View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Italian Chapel

It is 70 years ago today that the first Italian prisoners of war (POW) arrived on the Orkney island of Lamb Holm. They would spend the next two years reinforcing the Churchill Barriers, which protect the then naval base at Scapa Flow. In between, they also converted two old Nissen huts into a church. In addition to these picture slides on the BBC, I am posting some of my own pics, which I took during a visit in October 2008.

Thursday 23 February

After a slight mishap with my spectacles, I had to attend the optician's first thing this morning. Only to be told that repairs were not really possible. So, I'm going to have an eye test next week and hopefully a new pair of specs soon. I have made a temporary fix on the old ones, but it is a tad annoying.

Today's highest temperature in the UK has been 18.7C (65.7F) in Warwickshire, central England. Here in Stornoway, it has been slightly less warm at 13C / 55F. Still far above normal for the time of year. Everybody will revert back to normal by the weekend. The weather here has otherwise been rather damp and quite windy, with force 7 being the rule.

I have been asked about the condition of Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands, who was severely injured in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps last Friday. He remains in coma, with apparently a body core temperature of around 34C / 93F, and no change in condition since the accident. Doctors will now not declare when they expect to make a prognosis. Johan Friso's mother, Queen Beatrix, and his wife Mabel are never far from his side; the Queen has even cancelled an engagement to accept papers of accreditation from new foreign ambassadors to The Hague.