View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Tuesday 6 November

An overcast, grey and mostly wet day. The drizzle kept visibility down to just about 1 mile, with the lighthouse and the fabrication yard only just about within sight. There was a strong breeze today, but that did serve to keep our temps at an unexpectedly mild 10C / 50F, the highest in the land. This often happens in the winter half-year, when mild air off the Atlantic warms us up.

This evening, momentous news came through from the island of Scalpay, just off the coast of North Harris, 8 miles east of Tarbert. A ballot was held among its residents, 78.2% of whom turned out to vote whether to take their island into community ownership. Scalpay is owned by a man called Fred Taylor, but he has decided to gift the island to its residents. 197 were in favour, only 8 against. A second question was whether to go it alone, or under the umbrella of the North Harris Trust, a body that took control of that area of Harris a few years ago. Votes were 110 in favour, 96 against.Apart from being a new addition to the list of areas now under community ownership, it is also historical because up to now, the people from Scalpay did not really regard themselves as from Harris - separate islands.

Today, as we all know, the USA is voting for its next president. We shall learn within 12 hours of this post going live whether #45 will be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

A dreich day

Light fades over the islands
Grey to greyer still
not a ray of
sunshine to be had today

The drizzle hides
what isn't that far off
the breeze shakes
the now bare branches

From sun-soaked seas
to the northern Hebrides
a final hint of distant
summer wafts our way

Soon the edge of mild
will move away east
leaving us with crisp
and once more chill

A grain of hail
a splash of wet snow
winter draws near
dark at half four

Look north for the
merry dancers
a moving green
curtain down from the pole

Even further north
beyond the land of fire
no sunshine at all
on solstice day