View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Thursday 1 March

March has come in like a lamb, here in the Hebrides. A cloudy morning gave way to a sunny afternoon, although when cloud gradually increased, it began to feel colder, out of the sun.

The unfamiliar outline of the ferry MV Clansman loomed up at the ferry pier this morning. The boat is here until the weekend, when she will sail the 40 miles to Tarbert to take up the triangular service between Uig, Lochmaddy and Tarbert, whilst its regular vessel, the MV Hebrides goes off for refit. Checking AIS, I noticed the MV Hjaltland passing Cape Wrath, the far northwestern corner of the British mainland, on its way to Lerwick. The Hjaltland sails between Aberdeen, Orkney and Shetland, but has been in drydock at Birkenhead for the past couple of weeks. The people of the Northern Isles will be very happy to see her back, as they have been on a severely curtailed service for the past couple of weeks.

There is an on-going hullabaloo about fuel prices in these parts. The UK government introduced a price derogation of 5p per litre today, but it is alleged that fuel wholesalers have been edging up the prices by 5p over the past fortnight, so the net effect of this fuel derogation is zilch. A government minister has warned that profiteering will be dealt with, but knowing how the fuel business is tied in with certain councillors in these parts, I really do wonder if that will carry much clout.

I spent 45 minutes in the library, scanning 57 pages from the Dewar Report and uploading them to my Dropbox account. I shall unleash an on-line OCR (optical character recognition) programme to turn the scans into manageable text, for uploading to another of my blogs. Of which I now have 61.