View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Lewis War Memorial

Twenty-three plaques
More than fiteen hundred names
Standing in a circle
Below a prominent tower

Looking out over the town
Over the Minch
which they all had to cross
but never to return

Looking out over the island
At the villages near and far
From where they flocked
Eagerly but with hidden trepidation

In a circle near the top
their names are remembered
Parish by parish
In each World War

On land, in France or Mesopotamia
Out at sea, in the Atlantic or in the Mediterranean
In the skies over Britain and Europe
or even further from home

But closest to home
Within view of the tower now
The two hundred who drowned
at Holm Point, as 1919 started

Twenty-three plaques
More than fifteen hundred names
Remembered by theirs
Remembered by us all

Saturday 10 November

Quite a reasonable day, with showerclouds in abundance, but not much rain falling. The result was the inevitable mix of cloudscapes and rainbows. We maintained a reasonable temperature of 9C, and while the barometer rose, the showers started to peter out.

I could not help but notice that the leaves on the fuchsia bush are turning yellow. Not something that merits the news headlines, but in previous years, the gales had blown both blooms and leaves off by now. Not this year. We have had very few days with high winds this year, and (likewise in the Castle Grounds) has allowed mother nature to put up a fine display of autumn colours.

I have made a good start with my two new books. The first one, If Britain had fallen, gives a chilling account of what might have happened if the Germans had mounted a successful invasion. I'm about 1/3 of the way through, and I'm blessing my stars that this never came to be. The second one, Crime and punishment, is a very wordy but intriguing novel by Russian writer Dostoevsky, and the first twists and turns are already appearing - I'm on page 37 (of nearly 500).

Want a mince pie? Sorry, they've all been eaten :-)

PB109461 PB109462 PB109464 PB109465 PB109467

Calum Zachary

Hey, where are you?
Need a word, real quick
You and I, well, what do you say?
Be together for good

But listen, we're poor
Can't get any land
Your folks have so little
splitting it would leave even less

Don't get me wrong, though
I'll be yours alright
We are as one
And will always be

Look, come look, who's that?
He's here for the money
What my dad hasn't got
Hasn't had for so long

Hey, where are you?
Got some news, bad and good
We've got to leave the island
Dad's been turned off his land

Come with me tonight
Nothing left here for us
We'll start a new life together
Take our chance, wherever

They were to meet on the pierhead
To start afresh somewhere
The moon set early though
and darkness shrouded all

He could not find his lady
She could not find her man
He therefore went to America
without his love by his side

His name was Calum Zachary
A name living on in song
echoing his loss
across the waves and years