View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 28 October 2011

Friday 28 October

Although today started reasonably well, in terms of weather, things have turned quite wild since lunchtime. As I type this, the wind has picked up to 30 mph, gusting to 50 mph. The ferry is not coming back this evening, but will instead be delayed at Ullapool for twelve hours, returning to SY at 8 am tomorrow morning. The ferry Isle of Arran just put into port, presumably to relieve the Muirneag, which is on our freight run. The Muirneag is an aging lady of the sea (she was built in 1979) and is due to be scrapped in 2013. I am not aware of any firm decision on her replacement. The Isle of Lewis is also beginning to feel its age (25 years), and there are two options. One big ferry plying continually between Ullapool and Stornoway; or two new ferries.

Thursday 27 October

Quite a reasonable day in terms of weather, with some sunshine. The flowerpots outside the front door no longer have flowers in them, just some matted remnants of pansies and lobelia. So, they have been removed until we get bulbs in them by next month.

Over in Mexico, hurricane Rina is falling apart off Cancun, so the 100 knot hurricane is not going to materialise. Just as well, wouldn't like to see people's holidays spoiled, let alone holidaymakers getting hurt as a result.

The Stornoway Gazette carried a frontpage article about a formal complaint that a patient at the Western Isles Hospital had lodged over her experience as a surgical patient. Apparently, the consultant and his understudy had fallen out in front of the patient over whether a pre-op assessment had been carried out, or was necessary. It is not on to have a row like that, but then the Health Board made matters worse by appearing to water down the apology to the patient. So, a representation is going to the Scottish Ombudsman. Pity it had to be all over the Two Minutes' Silence (as some people call the Gazette; 2 minutes being all the time required to read it - not my words).