View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Gaddafi is dead

After nearly 42 years in power, Col Muammar Gaddafi is reported to have died of wounds, sustained in a gunfight at Sirte earlier today. It brings to a conclusion a revolution that has lasted for eight months.

It also brings to an end the life of a man who has the blood of thousands on his hands. Images are being relayed on television at present of Gaddafi's bloodied remains being dragged through the streets of Sirte, a gruesome sight. However, those completely pale into insignificance when compared to the atrocities meted out to the people of Libya by its leader, when they rose up against him.

I derive no joy from Gaddafi's death. My thoughts are with the families of his victims, in Libya and outside that country.

Wednesday 19 October

A bitterly cold day, starting with a shower of snow. Temperatures lifted through the day, but 6C is well below the mark for mid October. Went to the Gaelic Showcase at the Nicolson Institute and picked up a copy of a book that shows photographs from the Southern Isles [Scarp to Mingulay] from the first half of the 20th century. Although the landscape is recognisable, the conditions for the people have changed beyond recognition. Scarp and Mingulay were abandoned in 1971 and 1912 respectively. The Gaelic language organisation Bord na Gaidhlig was giving out free copies of a Scots Gaelic thesaurus, a hefty 500 page tome, quite invaluable for any student and / or speaker of the language. I don't speak nor understand Gaelic, except for a few words and phrases.

At an event in the evening, a man from Nova Scotia was crowned Bard, an ambassadorial position that he will hold for 3 years. It is for the first time in history that a non-Scot was awarded the title. I refer to the link for further information.