Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Monday 19 November

A very dark, grey, overcast and wet day. After the cold weather of the last few days, it was pleasant to find it had got quite a bit milder, with the mercury in double figures. The rain, which locally amounted to 2/3 inches (17 mm), caused havoc in Perthshire, with the village of Comrie (between Perth and Crieff) awash under several inches if not feet of water. Three months ago, the village had suffered flooding as well and had nowhere near recovered from that. The next couple of days will see more active weatherfronts and rain moving through.

In a way, it was good that the army major, in charge of the boattrip that left young Kaylee Macintosh dead, back in 2007, was sentenced to a fine of £5,000 ($8k). Since '07, the law on breaches of health & safety has been altered, meaning that in severe cases like this, people can be sent to prison. Other people may be prosecuted as well, as many aspects of the whole trip were found to be faulty. Kaylee, who was 14, was one of a party of several teenagers who were in a fast boat in Loch Carnan, South Uist, in August 2007, when the craft overturned during bad weather. No headcount was taken, and it took an hour and a half for Kaylee to be recovered from under the upturned boat, dead by that time.

Stornoway is not a place that shies away from a drink, so it was even more surprising to read that one of its pubs has closed down. Others have diversified into providing food. The reasons quoted are a decrease in disposable income in the island, cheap booze in supermarkets (which people will consume at home). I mean, if you can get 6 pints for £3 in the supermarket, and get charged £3 for 1 pint in a pub, I can very well understand why people make that choice.

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