Sunny evening, 6 June 2018

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Wednesday 17 September

The sun is blazing down, but noticeably lower in the sky, now that we're approaching the equinox - next Tuesday, 23rd September. The mercury remains high, 18C / 64F is very good for mid September.

Today is the last day of campaigning in the Scottish independence referendum. Voting takes place tomorrow between 7 am and 10 pm, with the results expected the next day. It is a momentous occasion, and I'll reiterate what I wrote on Monday: I hope people make the choice they feel is right for their country.

I have been posting about the Scottish referendum campaign and expressed my support for the No campaign, to stay in the United Kingdom. That is a long-standing conviction, going back to the late eighties when my interest in Scotland first emerged. The reasons are economic; latterly, those espousing a Yes vote would not have managed to change my mind, had this been required. Too many questions remain unanswered, and although everything may well come out in the negotiations (after a Yes vote tomorrow), you need to know what you are working towards. The Yes campaign, on too many issues, does not know what it's working towards. It is indicative of the Scottish National Party which, during its 7 years in office, has too often changed policies to suit popularity. I am seriously concerned, shit scared not to mince my words, what will happen after a Yes vote. I'm not scare-mongering. Too many assumptions are being made, to suit popularity. My faith lies with the quiet, canny Scot, who will work out what's best for him. My faith lies with those who were not prepared to express their preferences in public - sometimes for deplorable reasons. The campaign is virtually over. Voting starts in a little over 12 hours from now. Whatever the outcome is, I shall respect it. There will be no going back.

Seventy years ago, the airborne landings around the Dutch city of Arnhem heralded the start of an abortive attempt by allies to cross the river Rhine by capturing the bridge. A major commemoration has taken place at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, in the town of Oosterbeek, a few miles west of Arnhem. It was there that some fierce fighting took place, as allied forces sought to advance east from their landing places on the Ginkelse Hei near the town of Ede, west of Arnhem. German forces were found to be far stronger than intelligence had suggested, forcing the allies to abandon the captured bridge. The operation ultimately failed, prolonguing the war by 8 months.

Tropical storm Odile is fading over the northern Gulf of California, and will bring large amounts of rain to Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas. Its impact in southern Baja California, is only just beginning to emerge. Want to know what the impact of a category III hurricane looks like? Just look at Baja California at the moment. The airport at Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip, is closed with serious damage. Looting has broken out. Powerlines down, mobile phone service down for at least a month, fighting at La Paz airport for flights out of the disaster area - more info on BajaInsider. Meanwhile, the remnants of Odile are moving into Arizona, and will dump up to 9 inches of rain there. Did I hear you say "desert"?

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