Monday, 21 January 2013
Monday 21 January
Another cold but dry day with a keen easterly wind, that played havoc with our ferries. MV Isle of Lewis was blown away from the quayside when it tried to dock at lunchtime; it did not go out again for its customary second run to Ullapool. MV Finlaggan experienced similar problems on its route from Skye to North Uist, so did not venture out at all.
Meanwhile, the snow and ice continue to wreak havoc around the country; elsewhere in Europe, they have similar problems. The Dutch railways are running a halved schedule, and the winter weather also put paid to the Fyra trains, which started shedding parts along the Amsterdam - Brussels highspeed line due to the frost. Belgian railway company NMBS promptly banned the €20m trains from its tracks.
Here in Stornoway, our feathered friends very gratefully took advantage of the birdseed and peanuts put out in the feeders. At one stage, nearly 30 sparrows, a dozen starlings, up to five collared doves and even a racing pigeon gorged themselves. The fresh water in an empty pot was also much appreciated. The ginger cat that popped round yesterday missed out on today's feast.
I have continued my project, which involves putting together all the information I have on the casualties from this island who were lost in the First World War. Their number is just shy of 1,300, and includes those who lie buried in Lewis. Today, I gathered up the data, pictures and tributes for the men from the village of Ballantrushal, located some 14 miles north of Stornoway on the road to the Butt of Lewis.