View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Thursday 29 November

Another cold day, temperature wise, with some good sunny spells. Again, the sun doing nothing to lift temperatures in any way. The flooding across England and Wales from earlier in the week is only slowly subsiding, and further rain next week could exacerbate the situation again. Wasn't it funny when some of the TV weathermen, at the height of the flood crisis, thought that the rain would exasperate the flooding.

My eye was caught by an article in the Daily Telegraph of 27 November, where people owning crofts in the Highlands were threatened with eviction, as they did not live there all the time. That may sound harsh, but it needs to be borne in mind that a croft is a phenomenon that lies at the heart of a lot of passion in these parts. A croft, a leased strip of land, was where people made their living. It was the lack of security of tenure that prompted what amounted to an uprising in the 1880s, as tenants were at risk of summary eviction. When you have a croft, it does not automatically have a house on it - a house is classed as an improvement. What happens a lot is that people think they have a house, and oh, there's a croft alongside it. Nope, it's the other way round.