View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Sunshine Colorado Notes

Our J-land community appears to have moved from blogging to Facebooking, but I somehow don't feel quite at home on Facebook. It seems to invite one-liners, just about as bad as Twitter. So, when I have something more to say than can be squeezed into the entry box on Facebook, I return to Blogger. Well, if you're a regular reader, you know I blog here every day.

This post is to highlight David Wheeler's blog Sunshine Colorado Notes. A few years ago, David very kindly sent me a copy of the book about the history of Sunshine, a small mining community, a few miles outside Boulder CO. It was probably typical of many a frontier town of that era (late 19th C) and area, with the go-ahead spirit that comes with that. It was almost as if I was there myself. And although I live quite a few thousand miles away, on the other side of the Atlantic, I felt as gutted as the village when I learned of the devastating wildfire of October 2010. It destroyed most of the houses. Apart from the loss of property, I guess it also ended, whether temporarily or permanently, a way of life for its residents. This was portrayed quite graphically when David had to let go of his faithful canine, Milo, who could not settle away from the village. I know property can be replaced, and the village can be rebuilt. But whether the people will return, and more importantly, its spirit remains to be seen. However, one day I may come across and look for myself. Better keep some of that homebrew ready, David.

Tuesday 21 February

Shrove Tuesday, and no, I haven't had a pancake today. I'm not a pancake eater, as I am full-up after just the one. Those that know me off-line are aware that I'm not averse to food, but pancakes are beyond me above a quantity of one.

Weather today was not very good, overcast and grey, with occasional drizzle. By 4.30pm a serious downpour passed over with rising wind. The forecast is for a gale tomorrow. The only redeeming feature of today's weather was the elevated temperature of 10C / 50C. The east of Scotland may see the mercury right up at 15C / 59F tomorrow. No such luck for the Hebrides, but I don't really mind.

I am sending off another five postcards for the postcrossing project, bringing my tally to 94 when they are all delivered. One is still in the mailsystem, bound for the USA. Over the year I've done this, two never arrived. One was headed for Taiwan, the other for Germany.

I have researched another handfull of men from this island who were lost in the First World War. I am making my way through the Stornoway, which will take me a wee while yet. Another project, equally large, is the transcription of the Napier Report from 1883.
In addition, I want to go and have a look at the findings of a successor commission, which went round the Highlands and Islands in 1902; as well as at the findings of the Dewar Commission of 1912, which led to the foundation of the medical service in this part of the world and contributed towards the setting up of the NHS 36 years later. Both reports (from 1902 and from 1912) are available in my local library, so it's only a 10 minute walk away.