View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 13 August 2012

Monday 13 August

Overcast and wet at times, but not much cooler than yesterday. We still managed 18C today, which is quite respectable at any time. We saw brief glimpses of the sun, but not as much as on Friday or Saturday.

The school holidays are drawing to a close this week, and although I don't have kids, the controversy over school buses is certainly not passing me by. It appears that if a child lives less than two or three miles from its school, they are not entitled to free bus travel. For secondary school age kids (12 or over), the limit is 3 miles. Now, apart from shelling out a couple of quid for the bus, the alternative is walking. Pavements are unheard of out of town, and during the winter, darkness falls as early as 3.30pm. Parents are up in arms over this, by all accounts.

I am continuing my look-ups for WW1 casualties from this island, and today came across a family whose seven sons all served. Three did not live to see 1919. They came from the village of North Tolsta, 15 miles northeast of Stornoway.

Sunday 12 August

Another warm day, with slightly hazier sunshine than yesterday. We managed 21C / 70F at midday, after which the high-level clouds moved in to take the edge off the temperatures.

I watched the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, which was quite spectacular; I'm afraid pop-music is not my scene, so that was lost on me. What was not lost on me was the sense of occasion, that a memorable 16 days have drawn to a close, particularly when the Olympic Flame was extinguished on the stroke of midnight. The 70 days when the Torch travelled the length and width of the UK, passing within a quarter mile of my door on one occasion - it certainly was an Olympics to remember. Next stop: Rio de Janeiro, 2016.