View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 26 March 2012

Out of the blue

On 29 December 2007, I received an email from someone I had never heard of before. She had been reading my blog, Northern Trip at the time, and wanted to become friends by email. So, Frances and I did just that. We swapped emails on a regular basis for the following few months, until I received the devastating news of the death of my mother. This prompted my temporary withdrawal from J-land, blogging and emailing. However, as time went on, matters returned more or less to normal and I also resumed contact with Frances. She often spoke of her granddaughter in the Navy. Latterly, we took up contact by Facebook, until October last year.

Frances had been diagnosed with cancer, and cruelly, her Facebook account was cloned at the same time. Her condition deteriorated rapidly since Halloween, as reported by her granddaughter. This evening, the message was posted that Frances, now in hospice, is not expected to make it through the night - it's 5pm where she is.

If Frances should pass away in the next few hours, or whatever time it will take, I will be deeply saddened for her family. For my part, I will miss our email correspondence, the friendship from afar.

A bright star from the Lone Star State will have set.

Monday 26 March

Another sunny and warm day, with the mercury in Stornoway reaching a summery 17C / 63F. Apparently, this warm air is being blown straight from North Africa. Unfortunately, our spell of early summer looks set to come to an end on Wednesday. Better make the most of it while it lasts.

Which I did today, by going on a road trip to Ness, in the far north of Lewis, during the afternoon. The object was to visit an old cemetery, and have a look round the small harbour of Port of Ness. I shall let the pictures do the talking.

I should add that each rock represents a grave.