View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 7 November 2013


I'm appreciative of the support that I have received from several members of the former J-land community over my continued absence from the social network. I don't really want to go into details, as I don't know which eyes will glance over this post. And it's just too silly for words. However, it has caused considerable disruption, and when I return, there will be a considerable reduction in my friends list. Don't worry, J-land will remain unaffected.

Oh remember the plans we had for this?

Not to forget the good ole days of AOHell

Thursday 7 November

The last few days have been overcast and cold, with frequent heavy showers and a brisk southwesterly wind. The mercury has barely seen 7C, and is currently at only 3 degrees above freezing. It's November, and we'll know about it.


The church plays a large part in public life in these islands, but tends to be susceptible to schisms. We have the Church of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland and the Episcopal Church. Not to mention the Free Presbyterian Church, the Free Church Continuing, the Associated Presbyterian Church, the Baptists, the Church of the Latter Day Saints and a Roman Catholic Church. It is beyond me to explain the reasons for all those schisms, splits etc. However, the latest in the Church of Scotland's congregation has to do with the ordination of homosexual ministers. The 400-strong congregation is expected to vote in a bid to secede from the Kirk for that reason. The Free Church in Stornoway, meanwhile, has voiced its opposition to the use of musical instruments in the worship, which the General Synod of the Free Church had agreed was permissible. I respect everybody's religious beliefs as religion is one of those things we need in order to cope with the big issues in life, such as childbirth and death. In my personal view, it is not ok to ramrod your beliefs down someone else's throat, or to decry someone for professing their religious beliefs in a different way than yourself.

Typhoon Haiyan - 7 November

Supertyphoon Haiyan is now beginning to impact the eastern Philippines. The maximum sustained windspeeds near the centre are 170 knots (195 mph), gusting to 205 knots (235 mph). The Philippines weather agency PAGASA has public storm warning signals out right up to the highest level (#4) across the southern half of the country. A storm surge of 7 metres (24 feet) can be expected in certain areas, and rainfall totals could top 30 to 40 inches. The barometric pressure is estimated to be around 870 mbar, although that cannot be verified. It is one of the strongest typhoons ever seen.