View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Tuesday 13 November

A bit milder than in recent times, as we manage double figures. It was a day of changeable fortunes, but with some nice spells of sunshine. November is set to continue in much the same fashion over the next few days. No complaints this end.

Fuel prices remain at the forefront of local politics. A pump, only a few hundred yards from my position, has dropped its prices by about 10p a litre since the wholesalers announced that island retailers could buy where they wanted; previously, they had been locked into five-year contracts, which attracted the ire of local residents. I do not drive myself, but when I go on the bus, the fuel prices do affect me indirectly, through fare increases.

82 years after being abandoned by its permanent residents, St Kilda has attracted an award for conservation of architectural heritage. The houses in Village Street quicly fell into disrepair, but were restored later. In spite of its stunning landscapes, St Kilda does not hold much attraction for me, as I hold it to be dead.


Low tide
The bar stretches
across the entrance to the basin
a rapid outflow the sole break

An old engine
now just a lump of rust
with a few floats

Dirty mud with stones
empty shells
gulls squawking

A squirt of water
other inhabited shells
try not to stand out

Six hours later
Only water
All else aforementioned?
Under 17 feet of water

Journalistic accountability

As we (in the UK) know by now, there have been major changes in personnel at the BBC. This was brought about because the Newsnight programme did not do proper journalistic checks before broadcasting a programme that appears to have been defamatory.

Well, of course when you're a journalist, you have to check and countercheck. However, why didn't that numbskull Philip Schofield, of ITV1 fame, not do his checks on the card with names that he handed David Cameron the other day? More to the point, what is he still doing on that featherweight This morning programme? Names were (allegedly) legible on the card for a second, as it was passed by Schofield to the prime minister. These names were culled off the Internet, where rumours were flying aplenty about the name of the former Tory aide who is alleged to have abused boys at (or from) the Bryn Estyn home at Wrexham, North Wales. Off the Internet, the greatest rumour box on earth? If heads are rolling at the BBC, then we should also see (metaphorically speaking) the heads of Philip Schofield (and his team at This morning) impaled on the gates of ITV HQ.


Along the water's edge
Stepping on tall legs
Looking for
a meal





Lazily, the heron
flies off to its
in the treetops