather. Over the past few days, big lorries carrying huge amounts of stone slabs, and colossal parts of cranes have come whizzing down my road - and it's given rise to a few hairy moments on some of the corners.

I spent part of the morning and afternoon looking into more census results from remote areas of Lewis, to be precise: around Hamnaway. The villages of Tallavay, Ardbeag and Ceann Ruisle - none of those inhabited since that census 160 years ago, in 1851. When there such a phenomenon as a labourer-on-the-road.

This evening, I had an interesting conversation with a family, whose origins lie in Latin America, who were very interested in these islands after a two day visit. They were all into geology, and with the oldest rocks on the face of the Earth occurring at the Butt of Lewis, 25 miles away, they had a great time. Similarly during their visit to Skye, yesterday, which has some interesting geology as well - I but name the Trotternish peninsula.

Monday 18 April

A bright and sunny day, with the mercury rising to the mid-teens. Although it started a bit cloudy, the thin high clouds gradually burned away. The dandelions were celebrating the bright conditions, coming out in large numbers. I struggled with a listing of wargraves in Sandwick (New) Cemetery, finally managing to find a way to present it in a useful format.

I could not get over the news this weekend that the M1 motorway in north London has been closed since last Friday, after a scrapyard caught fire under the carriageways. It appears that this fire is now regarded as suspicious and the Metropolitan Police is investigating. The fire has eaten the concrete away to the metal reinforcing rods.

North Uist was in the news this weekend, with people stranded by the tide at Vallay, and again this evening near Loch Eport on the eastern side of the island. There are springtides at the moment, with a tidal difference of about 16 feet. It is always advisable to check the tides before setting out along the seashore. On the west side of that island, a dead whale has washed up on the shore, and it is hoped that the high tides will help to wash the remains back out to sea. If that fails, it will either be carted off to the dump here in Stornoway (hold your noses) or allowed to decompose in situ (phew...).