View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 11 March 2013


What is the value of a piece of remote bogland, where nothing of value grows, and nobody lives or works? This is an image from August 2005, from a hill called Beinn Mholach.

Viewed from about 8 miles away, at Sandwick, it now looks like this. Yes, a number of tall wind turbines, almost as tall as Beinn Mholach itself. The wilderness aspect lost.

And I hate them.

Monday 11 March

A brilliantly sunny day, with only a light east wind. In spite of the low temperatures (6C / 43F) it felt warm enough to sit in the sun (and out of the wind) for about 15 minutes. I went for an amble over to the Iolaire Memorial in the afternoon, which takes about 2 hours (4½ miles). The walk has become a bit easier since a path was cleared from the gate behind Stoneyfield Farm through all the gorse. The new windfarm on the Barvas Hills is horribly visible from Sandwick, and it is a violation in my book. I know the hills that it sits on very well, having walked there in perfect solitude in April 2005; and it is now an industrial site. Yuk.

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Sunday 10 March

Another very cold day, with a strong easterly wind which blew in a number of snow showers in the morning. These subsided into the afternoon, leaving us with plenty of sunshine but also plenty of cold. I am currently arranging a visit to North Uist next weekend, where I have been invited to play at Taigh Chearsabhaigh, the arts centre in Lochmaddy, who do a "soup and jam" session. When you play your instrument, you get a bowl of soup free. So, I'll be toting a keyboard down to North Uist, and am also arranging to meet one of my on-line acquaintances there. Should make for an interesting experience.

Our ferry remains out of commission, and the Clansman is now covering the run to Ullapool. This does mean that the Clansman's normal patch has had to be covered by the smaller Lord of the Isles, and all sorts of knock-on problems up and down the west coast ferry network. The embarassing thing is that the Isle of Lewis had only returned from a £700k ($1.5m) refit two weeks ago...