View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Saturday 24 November

Quite a nice day, with good spells of sunshine and only high-level cloud. We managed 9C, about the highest temperature in the land. Went into town in the morning for a copy of the Stornoway Gazette; this usually comes out on Thursday, but it was late coming this week, and yesterday I didn't get round to getting it. But today, I managed a copy of the Two Minutes' Silence for 90p. The farmers' market was in Perceval Square, and I had a look round the bazaar in the Town Hall.

I have just finished watching an episode of a programme, recorded earlier this week, presented by Michael Portillo, on rail journeys in continental Europe. He was traversing Germany, and parts of it were familiar to me. During my time in Stornoway so far, I have encountered many people from that country. The historical background is familiar to all, and it somehow does not seem to be true - but it very much is. A fortnight ago, I once more highlighted the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938. However, times do change, and a huge effort has been made to integrate Germany back into the family of nations. Like Hitler was the wrong man at the wrong time, Adenauer (the first chancellor of post-war West Germany) was the right man at the right time. We should never forget what happened between 1933 and 1945; but not let it rule either what happens now and in the future.