Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Monday, 13 February 2012

Monday 13 February

Quite a nice day, which got increasingly bright. It did not feel cold, with the mercury at 8C / 46F. And we're rapidly gaining daylight hours; I'm typing this at 5.20pm and it's still light.

The local news is dominated by the problems on the ferry services across the Hebrides. Our ferry, the Isle of Lewis was coming out of drydock at Birkenhead when she hit the dockside and sustained damage. This meant that she had to go straight back in for repairs. Meanwhile, the Clansman, which had been covering for the IoL on the route to Ullapool, had to proceed to Aberdeen for her own annual refit. This meant that another vessel had to be dug out, the Hebridean Isles, which normally plies the route between mainland Scotland and Islay. They still have the Finlaggan, but the service there is a bit curtailed. Up here, we find that the Hebridean Isles is rather slower than the Isle of Lewis, giving rise to longer crossings. We're not expecting her back in port much before midnight.

One of the two major footclubs in Scotland, Rangers FC, has signalled its intention to appoint administrators as it is facing a tax bill running into 7 or 8 figures which it cannot pay. A formal decision to go into administration is to be taken within the next 10 days. It would lead to an automatic deduction of 10 points in the league, leaving Rangers 14 points behind their arch rivals Celtic. The supporters of the latter are laughing, with Twitter hashtags like #simplythebust. From a sporting point of view, being a very lukewarm football follower, I would be sorry to see one of Scotland's top clubs disappear.
However, the Rangers and Celtic rivalry stands for an ugly aspect of Scottish society: bigotry. Rangers are said to represent the protestants and Celtic the catholics. It is a reflection of Northern Ireland, and its troubles. Even this afternoon, this aspect reared its head in some of the internet postings on the issue.

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