View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 5 November 2011

New Blogger Interface

Blogger has been floating a new user-interface. And I give it a thumbs-down.

There is a serious flaw in the procedure for adding pics to the blogposts: if you do so using a pic on a URL, it does not work. And I just don't like that wishy-washy look. Furthermore, I often write blogposts with several open windows, in order to copy or transcribe information from one window to another. The blogpost in the new interface does not properly wrap; what you type tends to disappear under the sidebar to the right.

Anyone else got any thoughts on this? You can access the new look by clicking on "Try new interface" from the Dashboard ( after logging in.

Journey to Harris - 5 November

Saturday 5 November

It's Guy Fawkes night again, and a lot of fireworks are set to go off across the United Kingdom. Even in these islands, bonfires have been set up, ready to light. This one I spotted on the football pitch at Laxay, 12 miles south of Stornoway

It was a sunny day today, after a night which saw the mercury dipping close to freezing.We went out in the car to Tarbert, the main village in Harris, 37 miles south of Stornoway. I shall post further pictures in a separate entry. A belt of showers lay over the hills near Arivruaich, and on the way back they had hardly moved. The westerly wind, running up against the Eishken hills, prompted the precipitation. Had lunch at Tarbert, a look in the Tourist Information Office, then returned north. Sunset is at 4.30pm at the moment, and we came back just after 4pm. The 37 miles along the island's main road, the A859, takes an hour in the car.

A journey along the M5 motorway in southwestern England, near Taunton, proved to be the last journey for at least seven people. A motorway crash, involving 34 vehicles, claimed the lives of 7 and injured more than 50. The death toll is likely to rise, as some of the vehicles were burned to the ground - nothing left of them. Aerial pictures show a number of jack-knifed lorries and some very badly burned cars. The weather, foggy and wet, is thought to have been an exacerbating factor. Some of the worst accidents occur in thick fog, particularly if it occurs in patches or banks. Firework displays nearby could have served to worsen the fog as small particles will have acted as condensation points for water.

Friday 4 November

Quite a nice day today, with some good spells of sunshine and moderate temperatures. I'm not grumbling at the low teens (50s F) at this time of year.

The birds found the feeders and we were treated to the familiar scenes of squabbling starlings, flocking sparrows and the collared dove picking the seeds that had fallen down from the feeders. By mid-afternoon, the seed-feeder was empty, but by that time there were some distinctly obese birds fluttering around, so I'm not refilling in a hurry.

I also received three Postcrossing cards - one from Austria, the others from Finland and Holland. I had not previously received a card from Austria. It showed the birthplace of famous composer Franz Liszt. I embed a rendition of part of his first pianoconcerto. Does it surprise you that he also wrote a piece named after Mephisto - the devil?